Tuesday, February 25, 2020

TOMORROW #1: Interview with Peter Milligan

Good day to you Comic Book Junkies! Today I am delighted to bring you a very special interview with Mr. Peter Milligan author of TOMORROW which debuts at a comic book shop near you literally tomorrow, February 26th. This is a totally new mini series by Peter, with art by Jesus Hervas and James Devlin published by Dark Horse Comics. I think this one is really going to blow you away. Here's your quick and dirty rundown of the plot and then on to the interview!

In this shocking new sci-fi horror series, a Russian computer virus has jumped the species barrier and wiped out most of the adult population, leaving the world precariously in the hands of the next generation. In the wake of devastation, musical prodigy Oscar Fuentes is separated from his twin sister Cira. Stranded on opposite sides of the country, they're swept into rapidly evolving networks of teenage gangs. Can Oscar find his way back to Cira . . . or will they be lost to each other forever, in a dangerous makeshift civilization that is mercilessly replacing the past?

The Frog Queen:

So Tomorrow is a rather timely book with the Coronavirus epidemic breaking out. Pandemic stories are kind of the rage right now -- since even before this latest virus. I would like to know what seeded your interest in pandemic stories?

PETER:

First off, I was obviously writing this story way before the Coronavirus broke. That said, it’s pretty common knowledge that more viruses are going to break out, and there might eventually be one that can’t be controlled, which will spell trouble for us and all out modern science. The truth though is it wasn’t my interest in pandemic stories that brought me to this story. I was more interested in what came AFTER the pandemic. As I say in my introduction to the story, when I first started this story a number of amazing young people were in the news, most notably Malala Yousafzai, Emma Gonzalez, and Greta Thunberg. Especially after the latest high-school shooting in America, there was a sense that if there was any hope it lay with the younger generation. I felt that too, and I suppose the first germ of Tomorrow was a kind of kick back against that feeling. What, I asked myself, if these remarkable young people – most of whom seemed to be young women - were outliers? What if humanity red and tooth and claw can best be seen not in the killing fields of Cambodia but the school playground? How would the kids run things if the teachers were dead and their parents had all been eaten by starving dogs?

TFQ:

Tomorrow isn't just a pandemic story, it also holds a powerful theme many of us scifi fans are familiar with: man vs technology. Of course, man created technology and therefore creates his own destruction. Are there any particular stories about man vs technology that might have influenced you in writing Tomorrow?

PETER:

Tomorrow is really not so much about man vs technology, rather what some technology, certain all-pervasive, ubiquitous technology might help reveal about man. In other words, it’s not so much about Mans Vs technological, more technological aiding and abetting that oldest story: Man vs Man. As for stories that influenced me, when I was formulating this story, and by that I mean honing in on the themes I was interested in, focusing on that thing that made me REALLY want to write this, I thought of it – a bit insanely – as Lord of the Flies meets Planet of the Apes. Tomorrow is not like really either of those stories – there are no desert islands and the only crazy Great Apes are humans - but both stories contain some of the themes I wanted to explore.

TFQ:

The virus in Tomorrow feels like a warning to all of those who dwell too long in the digital world. I keep feeling like there is so much to read into here. For instance given the media you're in, comics- there's this push into the digital world ALSO for comics. Yet many of us remain attached to paper counterpart. is there anything in this story a secret wish for us all to remain hardcopy readers?

PETER: 

I don’t know about a warning. But I would say that it seems to me that this stuff (the digital, cyber world) is still pretty new and it’s like we’re still trying to decide on the rules of the game. In others words, as usual, technology is running ahead of society. Because of this I do think there are dangers in the digital world, and I’m not just talking about dangers to democracy and personal liberty (which are real enough). I don’t think technology turns us into monsters--but maybe some predilections, some weaknesses might go unrealized and not acted upon without the internet. Its like this technology can tease out that monster that might otherwise have lain dormant. A secret wish for us to remain hardcopy readers? Hah hah, I don’t think so. I think comics look and feel better as hardcopies, but totally see the place for digital.

TFQ: 


What was it that led you to making twins your main characters? Do they in fact have a psychic connection? Did you do a lot of research on twins for the creation of Cira and Oscar?

PETER:

When you’re dealing with big themes – weighty stuff like the nature of humanity –you need characters who’ll dramatize it, through which you can discuss things on a human, relatable level. When the bad shit happens in Tomorrow – and it does, lots of it – I wanted to see how it affected real people. Not just the twins but a father, trying to keep his family together. A few years ago I worked on a screenplay about twins – it came perilously close to getting made, people loved it, I had several meetings with big stars etc etc – but for a whole series of reasons it never got made ( this seems to be quite normal). I did a lot of research about twins for the screenplay, spoke to them, read about them, and I always wanted to write about a couple of twins again. In Tomorrow it’s Oscar and Cira’s emotional closeness I was interested in, the reliance Oscar has on his sister Cira. Oscar finds himself on the other side of the USA from Cira when everything turns to shit - and has an urgent need to be reunited with her; but she is undergoing her own changes and maybe moving away from Oscar emotionally even as he’s getting closer to her geographically. His journey to try to find his sister, and the way they’re both affected by what’s going on, becomes the beating human heart of the story. Do they have a psychic connection? I feel that’s something I’d rather the reader decide for themselves when they read the book.

Issue #2 hits shelves on March 25th! Add it to your subscription today! 

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

COMIC BOOK REVIEW: Something is Killing the Children



Here is my most recent comic book review. This covers the first 4 issues of what has now become an ongoing series due to hype and demand. SOMETHING IS KILLING THE CHILDREN is published by Boom Studios and currently available online or a comic shop near you.

Thursday, January 2, 2020

COMIC BOOK REVIEW : FOLKLORDS (BOOM STUDIOS)


Hey all! Here's my latest review and if you don't like watching videos, here are my thoughts below:

 It's no secret that I'm a fan of Matt Kindts work. GRASS KINGS and BLACK BADGE being the most recent titles to capture my attention but when I saw the press release for FOLKLORDS I felt that Kindt might have written something especially for me. When I sat down to read it, I found a kindred spirit in the main character, identifying with his sense of adventure and goal oriented mentality! Hey what can I say, I completely feel that pull to get out there and seek new experiences. So before I go on here, this is your spoiler warning which

Our hero Ansel is growing up in a world where becoming an adult and leaving adolescence behind means  completing a quest! This world is steeped in fantasy fairytale lore not unlike Narnia!  However Ansel runs into trouble because his chosen quest is basically the worst idea ever. He wants to find the Legendary Folklords. Ansel quickly finds out that this is strictly forbidden. The governing force of his little village known as the Librarians, shut down all chosen quests when Ansel's peer steals his quest idea and proclaims his intentions of finding the Folklords. Every one of Ansels classmates are then assigned new, much easier and approved quests to complete.

Now there's something special about Ansel that makes this human boy stand out from everyone else. He has these dreams of another place. Another world with moving vehicles of wheels and giant machines that fly in the sky. And everyone sees Ansel as a bit odd. He makes weird contraptions and clothing. Ansel believes finding the Folklords may also answer his questions about his dreams and all the weird contraptions he dreams of and the strange people there in this other world. He is not about to abandon his life's ambition because of the whims of some faceless governing body. He approaches his classmate who stole his quest idea and asks him if he'd like to come along and complete his quest against all known law. That's the entire set up of this story.

BACKSTORY of the elf.