Have Comics, Will Travel: B. Clay Moore talks "Hawaiian Dick," Image PR

[Hawaiian Dick: The Last Resort #1]Things just won't slow down for "Hawaiian Dick" creator B. Clay Moore.

First, a hit series for Image Comics with Eisner-nominated artist Steven Griffin. Then New Line Cinema options the film, with "Jackass" star Johnny Knoxville named to the role of the lead character, Byrd. And then Image names Moore as their new public relations guru.

So what does the Hawaiian Pimp do for an encore? Pimp's his new book, "Hawaiian Dick: The Last Resort."

A 4-issue series set to debut in August with the first issue solicited in this month's "Previews," the story picks up right where the first series left off. After cracking the case and saving the girl (sort of) in "Byrd of Paradise," Byrd now sets up his own private investigator's office in Hawaii. Sporting a brand new cherry 1954 Corvette, things are finally looking up when his newest client enters the door and throws Byrd into another mess. This time the trouble is in the form of two resorts built by rival crime families and their mysterious behind-the-scenes saboteurs.

[Hawaiian Dick Ad]"Byrd can't just wade in and accuse either family, so instead he gets his ass kicked around here and there, and by the end of the book, you've got people shooting each other, things blowing up, Mo getting kidnapped -- and possibly fed to sharks," Moore told CBR News from his Kansas City-area home.

Readers will also get a look at a new talent on this Dick series: artist Nick Derington. Derington, previously published as a collaborator on Mike Allred's "Madman" and with Allred on an "X-Men Unlimited" story, hits the ground running with issue two.

"Nick is a fan of the book, we had already talked about a one-shot," Moore says. "Instead of a one-shot, he's filling in on three issues. He's using his own natural style. He's an amazing talent -- the most talented guy that's not doing a lot right now. He's a guy that, anyone who knows him, when I bring him up they get excited and say 'What's he doing now?' It won't be long before he blows up."

No, co-collaborator on the first series Steven Griffin and Moore haven't had a falling out. Griffin handles all of the art for the entire first issue, all of the covers for the series and will handle the coloring and lettering for the run as well. The decision was made to have Derington take over pencils with issue two to take some of the load off Griffin and to allow him to work on some upcoming projects without worrying about "The Last Resort" missing more deadlines.

[Hawaiian Dick]"I knew that if I wanted this book done on time without killing Steven, there were two options. One, we get a different artist with each issue, or two, we find a guy with a similar style that can pick up issues two through four. Steven was just nominated for an Eisner. It's not like we were just trying to keep him involved, because what he does is amazing."

But Moore expects the two working together -- Derington's pencils and inks with Griffin's colors -- to be every bit as good as the first series.

"It'll be the best looking thing on the stands, period."

Moore also says that every indication so far has shown that New Line is serious about making the "Hawaiian Dick" movie a reality. But he doesn't have much time to dwell on that, as his PR responsibilities for Image Comics keep him busy enough.

"Basically at this point, I'm still feeling out the job. Image is two hours behind us in California, so I'm usually still sitting here at 8:30 at night -- Image is open until 6:30 their time. I'm getting my writing in when I can. I've always done most of my writing at night anyway, or on weekends, so that hasn't changed. Keep in mind, I'm also working on 'Battle Hymn' and 'Clean Living.' It makes for a pretty busy week, but that's ok -- it's comics."

[Hawaiian Dick pin-up by Nick Derington.And this summer, he's taking his show on the road. Moore plans on taking a week-long road trip, a goodwill tour for Image Comics.

"My plan is to start at my local shop -- Elite Comics (Overland Park, KS) and be out there from Monday through Sunday, make it a breakneck road trip, giving away Image schwag, and consulting with fans and shop owners," Moore says. "I'll blog it all on-line. Post pictures of me shaking hands with store owners, giving away whatever I can get from Image and the creators -- books, posters, T-shirts." Moore says it all ties into his plans to help increase awareness of what's happening at Image Comics. "Whatever I can do to help sell Image, keep them as the No. 1 alternative, essentially the biggest independent publisher."

Moore also promises to be as visible as possible on this year's convention circuit. Just look for the guy in the Hawaiian shirt.

"But no grass skirt and coconut bra on the con floor. I reserve that for my hotel room, at night. Just like normal."

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