Having been lucky enough to get an early look at the third issue of Milky (& the story so far) I took the chance to fire some questions at it’s creator, Joshua Saxon.
What inspired you to create ‘Milky’?
I realised how many of my favourite stories are based on main characters who are very much the underdog. Nobodies, essentially. Luke Skywalker was just a moisture farmer at the beginning of A New Hope, Rocky was just a street thug… So I tried to think of the most redundant person I could force to fend off a world-ending alien invasion… Seeing as there’s a Tesco Express on every corner these days, a milkman seemed like a good
choice to tell this kind of story with.
Is this an idea that’s been in development for a while?
I’ve had the idea for the villain for a while. His plan is pretty diabolical in that he’s kidnapping all the women to use for his own needs, but he’s actually just a farmer. He’s not really doing anything Milky himself isn’t complicit in as a milkman. I find that kind of villain way more interesting, because he thinks he’s the hero and we only dislike him
because he’s doing it to humans, not cows.
How did you put your creative team together for it?
I entered a competition that Mark Millar hosted to write a short story for his Millarworld annual. I didn’t win, but I got some nice feedback and met Gian Fernando in the forum. Gian spotted DC Alonso’s amazing colouring skills on Facebook and through him, we met his colleague Unai Ortiz de Zarate, who did the covers. Couldn’t be happier with the result!
You’ve got a diverse group at the stories core – was that always the plan?
Well, the main character is British Indian, then we’ve got a 90+ year-old lady, a mopey teenager… It’s set in a conservative English village, so there’s a lot of white faces. The characters are diverse in that they all have different opinions, so they clash a lot. The hero was really inspired by Dev Patel in *Slumdog Millionaire*. His character gets shit on that entire film (quite literally at one point), so you’re really rooting for him by the third act. I also couldn’t remember ever seeing a British Indian hero in any action/sci-fi comic book or movie, so when I was developing the look of the character, it just felt more interesting to me.
It’s cool for underrepresented people to see characters that look like them in stories, so I like to think I’ve contributed to that in a small way by having a hero like Milky. But I think it’s more important that there are more diverse *creators* being given opportunities to tell those stories from their perspectives.
Do you have a favourite character to write in the group?
Mrs Boggins. She’s the most fun because she uses more “creative” language than any other character, but she’s also a racist so says and does things that make her quite unpleasant to write. She’s based on some real people, so it feels a little raw sometimes, but I wanted to explore the pain and fear that lead her to becoming the way she is so that we can also see her humanity.
What’s the response been like on the current Kickstarter?
Amazing! It’s so exciting to see the funding coming in, support from friends and family, positive reviews… But honestly, it still feels quite surreal to me that there are individuals who I don’t know from around the world continuing to support us and say nice things. There’s one who fan who has the poster prints on her wall and has collected all the rewards in an album. She’s awesome!
Do you have plans for Milky beyond this 4-issue run?
I certainly have ideas for where I’d take these characters next… This run has a definite end, while also leaving the door open to tell more stories. I think because the characters are real people, there will always be new emotional problems for them to face where we can raise the stakes by putting them in a dangerous sci-fi setting…
What else are you working on just now?
This year, I’ve decided to go out on my own as a content marketer, which is taking up a lot of my time at the moment while I find my feet. But once I have a chance, I’ve been working on a one-shot story I’ve been thinking about for a while – more of a comedy about self-confidence and introversion in a fantasy setting.
Going straight into a four-issue series for my first comic has been a bit intense, so “one and done” really appeals to me for my next project.
Big thank you to Joshua for taking the time to talk about Milky and for sharing some more details about what we can expect from the series.
Jump on-board the campaign at the link below: