The following is an interview with writer Jordan Thomas regarding the release of the comic book series, The Man from Maybe, through Oni Press. In this interview, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief Barbra Dillon chats with Thomas about his shared creative process in working with artist Shaky Kane to bring the story and characters to life, what attracts him to working within the sci-fi genre, and more!
Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: Congratulations on the upcoming release of The Man from Maybe! For those who may be unfamiliar, what can you tell us about the series’ premise?
Jordan Thomas: Thank you! The series is pure, over-the-top adventure. Mad Max, The Good, The Bad & The Ugly, and Raiders of the Lost Arc all whipped up and poured into a Jack Kirby-like world. We have brave heroes with a past, evil villains that are fun to hate, strange and wonderful locations, and a ticking clock race against time. Although I referenced those movies, it’s really just pure, uncut comics to escape from the dark and gritty world we seem to be presented with in real life and in a lot of other stories these days.
BD: How would you describe your shared creative process in working with artist Shaky Kane to bring this post-apocalyptic world to life on the page?
JT: This is a true collaboration in every respect. Shaky fired some of his mind-bending ideas for characters and scenes he wanted to draw at me, and then I used those as the framework to build our story around. He wanted dino-astronauts, so I gave him dino-astronauts.
We also stay in touch through IM, chatting almost every day so we can throw spur-of-themoment ideas at each other as he works on the art, and, thankfully, Oni Press are cool with that.
BD: You are no stranger to the sci-fi genre, having written for series like Weird Work, the Metallic Dynamite anthology, and most recently Xino. What do you find most intriguing about working within the genre and the narrative “toolkit” that it offers to you as a writer?
JT: Science fiction has always been a way for creators to work through modern issues the world, or themselves personally, are facing, and that is definitely a draw. You can look at the impact that callous billionaires are having on all of us without it feeling like a documentary. But also I like that you can cut out a lot of the garbage that our real world has that kind of kill stories. Smart phones, the internet – these things are so pervasive in everyday life that you can’t ignore them, but they ruin so many stories. I like being able to pick and choose what technology is in the world of the story and how people interact with it.
BD: What makes Oni Press the perfect home for this series?
JT: Hunter contacted me pretty early on from him taking over and he basically said, “I want comics that are proud to be comics. Comics that love being comics, not Netflix series pitches.” There were probably also a few curse words in there, as well, but that was the gist, and I love making comics that don’t care about becoming TV shows, and Oni Press, with the people in charge there right now, are all about awesome, weird, wild, and unique comics.
BD: Are there any other upcoming projects on which you are working that you are able to share with our readers?
JT: Hmm…well, I have another series with one of my best friends that’s signed up with a publisher, one I hadn’t worked with before. A crime book. It’s stunning and I can’t wait for it to be announced. I’m also finalizing another series I’m incredibly excited to get stuck into that’s back in the world of sci-fi. Hopefully, both books will get announced in the next few months.
BD: Lastly, what would you like to tell fans who want to learn more about The Man from Maybe and your other work?
JT: BUY IT! The reason there’s a million Batman series is because that’s what people buy. If you want something different and to see more fun and interesting books on the shelves, then buying the issues is how that happens, as however bold the publisher, they ultimately need to sell enough books to finance these series.
The Man from Maybe is my third series out after Weird Work and Frank at Home on the Farm. They’re all out there and all pretty different, so if you want to take a chance on something a little unusual, but I think entertaining and with amazing art, then check them out. I’ll be eternally grateful!