This Wednesday marks the launch of writer Nathan Edmondson‘s quirky spy thriller five-issue miniseries for Image: Who Is Jake Ellis? The core concept is defined as follows: “Jon Moore is the most sought after spy-for-hire in Europe’s criminal world. This is because of Jake Ellis, a psychic man who is invisible to everyone except Moore. When a deal goes bad, the only one who can protect Moore from Europe’s most dangerous criminals is Jake Ellis. No one but Moore can see Jake Ellis. But Jake Ellis can see everything.” There’s clearly a great deal of advance interest in the series. According to Edmondson: “HeavyInk.com, one of the internet’s foremost comics retailers, reports that WHO IS JAKE ELLIS? #1 is the 3rd highest pre-ordered book for January–just below THE WALKING DEAD and BRIGHTEST DAY.” In addition to discussing Who Is Jake Ellis?, Edmondson (author of Olympus) and I also discuss the recent release of The Light TPB. In addition, HeavyInk offers a five-page preview of the first issue.
Tim O’Shea: What prompted you to go the psychological thriller route with Who Is Jake Ellis?
Nathan Edmondson: Part of what sparked Who Is Jake Ellis? was my interest in the idea that covert and special forces operatives put complete trust in those working for and alongside them. Those in the field or undercover rely 100% on the intel and action and defense of others. They’re comfortable doing this because they know exactly what those people are capable of and how well they are trained. I mean, it’s no easy task to turn your back to gunfire and trust the person at your back to defend you. And many operatives do that very thing. So that was one psychological dynamic that’s fascinated me.
The other theme is one of friendship, and more specifically, taking a friend for granted. I’ve done it and I know many people have and that’s something Jon has to consider in the story.
Artist Matthew Southworth, who draws Oni’s Stumptown (that’s a page from issue 4 above) and part of the “Grim Hunt” storyline in Amazing Spider-Man, sends word that he’s bringing a new sketchbook and Stumptown T-shirts to sell at the show.
“Unfortunately I was unable to snag an artist alley table this year (there’s a long long wait!), but I will be easy to find at the Oni Panel or at signings at the Oni Booth that I’ll be doing with Greg [Rucka],” he said over email. He add that he’s also doing a special piece for the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.