Wednesday, December 14, 2011


 The internet has become a great tool for creators to really push their work; especially in the independent scene. One of the most innovated story telling comic/ prose projects is none other than Urban 30; A Washington D.C. super hero team which has art and is written by several writers with different, individual perspective. We are  here with founder and writer of Urban 30:  C. Lorenzo Johnston. 

By Frankie Rodriguez

FR: Thank you so much for this interview

CLJ: Anytime. I'm glad to have a chance to share my site with your readers.

FR: Absolutely. We here at Comic Book Clash know the importance of helping creators be seen & known. And Urban 30 has been around a while now. As a matter of fact, this past week you just had a milestone, correct?

CLJ: Yes, Monday was our four-year anniversary. We started in December 2007 and I'm happy that we're still moving forward with such a dynamic team of writers.

FR: How does it feel to have accomplished such a great ongoing run and to still be going?

CLJ: It's very exciting. The writers who are local can see me smiling ear to ear when we talk about the blog. When it started, i always pictured a certain level of collaboration with writers. To be at that level is a thrill for me. I'm hoping we'll continue to grow and reach more audiences.

FR: Before we get into that more, for readers out there who haven't experience Urban 30, please give our readers a break down of what Urban 30 is about?

CLJ: The Urban 30 is a team of heroes - much like any other group of super heroes. You've got different personalities that come together and reveal different points of view on any given situation. The team fights crime in Washington DC (or our version of it). And they struggle with being a classic hero team. By that I mean they don't follow all the normal rules. They operate as individuals more than a team and they don't always uphold the rule of not hurting the bad guy.
  • At least, not hurting him bad...

    And what makes you feel that Urban 30 stands outs?

    CLJ: Like any other team that pulls in readers, the characters have to appeal. We have six writers, which equal six main characters. Readers have the option of focusing on the character they like most (or all the characters). Given the differences in writing styles, I see it as a chance to appeal to different individuals.

    FR: People find the approach very interesting because of the fact that it deals with the individual characters written in a certain fashion. Was this something you though of when you founded Urban 30? And how did it all start?

    CLJ: My goal was always to collaborate. When I started writing again, I had the idea to have an ongoing saga that included collaboration. With that in mind, I reached out to a few friends and pitched the idea of writing as a team of heroes - with situations being told from different points of view.

    That led me to our first generation of writers. There were five of us. Over the years, we've changed some writers, but stayed consistent with the idea of telling one main story through the eyes of several different heroes.

    FR: As the founder and mainstay, how do you feel about the evolution of the team, 4 years later?

    CLJ: Words can't describe my level of enthusiasm. We have post of our writers here in DC. But we've got two writers across boarders - one in Canada and the other in England. The fact the the blog has caught their attention was more than I would have imagined. You always want your blog to be world wide, but to know that it really is traveling so far is like a dream.

    FR: And the evolution of the heroes and Urban 30 as a hero team after 4 years?

    CLJ: With talented writers come amazing characters. I think that each writer that has ever written for the site has given such a unique and complex character to the team. The current line up is a testament that the characters continue to be indepenant and have stories worth reading.

    FR:So, for readers who are just starting, what characters do you write?

    CLJ: I'm behind the scenes of a few characters. Sonus is my main character. I also write Spire - whenever he appears on the blog. I also provide the responses/references for the character named Dispatch.

    FR: That is something I been wanting to ask you. For long time readers, you been dropping hints on Dispatch for a while. Are we looking for pay offs with Dispatch soon? 

    CLJ: Well, Dispatch is intended to be a background character. He is the official leader of the Urban 30. He's the person who assembled the first team, even though Sonus will sometimes add or remove members on the roster.
    • The evolution of Sonus is a very interesting question. He started out as a playful hero who loved the attention - esp to meet women.
    • Over the years, he's become a bit wreckless and rebellious.
    • I think now, he's learning to be more serious about being a super hero.

      Would you say that Sonus is the field leader of the team?

      CLJ: He is the unofficial leader of the team, yes.
      • Sonus probably gets the title by default since I write the character. So his attempts at being leader, when he does try, are interesting.

        He has come a long way. Any storylines that you are excited about that you can tease readers with?

        CLJ: um... our next storyline will take the team to a reality where they aren't friends. So there will be some serious conflicts.
        • Thats probably the most I can tell you about that. We're also planning more videos. The videos are like motion comics, but they're definitely more for laughs. So the team will be more laid back and comedic.

          How has the response been with Urban 30 over the years? Now?

          CLJ: Whenever i tell someone about the blog, I get a very positive response. I think people like the concept and the personalities of the characters. I can only hope to build on that response and share with as many people as we can.

          FR: Have the videos gotten positive responses?

          CLJ: Comments to me and team have all been up beat replies. We've got them out on YouTube so we welcome even more feedback. Like all artist, we welcome the chance to share our talent with anyone who wants to check it out. The more responses the better. But so far, everything has been favorable.

          FR: Any stories thus far during the 4 years of Urban 30 that really surprised you or stood out?

          CLJ: We have some called Freak of the Week. I love those. But there are points in every arc that I love. One character struggled with alcohol and that was a hilarious adventure. Another character is constantly in love with the bad guys. Those moments all stand out.
          • We've also got our resident bad ass who has very action packed posts. It's hard to direct people to just one instance
          • but I would start with the Freak of the Week.

            And Finally, any words you want to say to your fans? to anyone curious as to reading Urban 30?

            CLJ: First that I am thankful for this chance to talk about the site. I'm grateful to all those who have supported us and continue to support us. In addition to highlighting our current writers, Chris, Toni, T-Gyrl, Scott and Ben, I have to also thank a few artists who have really contributed to the site - Stanley Obende, Harvey Cahn and Samax Amen.

            • I welcome everyone to read the blog, check out the videos and definitely leave comments to the writers to let them know what you think.
              The stories are going to get more intense!

              Thank you.

            FR: Awesome. Thank you very much. 

            You can read all the old stories and new ones on: Urban 30

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