CHANGE Interview 2 (Remix): A Boil in the Bag Adventure with Ales Kot and Morgan Keske

chop and change

Illogical Volume: There’s a lot of talent in the Change team of Kot, Jeske, Leong and Brisson, almost enough to make me wonder if you were brought together by a sinister mastermind to serve some sort of “greater good”. So: is there a secret origin of this line-up?

Ales Kot: The secret origin of this line-up is a bit convoluted. Morgan & I met on the internet, liked each others’ work (Disappearing Town! Wild Children!), talked about working together. I decided to come up with a story that we could make together because I loved Morgan’s work. Cue Change.

Then we start on it and have to change the colorist twice and letterer once. The machine was simply not moving as well as we wanted. It was moving ok, but it wasn’t as close to what we aimed for…the impact wasn’t as strong and clear as I could imagine, schedules started getting in our way. Then I realize Sloane Leong, whose work I watched for some time, does good stuff with colors and Ed Brisson knows his way with letters, is friends with Morgan and…yeah, it all clicked.

IV: Compared to Ales’ previous comic, Wild Children, Change feels a bit more like a traditional adventure story – the first issue manages to tease the reader with hints of esoterica while also setting the scene in the way we’ve been built to expect. Did either of you feel conscious of trying to make a book that makes sense to a “mainstream” comics audience or were you just trying to tell the fucking story?

AK: Wild Children was definitely a lecture of sorts – that was the inherent irony of the project, something I perhaps didn’t point out clearly enough in the text at the time, although you’d think that a student’s face smashed to bits by cops’ bullets would make the case. With Change, I wanted to go in a different direction, make an adventure/horror/sf story that would fit the 4-issue mini-series format but also something deeper and meaningful. I figured out what I wanted to do for most part through writing things down and talking to Morgan whenever needed, but one very important breakthrough came when I decided to include the astronaut. That’s when the deeper layers manifested clearly.

Morgan draws great astronauts and I wanted to introduce a chaotic element into the story building process. The astronaut felt like the right choice, so I followed him around and figured out how he — his shape, his state of mind, his environment — fit within the structure of the story. Once that door got unlocked, it was all about first telling the fucking story and then just making sure I’m saying it as clearly as possible. That doesn’t mean there won’t be foggy or uncertain sections or threads, but even those can be communicated clearly.

I’m not thinking about any specific audience. I’m thinking about readers, about communicating with human beings, about telling the most interesting, life-changing story I can tell at this point of my life. That’s about as far as I go. I don’t care if you only read Marvel or DC or Manga or Charles Burns. I want to tell you about the things that are alive inside me and I’ll bleed on the paper to do so. It can be done through writing a gangster story or a weird mash-up or a romance comic or a superhero thing, all of those approaches are relevant. Change is a mash-up. It’s everything that needs to be in it. We want to put on a good show.

Morgan Jeske:  For my part, I’m just trying to tell the story in the most coherent way possible, structurally speaking. If I can make the mechanics work I’ll be happy enough. The narrative was sold to me as a sort of sci-fi Last Boyscout. There’s more to it than that, but that’s my starting point, or the thing that keeps my momentum. It’s got to be an enjoyable read on it’s face, with some thread to pull on for further exploration later. It’s definitely a more straightforward read than the almost lecture-like delivery that Wild Children had. It’s less about what it’s ABOUT than that book, which I think is important. Embedding that stuff makes for a more fluid reading experience. That’s not a slight on it by the way, that’s just how it reads to me. I personally don’t think about audience when working. I can’t really, it’s paralyzing. It’s got to be something I might like first and foremost and from there who knows? What audience will grab hold of it isn’t up to us.

IV: One of my favourite things about the first issue is that it feels like it could go in any number of directions, but I still feel like I should ask if you’d like to give something away about where it’s going, how it’s going and why?

MJ: It gets weirder from the start of issue 2 onward. On every level. The colors get stranger, more detached from a representative reality, and the art (I think) improves with each issue. Thankfully the book is called Change, so me getting better at drawing comics while working on it fits the themes. I can’t really say anything specifically about the narrative direction without potentially ruining the hypothetical reader’s reaction. There are robots? Rain? Some mild gun play? Some grotesque beach front property? Answering in question? I think that where the story ends up by the time we reach #4 is very far from where we start, both within the story and for us making it.

AK: What Morgan said. It’s going places. #1 reads fairly straightforward, yeah, but I look forward to seeing your face by the time you’re done reading #3. But at least some hints…

Where: The Soho House, Downtown Los Angeles, the Hills, Malibu, Venice…etc.

How: Like a fever dream that’s constantly turning into a nightmare turning into a dream turning…turn, turn, turn.

Why: I wanted to answer, but this strange man just knocked on my window to tell me that Dick Laurent is dead, so I’m going to answer the rest of your questions later.

IV: Morgan, l believe this is the first comic you’ve drawn entirely on your Clintiq tablet. The transition from traditional, analogue art techniques to modern digital ones seemed to be the overarching story at the recent Dundee Comics Day, and all the artists involved seemed to have found the transition to be a liberating one, even if Frank Quitely still didn’t feel like he’d found a method that worked for him. Has working digital freed you up in any way, and is there anything you feel you’ve lost in the transition? 

MJ: Yeah, this is the first project I’ve done digitally from top to bottom. Wait, I think there where a couple panels in issue 1 where I worked analog, but aside from that, yes. The transition wasn’t too difficult. After logging 8-10 hours of drawing I got used to the consistent smoothness of the screen, which at first was jarring. Paper has a tooth, however smooth, because of the surfaces you’re working on and that affects what you’re putting down. There are differences in the lines I make digitally simply because of the brushes, several of which I made from scanning analog lines anyway. I’ve said it elsewhere, but working this way has allowed me to try different techniques with less hesitation. What I’ve lost is the ability to work anywhere other than at my desk at home. Thankfully Vancouver is absolute shit during winter, so being locked into this cockpit of sadness has been cozy.

AK: Cockpit of sadness? That’s very astronaut-like.

cockpit  blues, jeske style!

IV: Do you think you’ll continue to work straight to digital, or do you think you’ll use a hybrid approach in the future depending on the project?

MJ: I’m definitely going to jump back and forth between the two, no question. The great thing is that all of these emboldening adventures in digital production have made me more confident in my abilities. Techniques that I’ve discovered and become adept at can be ported back over to analog production. And it won’t always be a case of one or the other. If I can blend them seamlessly, I’ll do both at the same time going forward.

IV: Sloane Leong’s colours really make your linework pop throughout the first issue, and I believe you’ve mentioned that her colour coding will become even more important to the different plot lines as the story progresses.  What’s it been like working with her on this project?

MJ: It has been outstanding and unexpected! Her colors get really strange in issue 2, in the best possible way. Looking at the pages in pdf form, with the spreads intact, you can really see in an aerial way the flow that she has created from pg1 to 24. It’s impressively designed. It has also been a great learning experience having someone else color my work. Sloane’s really good artist all around. Have you seen her comics? She has got it all.

IV: Aside from these considerations, have you approached this book any differently from the way you approach your own work on, say, Disappearing Town?

dissapearing town - 2013

MJ: Yeah, it’s different simply because I’m not writing the blueprint/script. So how I approach designing the pages is very different than how I produce my own stuff. Ales understands comics, and the mechanics of the medium, so I’ve got less work to do as far as page structure goes. That’s not to say that it isn’t a conversation, but I’m not starting from scratch. There’s always back and forth on pages, but luckily it has been very smooth. Nobody’s too precious about their ideas. We just want it to be as good as it can be given who we are right this minute. I approach each page as a brief first, as in, this is Ales’ vision for the page and I’m going to try and make that work first and foremost. If it doesn’t, then I make changes and we go from there. We both encourage complete openness from each other, so nobody catches feelings over crit.

