After already getting an early look at the opening issue of John Ward’s Acausal, I just had to ask him all about it – cue the interview!!!
Has Acausal changed much since those first nightmares that sparked the story?
Absolutely. For those who don’t know, I had a recurring nightmare as a kid about getting phone-calls from a future version of myself. Sounds pretty cool right? It would be except the information about the future was all death, destruction, and chaos! Luckily no-one examined these dreams from a psychoanalytic lens. Anyway, the seed of an idea had been planted but it was very much a seed. I tried to develop the idea into a story on several occasions, but I just couldn’t make it work – at least not in a way that satisfied me. I had always had a love for science fiction, so I knew I wanted it to be a grounded sci-fi, but the characters were elusive.
It wasn’t until I started working on Offbeats a few years ago that I started to understand I needed to make this more of a crime story. This was I could focus on interesting and morally ambiguous characters getting access to technologies and information they shouldn’t have. That seemed to unlock the story for me; not that it was plain sailing at that point, but at least I had a more concrete idea of what story I wanted to tell.
How many issues do you see this running for?
This is a definitely a miniseries but we’re aiming for four-five issues in total and then hopefully (fingers crossed) some kind of trade/collected edition.
Did you base the central character Tara on anyone?
No-one in particular, although I guess all creators pull different elements and traits from the people in their lives.
How did the creative team come together?
I had an idea for the look of the book and was searching online for artists who I thought could be a good fit. Through a combination of luck and perseverance, I came across EV Cantada’s work and knew he was the perfect line-artist and colourist for the project. I reached out to him and gave him the basic pitch of the book, and luckily, he was interested and had time in his schedule. As for lettering, I had seen Lucas Gattoni’s work in Eskimo Kisses, co-written by my friend Randy Stone, and I was impressed with his creative approach. I thought he would be perfect for Acausal and was lucky enough to be able to collaborate with him.
What’s it been like running the Kickstarter?
It’s been an interesting experience. This was my first time running a Kickstarter, and although I spent a lot of time preparing, I was still nervous when we launched. There are a lot of great resources out there, but I found the ComixLaunch podcast and community to be extremely helpful in terms of preparing for the launch. Fortunately we got funded within 12 hours, which was incredible and that removed a lot of the pressure and apprehension.
I promoted the Kickstarter pretty hard for the next week on just about every platform I could think of, although as these are all algorithm-driven you’re never really sure if you are reaching the right people (or conversely just spamming the same few people hundreds of times). After that, I eased back to promoting the book a little less aggressively. We still have about a week to go, so there’s still time for people to check out the page, and I’ll ramp up the marketing again in the final week.
What else are you working on just now?
Right now I’m also trying to encourage people to order copies of the Scratcher Trade, from me, Juan Romera and Eric Grissom, which comes out on May 26th from Lev Gleason – New Friday comics. If you love the idea of tattoos that possess you then you’ll probably love this book.
I’m also promoting a new anthology XCT: Monsters which comes to Kickstarter in May. It’s set in the XCT universe, and I have a story that introduces a genetically modified Medusa to the pantheon of fighters – albeit with an interesting twist. I’m really excited to see this book and hope people will check it out.
I also write for Sequential Magazine, which is an online (and print) magazine focused on independent Canadian Comics. This year is the 80th anniversary of the first Canadian comic book, so there will be a special anniversary issue of the magazine coming out in the spring covering the past, present, and future of Canadian comics. It will be worth checking out for sure.
Finally, as far as comics projects, I’m working on the script for Acausal issue 2 and also writing/lettering more short comics for the next issue of Dark Fragments.
You can also get hold of the opening issue of this project through the campaign link below: