Last month we reported on Warren Ellis and Mike Allred collaborating on The Spirit of BACARDÍ graphic novel. It sounds like a strange idea but, hey, why not? This is the first time the two have worked together and there's no way we would miss it.
We asked both Ellis and Allred a few questions to find out more about this.
COMIC VINE: How did you guys get attached to this project?
WARREN ELLIS: They approached me, and then hooked me – I’m a longtime history reader – with material from the Bacardi Archive. I started reading, and found that one story I wanted to tell…
MIKE ALLRED: Bacardi approached me and asked if I would be interested in doing a historical project with Warren Ellis.
I told 'em, "Heck yeah!"
CV: How familiar were you with the history of Bacardi before coming on board?
WE: Utterly unfamiliar. I knew nothing of their history, and not a whole lot about Cuban history, so that aspect was a lot of fun for me.
CV: How much research did you have to do to capture the late nineteenth Century feel?
MA: I had done a lot of research of the 1800s thinking about adapting my Great Great Grandfather's journals as he pioneered heading west across America from New York.
So, I had a bit of a head start. Bacardi also then gave me access to their amazing archives.
CV: How long is this story/graphic novel?
WE: Twenty pages in total.
CV: What about Emilio Bacardi appeals to you?
WE: What interested me was that this was a man who gambled power, privilege and personal safety to fulfil what was a strongly held sense of obligation to his people.
CV: Did you approach this project any differently than past projects?
MA: Not really. I always set out to tell the best story I can with the information I have. In this case, Warren Ellis' script.
CV: Were there any moments in the script that were out of the ordinary for you to draw?
MA: All of it was fresh and new to me. I was completely unaware of Emilio Bacardi's story. Attempting to capture the events in the life of a real historical figure was completely out of the ordinary for me.
CV: Do you have a favorite moment that was a blast to draw?
MA: I had fun making an iconic comparison between Emilio Bacardi and George Washington. It was a blast to see everybody wanted that image to be used for the cover.
CV: What's your drink of choice with Bacardi?
WE: A Cuba Libre, like most people.
Where can you read this comic? You can read it at Bacardi's website:
You can even download a PDF version if you want to check it out later.