IV: Ales, do you have a fixed working method for your scripts yet, or is that something you’re hoping to leave in flux?

AK: Every project is my first. I identify with PT Anderson’s thoughts on this. There’s no fixed way of doing things for me because every project has a different shape, a different energy if you will. I like working that way. Observing and jumping in to figure out what the project is or wants to be.

click here to learn a little something about circular space time from a MASTER

IV: Does your inner control freak harbor any ambition to draw comics too, or are you enjoying the collaboration too much to care?

AK: Right now I’m enjoying all my collaborations too much to care, plus I’ve got arthritis and I like doing other things than just sitting behind the table. I might write and draw a graphic novel one day, maybe, if I feel like it’s the right thing to do. I love writing for artists, though. I enjoy connecting with their sensibilities, figuring out how to make a project work for everyone involved, how to push things somewhere new and interesting…all this problem-solving is fun for me.

IV: There’s quite a mix of different tones and genres on display in this first issue, which mixes Kubrick-esque sci-fi with Lovecraftian horror and a glint of showbiz madness.  Was it tricky to balance the different demands of these genres both in the script and on the page?

Ales Kot: Sure, but not frustratingly tricky. I just put everything that was in my head on the page and then rewrote it into a hopefully more elegant but still raw lump, cutting and adding and changing. Morgan’s art, Sloane’s colors, Ed’s lettering, everything works in unison. More in the next answer.

IV: Were you concerned at all that this sort of mix could tend towards a sort of glib, internet-era mash-up effect, or did this mix arrive… if not naturally, then as part of the process of working out how to tell the story you wanted to tell?

AK: Not concerned at all. It arrived naturally. This is what Los Angeles, at least certain people and places, feels like. I mean, we live in a sort of glib, internet-era mash-up effect zone…the fact that contemporary art doesn’t often reflect it just means that a lot of populace might be out of touch with what the reality is at the moment, and I’m interested in being in touch with the real. I’m interested in what’s happening now, in depicting it clearly through fictional ways.

listened to breakcore a ton when I was younger – nowadays much less, but I still love it. I used to be a fairly decent DJ and got more than a few great gigs under my belt, usually mixing idm and breakcore and DMZ and early-post-DMZ era dubstep, all about Ninja Tune, Planet Mu, Warp Records, Rephlex, Ad Noiseam, Bloody Fist Records, Digital Mystikz, Hyperdub and plenty other labels…and, well, breakcore is about sensory overload. I knew I was getting my mind blown already at the time – some of the parties were legendary and so were my so-called weekly explorations. But subjecting myself to that specific brand of music, to all the samples and fast changes and tempo cuts and accepting them and finding order within the chaos at the tender age of 18-21…that’s called chaos magic, or also science. I knew what I was doing at the time and it was great back then, but some of the rewards of doing that are still coming to me – easy orientation within seemingly chaotic structures is one of them.

IV: Change also has at least one foot in the “city stories” genre, which is something I’m always up for [pretentious blather about how cities are the human mind in three dimensional form goes here] – how important is the LA setting to this book, and has the fact that Morgan’s never been there been a help or a hindrance?

AK: I’ll start with the easy answer – regarding Morgan, neither. We work with reference, we talk a lot. He gets it.

livelovela$ap

MJ: I’ll let Ales handle the significance of LA to the story, because aside from the superficial I can’t really speak to how the city actually breaths. Like, I can certainly romanticize it as an outsider, but there’s no basis in reality.  For the story, I’m just riffing off of what’s in the script and any reference that Ales sends me. There are some locations that are key to the story. I feel like the first three issues are very claustrophobic, and in issue four there will be a lot of big wide open pages.

AK: Los Angeles is key to the comic. The city is made of smaller cities connected by highways in often unpredictable directions. It’s a well-functioning organism to some extent, and certainly a fascinating one. I moved to Los Angeles in 2009 because of love. My first reaction as the plane touched the ground was – “Holy shit, I’m in Heat.” I love the film, Mann’s depiction of Los Angeles in it transcends fiction with an intensity similar to Mulholland Drive or Southland Tales. There’s something I said in this recent interview for Mishka NYC and I just have to re-use the part because I don’t think I can say it any better now:

“I climb on the roof of our then-apartment in Hollywood, above the transsexual hookers and drug dealers and Armenian mothers and old Italian guys with cigars and palm trees, and I look at the city, and I see the mountains and the ocean and the slums and the skyscrapers and the roads and the highways and the mansions, and the homeless and the SUVs and the supermarkets and the parking lots and the paper billboards and the digital billboards and the sand, and I smell the wind and look at the vast blue sky with almost no clouds, and I realize I’m home. 

 

I do carry my home within me – I am my own home. But there’s a connection to Los Angeles that I’m just beginning to unravel and I have no idea how long it will take. I love this city because it has everything. This is where the reality meets up with the dream and they fuck until they can’t breathe, so they just rest on each other breathless and merging until you can’t tell which is which.”

I’m fascinated with the city. I’m already writing another thing, a short graphic novella the size of Wild Children – a straight-up horror – that’s also set in Los Angeles. I’d like to set more stories in Los Angeles in the future.

IV: Ales, am I wrong suggest that your own pretty head pops up in the middle of this issue?  If I’m *not* wrong, how much metafiction is likely to turn up in the mix? How much of you will be able to touch on the page? Will Morgan or Sloane or anyone else on the team be getting in on the action? Will this stream of fractured questions ever end?

MJ: I should pop in here and say that the resemblance of the writer character and Ales is probably my fault. That’s just who I pictured. Meta is dangerous, dangerous territory these days. It’s been way overused in recent years, and can take away from the telling of a grounded and relatable story. It seems, at least to me, to be used as an escape hatch out of the difficulty of writing well in a specific genre. “Tell me about the strings!” as opposed to hiding the fuckers. We’ve, I think, avoided that trap quite well in change. Everything here matters.

notaleskot

AK: What Mog said. That and I don’t want to give any easy answers. What is it that one of the characters in Palahniuk’s Diary says? Everything we do is a self-portrait?

IV: Ales, from your response to my Wild Children review and the way I’ve seen you handle criticism both on twitter and in the comments section of the Mindless Ones site, it seems like you’ve got a fairly robust attitude to peoples’ responses to your work.  Do you think you’ll be able to keep yourself open to negative or complicated responses to your work  or do you think it’ll wear you down into a hyper-sensitive husk as you go on? 

AK: Thanks! I’m actually quite sensitive, I just choose to deal with critique — whether well-phrased or not — as calmly and politely as possible. As Orwell says in his essay on Charles Dickens“If men would behave decently the world would be decent” is not such a platitude as it sounds.” 

MJ: Jumping in here with my own approach to the subject: I don’t do it. By that I mean don’t engage with criticism in comment sections of reviews. Read them, sure, but I think directly engaging with the reviewer feels like you’re trying to change their mind about the work. If they read it “wrong”, then so be it, but I don’t think it’s your job as the person who made the thing to police response. I only focus on the negative here because I believe that if you’re going to read the good reviews you’ve got to read the bad. Just put the thing out there and live with the reception. I’m going to try damn hard to avoid reading responses to the book when it drops, because I’m still working on finishing #4 and I don’t want to mess with my flow before I’m finished. After it’s done, then I’ll go back and check in on the response having the distance from the project to read them ice cold and figure out how to do better next time. Because criticism is very important to getting better at closing the gap between your intent and reception I think.

AK: I agree with Morgan – it’s not my place to try and change someone’s mind about the work. What I like to do is this: I can offer an explanation if it’s asked for, or clarify something if an assumption is made. What the person chooses to do with the information I give is entirely up to them. I definitely intend to stay open to negative and complicated responses to my work. I love thinking about my comics and improving myself. If other people want to help me, all I can say is that I’m delighted.

Bad Education, X-Men style - from Riot at Xaviers, by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely

IV: I was talking to Plok about a piece I’ve written for his internet opera a couple of weeks back, and when he said that part of it was “underwritten” my first reaction was pretty much “Yeah? Well maybe your mother is underwritten too!”  Turns out he was right, but it made me wonder – is there any criticism, fair or otherwise, that’s likely to drive you up the wall?

AK: Not today. Unfairness annoys me in general because I don’t like people being unfair to other people, especially when they do it on purpose. But I’m in bed right now and it’s warm. Today I think of nice things. It’s beautiful outside right now…oh, look! Is it bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s a government surveillance drone!

A Drone's Eye View, from Change #1

IV: In this work as in Wild Children, it feels like you’re trying to take on some fairly big ideas in a fairly direct way. As a young writer in pretty much every sense of the word, are you worried about falling flat on your face with any of this stuff? 

AK: All the time. Doesn’t mean it will stop me.

IV: Related to the last question, do you find it difficult to balance the big thematic stuff with the demands of comic book storytelling?  Like I said back at the start of this interview, Change feels like more of a fully synthesised work than Wild Children, but it’s also – for the span of its first issue, at least – less overtly ABOUT what it’s about. 

AK: Comic books are in my blood. It’s not difficult to think in those terms – the difficulty comes from the desire to create something new and honest. I counted the themes in #1 and it’s something between 22-25 different ones. They spill over, they stay around. Wild Children was in your face on purpose. Change is your face.

IV: What’s your biggest fear about your own writing?

AK: What a great question! That I’m being fake, or at least not honest enough. It’s the same thing I’m afraid in my life – the same sort of a constant exploration I put myself under. Are my motives real? Are they real enough? Where do they come from? Why am I doing this? No, really, why am I doing this? That sort of a thing. It gets a bit annoying, but it’s also tremendously useful.

Morgan Jeske in full effect

IV: Morgan, have you had much feedback on your own work, and if so how have you found the signal/noise ratio to be so far?  Like, I presume the feedback will have been broadly positive – I don’t if you know this, but shit man, you can fuckingdraw! – but has any of it been useful to you with regards to improving your own work? 

MJ: Thanks. You have no idea how hard that was for me to say without adding “…but it could be better” Whoops! That’s not false modesty by the way, I really do appreciate when people respond to something I’ve done, otherwise I wouldn’t be posting work on tumblr and elsewhere. But for me, the satisfaction I get from looking at a finished thing lasts maybe five minutes before I start thinking about what I’ll do differently next time. I realize that this is not uncommon and I’m a big fat walking cliche. The real fun of it is doing the work, figuring out the page etc. What that positive reaction does do, is motivate me to start the next thing and to keep trying to do better. I haven’t really heard much in the way of negative feedback because I haven’t really done anything on a larger stage. I’m kind of a non-entity at this point in that regard. If my mom’s fridge is any indication, then I’m the best ever.

IV: Are there any classic (classic) comics that were a touchstone for your work on Change?  Like, as in old favourites that you wanted to try to match or channel on the page.

MJ: Hmmm, for issues 3 and 4 I’ve been looking at Frank Miller’s Ronin a lot. Whether any of that will make it onto the page, I don’t know. There’s a great flow to that book, especially in the latter half where there are entire sections of two page spreads drenched in blacks. With issue 4 in particular, I’d like to be that bold with the space of the page.  Aside from anything specific, just looking at other people’s work while I’m drawing helps a lot as far as motivation goes. Everyone’s doing/done it better is my approach. I’ve always got 100% by Paul Pope at my desk because I steal from Pope a lot. It may not always be obvious, but I grab little lines here and there from him, always. I really like the way he draws lips for instance. Organic tech etc. I looked at Batman Year One a lot for issue 3 as well come to think of it, mainly for panel shapes.

