AICN COMICS Q&@: Optimous Douche Interviews the Creative Team Behind the Upcoming Sci Fi Comic OVERRUN!!!
@’s by OVERRUN Creators
Andi Ewington & Matt Woodley!!!
OPTIMOUS DOUCHE (OD): Andi and Matthew, let’s start off by establishing your street cred. Tell us a little bit about your experiences in both comic books and the interactive world?
ANDI EWINGTON (AE): I’m relatively new in the Comic fraternity, my debut comic [FORTY-FIVE] 45 was published back in 2010 by Com.x and I’ve also had the first of three spin offs from the [FORTY-FIVE ]45 universe ‘BlueSpear’ published earlier this year. I’ve managed to attend one or two comic cons, so I’m slowly beginning to find my way in the industry.
As for video games, you could say I’ve been into them since the Atari 2600 days. I love them, Elite on the BBC Micro B in particular has fond memories. I was fortunate that my passion for computer games translated into my day job as a graphic designer. I’ve worked on numerous key art and advertising campaigns for the likes of Unreal, Championship Manager and Final Fantasy. Fallout and Skyrim are my guilty pleasures at the moment.
MATT WOODLEY (MW): It’s a good thing when your hobby becomes your vocation. Makes it seem less like working. I’ve had a similar thing really - I got lucky in ’85 and won a competition based around a game called “Eureka!” and that led to working with the guys at the company. That was Domark which became Eidos. Comic wise I’m a casual reader, but the thing I love the most about them is that to make them good. You have to combine words and pictures and you have to be precise and economical. Making games, good games, requires the same process.
OD: So how did you cats bring your two disparate worlds of chocolate and peanut butter together to make the great taste of OVERRUN?
AE: I had been batting a concept around my head for several years, way before [Forty-Five] 45. I knew it was a decent idea back then, but I was so focused on [Forty-Five] 45 that I put it on the back-burner. Then one sunny day I pitched the OVERRUN idea over lunch to Matt and he got exactly what I was going on about.
After a few more lunches apart from increasing my waistline, I also found that Matt not only got the concept, he was adding extra to it. Matt had given me my first break in the games industry commissioning me to design some packaging art when he was a Product Manager at Domark and we always worked well together.
In later years he went to be a senior exec in the industry working for the likes of SEGA and EA. His marketing experience is why we are in such a good position now. Added to that, Matt’s ideas have helped us fully shape and form the story in the OVERRUN universe, he’s a fantastic writer in his own right.
OD: How have each of you leveraged your past skills in building the world of OVERRUN?
AE: For me there are plenty of computer game references that I’ve come across in my time that I’ve tried to weave into this IP –both visually and with the story arc. From the comic side of things, I’ve taken a leaf from my [Forty-Five] 45 experience which is to create a believable world, get that right and everything else should follow.
MW: I like words on the page to have a rhythm. Like a song. I think that comes from writing loads of bloody corporate presentations and briefs and not wanting them to bore people too quickly. Building engaging worlds is all part of game making and finally, to be frank, making things commercial and desirable is where the marketing experience hopefully comes in.
OD: When people think sentient data or a living computer, Tron is usually the first thing that comes to mind. Tell us how OVERRUN makes Tron look like an abacus by comparison.
AE: I’ve touched on this slightly in the previous question. To me it’s the believability factor. We both wanted a world that you could if you let it, be mistaken for our own. The closer you bring two universes together the quicker the audience can resonate with it.
MW: Yeah, and we didn’t want it to be obviously digital so we needed subtleties in there which remind the audience that they are inside a computer.
AE: So, there won’t be any black off-grids vistas or people breaking into pixels as they die! Plus we have a Zombie-like infestation sweeping through it. Somebody has already jokingly referred to it as ‘Tron of the Dead’.
MW: We want readers to imagine that they might be living in the world. We described it to Paul Green, our artist, as like our world but with things turned up 17%. Shop fronts are websites, mp3’s wear big proper headphones, not those weedy in the ear bud things.
