Continuing To Make His Mark
Traveling To Mars is a new comic written by Mark Russell drawn by Roberto Meli out now from Ablaze Publiishing and here’s Russell chatting about it to Tripwire’s editor-in-chief Joel Meadows…
TRIPWIRE: What was the genesis of Traveling To Mars?
MARK RUSSELL: Really the idea for the story started when NASA started discussing plans for a colony on Mars and all the logistics required to keep someone alive on Mars, not to mention the enormous expense and technological challenges of bringing them back. The first thought that occurred to me (and I’m not sure what this says about me) was that they could cut a lot of those costs out if they just sent someone who was terminally ill or willing to die there without any expectation of a return flight. And, of course, this would be the natural solution for any private company flying to Mars, rather than a government science agency. So that begat the next part of the story. Why would a company want to fly a terminally ill man all the way to Mars? Well, what if there was a massive financial prize waiting for them on the other end?
TW: How did artist Roberto Meli come on board the series?
MR: Davide showed me the portfolios of several artists he thought would be good for this series and I was really drawn to Roberto’s art because it seemed to be human in its dimensions. I was very impressed by how he could master both average-looking non-superhero people and high tech machinery. So he seemed like a natural fit and, in my opinion, he’s been doing incredible work on the series.
TW: How closely have you worked with him on the series?
MR: Pretty closely. I can draw a little bit (though nowhere as good as Roberto) so we started sending designs back and forth, trying to get a handle on what we wanted Roy and the rovers and the Erimhon (their spaceship) to look like before he ever did a panel of interior art. We’ve also spoken several times on Zoom, so it’s been nice getting to know him as an artist and we talk when he wants to deviate from the script. But he’s got great visual instincts so those conversations (thankfully) tend to go well.
TW: Roy Livingston is a classic unconventional protagonist, an approach that runs throughout your work. What is it about a central character like this that appeals to you as a writer?
MR: The thing I love about Roy is that he’s a man who’s fresh out of delusions. He’s dying and he feels like his life ended years before that, so he has no reason to lie to anyone, least of all himself. He’s as close to a ghost as I’ve ever written and he sees his own life and those he left behind on Earth with about as much sad clarity as a person could. And that’s compelling to me.
TW: Your work always includes a lot of satire in it and what is it about science fiction that lends itself to satire?
MR: I think, in a way, all science fiction is satire. Science fiction is, whether it intends to be or not, commentary on our present world, though usually set on another planet or in the future or is otherwise placed in some setting so that people in the here and now can read it and not take offense. Plus, a lot of science fiction and satire both is predicated on some thought experiment. Usually, what if some barrier to human cruelty was suddenly removed?
TW: How would you describe Traveling To Mars in one succinct sentence ?
MR: Traveling to Mars is not just the story of a person, but a species, standing at the end of time and asking, “What the hell was that all about?”
Traveling To Mar#1 is out now from Ablaze
The post Mark Russell Talks About Ablaze’s Traveling To Mars appeared first on TRIPWIRE MAGAZINE.
Continuing To Make His Mark Traveling To Mars is a new comic written by Mark Russell drawn by Roberto Meli out now from Ablaze Publiishing and here’s Russell chatting about it to Tripwire’s editor-in-chief Joel Meadows… TRIPWIRE: What was the genesis of Traveling To Mars? MARK RUSSELL: Really the idea for the story started when
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