A panel from Paul Pope's 100%

AK: Yeah, there’s definitely some Ronin dna in #3, we talked about that beforehand and it spills into #4. The Adventures of Luther Arkwright for its density. Elektra: Assassin for its poetry and hugely influential creative back-and-forth between Miller and Sienkiewicz. There are some bits of Sin City throughout. The Filth‘s & The Bulletproof Coffin‘s management of chaotic adventure tropes. Pope’s work for the raw beautiful city feel. The emotional dynamism of Preacher.

IV: Similarly, are there any contemporary comics that are setting your arse on fire now, making you panic, making you want to rip the whole thing up and start again? I’m not one to big up particular comics companies, don’t get enough bribes in the mail for that, but your book is comic out from Image in a year where Bulletproof Coffin might not necessarily be the best thing they’ve published…

MJ: I don’t read that many comics regularly, but the ones I do pick up day of are Prophet, Multiple Warheads and Saga. I really love David Aja’s work on Hawkguy. There’s a lot of good stuff on the Study Group website on the regular. Oh shit, Casanova was a big deal for me this year. Avaritia came out after a long absence and kind of knocked me over. Fraction and Ba did their best work on the mini I think. All of those books scare me into not slouching. I’ve got a long way to go to fill that gap.

AK: I love, read and reread all of the above. I’m finally discovering Jacques Tardi’s work – ‘It Was the War of the Trenches’ is probably the strongest anti-war comic I ever read, although I’m still waiting for the right moment to get into Charley’s War. The latest League of Extraordinary Gentlemen was great. Kieron Gillen’s ‘Journey into Mystery’, holy shit, that was something – probably the best epic fantasy comic since Neil Gaiman left the building. Fury MAX. Morrison’s & Burnham’s Batman. Si Spurrier’s ‘Crossed: Wish You Were Here’ is quite well-written. LOSE. Building Stories. Zaucer of Zilk. The collected King City.

king city

IV: There are a couple of references to works outside of the comics field in Change #1, which is always a relief – are there any particular books/films/albums/artworks/whatever that are important to the work you’re doing on this project?  Anyone out there whose work gets you out of bed in morning?

AK: Charlie Kaufman’s BAFTA speech was the single biggest influence on how I chose to approach working on Change. Beyond that – Southland Tales, Lost Highway, The Last Boyscout, Mulholland Drive, Inland Empire, The Holy Mountain…PT Anderson’s and Kubrick’s dedication and attention to detail. Wong-Kar Wai’s work, at least a little. David Cronenberg and David Lynch definitely made a deep mark.

Here’s a selection from the multi-hour Change soundtrack I have on whenever I write: The XX, The Clash, William Basinski, Marnie Stern, Goblin, Slint, Angelo Badalamenti, El-P, Patrick Wolf, RZA, Patti Smith, The Antlers, Purity Ring, Sleigh Bells, Nico, Sparks, The Notorious B.I.G., Kylie Minogue, Ultravox!, Nick Cave, Clark, Talking Heads.

Basinski’s ‘Disintegration Loops’ is getting to be quite influential these days, just as I’m digging deep into the script for #4. Do you know the story behind the record? In case you don’t, here it is:

“These new recordings were first created in Brooklyn the day before the attacks on the World Trade Center and since then, for reasons that are relatively obvious after one listens to them, they have become considered by many to be one of the most pre-eminent American artistic statements of the 21st Century so far.

Basinski sighs when he gets to this bit of the story though and charges through it in the most descriptively Spartan way possible. “On September 10, 2001 I was ready to slash my wrists. I’d had it, I was out of work, I was about to be evicted and then The Disintegration Loops descended from the sky and I didn’t know what I was going to do with them. But when I woke up in the morning the towers had been struck and the whole world changed…” He stops talking, signaling that he’s ready to move onto the next bit of the interview.”

There’s much more to it – the entire interview’s here. Change is about disintegration, about things that are falling apart and how we deal with that…it feels quite relevant and the album is exactly what I need now.

