Interview with Tom Peyer, Writer of The Wrong Earth and Editor-In-Chief of AHOY Comics

by Nathan Koffler on October 12, 2018

The Wrong Earth is a brand new series from a brand new publisher called AHOY Comics. The team behind this very unique comic book publishing company are some very established and talented people. One of those people is Tom Peyer who has had a detailed and important history within the comic book industry since the 1990s. He is now Editor-In-Chief of AHOY Comics and on top of that is writing one of the new publisher's amazing series.

The series is titled The Wrong Earth and the first and second issues are out now and come highly recommended from all of us who have read them here at Comics: The Gathering. You can read my review of the first issue here and be on the lookout for our review of the second issue very soon. To learn more about AHOY Comics, visit their website which is packed with helpful and fun information regarding everything you could possibly want to know about the company and it's creators. 

Enjoy this very fun interview with Tom Peyer!

What characters and comic books inspired the Wrong Earth?

So many. The Silver Age innocence--or you might say willful ignorance--of Flash, Giant-Man, Wonder Woman, the Mighty Crusaders. These were heroes who trusted authority; in fact, their allegiance was compelled by the censors at the Comics Code. Even Thor, God of Thunder, came down from from Asgard to stop bank robberies; he cared about our property laws! Of course, by the time we had Wolverine and the Punisher and Watchmen and the Frank Miller Batman, heroes were alienated, violent, and liked to spend their nights sticking it to The Man. All of these played a part.

We love the unique back matter in the first issue. Will the essays, short stories, back-up stories continue with each issue? 

Yes! We have some really good stories and illustrations coming up. And interviews. And poems! 

Why was it decided to include this bonus material? 

Before letters pages, comic books usually ran short prose stories; the publishers needed to include text to qualify for reduced postal rates. They were usually written as fast as possible by writers who were being paid as little as possible, or at least they read that way. We looked at some and thought, "What if these were good?"

It's such a great incentive for readers to pick up the monthly books. Will it be included in the future collected trades?

We're talking about it. We'll probably end up including a representative selection, rather than all of them. 

What made you choose a dragonfly to resemble your main character after?

It was Jamal Igle's idea. While we were cooking this up, he and his family were visiting Japan; he noticed dragonfly iconography everywhere. They symbolize power, agility, and victory. Then we found out that in Europe they stand for demons, chaos and confusion. So it fit both heroes!

How is the Wrong Earth different from everything that you have written before?

I don't know. It's not a goal I think about. I want stories to be good, and to have something to say and jokes that are funny and characters you feel for. But I don't check them against previous stories to see if they're different enough. I've forgotten too many of them for that. 

How did you and Jamal Igle connect to create this series?

I think Frank Cammuso originally brought Jamal's name up and Stuart Moore highly recommended him. He and Stuart had worked on Firestorm. So Stuart was good enough to ask if he'd be interested.

What do you hope AHOY Comics will look like in a year?

know what AHOY will look like in a year. But I'm not supposed to tell anyone!

How is working with AHOY Comics different from working with other publishers?

It's better! I hope. We try to be friendly and honest collaborators, and to pay fair rates, and pay them quickly. We want to be their favorite place to work.

How has the experience been in finding time to write as well as all the duties that go along with being Editor-in-Chief at Ahoy Comics?

Not as bad as you'd think. I try to write early mornings, before the day gets going. It's best before coffee, actually, because I don't feel like a complete grown-up until coffee. And we all know grown-ups write the worst comics.

Are you currently reading any monthly comic titles? If so, which ones? 

I really like Border Town, a Vertigo comic written by Eric M. Esquivel and drawn by Ramon Villalobos. And I'm looking forward to Tom King and Mitch Gerads' Mr. Miracle, but I won't touch it until the whole story has been published. It feels like something I'd like to immerse myself in all at once.

You've been a professional in comics since the 90s, what do you think the biggest changes to the industry have been?

Many, many changes. Diversity; computer processes for writing, drawing, coloring, lettering etc.; the internet, and how it's made the relationship with fans more immediate; tablets; torrents; movies & TV. Just everything. When I started at DC, my desk was cluttered with stacks of paper, a typewriter, and an ashtray. Really. And a salt lick for my horse.

With the constant evolution of publishing and the comic industry, what changes would you like to see to improve the market and bring in new readers?

I have too many stories and comics to think about. Someone else is going to have to save the industry. I just don't have the bandwidth. But people have been saying it's in trouble for so long that I'm not exactly worried.

Is there anyone in the comic book industry that you haven’t worked with yet that you would like to?

Sure! Nick Derington is great. I've always wanted to do a story with Steve Pugh. I'd love to get Olivia Jaimes involved in AHOY in some way, which was Stuart's idea, but I'm all in.

Halloween is coming up quickly, are you a horror movie fan? If so, what movie do you make sure you watch every October?
I do try to get one Universal monster movie in every year, the '30s and '40s stuff. The best one is Bride of Frankenstein, of course. What a masterpiece. The later, dumber ones are great in a different way; they have their own tone, their own quirks, and they're hardly horror movies at all. They're more like '70s Marvel Comics, with their reliance on continuity and a feeling of being a little late to the party. I saw some of The Mummy's Ghost on TCM the other night and it was entertaining and wonderful in that hardly-trying-at-all way. I'm dying to see the rest of it.