Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: For those who may be unfamiliar, how would you describe the premise of your comics, Agent: Wild #0 and Reaper Corps, and what inspired you to tell these stories?
Don Walker: First and foremost, my books are character driven with a sci-fi bend. Agent Wild is about a young woman dealing with her past and her uncertain future. Her forthcoming mini-series will go deeper into that future. She'll have to decide what that future will look like or have it decided for her. While Agent Wild has been called "superhero-y" by some, Reaper Corps is straight sci-fi action with a social political theme. It's like a big action epic with heart and something important to say. The initial one-shot sets the stage, and the mini will deep dive into the themes of representation, respect, honoring our past, family, and mental health, among others. My influences are predominantly the comics of the mid to late 1980s and 1990s. Chris Clairemonts's X-Men run was my holy grail, and the original graphic novel, X-MEN: GOD LOVES, MAN KILLS, was huge for me and an example of how comics could be current and still entertaining.
BD: What can you share with us about your creative process for each project, and what have been some of your creative influences?
DW: Again, Clairemont was huge for me. John Byrne, as well, who I don't think gets enough credit for his writing chops. His Fantastic Four run was amazing storytelling. He made me care about Superman later on, and I find that character as boring as they come. So, I've tried to remember character first, action scenes second. All the pretty pictures mean nothing if no one cares about the characters. Both books allow for different challenges, which I embrace. Agent Wild is about one woman and her actions, choices, and their consequences. Reaper Corps is similar but deals with notions of war, race, religion, history, and the differing perspectives of each and how it affects people personally, socially, and politically. My greatest challenge, and the most fun, has been intertwining the two books for the long run, as they occupy the same "universe" but different time periods, as Agent Wild is modern day while Reaper Corps is the future. As books are published, you'll see how the events of Agent Wild create the Reaper Corps future.
BD: What do you hope that readers will take away from your work?
DW: I want them to be entertained first. But, secondly, I hope the stories stick with them and make them think a bit. I hope I'm planting seeds that grow as time goes by that help create a better world for use all to live in, out here in the real world.
BD: You previously launched a Kickstarter campaign to crowdfund for the production costs of Agent: Wild #0 (2013) and Reaper Corps (2017). What encouraged you to utilize the platform, and what was your experience with crowdfunding?
DW: I think, like many creators, I saw crowedfunding in general as a means to an end. I'd tried IndieGoGo for a film a number of year prior (with no success) before trying Kickstarter for Agent Wild. I did my research and found that Kickstarter had a strong grassroots comic support system. That was intriguing as a comic fan, let alone a creator. I jumped in head first and started backing projects. I wanted to be part of this community. I asked questions to backers and campaign runners alike before launching my first Agent Wild campaign, which failed spectacularly. But the backers of said campaign helped me reorganize it and structure it better to create a clearer vision of what the book was. I was able to get my creative team on board with a plan to make it all cheaper to produce, hence, lowering the goal to a more manageable, obtainable amount. While the second Agent Wild campaign was successful, the production and delivery of the book was a colossal cluster f--k! Some to my own doing and some which was out of my hands. That's an interview all in itself. I've left a bad taste in some backers' mouths that I'm still trying to recover from, because I did so many things wrong with that campaign from the beginning. I truly learned the hard way what to do and not to do on a Kickstarter campaign.
BD: You noted that Reaper Corps is the “far future 'sister' book to Agent: Wild.” What ties the two one-shots together, and why would you encourage to check out both comics for a more enriched reading experience?
DW: There's going to be generations of characters affected by the events of the various books. At the moment, the connections aren't obvious up front, and the two one-shots don't have a direct link, storywise. There's one character in Agent Wild that directly links to both books, but that character only appears in Agent Wild. The character will feature prominently in her forthcoming mini-series, as well as most of the "modern-day" spin off books to come. Said character's link to Reaper Corps will become more obvious in their mini-series which is planned for 2020. In 2019, we'll see 2-3 spinoff books in Diamond Savage (a true "sister" book set in the same future time frame as Reaper Corps) along with Rogue Dog which will operate in the present along with Agent Wild, while having only a small link with Agent Wild via a few characters. And Lastly, Kitten & Kat, which will be my first, kid-friendly book about a dimension-hopping, kleptomaniac faerie and her werecat best friend. The plan is to continue publishing books in both timeframes and as we do so, you'll see how the events of the modern-day books effectively create the future timeline. Some of the connections will be obvious, others less so. There's a long-term strategy at play that could take five to ten years depending on how fast I can get the books made. It's going to be a fun ride, that I can assure you.
BD: Are there any upcoming projects on which you are currently working that you would like to share with our readers?
DW: Agent Wild: Union Fall will be the first Agent Wild mini-series - five issues in all. This will be the book that lays the groundwork for everything to come and sets us on the path to the Reaper Corps future. I'm writing and penciling, with Larry Welch on inks and Ed Dukeshire on letters. Colorist TBD. I'm shooting for issues one and two to be available for Stan Lee's Comic Con 2018 after a planned June 2018 Kickstarter.
BD: Lastly, what is the best way for our readers to find more information about Agent: Wild #0 and Reaper Corps?
DW: Print copies can be had over at dorkempireink.bigcartel.com while more info can be had on fb.com/DorkEmpireInkand with regular Agent Wild concept art on instgram @don_dorkempireink.