What happens when you mix J.J. Abrams, a historical landmark and comics? You get the latest television show crammed with mystery, action and suspense. While most shows these days are either reality/competition shows or crime investigative based, it's great to have a show with an ongoing story.
Alcatraz deals with a mystery surrounding the close of the island in 1963. Over three hundred inmates and guards mysteriously disappeared when they were to be transferred off the island. Sam Neill's characters was a police officer that was one of the first to discover the disappearance.
Now in modern day, he's part of a secret government agency that has been waiting for the return of the "63s," who haven't aged since their disappearance. Jorge Garcia plays Dr. Diego Soto, a brilliant writer who published an in depth book on the island. He also owns a comic shop and writes and draws a comic based on the island.
We first met Jorge at San Diego Comic-Con back in 2009 (watch our seventeen minute video here). Because of the comic book angle of the show, we asked Jorge a few questions about the show and in hopes of prying some of the show's mysteries out of him.
Comic Vine: What was it about Alcatraz that made you want to come on board?
Jorge Garcia: Well J.J. for one thing. He's a great guy and I love the he creates. And when I got the pilot script for Alcatraz it did not disappoint.
CV: Similar to Lost, Alcatraz has its share of secrets and strange happenings. Are you in a similar situation where you don't know what happens next or have you been clued in on some of the show's mysteries?
JG: Exactly. I have no idea. Although at this stage in the game I know what happens at the end of the first season. So I'm way ahead of the viewing audience.
CV: Did you spend time touring the island before the show started?
JG: No. My first time on Alcatraz was when we shot the pilot there. And it was really cool to see how accurate our set designer was at recreating the prison on the soundstage in Vancouver.
CV: How much filming is done in the San Francisco area?
JG: We shot three days there. Half of that time was on Alcatraz. But I hear we'll be returning for a key scene in finale.
CV: Being a comic fan yourself, was the fact that your character is a comic book writer part of the show before you came on board?
JG: That was a part that was added when Liz Sarnoff took a pass at the original pilot script. But it's been pretty cool because since we're a Warner Brothers show my shelves are filled with DC's finest. During the pilot I kept trying to flash a copy of Green Lantern on the screen as a wink to a buddy of mine.
CV: Have you ever given thought to writing your own comic sometime?
JG: Not really. I've had some ideas for scripts I might want to write. But I don't know if they'd be conducive to just automatically adapt into graphic novel form. I guess I'd have to write it first and then see.
CV: What are the chances of an Alcatraz tie-in comic happening?
JG: I'm really crossing my fingers on this one. I think with the way Doc has already written an Alcatraz comics series and appears to be documenting the story of this task force in his own way, the opportunities are there.
CV: What comics are you reading these days? Do you mainly stick to trades? Have you checked out DC's "The New 52"?
JG: Have not. I started getting into the Alan Moore SWAMP THING issues. And I have a bunch of trades that are still wrapped that I have to read. A bunch of Batman's like Long Halloween, Tales of the Demon and Greatest Stories. I also picked up a book called Sasquatch which I'm looking forward to. I'm also going to start reading the Osamu Tezuka Buddha graphic novels and I might take another crack at the Walking Dead. I couldn't get into the first trade when I bought it but since I've become a huge fan of the show so I think that might be my in.
Alcatraz airs Monday nights on FOX. Be sure to check it out tonight.