What can we expect from Bust & Vessels next year?
Bust 3 will be the next Card Shark Comics title to launch, and I think it’s really going to cement the characterisation we set out to establish from the beginning. There are a lot of moments in the issue where the characters get some downtime from the action and mayhem of the wasteland to be regular people for a short while, and in those moments we get to see who these people really are, or in the case of Jack, what he’s becoming.
With Vessels, issue #2 ‘The Traitor and the Bear’ is next, and the script is now fully locked in, and production has begun on pages. We’ve got the same team s the first issue and I really think fans of the first should prepare themselves for more mind-bending weirdness from the realm of dreams and like Bust 3, lot of character development.
Has the response to the first issues of Bust & Vessels altered the overall plan for the titles?
It has actually yeah, as Vessels as originally pegged as a ten-part series, and the response to the world, its rules and characters was a genuine surprise. I never expected to get so many high review scores and reaction from fans at conventions. So right now I’m writing the script for each issue as I go, trying to direct the plot to its end, but if it takes more than ten issues at this point, I really don’t mind. It’s because the dream concept can enable us to cut loose and do some very trippy and impossible things – the only limit is our imagination at his point.
Bust is planned as a 5-part series but would you consider a second volume or something else in the same world?
I wouldn’t do a second volume of Bust unfortunately, as I have a pretty clear cut plan for how that story ends, and Chris and I have discussed a way we could continue the plot after the last issue, but we fancy starting a new series before we think about coming back to the wasteland. That said, I think if I really get the itch to do a follow-up, it’ll happen. Never say never!
What’s the long-term plans with Vessels?
Long-term I definitely want to go beyond those initial ten issues, and inject as much character and lore building as possible into our story. I think the story will be infinitely richer for it. I’m definitely planning on doing trades for Vessels too, compiling maybe three or four issues into a remastered book, with tightened scripts, reworked art and bonus features. I’ll need to get the next few issues out before I can plan that out however.
Do you have a list of artists you’d like to work with on your next projects?
We recently announced that Bust cover artist Craig Paton and I would be working on a new series called Killtopia, which should get a full reveal in the new year, but like Vessels, we don’t want to rush anything. It’ll definitely happen and the script for issue #1 has been finalised. We’re just clearing a few more projects before we give it our full attention, although we really can’t wait to get started properly.
Could we see a crossover with some of your creations in a new Cookiverse maybe??
Haha, well, all I can say at this point is, watch this space, because it’s definitely crossed my mind!
What can you tell us about the Killtopia series you have planned?
Killtopia is a sort of love letter to the older anime films like Akira and Ghost in the Shell, mashed up with the over the top videogames of No More Heroes creator Suda51 and the roster of Platinum Games. Larger than life characters, a setting with real identity and crazy action. It’s set in an unnamed Japanese metropolis many years from now, where the population is segregated by verticality, with cities on top of cities – think Midgar if you’ve ever played Final Fantasy 7. We’ve got hazy polluted skylines that bleed into large, buzzing neon signs as blossom petals twirl and dance in the breeze, layered over rusted mechanical structures and shanty towns. It’s going to look stunning once we’re ready to reveal, but this all I can say for now.
What else do you have planned for Card Shark Comics in the future?
It’s been a weird past year for us – our first release and convention was July 2015! – so it’s all been a bit of a whirlwind. We’ve has four successful Kickstarter campaigns, two issues of Bust and issue #1 of Vessels launched, and the first four chapters of our short series Feather, currently running in UK anthology Comichaus. The work rate has been a bit nuts, so we’re scaling back a little to focus on putting out the best quality books we can, while attending new conventions outsie of Scotland. I’m also looking to get involved in the editing side, helping others polish up scripts and to put my background as a journalist to good effect by tightening up the language. If anything, that sort of experience can only help my own writing improve. 2017 is going to be a heck of a year for us, that’s for sure!