Carl Gustav Jung is another huge influence. I’d be giving away too much if I went into detail.

MJ: I recently started reading this book called “How Music Works” by David Byrne and it has been really inspiring. Lots of neat process talk in there which always gets me. It doesn’t speak specifically to the story in Change, but it has helped my brain. I watched Lost Highway halfway through production on the book and feel kind of stupid for not doing so much earlier in the process. There’s some connective tissue there to what we’re doing. Over the last couple days all I’ve been listening to—been able to listen to really—is that new Solange EP and Big Boi’s new LP. I sometimes get into this rhythm where I draw well to a certain album and i just listen to it over and over again while I work. That said, I rely on music to get me through 90% of the day. I soundtrack everything.

IV: Why is the sky blue?

AK: Because blue light waves are shorter than red light waves. Blue light gets scattered around quite a bit in the atmosphere because it travels in smaller waves and that’s why it’s easier to see for us.

IV: Why is water wet?

AK: Still not quite sure.

IV: Why did Judas rat to Romans while Jesus slept?

AK: I got mouths to feed / unnecessary beef is more cows to breed.

IV: Beyond all that, what’s the importance of the RZA to this project? I think I’ve seen you both mention that he was a reference point for the character T-2, but does this resemblance go any further than the surface?

AK: In the beginning there was just the visual.

nottherza

MJ: Beyond his physicality I think it’s mainly because he’s making moves in Hollywood too. Like making a very specific kind of genre film for himself. That’s W-2 route as well. He’s interested in creating worlds for himself, be it through music or film. World building. For him it goes beyond mere vanity.

therza

AK: Yeah, it’s interesting because that’s something that connected afterwards, not immediately. Funny how things work out sometimes.

IV: What’s been the best thing about working on Change so far?

MJ: The collaboration with the entire team has been a great learning experience, really. Seeing the thing that I do being interpreted by Sloane and Ed. Reading Ales’s revised scripts after the art has been completed has been great, the dance that happens there is fun. There are enough steps removed from me so that I can approach the book as a thing unto itself, and not something I’ve worked on.

AK: Seeing every single collaborator deliver their best work and evolve together. Also seeing Change influence my life.

CHANGE: it's in the air

IV: What’s been the most difficult thing about working on Change so far?

AK: Seeing Change influence my life. You make a comic book called Change, except Change. It’s not just good or bad – there’s a ton of it, of all kinds.

MJ: The schedule at the beginning was pretty tight. This being my first published work, and having a full time time day job (during 1 & 2) was a little rough. My excitement carried me through all of that though. Other than that I have no complaints.

IV: How have you found collaborating with each other (he said, hoping he wasn’t going to start a fight)?

MJ: It’s been great. I think we both agreed to just go where it lead right from the start. The ease of the back and forth has been consistent from day one. No bullshit.

AK: What Morgan said. It’s quite nice.

IV: What’s next, for both of you, once Change is over?

MJ: I’m doing an issue of Ales’s new ongoing series ‘ZERO’ for Image. That’ll be in February I think. In January I’m going to do another short comic for Study Group while also working on a pitch for Image called ‘Disappearing Town’. I’m working on the script for 8 page preview for that right now as I finish issue 4 of Change. Basically, keep swimming or die.

AK: The Surface, a SF mini-series with Langdon Foss (who recently wrapped up ‘Get Jiro’ with Anthony Bourdain). We like to say we’re aiming for a ‘District 9 meets Moebius’ vibe. Another project that’s already announced is Zero with a ton of different artists including Morgan, Tonci Zonjic, Nick Dragotta, Connor Willumsen and Mateus Santolouco. It will be a container series about a spy who decides to change things up a bit, sort of Global Frequency style where each mission takes one issue and one artist, but there’s more to it. Both of these should be coming out in mid-2013 – here’s the announcement interview. Then there are some unannounced projects. I might also travel quite a bit. Ride the wave. See the sunset. Eat something good, smile for a while.

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