The story will actually be a black and white hardcover release but a low color 'first look' comic is due this week. The story has elements of Chandler and Spillane and the lead character, Nick Bellamy is a guy that has seen it all. Nick is a former Vegas enforcer that wanted to get away from it all. He did for a while but we all know there will be a price. It's a great read and I was happy to get the opportunity to talk to Christos about the story.
Comic Vine: Where did the inspiration for SUNSET come from?
Christos Gage: Seeing increasing numbers of older people doing amazing things, like the 86-year-old gymnast or the 80-year-old rodeo star. I began wondering what it would be like to tell a story about a hard-as-nails noir protagonist in the present day…his heyday was decades ago, but he’s still tough as ever.
CV: Do you know anyone as tough as Nick Bellamy?
CG: No. If I did, they would frighten me!== TEASER ==
CV: Why was the decision made to switch from a six issue miniseries to a hardcover graphic novel?
CG: The guys at Top Cow contacted me to say they were reviving their Minotaur Press imprint and they felt SUNSET would be a good choice as their first-ever original graphic novel, if I was agreeable. I was honored! I love having the entire story in one package like this.
CV: In the included proposal for the story, it's noted the differences and addition of new characters. At what stage did these changes occur?
CG: At various points along the way. This sort of thing happens a lot when you’re working out a story after the original pitch. The initial idea was a bit more of a Magnificent Seven or Ocean’s Eleven ensemble type of thing, but we decided it was better to focus on Nick, so we took some of the character relationships and made them specific to him, and eliminated what felt like extraneous characters. Really, it was about focusing the story, distilling it.
CV: Without giving away any spoilers, do you have a favorite moment or scene in the story?
CG: When Nick hits New Vegas. And figures out what MILF means.
CV: Is Nick's story over or do you think you could possibly tell another tale?
CG: Oh, I absolutely could tell more. Maybe a flashback to the old days…that would be fun.
CV: Nick has a great view on the direction society is headed. Do you share any of those same views?
CG: I’m getting to the age where I say “in my day” a lot. I think every generation believes successive ones are a mess. But what really bothers me about where society is headed is the loss of any sense of community. You see it everywhere from politics to daily life…the feeling that “we’re all in this together” is being replaced by “every man for himself”. I do think we’re pretty spoiled today in terms of how much we have and how convenient we expect life to be…we’re increasingly used to getting what we want immediately. But I’m not any different. I get annoyed when I can’t get an answer to my question with a web search in a minute or two, and I’m old enough to remember when you had to go to the library and look stuff up in reference books. One view I share with Nick is that too many people today think they are the center of the universe. They’ve been told they were “special” all their lives and expect the world to behave accordingly toward them. Well, guess what, pal, everybody else is just as special as you. So move the damn car over so you’re not taking up two parking spaces.
CV: Have you thought about what the world will be like when you're 77?
CG: No, I don’t think you’re ever going to be right about those kinds of things. Look at how we saw the future back in the 70s…well, we don’t have jetpacks or moon colonies, but we have the internet, which is even more amazing. Of course, if I make it to 77 I’m sure there will be plenty of things that irritate me, too. Lucky for the world I’m not as tough as Nick.
The SUNSET FIRST LOOK comic is on sale July 11 for only $1.00. The hardcover will be available later this month.
Tony Guerrero is the Editor-in-Chief of Comic Vine. You can follow him on Twitter @GManFromHeck. He wonders how cranky he'll be when he turns 77.