Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: Congratulations on the upcoming release of your sci-fi comic book anthology, Adventures in Science, from Dead Canary Comics! For those who may be unfamiliar, how would you describe the book’s premise, and what inspired you to initiate this collection?
Christopher Baker and Matt Fitch: Way back when, after releasing a handful of self-published titles, we and our fellow Dead Canary creators were hired to write and produce an anthology to accompany a movie, The Fitzroy. We got a taste for the short story on that book. More than anything, it was a great learning experience and we wanted more. We were selling books at comic cons around the UK, so we had some extra cash to spend on this stuff and mutually agreed that we would use it to produce our own anthology that tapped into our love of all-things science fiction. The resulting book is a window to thirteen possible futures, a twisted vision of things to come in this world and beyond!
BD: What can you share with us about your creative process in both co-writing and spearheading the anthology, and what have been some of your creative influences?
Christopher Baker and Matt Fitch: Our co-writing partnership began on a short story in The Fitzroy. "The Hammer" began as a loose idea about a 1950s British gangster dealing in tea in a post-apocalyptic London. We started throwing some notes around which developed into an outline, and then a draft which we both picked at and shaped until it was ready to go to an artist. When we’re in our creative flow, it’s really very hard to distinguish where one writer begins and the other ends; it’s more like we form a "third brain," and that hive mind approach continues past the writing into production as we work with an artist to bring the story to life.
After The Fitzroy we tried to write something a little bit longer, a western horror. This would eventually become Reddin. Looking at it now, we’ve come a long way and we’d love to give that story a second attempt one day, but it was that project that helped us really nail down our process. We tend to have long discussions about the world we are about to play in before we write. We get deep into what it’s like there. Then, we think about the characters and what they want. Sometimes, we each take a part and play it. Our first drafts often look very thick when printed out!
As for influences, the great thing about a partnership is you have double the influences. Our collective list includes comics greats like Moore (of course!), Ennis, Brubaker, and Bendis, but we also draw heavily from film and TV guys like Tarantino and Lynch. And there was never a greater storyteller than The Notorious BIG…
BD: What can you tell us about the other creators involved in Adventures in Space?
Christopher Baker and Matt Fitch: Every story in Adventures in Science was written by the core Dead Canary writing team, either individually or co-writing. Paul Clark-Forse is the intellectual walking comic book encyclopaedia of the group; there’s nothing he doesn’t know about the art form. Mark Lewis is one of the original founders of the group and co-wrote Frogman, our first-ever title.
Art wise, we’ve assembled a crack team for this one. Writing a good script takes time and effort, and you don't want to just get anyone to draw it. Some, like Jacen Burrows, Shaky Kane, and Krent Able, you will most likely be familiar with, but we’ve also called upon some newer artists who definitely fall into the "ones to watch" categories - Eli Powell gives some of his best work in Mark Lewis’ short, "Vita Extensum," and J Francis Totti, who illustrates a story called "Eye in the Sky," is going places, mark our words.
BD: What do you hope that readers will take away from the collection?
Christopher Baker and Matt Fitch: Many reviews have already brought attention to the dark edge the book has. We believe art is the mood of the day fossilized, and right now the future looks pretty dark and some of the technological advances feel like they are going to do more harm than good. How inspiring! What do we want you the reader to take away from this book? Thrilling afterthoughts of doom? The magical feeling one gets waking from an intense dream? Fun?
BD: Do you have plans to expand the collection into additional volumes or to focus on other themes?
Christopher Baker and Matt Fitch: There is a little future proofing at play with that subtle number "1" on the cover. Whether or not we do Adventures in Science 2 is not yet decided. There’s talk of expanding into other genres… Adventures in Horror is an idea kicking around. Maybe Dead Canary Comics presents Adventures in Porn... What fun that would be!
BD: Are there any upcoming projects on which you are currently working that you would like to share with our readers?
Christopher Baker and Matt Fitch: Our latest and, to date, biggest writing project is due for release very soon from SelfMadeHero. Apollo is the story of the first men on the moon and is the first book we’ve opted not to self-publish. It’s a full-length graphic novel illustrated by the amazing Mike Collins (of Doctor Who and X-Men fame among others) and will be on sale globally in June. Exciting times ahead!
BD: Lastly, what is the best way for our readers to find more information about Adventures in Science?
Christopher Baker and Matt Fitch: Adventures in Science can be purchased from deadcanarycomics.com and all good comic book stores from this month. For more information on us and all our titles, follow us on Twitter (@mattfitch81, @csbakercomics).