Vaughan & Chiang's "Paper Girls" Builds a Familiar Yet Disconcerting World
When I set out to conduct an interview, particularly when it’s focused on one project, I usually expect the conversation to go in a certain direction. I concede that this Q&A with Zero writer Ales Kot surprised me in its ability to venture into a variety of topics, including genetic memory, synchronicity and the importance of honesty in branding.
Tim O’Shea: How early in the development of Zero did you realize you wanted to use a variety of artists?
Ales Kot: Pretty much right in the beginning, if I remember correctly. The choice was a storytelling decision and a way to work with many artists I am interested in at the same time. I believe a narrative doesn’t have to be conventional in the way it is depicted (i.e. one artist for the story) in order to achieve clear communication of itself. Clearly I am right but really how hard is that to figure out? People who read comics are smart and wonderful and hungry for new stories and new ways of telling them. We live in a world that carries easiness of sensory overload within itself and our encounters with said sensory overload can teach us how to modulate/expand our perceptions. We are mutants. My approach to Zero is that of acknowledging and embracing evolution as a gift. That is one of the reasons why a variety of artists is correct here. Another reason would be because I simply felt like it.
If you’re still undecided about picking up the collection of Change, out today from Image Comics, your decision may have just gotten a whole lot easier: The first issue of the apocalyptic miniseries by Ales Kot and Morgan Jeske is now available for free online from Image, comiXology and, as a PDF, the writer’s website.
“It’s apocalypse in Los Angeles; apocalypse as a universal event, apocalypse as a personal event,” Kos writes. “Change is a SF action thriller that will, hopefully, bend your mind something fresh.”
ROBOT 6’s Mark Kardwell made the trade paperback his pick of the week, .”It has a fairly pulpy-sounding plot: Lovecraftian creatures bring about the end of the world […] but Kot is too interesting a writer for the story to play out in anything other than an original manner.” You can get a little sneak peek below.
Welcome to “Cheat Sheet,” ROBOT 6′s guide to the week ahead. Between a release party at Bergen Street Comics for the collections of Change and Strange Attractors and (deep breath) Wizard World Comic Con NYC Experience, New York City appears to be the place for comics events this week.
But before you start packing your bags, there’s a healthy list of new releases arriving in stores Wednesday, ranging from the aforementioned Change, by Ales Kot and Morgan Jeske, to the debut of Lazarus, which reunites Greg Rucka and Michael Lark. But that barely scratches the surface.
The first time I read Ales Kot and Morgan Jeske’s Change, I was distracted by all the things I didn’t like about it: the similarities to the stories that influenced it, the use of language at certain places, a knowing tone that seemed smug. I’d read, and disliked far more than I’d expected, Kot’s earlier Wild Children, and that had made me suspicious of Change even before I got to the first page, I think.
And then I re-read it.
By most accounts, 2012 has been a damn fine year for Image Comics. Ales Kot was one of the many independent creators involved in this success, given the July release of Wild Children (the writer’s graphic novel collaboration with Riley Rossmo). Wednesday sees the debut of his new Image miniseries (with artist Morgan Jeske) Change. In October, we offered a preview of the project, about “a struggling screenwriter/successful car thief, an obscenely wealthy astronaut and a dying cosmonaut on his way back to Earth”. After reading this interview, be sure to check out Comic Book Resource’s interview with Kot regarding his other upcoming Image projects, Zero and The Surface.
Tim O’Shea: What prompted you to open Issue 1 with quotes from electro duo Holy Ghost‘s 2011 song Do It Again and Sylvia Plath’s The Rival?
Ales Kot: The Holy Ghost quote alludes to separation, tuning things out, not paying attention, not seeing the full picture. The Plath quote is about the other, the shadow we all carry with us, the beauty and terror intertwined. Both quotes reflect some of the key themes of the comic.
Wild Children writer Ales Kot has provided Robot 6 with a teaser for his follow-up Change, a four-issue Image Comics miniseries about a struggling screenwriter/successful car thief, an obscenely wealthy astronaut and a dying cosmonaut on his way back to Earth — the only three people who can save Los Angeles from destructive forces that repeatedly find the city through time and swallow it whole.
Change #1 arrives Dec. 12.
Thursday may have started a bit slow in the news department, but it sure ended with a huge bang. Here’s a roundup of announcements that hit today from Comic-Con International in San Diego:
• Neil Gaiman announced via video that he will write a new Sandman miniseries that will detail what happened to Morpheus to allow him to be so easily captured in The Sandman #1. J.H. Williams III will provide the art. “It was a story that we discussed telling for Sandman‘s 20th anniversary,” Gaiman said, “but the time got away from us. And now, with Sandman‘s 25th anniversary year coming up, I’m delighted, and nervous, that that story is finally going to be told.” The series will be published by Vertigo sometime next year.
• Legendary will also publish the Majestic Files by J. Michael Straczynski, which will feature art by Geoff Shaw and Matt Banning.
• Terry Moore will write a Strangers in Paradise prose novel to coincide with the comic’s 20th anniversary next year. He also plans to do an all-ages comic after Rachel Rising finishes in 30-40 issues.