A few of those contestants are from right here in the Bay Area. Kevin Buckley is the writer on this project and an artist in his own right, though Marcus Thiele, his collaborator, is the artist on their pitch: "The Strange and Many Eyes of Dr. LeFaux." The short version: "As a young man, Roger LeFaux loses his eyes in a deal with a demon to see his late wife one last time; 30 years later, LeFaux, now a professor, fights the forces of darkness with the help of his two graduate assistants and a startling array of magical jewel eyes."

Kevin and Marcus took a few minutes to talk about their art and living in the Bay Area. As a bonus, after the jump check out a a sort of "guitar hero/sci-fi/death metal apocolypse/Ragnarok" rendition of the pair by Marcus -- sweet!

1) So, it's obvious you're interested in sequential storytelling. What was the genesis of this interest -- and what are your goals? What other artistic endeavors have you undertaken?

Kevin: The first comic book I remember reading was a Marvel Tales: Spider-Man comic. I don't remember what issue it was, but it blew my mind. I’ve wanted to make comics ever since. I always thought I wanted to draw comics. Maybe I still do, but it seems that literally the second I decided I should focus on writing as a career it just kind of took off. I had a weird couple of days after graduating from school where I got my first pro writing gig and then heard that we got into the Comic Book Challenge pretty much in the same week. I’m currently working on a graphic novel project and in the process of updating my website kevinbuckleystudios.com with new artwork and stories.

Marcus: I think I probably just never grew out of the comic strips and illustrated stories I was exposed to as a kid -- just the simple thrill of being able to open a book and actually "watch" the characters interact and explore their worlds. I have been able to participate in a number of wonderfully surreal artistic endeavors the past few years -- from John Hodgman's "700 Hoboes Project" (www.e-hobo.com) to, at one point, selling a painting of mine to Conan O'Brien, but my real love is definitely comics, the *ahem* alchemy of text and image.

Life in San Francisco and an obsession with Indian/Pakistani food, after the jump. Oh, and epic art!