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Robot 6 Q&A | Joe Harris talks about Great Pacific

You saw our preview of Great Pacific #2, by Joe Harris and Martin Morazzo, but if you’re curious for more, Comic Book Resources posted a sneak peek of the debut issue in August. The comic struck me as being a perfect science-fiction story, with an intriguing high-tech premise and plenty of human hubris to make things go wrong, so I asked Harris to talk a bit about the genesis of his Image Comics series, how he developed the idea, and his original attempt to fund it via Kickstarter. Great Pacific debuts Wednesday.

Robot 6: The idea of someone colonizing the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is pretty freaky. What was your inspiration?

Joe Harris: The idea for this series sprang from a few places at once, honestly. First of all, just learning about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch itself got my imagination spinning. I mean, how could this monstrosity exist? Why isn’t the world banding together to clean it up? All pretty obvious questions I’m sure most people come to when they first learn about the reality of this environmental blight.

But my thoughts quickly turned to the speculative fiction potential.

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Preview: Great Pacific #2

Joe Harris’ Image Comics’ series Great Pacific, illustrated by Martin Morazzo, is based on an intriguing idea: Chas Worthington III, the scion of an oil family, stakes a claim to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and begins a campaign to have it recognized as a sovereign nation. In the first issue, which due out next week, Chas begins his adventure by faking his own death and heading out to the patch; this preview from the second issue follows Chas as he starts to explore the patch, which he has dubbed “New Texas.”

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Previews: What Looks Good for November

It’s time once again for our monthly trip through Previews looking for cool, new comics — now with 100 percent more JK Parkin! Michael May, Graeme McMillan, Chris Arrant and JK have each picked the five comics they’re most anticipating in order to create a Top 20 (or so; we overlap sometimes) of the best new stuff coming out two months from now.

As usual, please feel free to play along in the comments. Tell us what we missed that you’re looking forward to or – if you’re a comics creator – mention your own stuff.

47 Ronin #1

John Parkin

47 Ronin #1 (Dark Horse, $3.99): Mike Richardson, Dark Horse’s head honcho, teams with Usagi Yojimbo creator Stan Sakai to retell the story of the 47 ronin who avenged their master after he was forced to commit ritual suicide for assaulting a court official. It will be both very cool and a little odd to see Sakai drawing samurai that aren’t anthropomorphic animals and aren’t in black and white (the book’s full color), but I’ve always admired his clean style. As an added bonus, Kazuo Koike of Lone Wolf and Cub fame consulted on the project, so this should be a treat.

Great Pacific #1 (Image Comics, $2.99): Joe Harris and Martin Morazzo have come up with a book that I just love the high concept behind: the heir to one of America’s most successful oil companies moves to the infamous Great Pacific Garbage Patch and declares it a sovereign country. He then fights giant sea monsters, based on the preview art that’s been released, which is an added bonus.

Marvel NOW!: This might be cheating, but Marvel has 10 new comics debuting in November under the Marvel NOW! banner. Mark Waid on Hulk? John Romita on Captain America? Matt Fraction writing Fantastic Four and FF? Jonathan Hickman on Avengers? Yeah, I’ll just lump all these together and hope no one notices I’m gaming the system here …

Walt Disney’s Donald Duck: A Christmas for Shacktown: Fantagraphics continues its series of high-end collections of the best of Carl Barks’ duck stories, with the Christmas-themed third volume arriving just in time to be stuffed in somebody’s stocking.

Retrovirus (Image Comics, $16.99): Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray’s latest graphic novel, drawn by Norberto Fernandez, is about a research scientist who specializes in viruses heading to Antarctica to examine a perfectly preserved caveman. I’m a fan of Palmiotti and Gray’s work together, from Jonah Hex to The Monolith (which gets the collection treatment in November), and this one sounds like it could be a lot of fun.

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SDCC ’12 | Image picks up environmental comic Great Pacific

Earlier this year Joe Harris (Fury of Firestorm) ran a Kickstarter project for Great Pacific, a comic about the heir to one of America’s most successful oil companies deciding to move out to the infamous Great Pacific Garbage Patch and declaring it a sovereign country.

Featuring art by Martin Morazzo and editorial assistance from freelance editor Shawna Gore, the comic was unsuccessful on Kickstarter, but seems to have gained new life courtesy of Image Comics. io9 has the release and some art from the series, which comes out in November.

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Kickstart my art | Joe Harris’ Great Pacific

Writer Joe Harris has had a bit of a renaissance in his comics writing career over the last year or so, including the Oni Press series Spontaneous and his most recent gig, co-writing DC’s Fury of Firestorm title. It looks like he plans to stay busy, as he recently kicked off a Kickstarter campaign for a new creator-owned project called Great Pacific.

“I’ve been conjuring this thing up for a while now and am incredibly excited to get it out there,” he said on his blog, adding, “I’m highly intrigued by this model for creating, promoting and proliferating original work and hope we can both meet our money goal as well as build some good will for the series. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever done and, I do hope, something you’ll find startling and original.”

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