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In Memory Of Violet's Husband, Kim Flint
1969 - 2010

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View full listings.
    Tour Status

    Tori will be touring in 2014 to support the release of Unrepentant Geraldines. The European legs runs from May through June and the North American legs spans July and August. We do not know if additional dates elsewhere will be added.

    Other News Sources
    Current Release

    Unrepentant Geraldines (album, 2014)
    Release Dates:
    May 9 - Germany/Netherlands
    May 12 - UK/France
    May 13 - North America
    May 16 - Australia
    Recent Releases

    Gold Dust (album, 2012)

    Night of Hunters (album, 2011)

    Midwinter Graces (album, 2009)
    Abnormally Attracted To Sin (album, 2009)

    Live at Montreux 1991/1992 (DVD, 2008)

    American Doll Posse (album, 2007)

    A Piano (boxed set, 2006)

    Pretty Good Years
    (bio, 2006)

    Fade To Red
    (DVD, 2006)
    Cherries On Top
    comic book tattoo Comic Book Tattoo (book, 2008)

    News: Coupla Comic Book Tattoo Interviews

    Posted by Violet on Tuesday, July 15, 2008 | Articles

    Rantz tells us there’s a new interview up on the Pulse.

    He also added that Comic Shop News has a massive four page info packed article/interview with Tori and him, but he says it will only be in comic shops through today, so says people need to run get it NOW if they want to see it.

    UPDATE The Pulse interview is below while scans of the CSN article have been posted separately.


    HOSELEY’S MUSICAL COMIC BOOK TATTOO

    BY JENNIFER M. CONTINO

    Comic creator Rantz Hoseley has been good friends with singer/musician Tori Amos for over twenty years. That’s just one of the reasons he thought a collection of works inspired by her songs, like Image’s Belle & Sebastian book would be a winning combination. Image Comics agreed and, in less than a year, Comic Book Tattoo was created. Amos is a big fan of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman and even wrote the introduction to his Death The High Cost of Living tradepaperback. She’s inspired many people who have listened to her music since she first hit the scene in the early ’90s. Some of those people are comic creators, so it should be no surprise that they’d find her music inspirational, and come up with stories that epitomize to each what a particular song means. Hoseley said the only rule for the contributors to Comic Book Tattoo were that “the songs serve as a jumping off point.” He and Amos didn’t want translations of the songs or illustrated lyrics, they wanted more.

    There are close to fifty separate stories in the volume including work from comic notables David Mack, Mike Dringenberg, Jonathan Hickman, Carla Speed McNeil, Laurenn McCubbin, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Ivan Brandon, Callum Watt, Neil Kleid, Christopher Mitten, Elzabeth Genco, Chris Arrant, and Daniel Heard, among others. The comic creators had to choose songs on a first come first serve type of basis, but, with the vast body of work that encompasses Amos’ career, there weren’t many duplicate choices.

    Almost every creator had a song that spoke to him or her for a very different reason.

    THE PULSE: Let’s start at the beginning, what is Comic Book Tattoo? When I hear that, I think of those contests that they have at comic cons for the coolest tattoo!

    RANTZ HOSELEY: [laughs] Well if that is the case, I would hope we’d WIN said contest ….

    The title actually refers to a line in a Tori Amos song (Flying Dutchman) and given the nature, theme and tone of the book … that is in an anthology of stories be a wide variety of creators, interpreting or doing stories inspired by the songs of Tori Amos, it seemed fitting. There’s also the fact that, many years ago, Tori wrote the song for me, so it’s kind of (in a way) my hat-tip back to her. Thanking her for the inspiration and friendship over the years.

    The project itself is this MASSIVE 480 page 12 inch square anthology with creators from mainstream, Manga, webcomics, the “indie” field, the “art comics” field … basically, covering all of the styles and genres of what comics can be in this day and age.

    Genre and theme-wise, it’s the same thing … you’ve got creators producing stories that are humorous and funny, stories that are mind-bendingly surreal, stories that are heartbreaking, stories that are inspiring. Tori and I had one rule with the book: that the songs were to serve as the jumping off point. That we did NOT want creators to just turn in ‘illustrated lyric sheets’ or literal visual translations of the lyrics’. We wanted it to reflect the nature of art … how one can inspire another, since Tori has had songs inspired by comics and art, it’s kind of bringing it full circle. The end result is really something.

