It's always great to hear about a cool-sounding new series. Next month Boom! Studios is releasing a brane new series written by Christopher Sebela (HIGH CRIMES, GHOST) with art by newcomer Chris Visions. You're not going to want to miss out on this one in April.
The story deals with a guy waking up in a fleabag motel, all bandaged up, with no memory of who he is or how he got there. There's also a loaded revolver on the desk. What's he to do when someone comes knocking on the door? Let's just say things are about to explode.
We had a chance to talk to Sebela about this upcoming series.
COMIC VINE: How would you describe this series?
CHRISTOPHER SEBELA: DEAD LETTERS is about a guy, Sam, who wakes up in a motel room with no memories and nothing on him, just a ringing phone on a desk and a gun laying next to it. When he opens the door to the world outside, to a city called Here, everything you've come to expect soars right off the tracks. It's a book of secrets, so I can't say much beyond that without spoiling that first issue, but it's for people who like crime or supernatural stories, especially those who like seeing the two genres smashed together like a car crash.
CV: What was your inspiration for the story?
CS: Several years ago I went into a deep crime fugue and started buying bookshelves full of crime novels and tearing through them. Even though I've moved on from wall-to-wall consumption of gun fiction, my head is still deeply embedded there. So I wanted to start writing my own, I guess. HIGH CRIMES is very grounded in reality and the everyday, in rules and logic, and DEAD LETTERS felt like a chance to see what it would be like as the inverse, where nothing makes sense at first, where what you think you know doesn't apply.
CV: Have you ever woken up in a motel with no memory how you got there?
CS: No, but I have woken up in plenty of strange motel rooms in strange towns and wished I had no memory of how I got there. Sadly those are the memories that stick with you for life.
CV: The main character, Sam, doesn't remember who he is. How fleshed out is his backstory in your head?
CS: Pretty fleshed out. Fleshed out more than it is for him. There's still things I haven't figured out, or I just don't know yet. Things I'll figure out as we get deeper into it. I like to keep things interesting in the writing, leaving myself some secrets, but also — pretentious alert — I haven't really figured out entirely who he is yet. Nobody spills all their secrets at once, so I've got Sam under some bright lights in a small room and I'm trying to drag them out of him one issue at a time.
CV: On a scale from 1 to Pretty Dang Crazy, how much action will we see in each issue?
CS: This first arc is all Pretty Dang Crazy, for a reason. That said, there's no formula we're working off of to have an action to other ratio. For me, the character building stuff is way more fascinating, people interacting, lying to each other, manipulating strangers, that's the meat. So, as much of both as we can handle, ideally. Chris Visions' art is so good, though, he could draw Sam reading a YouTube comments section for 22 pages and it would be exciting as hell.
CV: Have you mapped out the series past the first story arc?
CS: Yeah, the big dinosaur skeleton has been built, so we now what it looks like when we get to the tip of the tail, but all the little bones that control the fingers and toes and whatever else dinosaurs have, we're leaving those to figure out as we go along.
CV: The world you've created is pretty intriguing. How much of the world outside the action will we see?
CS: The first arc is all about setting the stage, it just happens to be a stage with a lot of bullets and blades and explosions. While we do have quiet moments, it's purposely frenetic and non-stop, as you'll see. The arcs coming after that are opening up the world, stopping and smelling the roses a little bit.
CV: What's your favorite thing about Sam so far?
CS: Sam has that thing that all the best hardboiled protagonists have, which is that he is utterly, unflappably confident, even when he has no idea what he's doing. He's a guy who can quickly read a situation and know what the best move is, even if it looks like a disaster from right now, he can see down the road to where it works out for him. Of course, that's also his worst aspect so far, that he's all about what's best for Sam at any given moment.
CV: Chris Visions does an insanely awesome job on the art. How did you two come to work together?
CS: BOOM! sent me some of his pages, he'd been working with them doing covers for Adventure Time, and asked me what I thought. And, if you're a human with any sort of visual acuity, as soon as you see Chris' stuff you go "who the hell did THAT?" and ask to work with him as soon as humanly possible. Which is what I did. Luckily Chris was really into the idea of Dead Letters and we started talking and we got along right away, totally on the same wavelength on a lot of the stuff we love and take inspiration from, so it was a fairytale comics romance.
This is going to be a really cool series. Let your comic shop know TODAY that you want it added to your pull list. It will be in stores on April 23. Check out the rest of the preview.