As an Atlanta native, in terms of pro sports teams, I root for the Braves and Falcons every season. In a similar vein, when something from Top Shelf (partially based out of the Atlanta metro area) is published, much less by a talented Atlanta-based writer like Robert Venditti, I aim to support that project, but only if that support is warranted. I am happy to say that Venditti and artist Mike Huddleston’s The Homeland Directive has more than earned my full and enthusiastic support. Don’t trust my gut? Consider what The Middle Ground columnist Graeme McMillan’s wrote about the 152-page graphic novel: “It’s unlikely you’ll find a book that looks as good as The Homeland Directive this year.” The book, released last month, is best framed by the publisher: “As a leading researcher at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Laura Regan is one of the world’s foremost authorities on viral and bacteriological study. Having dedicated her career to halting the spread of infectious disease, she has always considered herself one of the good guys. But when her research partner is murdered and Laura is blamed for the crime, she finds herself at the heart of a vast and deadly conspiracy. Aided by three rogue federal agents who believe the government is behind the frame-up, Laura must evade law enforcement, mercenaries, and a team of cyber-detectives who know more about her life than she does—all while trying to expose a sinister plot that will impact the lives of every American.” My thanks to Venditti for his time and be sure to visit the Top Shelf website for a six-page preview of the book.
Tim O’Shea: Was there any one factor (influencing your decision more than others) as to why you tapped artist Huddleston for the project?
Robert Venditti: I wrote the book having no idea who the artist was going to be or, for that matter, if it was even going to get published. When I turned in the script to Chris and Brett at Top Shelf, Mike Huddleston was one of the first names they mentioned. I’d never met Mike before, but I was a fan of his work on The Coffin, so I was immediately onboard with the idea. He’s an amazing talent, and he proved himself to be a consummate professional as well. It was an absolute joy to work with him.