Welcome back to The Preview Party, the blog that looks at the coolest, new comic books and graphic novels available to pre-order from this month’s Previews magazine.
This April, Archaia will be releasing another big, beautiful hardcover, Strange Attractors, which is a wonderful story from Charles Soule about two mathematicians who learn that the smallest of actions can have a major impact. I had the pleasure of speaking with Soule about his new book. Here’s what he had to say.
The Previews Party: For those who don’t know, what is Strange Attractors all about?
Charles Soule: Strange Attractors is a story about New York City, and, more particularly, the intense, layered web of systems that make that crazy metropolis work. In the story, two mathematicians (one young, one old) use complexity theory to create sort of a map of the city’s systems, which they then use to turn New York into an engine. Things really get cooking once they turn it on. You might call it something like Good Will Hunting meets Harry Potter, but for grownups and set in NYC.
The Previews Party: What inspired you to create such a cool story? Were you a mathlete?
Charles Soule: You know, I actually was a mathlete, back in 7th grade. I qualified up to the state-wide level of that year’s mathematics competition and ended up placing eleventh. The top ten kids went to nationals, so that was a tough blow. Strange Attractors is my attempt to make up for that tragic lapse years ago.
Actually, while that’s all true, the real inspiration for Strange Attractors was my fifteen years plus of living in NYC. I love this city to pieces and wanted to create a story that would pay tribute to everything I love about it, in what’s hopefully a unique and interesting way.
The Previews Party: Next, you’re taking over Swamp Thing. What do you have planned for the big, green guy?
Charles Soule: Oh, tons of cool stuff. In my first issue, which will be #19 out in April, Swamp Thing tangles with Scarecrow. I think I found an angle on those two that will be pretty cool for people to check out. In the second, I don’t think it’s spoiling much to say that Swampy ends up on the wrong side of a certain Kryptonian’s heat vision. Basically, I want to pack every issue I write with tons of cool ideas and exciting, inventive action. I hope people pick it up after Scott Snyder’s great run ends, and I can’t wait to hear what people think!
The Previews Party: Since this is The Previews Party, are there any upcoming books you’re particularly excited for?
Charles Soule: The next issue of Brian K. Vaughan’s Saga, always, but also Brian Wood’s Star Wars series. I guess I have a thing for books written by guys named Brian.
The Previews Party: Okay, pitch time. Why should my readers pre-order Strange Attractors?
Charles Soule: You know why? Because it’s not like anything else on the shelves. It’s a compelling story that shows the world we wish we lived in – and isn’t that what the best stories do? The art, by Greg Scott, Art Lyon, Matthew Petz, Thomas Mauer, and Robert Saywitz is absolutely spectacular, and the presentation of the book itself (one of those gorgeous hardcovers Archaia does so incredibly well) is amazing. You’re going to love it.
The Previews Party would like to thank Charles Soule for taking the time to answer our questions and Archaia for setting up the interview. Charles Soule can be found on Twitter, @CharlesSoule, and you can learn more about his work at charlessoule.wordpress.com.
Until next time, keep reading.
– Jason Enright