    THE PULSE: It sounds amazing! So how did you get to know Tori to the degree that she’d write Flying Dutchman for you?

    HOSELEY: Tori and I have been really good friends for over 20 years at this point. We met back when I was an idiotic art school student in Los Angeles, and she was playing piano at the LAX Holiday Inn. We’ve been through a ton of things together, working on her video for The Big Picture for her ill-fated Y Kant Tori Read album, me crashing at her apt in Hollywood while she wrapped Little Earthquakes, and then me sneaking a tape of the early mix down to Neil Gaiman at the San Diego con, since she was inspired by the issues of Sandman that I had laying around the apartment. I can even tell you exactly which issue was the first one she read … it was the Calliope issue, with the art by Kelly Jones. After that she was asking, “Wait, are there MORE of these? This is GREAT!”

    We’ve been like brother and sister forever. It was one of those things that, when we met, it was like you already know the person, your relationship with them is already established, and you just happen to see each other after a long absence, and are all “Hey, how you doing? What have you been up to?”. It’s always been like that ….

    So when we’ve had hard times over the years, we’ve called each other to cheer each other up, or give each other encouragement, and that kind of thing. One of those conversations lead to her writing the song for me, to maybe serve as a kick to my ass; so I’d stop being all emo (before there was such a word) and pick myself up and start DOING again.

    THE PULSE: That must feel great! So how’d you organize all of this and get the creators involved in working on this volume?

    HOSELEY: I was at SDCC last year, promoting the book I’m drawing with Derek McCulloch, Displaced Persons, at the Image booth. As I was leaving the booth on the last day, I remembered the Belle & Sebastian book that Image had done, and how I thought that a Tori-themed anthology would be a really great idea; so I asked Joe and Eric what they thought, and they immediately loved the idea.

    From there, I spent a couple months talking with Tori and her managers, figuring out a.) if we should do the project, and then b.) if we DID do it, what would it be?

    Tori’s the type that doesn’t just “put something out”. If she commits to a project, she’s going to make sure that it is the best it can possibly be; so that was a BIG part of the discussion: how do we make this project something really compelling, really exceptional, and special for NOT just Tori’s fans, but for people who love comics, and for people who just love ART, for that matter?

    So that had a huge amount to do with the format: the art stock paper, the silk placeholder ribbon in the HC and limited editions, the oversized 12” x 12” pages, which we hoped would echo not only the lush album cover art of days gone by, but also feel more “art book” than comicbook. A lot of choices made to really make it stand out as something different.

    Once we had all the format stuff settled, I started putting together a creator “wish list” of people who I thought would be good to contribute for the book. The initial list was about 200, and Tori and I went over it and whittled it down to 130, figuring maybe a QUARTER of those would sign on. But the shocking things was just how MANY of that initial list were onboard, and really ENTHUSIASTICALLY so!

    THE PULSE: It seems like in under a year you got a lot accomplished. How did the creators get to pick a song were they assigned? If they weren’t assigned and people just spoke up with “I want this” what did you do if two or more people wanted the same song?

    HOSELEY: It was kind of funny, because we had about a month where the creators just had “open call” on songs, where they could claim the songs they wanted. They had to give us about a one paragraph summary of the concept they had for the song, and if there was more than one creator that wanted a specific song, then Tori and I would look at the story summaries, and make the choice. But the weird/odd thing was that we only had a couple instances where multiple people wanted the same song.

    98% of the time, people picked a song no one else had claimed, and a LOT of the time they were the more obscure songs… Songs that the hardcore fans know and love, but that are not necessarily the songs the average person on the street associates with Tori.

    Once the songs were picked, then we had multiple deadlines along the way: script, layouts, final art — all had specific deadlines. I’m the creative director of a videogame company for my “day job”, so I know how easy it is to let things slip through the crack without staged deadlines, and also how important it is for both the editor’s sanity and for the artists involved, to have a good sense of the “big picture” … of what the final product is going to be, what everyone else is up to, etc. So, there were a lot of group email updates, there was a “creator-only” forum so people could share ideas and discuss their stories — really trying to foster the whole “team” feel for the creators, rather than the isolated experience you can have sometimes when working on an anthology.

