Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

INTERVIEW: RICK REMENDER ON DYNAMITEíS DEVOLUTION

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • INTERVIEW: RICK REMENDER ON DYNAMITEíS DEVOLUTION

    Devolution #1 Jae Lee cover

    Devolution #1 Jae Lee cover



    Rick Remender is the popular writer of such books as Black Science, Fear Agent, Captain America, and many others. His latest series is Devolution from Dynamite in which our world has devolved into a more primitive state. Westfieldís Roger Ash recently spoke with Remender about this upcoming comic.


    Westfield: What was the genesis of Devolution?


    Rick Remender: This is a book I cooked up in 2005 and wrote the outline for in 2006. I pitched it to Nick (Barrucci, Dynamite CEO/Publisher) in 2006, I believe. I know for a fact that I was listening to Devo, one of my favorite bands. The general idea behind the band and a lot of what they talk about is the devolution of man in modern society. Their version of it is obviously more of a social commentary. I just started thinking about how cool it would be to live in a world where a lot of people had been reverse-engineered into Neanderthals. Just make-believe science, chickens become Velociraptors and spiders become giant. Especially back then, I was looking for ideas that could give me a playground that smelled like an old EC comic book. I think thatís part of where it came from as well. At that point in time, there was no new Road Warrior or Jurassic Park movie to look forward to, and I liked the idea of kind of mixing those two things; a high velocity story that has sort of a Road Warrior feel in a world that was like Jurassic Park. That was the catalyst. I didnít have an artist lined up immediately, but somebodyís gonna want to draw that.


    Devolution #1 preview page 1. Art by Jon Wayshak

    Devolution #1 preview page 1. Art by Jon Wayshak



    Westfield: Whatís taken so long for it to be published?


    Remender: A lot of varying factors; contract negotiations being a big one. Scheduling. Once contract things were worked out, schedules would get screwed up. Paul Renaud had, at one point, signed on to draw it and then, due to some of my own scheduling problems, he couldnít. I was very fortunate to get to work with him at Marvel. During that time, that was one of the things that was eating up most of my schedule. It was a lot of varying factors. Once I got back around to it, and Paul had already moved on; I had to line up a new artist. I got Jon Wayshak, who is one of my favorite artists. He came up with Jerome Opena and those two guys were two of my heroes, going back to my time in the Bay Area. We brought in Jordan Boyd to realize it and give it his color love. It was just a series of road blocks. At one point, it just kind of drifted. Once Jon and Jordan signed on, it was easier to realize it. Itís very odd seeing a script I wrote a decade ago brought to life. Itís very interesting, because I see a lot of my old writing habits and I havenít seen them in a while. Obviously Iím going to be punching up the dialog a bit and revising bits, but itís mostly the same thing I wrote ten years ago.


    Devolution #1 preview page 2. Art by Jon Wayshak

    Devolution #1 preview page 2. Art by Jon Wayshak



    Westfield: What can you say about your collaboration with Jon?


    Remender: Itís a dream. Jon is a world class illustrator. In his world, heís a huge name. He dabbles in comics once in a while because he loves them. He doesnít live in comics. For me it was a big get to pull him in. Heís quite possibly one of the best illustrators in the world, but definitely one of the best in terms of his rendering and his imagination. I knew that getting Jon in to do some of the crazy creatures and strange worlds and things that I wanted was going to be a treat. And it really has been. As well as our main antagonist, the Nazi redneck Gill. Heís one of the greatest artists when it comes to capturing insanity and depravity.


    Westfield: Aside from Gill, who are some of the major characters that readers will meet in the book?


    Remender: Itís an ensemble cast so thereís a large cast. One of the POV characters is Raja. She is someone who has information on a laboratory that was developing a revolution agent that could ostensibly reverse the state of the world and re-evolve things. Sheís on a pilgrimage to make it to this laboratory in Silicon Valley to get her hands on this, when she runs afoul of some of the marines that were inoculated against the devolution agent when it was used in warfare. They are still Sapien, and they are still human. They are barbaric. Her story changes course once she runs into these people. From there the action begins.


