The following is an interview with Cam Kerkau regarding the recent launch of a Zoop crowdfunding campaign for the final installment of the comic book series, Gilgamesh: Eternal. In this interview, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief Barbra Dillon chats with Kerkau about creative process of adapting such a well-known work to the sequential art medium, what readers can anticipate in terms of backer rewards, and more!
Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: You recently launched a Zoop crowdfunding campaign for the final installment of Gilgamesh: Eternal. As this fantasy epic comes to a close, where will readers find themselves in the final issue?
Cam Kerkau: As we open the final issue, things are at a boiling point in Sumer as the Goddess Inanna is secretly inspiring a war waged against Uruk. Gilgamesh, still running away from his responsibilities, has boarded the Ferryman’s boat in his absurd quest for the Faraway, leaving Shamhat to lead his people through the crisis on her own. Shamhat is advised by both Inanna and Ninsun, Gilgamesh’s mother, whose separate goals are pulling Shamhat in two directions.
BD: The creative process of approaching an adaptation of a prior work – especially one as well known as the Epic of Gilgamesh – can be a daunting experience. How would you describe your approach to breathing new life into the story, and what did you find to be most rewarding/challenging about the process?
CK: The most challenging thing about adapting Gilgamesh is capturing the breadth of the world, trying to balance all of the different translations and interpretations into a cohesive story that is satisfying to a modern audience. We’ve given ourselves the extra challenge of doing in only three issues a story with enough nuance to fill thirty. But I think we’ve pulled that off and are delivering a (relatively) short series that I think has some depth to it. It’s something you can read in an afternoon, but if we’ve succeeded, it will stay with you for much longer than that and, I think, will offer you something new in subsequent readings.
Our approach was to start from a point of accuracy to the original myth and embellish where necessary as we go further along. The first issue is very close to the epic, but in the second issue you can see we’ve started to add new elements and expand on others in order to raise the stakes and make the story a bit more true to us as storytellers, setting up a third issue in which we’re really taking it in our own direction. The whole skeleton of the myth is there, and if you’ve read the original text you’re going to see most of what you know from it, but I think you’re also going to be very surprised at what we’ve done in certain places.
BD: At Fanbase Press, our #StoriesMatter initiative endeavors to highlight the impact that stories can have on audiences of various mediums. How do you feel that this story may connect with or impact modern readers?
CK: I hope that Gilgamesh’s story will do for readers what it has done for me. It’s not an original thought, but I think it’s easy to get lost thinking about the grand scheme of history, the vastness of space and the absurdity of modern life, and trying to place yourself within all that can feel sort of lonely. To me, that’s really what Gilgamesh’s struggle is all about, and the fact that we were talking about this five thousand years ago sort of curbs that imposing feeling. It really drives home that we are all on this ride together, and always have been.
BD: Are there any specific backer rewards that you’re most excited about with the campaign and wish to share with readers?
CK: Kostas and I are once again joined by two amazing artists for our variant covers. First, we have Cover B by @Gobli_Prin, who has brought his own interpretation on Gilgamesh’s Eight Wind, and Cover C by Jasper Clyde Dolauta, which features Gilgamesh’s underwater battle against the Serpent.
We’re also offering our limited and personalized rewards once again. Supporters can get a postcard sketch from Kostas, or a comic script editing pass from myself. And Kostas works traditionally, so there are a TON of original Gilgamesh: Eternal pages available.
BD: Are there any other upcoming projects on which you are working that you are able to share with our readers?
CK: I can’t currently talk about the things I have in the works, but I’ll take this opportunity to tell you to keep a close eye on Kostas. He is very soon publishing a sequel to his first comic book. It’s a 104-page story about a dystopian Europe and a rebel team of super soldiers that have decided to overthrow the dictator of the EU and bring back democracy and freedom to the citizens of Europe. Keep an eye on his Instagram for more info!
BD: Lastly, what would you like to tell fans who want to learn more about Gilgamesh: Eternal and your other work?
CK: Follow me on your preferred social media! I’m Cam Kerkau on Facebook and @camkerkau on Twitter, Instagram, and BlueSky. I’m currently most active on Twitter and Facebook, but I’m always loud when I have a new project coming out.
Kostas is on Instagram @k.pantoulas.art and his website is www.kpantoulas.art!