Comics Anonymous talks to André Lima Araújo

ManPlus

After recently catching up on Man Plus from Titan Comics I got the chance to fire some questions at creator André Lima Araújo (Avengers AI, Ultimate FF, Age of Apocalypse) to find out a bit more about the title and his inspiration for it.

What inspired you to create Man Plus?

I’ve always been fascinated by cyberpunk stories, like Blade Runner, Ghost in the Shell, Akira, Neuromancer (among many others) and I’ve always wanted to do story in that genre. But I didn’t want to simply mimic the works that already existed, so I felt I need to research and read about the many themes of cyberpunk before telling my own story. Those interests guided my master thesis in architecture, which was about looking at architecture (and technology as whole) as an extension of man, both physically and mentally, and I found the thematic foundation for my book, particularly through the writings of John McHale, who coined the expression “Man Plus” in his book “The Future Of The Future.”

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Was the Cyberpunk look and feel of the title always what you were aiming for?

Yes, right from the beginning. For the themes that I wanted to explore (technology, body extension and improvement, AI, etc) the cyberpunk tools felt to be the most appropriated.

Do you have a favourite character in Man Plus to write or draw?

I designed them all so I can safely say I find all of them very enjoyable to draw (and same thing for writing). If you’re going to be stuck with some characters for months, you better create some you’ll enjoy to work with.

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You tackle a number of different social themes in the book with the likes of big ethical questions surrounding AI through to the power corporations have – were these themes you wanted to tackle head on and use to help make the title relatable for today’s climate?

I think all sci-fi is somewhat a reflection of the present. Some people try to frame it as a prediction of the future, but that seems to be a pointless exercise. Sci-fi is very useful, in my opinion, when used as an amplifier for the most pressing questions of our time, because by throwing today’s topics into the future we can highlight and emphasize them in a more clear way, explore consequences and overall open up discussions and thoughts about them. And most certainly Man Plus was thought like that. The themes explored are already things we’re dealing with, but putting them 30 years in the future helps to make things more clearer.

How does it compare when working on a creator-owned title and on a character that belongs to a publisher?

Everything has its place and it is unfair to compare the two. Creator-owned titles are the place where a creator can do anything that he wants, so the freedom and creative energy that comes with it is very rewarding and the best place to be as an artist. Working on other characters is completely different and can be a fascinating process as well. You have more limits, but it also forces you to pay attention to details, evolve your tools and learn how to work with limited range of movement.

Man Plus 1

Man Plus has a fantastically unique style – would you like to see it converted into a TV show, movie or animation?

Thank you. I created it as comic book and with no other intentions, but I wouldn’t mind seeing it happen at all. Be it TV, movies, animation, video games, action figures, it wouldn’t bother me at all, mostly because my original creation will always be around.

Did you prefer writing or art duties on Man Plus?

I see it all as a cohesive process, so the division lines are blurred when I write and draw. I like all the parts of the process (which is key, I think, to do work on comics), creating the whole thing is very exciting and why I want to do comics in the first place – you can control the story pretty much from start to finish. Therefore choosing doesn’t make a lot of sense for me.

Do you intend to create more stories for the Man Plus characters or even just within the same universe?

Indeed I do. I have a clear idea for a sequel and I hope I’ll get to do it one of these days.

Man Plus - END IT!

Do you have any other creator-owned titles you’d like to get released?

Many, many more. At this point I can say I have 6 or 7 fleshed out ideas, with story arcs and issues ideas, character designs and even some pages done (along with many more titles in different stages of development). I’ll soon start sending out some of these to publishers and hopefully you’ll see results sooner or later.

What else are you working on just now?

I recently wrapped a run on Spidey for Marvel and I’ll be working on creator owned material for the next few months. Apart from the pitches I mentioned above, I’m doing another creator owned book with Ales Kot, to be released next year.


You can check out all things Man Plus related over on the title website or over on the Titan Comics website as well as on the Facebook page.  You can give Andre (@erdna11) & Titan Comcs (@ComicsTitan) a follow over on Twitter too.

G-Man

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