OD: How about some examples of this personification? What’s the difference between an .xls (spreadsheet for all of you bums that don’t work) and a .doc?
AE: On the surface the visual difference is that .docs always carry some form of briefcase, bag or backpack, while .xls are always in spreadsheet inspired business shirts, but we go deeper than this.
MW: They have different skill-sets and cultures. Early on in the book, for example, we meet a down-and-out on the street. Turns out he used to be a image processing file before he was basically made redundant - he comes in with some handy information for a couple of detectives.
AE: So there is a real connection between the files and what they do in the world - way beyond just looking cool in the artwork.
MW: Files will mix in everyday life but at the end of the day they tend to hang out with each other. There may well be some cross-breeding - who knows?!
OD: Will you play out the Mac versus PC war?
AE: The thing about the world is that there is so much to play off - we make a subtle reference to Mac vs PC but are thinking of delving a little deeper in some spin-offs we are considering.
OD: Who provided your visuals for the site and promo material? Is that your book artist(s)?
AE: Initially Cosmo White helped shape the look of the characters and several of the panels that we used for early promotional purposes. When Cos stepped away due to other work commitments, we found Paul Green and he instantly got it.
Paul has managed to bring his own slant to the world and it’s really exciting seeing the pages he’s turning in. For the video, that was Paul’s art again (we’ve been keeping him very busy!) we knew exactly what we wanted to happen in the video and Paul really had to pull out all the stops to supply those characters layered from the background. It was a mammoth task, but just look at the result! As for the actual video, that was all put together by a great editor friend of mine Jeremy Burdock. Jez (as he’s known to everyone) was really put through the wringer by us and I cringed every time we gave him amends, especially as he did this all off his own back! Without both Paul and Jez performing at the top of their game this simply wouldn’t have been anywhere near as good as it is. Plus we also have managed to convince Troy Peteri to letter for us, having someone with his level of expertise and reputation is invaluable!
OD: In keeping with theme, will the book only be released digitally or do you have a hard copy publisher salivating in the wings?
MW: Definitely digitally and as we’ve had some interest direct from retail already we’ll knockout some printed copies too but we are open to offers if anyone wants to go huge on it - get in touch via the website!
OD: Will OVERRUN be a one-off graphic novel, floppy series or both?
AE: Overrun will be a one off graphic novel but we’ve also been planning a spin-off series for some extra fun. These won’t be the 114 pages of OVERRUN - at the moment they are working out to be around 40 pages - ‘bit’ size chunks of the world and unique stories in their own right.
OD: When can we expect to start swiping or thumbing our way through OVERRUN?
MW: We are planning to get it out by Thanksgiving but we’ll not cut any corners on quality so it might be a couple of weeks later.
OD: Be sure to check out OVERRUM from Www.weareoverrun.com
in stores later this year! We’ll be updating you on this awesome looking project as the release date approaches.
Optimous has successfully blackmailed fellow @$$Hole BottleImp into being his artist on Average Joe. Look for Imp's forced labor on Optimous brain child in mid-2012. Friend Optimous on FaceBook to get Average Joe updates and because ceiling cat says it's the right thing to do.
Proofs, co-edits & common sense provided by Sleazy G
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April 11, 2012, 12:21 p.m. CST
by Longtime Lurker
All Lies :)
April 11, 2012, 1:34 p.m. CST
...was telling me today that he heard there's going to be a "Wulf & Batsy" movie. Do you know if that's true?
April 11, 2012, 1:57 p.m. CST
Although, most comics these days get as far as the initial movie deal. Usually that's where 99% of them end though.
April 11, 2012, 2:39 p.m. CST
I'll head on over to his article to ask him. So excited if the rumor is true!
April 12, 2012, 5:59 a.m. CST
So it's a zombie apocalypse without the end of the world and without the associated blood and guts? I can see how that would appeal to... uh... some guy somewhere.
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