OPINION

Pop Culture Warriors with Lisa De Pasquale

Pop culture word cloud concept

This week’s guest: Brett R. Smith

Creative director, entrepreneur, and commercial artist Brett R. Smith is a true warrior on the pop culture battlefield and armed with many weapons. He was a color artist for Marvel and DC Comics.  He worked on some of the most popular and successful properties in comics, including The Avengers, Batman, Superman, GI Joe, Wolverine, Suicide Squad, Guardians of the Galaxy, Hulk, Detective Comics, among many others. In 2016 he used his talents and creative directing, along with his A-list team, to spearhead the graphic novel adaption of Clinton Cash. It shot to #1 on the New York Times bestsellers list in its category and introduced a new audience to the Clinton corruption machine. He has since launched other bestsellers and creative projects that demonstrate the power of entertainment and pop culture. 

Brett is the host of the Political Punks Podcast, where you’ll see other pop culture warriors in action.  Storytelling, humor and truth are powerful weapons in the pop culture war and can be Kryptonite to those trying to cancel our heroes. We can help the pop culture warriors win if we support their work.

 

Pop Culture Warriors with Lisa De Pasquale is an interview column dedicated to the significant work of freedom lovers who chose the path of more resistance. Not only are these pop culture warriors fighting the predominant groupthink in entertainment, but also the predominant groupthink on the right side of politics that entertainment doesn’t matter or that the pop culture war is lost. The purpose of this column is to highlight their projects and contributions to expand freedom in new, exciting, and counterculture ways. 

What do you think Andrew Breitbart meant by “politics is downstream from culture”?

I think Andrew was warning all of us that if we allow the culture to be poisoned by the Left that poison will travel downstream into American institutions like education, entertainment, media, big tech, politics, etc. – essentially poisoning these institutions by subverting them from within.

Who inspires you?

That’s a very expansive question. Creatively I draw inspiration from other artists like Jean Giraud, Syd Mead and Frank Miller. I also draw inspiration from filmmakers like John Milius, Ridley Scott and Michael Mann. All of them are masters at visual storytelling and not only operate at a very high level creatively but have left behind the kind of work which transcends generations.

What was your childhood pop culture obsession?

I was obsessed with the comic books, animation, and movies of the 80s since I grew up in that decade. I read a lot of Marvel Comics and some indie publishers like Comico. I obviously loved animated shows like GI Joe, Transformers and Thundercats but I was also really drawn to some of the early Japanese Anime to drop at that time in America like Robotech, G Force and Starblazers. And like most boys of that era, I loved the 80s action films like Lethal Weapon, Die Hard, The Delta Force, Bloodsport and many others. 

What was your first concert and how did you get there?

My first concert was Living Color with Primus at Mesa Amphitheater in the late 80s. I went with my guitar teacher because we were both big fans of the lead guitar player for Living Color, Vernon Reid. However, Primus, who was the opening act and who neither of us had ever heard of before, stole the show. 

Tell us about the last movie, TV show, book you consumed for entertainment.

I watched the new series “Reacher” from Amazon, which is based on Lee Child’s book series, and it was just excellent. I mentioned how I love the 80s action films and this series was a return to that kind of hero and tradition and given what we normally get out of Hollywood these days it was a very welcome change.

What would you say to readers who say they’ve opted out of the pop culture war?

Opting out of the pop culture war is simply shutting yourself off from the opportunity to influence millions of undecided people – much of whom are young. So, if we don’t create the artwork, create the animation and create the films, etc., we certainly know who will – we see that every day. Ultimately I’d like to see the Right return to storytelling through mediums of pop culture because it’s through storytelling that we communicate and pass down our morals, ideals, and ethos to the next generation.  

What can readers do to support you and your projects?

They can purchase my graphic novels for themselves or for friends and family. I have a new graphic novel coming out in the coming months, which is an adaptation of a national bestselling book series, Black Tide Rising. It’s a fantastic 56-page action-packed thriller and I encourage everyone to pick up a copy at blacktiderising.com

They can also find my other graphic novels on Amazon and at IconicComics.com.