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Fanbase Press Interviews Jason Howard on Launching a Kickstarter Campaign for the Graphic Novel, ‘Essentials,’ with The Lab Press, Luke Arnold, and Doc Wyatt

The following is an interview with artist Jason Howard (Transformers) regarding the recent launch of a Kickstarter campaign for the graphic novel, Essentials, in collaboration with The Lab Press. In this interview, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief Barbra Dillon chats with Howard about his shared creative process in working with co-writers Luke Arnold and Doc Wyatt, the incredible backer rewards available to supporters of the campaign, and more!

Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: Congratulations on the Kickstarter campaign launch for Essentials!  What can you tell us about your shared creative process in working with co-writers Luke Arnold and Doc Wyatt to bring this epic, new world and incredible characters to life on the page? 

Jason Howard: Luke and Doc wrote a great script! It made the process for me easy! We talked some at the beginning as they pitched their idea of crumbling reality and how individuals’ subjective reality starts to become objective reality. I thought it was a cool sci-fi concept that’s grounded in human emotion and felt relevant to today’s world. As we discussed how it might look, and their plans for how to use multiple artists, it became even more exciting. From there it was up to me to try and realize all the cool visuals in their script. I would send in layouts and the art in process so they could see where I was headed, but they were very trusting creative partners and I think the final book is a great example of that collaboration!

BD: You are no stranger to working with fantastical illustrations, given your experience with Transformers and Super Dinosaur. What intrigued you about depicting an “untethered” reality for this project, and did you have specific ideas in mind from the get-go?

JH: The concept sparks lots of creative ideas! But my part of the story focused on the more grounded elements, so for me it was about making the reality of Harris’ journey feel relatable and solid, so we can see where he came from and what he’s fighting to save.

essentials cover Jason Howard

BD: What makes The Lab Press the perfect home for this story? 

JH: The Lab Press took the time to assemble and coordinate with a really talented team. We all had the freedom to bring our own style to Luke and Doc’s story.

BD: Are there any particular backer rewards for the Kickstarter campaign that you would like to highlight for readers?

JH: Well, I drew a wrap-around cover for one of the hardcover editions, and there are also great covers from Bill Sienkiewicz and Glenn Fabry! But whatever version of the book fans pick up, they’re going to get a well-made, exciting book. 

BD: Lastly, what is the best way for our readers to find out more about Essentials and its Kickstarter campaign?

JH: The Lab Press is always active on X, Instagram, Facebook, Bluesky, and even LinkedIn. They’re @thelabpress, and fans can keep up with me @jasonhowardart on Instagram and @thejasonhoward on X.

Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief




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