Anthony Cleveland: Show’s End Creator Spotlight

Get to Know the Twisted Writer Behind the Carnival
We are very excited to bring you a series of Creator Spotlight articles that focus on our new titles, Show’s End; A story as brutal as it is beautiful. Today, Chris Sanchez was joined by series writer, Anthony Cleveland, to discuss a little about winning Mad Cave’s talent search and what went into the process of writing Show’s End…
Influences and Experience
Chris Sanchez: Hello, Anthony, thanks for taking the time to join us on our Creator Spotlight. First things first, who are some of your biggest influences? Anthony Cleveland: I’m really all over the place. For Show’s End, I pulled a bit from Lovecraft and a lot from carnival lore. Tod Browning’s Freaks was always front and center in my mind. It’s such an influential film that it’s impossible not to let some of it slip into a story like this. Darker true crime carnival stories stuck with me too, like Grady Stiles’ the Lobster Boy. CS: How has your experience as a Mad Cave’s First Talent Search Winner been?   AC: At first, I was anxious about writing someone else’s IP, but Mad Cave was really receptive to my ideas and pitches. And I’m the same way with the feedback they provide. Everything’s gelled really well here and we’re walking away with a great story that we’re all really excited about getting out into the world!
The Creative Process
CS: Tell me a little bit about how you approached this story. Did the characters come first or was it the plot? AC: The characters actually came first here, which is a change for me. With Show’s End there were certain images and scenes I had in my head that involved a few of these characters and I think the plot materialized from meditating on those moments.
CS: What is your favorite part about the comics process and why? AC: Chewing on the story to assemble the plot and characters is very important to me. I like getting lost in that daydream. Every project I begin I make a playlist on Spotify too. I feel like if I can hear the world I’m creating its easier for me to write it out, and I listen to that playlist on repeat until the project is complete.


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