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Fanbase Press Interviews Jim Krueger on the Release of ‘HiROQUEST: The Graphic Novel’ with Steve Aoki and Gungnir Entertainment

The following is an interview with Eisner Award-winning creator and writer Jim Krueger regarding the recent release of HiROQUEST: The Graphic Novel in collaboration with music icon Steve Aoki and Gungnir Entertainment. In this interview, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief Barbra Dillon chats with Krueger about the shared creative process of working within the HiROQUEST franchise, the joys and surprises of working with an established property, and more!



Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: Congratulations on the release of HiROQUEST: The Graphic Novel! For those who may be unfamiliar, how would you describe the plot of this new installment in the HiROQUEST franchise?

Jim Krueger: First, thank you. I cannot tell you how amazed and lucky I feel like I am to have been invited to be so involved. Hiroquest is about a Hiro named Hero. Oops, a hero named Hiro. (They are pronounced the same way.) Anyhow, when Hiro finds out that Earth is doomed, he allows himself, in an effort to save his family and everyone else on the planet, to be evolved and mutated and transformed and empowered to save the planet. He can fly, he’s super strong, and even has variations of telepathy and telekinesis. But that’s not enough. In the midst of this epic, he’s going to have to travel four hundred years into the future and seek out ten rings of power from ten different worlds. There are mutants on one world. Zombies on another. AI that enslaves the common robot on another. On every world he faces a race that may even need the ring he is there to take. And with every world, every ring, Hiro’s quest to save Earth gets harder and harder. It doesn’t help that he’s being stalked by Death itself.

BD: What can you tell us about your shared creative process in bringing this epic world and characters to life on the page?

JK: It was amazing to work with Steve and to text back and forth as to what this could be and should be. I mean, we wrote book one last summer and we still text ideas with each other almost every week. It’s really been amazing and Steve is so creative. I’m in shock that we only dealt with ten worlds and ten rings.

BD: Working within an established property can be a daunting process; however, your work with DC and Marvel demonstrated time and again your deft ability to craft compelling narratives with larger-than-life characters. What, if any, challenges did you experience in adapting this work for the sequential art medium in terms of its narrative and visual storytelling?

JK: What’s interesting is that this is more than a graphic novel (not that that wouldn’t be enough). It’s part Manga and part prose novel and is really Hiro’s story told by Hiro, which allows for his perspective, but also his hopes and doubts and, in the end, his revelations. It’s not your typical hero’s journey. But it is that, too.

For something like this, in response to your DC and Marvel question, I (we) treated the different worlds and the creatures on those worlds as if they had their own rules and cultures. So, we had to have Hiro (and later Hyro) deal with these worlds accordingly. Like there’s a witchcraft world. So, the question for us began in each case by asking a series of questions. What kind of Ring would Hiro find here? How does the world work? Since spells so often begin with spoken words, how does that relate to how the people of this world relate? And then, who are the specific characters on the world and how will they see Hiro? As a hero or as a villain who is there to take some of their magic away? That’s usually where Steve and I would begin.

BD: In addition to your work on this series, are there any upcoming projects on which you are currently working that you would like to share with our readers?

JK: Well, I’m both editing and creating content for Gungnir books now, and ironically, that kind of grew out of my work on Hiroquest with Mathew Medney. The amazing Steve Orlando is also involved, and we are having a lot of fun creating new things for Gungnir.

Also, later this year, I have a novel coming out from New Zealand-based IFWG that is really two novels. It’s Holiday Horror Advent Calendar of sorts, the first book having the first 13 stories, with next year’s having another 12. The two will have a cover to connect them by a long-time artist and collaborator – John K Snyder – who I’ve been working with since my days at Marvel and my Foot Soldiers book (of which there is also a major announcement coming). I’ve been working on this project for a long time and am so glad to see it finally released. I can’t wait for people to read “Poison Cookies” for example. Or in Book 2, “I Saw Mommy Killing Santa Claus.” That said, it’s pretty much written for the whole family. Well, a messed-up family at least.

And then, there’s also a fold-out comic book featuring a brand-new masked hero known as Nightlight. It’s a self-published comic that will coincide with a brand-new song called “Superhero” by the sensational Katy Tunbridge who just finished the recording in Nashville. And it’s drawn by Well-Bee, from Marvels X (the prequel to Earth X), the No Ones, and Heart Of The Hero. I am always amazed by what he does and he is one of Katy’s favorite artists. The story about the mask that Nightlight wears is a little different, but you’ll have to see how the story unfolds (See what I did there?) when the book is out. The comic will be available in a number of different places and at comic cons. The song comes out on May 17 from Katy Tunbridge.

And then, of course, there are some things that I can’t announce yet. But one of the truly great things about this industry is the chance to collaborate with not only my heroes but the young lions coming up. All that said, I’m really excited about more stuff with Steve. Wait, hold on, there’s another text there from Steve. OMG, what a great idea.

BD: Lastly, what is the best way for our readers to find more information about HiROQUEST: The Graphic Novel?

JK: Firstly, I always want to draw people to comic shops. That’s where my heart is for certain, and this industry has been so kind to me. I know there’s a deal with Barnes and Noble and we’re really excited about getting as many people into bookstores as we can. You can always look on their site, pop into a shop, and ask for the title. HiROQUEST.com will be housing the books, as well, and you can always follow me on Instagram and as soon as I know more. I’ll make it known.


Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief

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