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Fanbase Press Interviews Josh Hicks on the Upcoming Release of the Graphic Novel, ‘Hotelitor: Luxury-Class Defense and Hospitality Unit,’ with Lerner’s Graphic Universe

The following is an interview with cartoonist and filmmaker Josh Hicks regarding the upcoming release of his sci-fi graphic novel, Hotelitor: Luxury-Class Defense and Hospitality Unit, through Lerner Publishing’s Graphic Universe. In this interview, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief Barbra Dillon chats with Hicks about his creative process in bringing the satirical sci-fi story to life on the page, what he hopes that readers may take away from the story, and more!

Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: Congratulations on the upcoming release of Hotelitor! For those who may be unfamiliar, how would you describe the story’s premise?

Josh Hicks: The book is set in a future where giant corporations have plundered the Earth’s resources and humanity has relocated to a bunch of privatized space colonies. One of these colonies is home to Hotelitor – a luxury-class defense and hospitality unit. (Read: big hotel robot.) When a sudden and mysterious alien attack leads to Hotelitor being stranded in deep space, the hotel’s staff and guests have to figure out how to live together long enough to find their way back home. It’s kind of like if White Lotus, Lord of the Flies, and Ultraman came together like Voltron to form a very stupid super mech.

BD: What can you share with us about creative process in bringing this satirical take of a space cruise to life on the page, and were there any real-life experiences which influenced this story?

JH: I like big ensemble stories with lots of characters, and the idea of all these weirdos being trapped in this space hotel mech had been bouncing around in my head for a while – I think I drew the first illustration in 2018 as a one-off joke. The story came together when I started trying to write a bit about the way I felt in my late teens and early twenties when I was trying to figure out what I was going to do with the rest of my life in terms of work and stuff. It was anxiety-inducing and stressful – I remember feeling totally out of my element for years, and basing the core of the book around that feeling allowed everything else to take shape. I also just really wanted to draw mech fights. I can’t help it.

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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 Anna’s story may connect with and impact readers?

JH: Anna is basically me at that age – not really knowing what I was doing and nervously trying out a bunch of stuff and not finding my place, so, hopefully, her story resonates with the sensitive and the slightly confused. I think you can probably read Hotelitor as a power fantasy about finding your people and finding yourself, and using that power to try to forge your own way in the nightmare world of late capitalism. But with space monsters for garnish.

BD: What makes Graphic Universe the perfect home for this story?

JH: Graphic Universe published my previous book, Glorious Wrestling Alliance: Ultimate Championship Edition, and I had a really good working relationship with my editor on that book, Greg Hunter, and their designer, Mary Ross. I love working with them, so when it came time to pitch Hotelitor, it was a no-brainer for me – especially because I was writing a little bit about my teenage experiences, and that’s in their wheelhouse. They’ve been really supportive of the book, and I had a great time working with them on it.

BD: Are there any upcoming projects on which you are currently working that you would like to share with our readers?

JH: I’m hard at work on a few projects, but they’re all yet to be announced. A couple of things that I’m working on have pushed me slightly out of my comfort zone, which is great: one is a licensed comic series, one is a bit more interactive. But they’re both currently secret. Sorry!

BD: Lastly, what is the best way for our readers to find more information about Hotelitor and your other work?

JH: You can find me on twitter and instagram at @ajoshhicks, or you can find stuff like comics and animation and card games I’ve made at Of course, the primary source for Hotelitor information is the book itself, which is available everywhere from May 7th.

Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief




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