I first heard about Nowhere Man almost two-years ago when Jerome launched a Kickstarter campaign to bring the graphic novels to print. This led me to my first interview with Jerome. Since then, the series itself has gone on to garner a lot of positive press including a Glyph Award.
What piques my interest is the science fiction angle which reminds me a little of Ghost in the Shell. [via Geeks Unleashed]
You recently earned the Glyph Comics Award for Best Male Character for Jack Maguire of Nowhere Man. Can you tell us about that?
The Glyph Comics Awards seek to spotlight the accomplishments of African-American comic artists and noteworthy comic characters of African-American descent, by doing so, this benefits the entire comics community. A panel of judges reviews submissions from mainstream, small press and independent publishers awarding winners across a wide range of categories. Previous Glyph Comics Award winners in the Best Male Character category include Miles Morales from Ultimate Spider-Man published by Marvel Entertainment.
When it was announced that Jack Maguire was nominated for the Best Male Character Award, I was surprised and excited. Right away I realized what a privilege it was that Jack was nominated, and fairly early in the publishing run of the “Nowhere Man” Series.
I was in attendance at the award ceremony in Philadelphia. When they announced Jack Maguire as the winner. Wow! It was a great moment. I’m very thankful to all the fans that have believed in this character, the series and Forward Comix over the years, particularly the Kickstarter backers who invested in making “Nowhere Man” a reality.
What is it about Jack that makes him such a great character?
Many of the readers have told me that they find Jack Maguire very relatable. Whether it’s attempting to live up to someone else’s dream yet getting lost in their shadow, or trying to protect those we love by not letting them in, I think everyone knows what that feels like. To see those motivations in a comic character helps us to bond with that character. It is a real joy to see that happening among the readers.
Jerome is currently running a Kickstarter campaign for books 4-6. It ends June 7th so go check it out!
Who are some of the other prominent characters in this series?
I would say there are at least five prominent characters in the series, as well as solid set of likeable supporting characters. The other four that are crucial to the series are:
– Detective Rose Yancey: Jack’s partner and love interest.
– Zade: The assassin that inhabits and transforms Jack in order to hunt criminals.
– Captain Simon Whittaker: Head of the police precinct and uncle to Rose.
– Caris: A mysterious character that is attempting to communicate with Jack.
Without giving out major spoilers, what’s changed for Jack between the first trilogy and this new series – Jacked Up?
At the end of the third book in “Nowhere Man: You Don’t Know Jack”, things took a sharp turn. Rose emerged as being a driving force in the events that unfold and that trajectory will continue for her. In fact, the first book in the second volume is narrated from her point of view. The second book in the “Jacked Up” volume will finally answer, how Jack and Zade came to be in their present state, we will also learn a lot more about Caris with some sequences that will be more experimental and a lot of fun to produce. Book three will be action-packed as Jack races against all odds to complete his task.
You’re doing another Kickstarter campaign for books 4-6, are you still planning a 9-book series or has this grown beyond that initial plan?
A nine-book series is still the plan. I am finishing up the art for books five and six. Each book is 50 pages or more. Book four is on schedule for July of 2014, with books five and six to follow before the end of the year. The Kickstarter campaign essentially sets up a subscription. Backers at a certain level will receive the books on an estimated bi-monthly schedule, either in digital or printed format.
The complete script for books 7-9 is just getting under way. I want to cram in layers of storytelling, the best art I can produce and some experimental approaches. There is a lot of momentum because the fans are really behind it and “Nowhere Man” has been getting a storm of positive reviews over the past three months. The Glyph Comics Award has been a huge boost as well.
Which aspect of the creative process do you enjoy more – the art or the writing?
Art and illustration is my background, so I will probably always enjoy that side of things more, that is where a comic story comes to life. However, I’m slowly becoming more comfortable with being called a writer and I’m taking a lot of steps to sharpen my writing skills. Great comic art supported by solid writing is what makes for a great comic story.
How do you feel about the growth of digital comics and graphic novels?
In my opinion, digital comics and graphic novels are probably the wave of the future. It is quite possible, and not too long from now, that monthlies will be digital only, while trades and graphic novels will be the content that go to print. Digital is a wonderful platform to catch up on a monthly series of interest, widen availability and introduce new content to new readers. However, there is something special about a physical collection, large graphic novel or omnibus – feeling the weight of the work in your hands. That is a simple joy that can not be replaced.
Will you be attending any comic events this year?
I will be doing a series of shows along the east coast. Shows confirmed so far include: New York Comic Con Special Edition in June, Boston Comic Con in August and Urban Action Showcase in New York in November.
What comics are you reading these days?
I am currently re-reading some of my favorites, which include a few books by Jean Giraud (Moebius) and Neil Gaiman, as well as some anthologies, such as “Flight” and “Comic Book Tattoo”. I recently got a copy of “Miranda Mercury” by Brandon Thomas, which is awesome and I’m looking forward to picking up and copy of “Godzilla: Awakening” featuring the inspiring work of Eric Battle.
Is there anything you’d like to mention?
Thanks for the interview and for keeping up with the series. It is always nice to reconnect with bloggers, fan sites and news outlets that have been following “Nowhere Man” from the beginning. Hopefully all the individual books will be enjoyable. The series should make for one amazing journey.
The Kickstarter campaign ends June 7th! Catch it time and be part of making volume two come to life.
To learn more about Forward Comix, visit www.forwardcomix.com