    THE PULSE: It sounds like this is a project that kind of came together from the beginning without too many problems, but did you hit any snags along the way to getting Comic Book Tattoo ready in time for this year’s SDCC?

    HOSELEY: Well, I’m pretty anal retentive with schedules, so things went pretty smoothly. It really helped that I’ve had people like Chelsea Laird and John Withersppon, Tori’s managers helping me. They have that same kind of “no excuses, get it f’in DONE” attitude and approach.

    We DID have a bit of a hiccup, in that we asked the printer back in November when they needed the art in order to make SDCC, and they told us “May 15th.” So, all of the schedule was built around us having all of the art turned in to me and the designer by April 15th — that way we’d have a month for putting the book together. Then, second week of March, the printer says “Oh SDCC? Yeah we need the print-ready file by April 1st.”

    And with that close of a deadline, I wasn’t going to cut two weeks out of people, so Tom Muller, the project designer, and I got everything in place so that the second we got art files, we’d slot them into the book. It was a hairy couple of days there, but anyone who says artists can’t make deadlines is full of it. Over 80 creators on the book and BOOM, every one of them got the stuff in, because I told them what had happened with the printer, and they all stepped up and hit the date. Great bunch of people to work with, let me tell you!

    THE PULSE: So what song did you pick to bring to life in these pages?

    HOSELEY: Well, originally I had a list of songs that are favorites of mine: Sugar, Hear In My Head, Honey — I thought I’d end up doing one of those, but then, a weird thing happened. I’d be driving back and forth from work to home, or around town, listening to Tori’s entire discography, and Waitress came on the CD player.

    Now, I like the song, but it’s not like one of my ‘all time fave-must-have’ songs … but by the end of the song, there was a full story. The format, the split panel approach, the use of two time periods per pages, the fact that the “present” sequence would be about 10 seconds per page — all of it/

    I kind of resisted, because I really had my heart set on something else … but it kept coming back and saying “No, you are going to do me, you know you are.”

    And finally I gave in. [laughs] Glad that I did, I’m really proud of the story, and having people like Neil Gaiman tell me that it was a great story made me feel like I made the right choice. I also ended up doing a three pager drawn by James Stokoe. I’m a huge fan of his, and, like in the last two weeks of the project, Joe Keatinge at Image introduced us, and so I had this idea, and tossed it over to James, and he took it up about 40 notches — really brilliant stuff.

    THE PULSE: Will Tori be at SDCC to sign copies of the book?

    HOSELEY: Yep, it was announced last week that Tori will be appearring on the CBT panel on Saturday at SDCC, and at 2 p.m. Saturday will be signing books. In order to get a book signed, you have to have a ticket, which you get for free, when you purchase any copy of CBT at the Image booth. There’s a daily allocation of tickets, to make sure that everyone has a chance, even if they don’t get to the con until Friday or Saturday … the allocations per day are up on Image’s website and Toriamos.com.

    THE PULSE: Sounds very fair. So what else are you working on?

    HOSELEY: Issue one of my comic that I’m writing with artist Matthew Humprheys, Vix! just came out. It’s a fun comics that is geared to fill that Bone, Zot, Beanworld kind of niche of having an adventure book that kids can dig and read, but at the same time, the kids have to wait until their PARENTS are done reading it, because they want to read it first. Reaction so far has been great, and Matthew’s art just continues to get better and better.

    I’m also finishing up the art for the OGN, Displaced Persons, which the writing is just amazing. Derek [McCulloch] has really gone above and beyond with this story of the generations of a family in San Francisco over the 20th century, and how they are affected and in some ways, manipulated by forces that they are both unaware of and that are larger … more powerful than the family it affects. It’s some of the best characters I’ve ever read in any comic, and I feel really, really blessed to be the artist on it.

    Beyond that, I’m talking about a couple of projects, one with Steve Niles, who’s a friend from years back, and a project with John Ney Reiber, who I’ve become good friends with through CBT. But those are down the road a ways ….