August 22, 2012


Fred Van Lente Interview and Collectors Corner Party

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To get to spend the day with Fred Van Lente was a special treat. His appearance at my local comic store, ‘Collectors Corner’ in Baltimore, had been planed for a while. I tried to get there a little before the scheduled 1pm start to the signing. The store had a cake specially made up for their “Summer of Valiant Party”. Even before he got there I ran into another Valiant fan. A few even and we all were just loitering around for a bit as we waited.

It's not a party without cake

It’s not a party without cake

When Fred arrived he swept in to the place with a charismatic elegance. He has a witty sense of humor which seams appropriate for the book he is writing, ‘Archer & Armstrong’. He was accompanied by Atom! Freeman, Valiant’s marketing director, and Fred’s wife Crystal. Fred got right to task with greeting fans and signing copies of A&A that they’d brought to give out.

Fred Van Lente signs Archer and Armstrong for a fan

Fred Van Lente signs Archer and Armstrong for a fan

I had gotten in touch with Fred before hand and he was more than happy to take a few minutes, when there was a lull, to answer a few Only The Valiant questions. He was supper easy to talk to and made it really easy for this rookie reporter to do some front line journalism.

Fred Van Lente with Archer and Armstrong 1

Fred Van Lente with Archer & Armstrong #1

My voice comes comes across a little faint, but Fred’s directs his majestically right in to the mic. (must learn to project my interviewing voice) but the questions I asked were:

  1. What got you into writing?
  2. What inspires you in writing? What motivates you? What gets you excited to work?
  3. Since this is a reboot, what did you think was important to keep about the characters? What did you think was important to change?
  4. You’re working with Clayton Henry, did you add anything, or change the script in anyway, knowing that you would be collaborating with Clayton?
  5. There are a lot of historical, religious, and cultural references in this book. Did you reference it all, or look it up? Or do you just know all this stuff?
  6. How often do you go to ‘Hogs & Heifers’?

Fred’s great answers can be heard in this 10 min. audio clip:

Or download the clip here:


(right click/save as to download file)

Not to long after our interview they had Fred come over and cut the cake. (He’s very generous with his portions!)

Fred Van Lente Cutting Cake

Now it’s a party

I was also invited to join Fred and Atom! and Todd (from Collectors Corner) for a Orioles baseball game later that night. Fred is a big baseball fan and never misses an opportunity to visit a new ball park. And it would have been a great night if not for mother nature raining on everyone’s parade (and ball game). After 2 hours of waiting we decided to call it a night.

Orioles Ball Game

Rainy night at the Orioles ballpark

But still what a great day! A chance to learn some insight into an instant block buster for Valiant, and the great talent that is Fred Van Lente. Till next time this is Rufus signing off 😉


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