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Chronicles of the Immortal Swordsmen: Interview with Hank Kanalz

Our final interview with the creative team that made our upcoming Chronicles of the Immortal Swordsmen possible is with Hank Kanalz, the comic's editor. Balancing script reviews and storyboard checks and artwork assignments, Hank Kanalz has helped us bring all the pieces together. He has previously worked for WarnerMedia and DC Comics, and is now Immortal Studios' Head of Publishing.

When did you first become an editor?
Hank Kanalz: Hahaha, a very long time ago. I started as a writer in 1988 for DC Comics, and after hopping around, ended up taking a staff position, editing comics. That led to a long career at Warner Bros and DC Comics, always keeping a finger or two on the editorial side, but also focusing more on the planning part of the business. Working with Immortal is bringing me back to hands on editing again, along with the long-range planning of what we plan to do in publishing.

How did you get into the comics industry?
Hank Kanalz: I was fortunate to “break in” during a time where there was an influx of new talent while the industry was experiencing rapid growth. I sent pitches to editors I met at comic conventions, listened to their feedback, then re-pitched follow-up stories in line with what they were looking for.

Do you listen to music while you work? What music do you listen to?
Hank Kanalz: Not so much, as I’m constantly on the phone, and when not, reading a tremendous amount of material. I find it hard to focus with music playing, as it’s usually awesome ‘80s, and I find myself humming along with those tracks, so it’s better for me to turn it off.
What is your favorite food?
Hank Kanalz: That’s a toss-up between sashimi and fried chicken. The perfect meal for me is a selection of sashimi served with an order of chicken karaage (Japanese fried chicken). I could eat that every day (but shouldn’t).

In wuxia stories, special weapons are often given names. If you had a special weapon in real life, what would it be (and what name would you give it)?
Hank Kanalz: Obsidian Shards, allowing me to better multitask and get my “To Do List” done.

What was the last video game you played?
Hank Kanalz: Clash Royale and Mario Kart, with my kids.

If you could go back in time, what positive advice do you wish you could give yourself when you were first starting out?
Hank Kanalz: Bring balance to your work and personal life. Early in my working career, I worked a graveyard shift with an older, former Olympic Silver Medalist, who said “Work hard when you’re young, so you’re not working a graveyard shift when you’re my age.” He used more colorful language, but it stuck with me, and it was solid advice – but I think I balanced things more heavily on the work side, so my advice would be to balance that out a little bit better.
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