Kristine Chester, Fanboy Comics Contributor: First, Raph, congratulations on publishing Flee Chapter 1, and thank you for taking the time to speak with Fanboy Comics today. To start off, why don't you tell our readers about Flee?
Raphael Moran: Flee is a sci-fi alien invasion epic with some comical overtones. The story is told from the perspective two characters. Rigby Pinkerton is a down and out loser, stuck in a dead end job as a bug exterminator. Flick Fleebus is the last of his alien race that has crashed landed on Earth with his robot companion Trion. These two unlikely characters will be the only thing to save the universe from the evil KRILL Empire.
KC: What were some of the inspirations behind Flee?
RM: Any writer that writes a sci-fi story set in space where two alien forces are at battle and says they’re not at least inspired by Star Wars a little is kidding themselves. Anytime you think space opera, that’s the first thing people think of. Spoiler warning! The other inspiration will probably give away the big twist of the series. One of my favorite movies as a child was Honey I Shrunk the Kids. When I actually pitched this series to the publishers, I told them the story was basically Honey I Shrunk the Kids, meets Star Wars. Rarely do you ever get a space opera with a touch of comedy.
KC: Flee consists of two stories: the space-opera epic of Commander Flick Fleebus and the down-to-Earth story of Rigby Pinkerton. How did you go about maintaining a separate voice for each of these stories and managing two, rather different, protagonists?
RM: Rigby and Flick are basically the same in many ways. Both are lonely losers with a large responsibility put on their shoulders. They’re both saddled with snarky partners in life. Rigby with his mother and Flick with Trion. The key to making these two characters different is making their motivations different. Flick just wants to complete his mission and Rigby just wants to impress the hot neighbor.
KC: Speaking of characters, many of the side characters really stand out. Just to name a couple, Rigby's mom is not one of the usual old lady archetypes, but we all know people are out there like her and Trion is the snarkiest robot this side of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and Futurama. Where did the inspiration for some of these characters come from and are there any more additions to the cast readers should be looking forward to that you can talk about?
RM: Those are two of my favorite characters in the book. Really, if they were just a regular old lady or just a regular robot, it wouldn’t add anything to the book. I set out to make those characters stand out long before I ever started to even write anything. In fact, there were a couple of scenes and jokes I had to pull back on, because it would have made the comic into a more R-rated comedy. I really like Rigby’s dog, Mensa. He’s a smarter than normal dog, and the comic ends in a way where it sets up that if we ever do a sequel, he’ll play a BIG part of it. I even have a title for the sequel. FLEE for your Lives. Or FLEE from Earth.
KC: Flee Chapter 1 is currently available digitally through Comixology. What has been your experience working with digital comics and Comixology in particular? Will Flee ever be available in print?
RM: This is my first book available with Comixology. My last book, Dream Reavers was released through Iverse’s comics plus app. We’re releasing each chapter of Flee every month on Comixology and then doing a collected print run of the book that you can order in November’s Previews.
KC: This first issue of Flee is just the beginning of Flick's journey. What can readers expect from future issues of Flee and when should they start looking to pick up Chapter 2?
RM: Look for each chapter on the last Wednesday of each month on Comixology. I think after you read the first chapter of Flee it will be impossible for you to NOT read the next chapters. I put that little surprise for a reason. The adventure and fun only gets better with the new issues.
KC: Prior to Flee, you published a comic with Ape Entertainment called Dream Reavers? What can you tell us about this title and your experience working on it?
RM: Dream Reavers was the first major comic project I got published. The story features four teenagers that go into a sudden coma and wake up in a world between life and death called Astral. Once there, they find out they have the powers of gods and have to stop an army of nightmare monsters from breaking through into the real world. It received fantastic reviews, and you can get signed copies from my online store here.
KC: Besides Flee, are there any other projects you're currently working on?
RM: I have a new graphic novel called Technomancer. It’s set in a post-apocalyptic future where all technology has been outlawed. A con-man/traveling magician uses the outlawed tech of the past to make people think he’s using real magic. We have a Facebook page for the book here www.facebook.com/TECHNOMANCERCOMICS. We also have been in talks with Markosia to release the graphic novel.
KC: This being Fanboy Comics, would you care to geek out with us about your own favorite comics, movies, or games?
RM: I’ve been a massive Mass Effect fan, but with the new baby and comic work, I haven’t had time to get the new game. I heard a lot of bad things about the ending of the game, so I’m bit hesitant to get it now. Favorite comic movie of the year for me has got to be The Avengers. The Dark Knight Rises was a close second. Last comic series I loved was Luther Strode.
KC: Lastly, what would you like to tell Fanboy Comics' readers who would like to learn more about you and your upcoming projects?
RM: Follow me on Twitter, @Raphaelmoran. I also have a blog at raphael-moran.blogspot.com. I’m trying to be a prolific writer that always tries to do new things. It’s not like I do this for the money or for a living. Most indie writers barely make a profit on the book they work on and only do it for the love of making comics. Please support us, because we do this all for you guys.