    Devolution #1 preview page 3. Art by Jon Wayshak

    Devolution #1 preview page 3. Art by Jon Wayshak



    Westfield: Did you look at what things would devolve into scientifically?


    Remender: No. This is 100% nonsense pulp and thatís how I like it. There are the standards, like birds are remnants of the dinosaurs. Iím like, ďOK. Chickens become Velociraptors!Ē Is there an actual chain that links those two? There probably isnít. Humans arenít probably directly linked to Neanderthals, but you have fun with science a little bit. In that sense, Iím defining it as they are reverse evolved but theyíre also reverse mutated so you get things that existed a couple million years ago and sometimes you get things that never existed. That way I can create whatever I want.


    Devolution #1 preview page 4. Art by Jon Wayshak

    Devolution #1 preview page 4. Art by Jon Wayshak



    Westfield: How much world building did you do for the series?


    Remender: A good bit. Itís only five issues so it doesnít demand the most. In terms of the cast, in terms of where theyíre headed, and in terms of the end goal I cooked all that up in the initial outline and itís still the same as it was. Before I tear those scripts out and send them to Jon I go over them and change bits and pieces but then I realize that changing things that I wrote ten years ago seems like [George] Lucas. That was an idea I had ten years ago that I might not write right now. Thereís a lot of gratuitous violence and sex and not necessarily the way I would handle it now, but I left it there because that was the intent I had ten years ago. Itís fun to see this last thing that I cooked up as part of a slew of books like Strange Girl and Fear Agent and Last Days of American Crime and End League. Itís fun to see the last one of those that I developed get made so Iím leaving it, for the most part, how it was.


    Devolution #1 preview page 5. Art by Jon Wayshak

    Devolution #1 preview page 5. Art by Jon Wayshak



    Westfield: What are some of the differences you notice about your writing then vs. now?


    Remender: One of the big ones is how I condense things now. If you look at the first six issues of Black Science, for example, that was an outline I started picking at in 2012. The first six issues was 12 issues of outline. I went through and gutted everything that wasnít mandatory and I shrunk it down as much as I could. What you get is a shotgun blast in six issues. Iíve always been a compressed storyteller, but I think I got even more compressed as time went on. There are some things here that Iím thinking about reconsidering. Issue #3 is really one big chase sequence with all these crazy creatures and itís very much a chunk of Road Warrior story where theyíre being chased through this world. Itís kinda wonderful. Itís nice to see an illustrator put down that motion and that action on paper. Thereís a lot of technique stuff and craft stuff that Iíve picked up along the way. When I looked back at the script, I tweaked a few things here and there to smooth it out. At the same time, there was something about the purity of the intention of the idea in the first place and just letting it be what I wrote a decade ago and seeing it come to life.


    Westfield: Is there anything else readers can look forward to in the book?


    Remender: Thereís a little social commentary peppered in there but itís not too heavy handed. It would be a bit flat if it werenít in there. The greater example of our own devolution. More than that, itís just a fun, high octane comic book. I canít speak to ten years ago Rick Remenderís writing but I can say that Jon and Jordan have certainly delivered a lot of beautiful pages.


    Westfield: Would you like to say anything about the other projects youíre working on?


    Black Science #19

    Black Science #19



    Remender: Black Science is starting back up this week. That is a story that starts to dig into who Grant McKay is and takes us to the strangest world weíve been to yet, which I think is a lot of fun. Itís a layered mystery so as soon as you think you know whatís going on, you donít.


    Tokyo Ghost with Sean Murphy is coming out from Image as well. Deadly Class is coming back. Issue #17 begins the new run and thatís about a month off. Thatís the battle royale. Itís a lot of horrible, gut-wrenching fun. The Low with Greg Tocchini comes back in January. The characters try to make their way to the surface of Earth; to be the first people up there in 20,000 years and find out whatís on the surface of the irradiated planet. My last Marvel book, Hail Hydra #4, comes out in about 2 or 3 weeks. That about covers my workaholic load.


    Purchase


    Devolution #1

Working...
X