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Fanbase Press Interviews James Asmus and Jim Festante on the Upcoming Release of the ‘Survival Street’ Sequel Series, ‘Survival Street: The Radical Left,’ with Dark Horse Comics

The following is an interview with Harvey-nominated and Excelsior Award-winning writer James Asmus (Rick & Morty: Corporate Assets, Captain America & Bucky, Transformers) and critically acclaimed writer Jim Festante (Rick & Morty: Super Spring Break Special, The End Times of Bram & Ben, Field Tripping) on the upcoming release of the Survival Street sequel series, Survival Street: The Radical Left, in collaboration with Dark Horse Comics. In this interview, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief Barbra Dillon chats with Asmus and Festante about their shared experience in returning to the world and characters of Survival Street, what they hope that readers may take away from the satirical story, and more!



Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: Congratulations on the upcoming release of Survival Street: The Radical Left! With the original series, you presciently (and hilariously) captured the effects of late-stage capitalism through the lens of public broadcasting. Where will readers pick up with this new series?

James Asmus: If the first miniseries was our primal scream about all the ways billionaires and companies are degrading the future, The Radical Left expands the scope to also wrestle with a whole host of issues among “the Resistance.”

Jim Festante: New readers should totally be able to jump in and get oriented in the world and characters. Fans coming back will see the story take a turn pretty quickly to send the team into new territory, though…

BD: We find ourselves in rather challenging times. How much of recent headlines have fueled the characters and storylines for this new series, and which conversations – if any – do you hope that the series may spur for readers?

JA: This new miniseries keeps the format we enjoyed in the first—unleashing the team fresh missions each issue, against some heightened versions of real modern horrors. So, we’re always weaving together a few different layers of how the political, cultural, and mega-corporate worms seem to be turning. Some of the issues getting our ‘where does this lead?’ nightmare treatment this time around include: militant book bans, AI entertainment, company-sponsored school curriculum, and more!

But the throughline story this time around forces the team to confront the divides between them as allies. (And questions we’ve struggled with ourselves.) When we’re so massively outmatched by the system with its boot on our necks—can we afford to draw the line on tactics? On who we accept as allies? If you’re fighting for decency and dignity—can you afford not drawing a line?

BD: In continuing your shared creative process with artist Abylay Kussainov, colorist Ellie Wright, and letterer Taylor Esposito, do you feel that you’ve developed a creative shorthand or shared creative language that has only benefited production on the new series?

JF: I don’t know if I’d call it shorthand, but there is an enormous amount of trust that’s been built between us all over the years. Sometimes in collaborations, at least in the beginning, you go out of your way to be as specific as possible in your language to avoid any kind of confusion, while still leaving the door open to artistic interpretation. But at this point, when James and I send out a script, we really look forward to how it will be interpreted and improved on by the rest of the team.

From his first concept sketches, Abylay really nailed the tone James and I were looking for, and his expressiveness has only gotten more nuanced and affecting. Ellie’s palettes are so striking and bold, we’ve just let her play and push things into something truly wonderful. Taylor knows how to tie it all together for the reader, somehow making the letters both distinct and uncomplicated.

BD: What makes Dark Horse Comics the perfect home for this series?

JA: I’ve always said that while superheroes got me into comics as a kid, Dark Horse kept me in comics when I started getting hungry for something new and more complex. Their Legends line with stuff like HELLBOY, MADMAN, SIN CITY, and CONCRETE were each totally unique, were incredible blends of larger-than-life “COMICS!” energy with stories that actually had more weight and substance. And they’ve continued that since, with an incredible legacy of ambitious, original, and creator-owned series like UMBRELLA ACADEMY, BLACK HAMMER, MIND MGMT, USAGI YOJIMBO, and so many more.

And while there are a number of great publishers right now, I’d long wanted to work with Dark Horse—and in particular editor Daniel Chabon, whose taste and body of work I have the utmost respect for. There really wasn’t one book we could point to as a comparison for what we were trying to do with SURVIVAL STREET. But Daniel and Dark Horse understood it right away, and have been as enthusiastic and supportive of partners as we’ve ever had on a book.

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

JF: Together, James and I just released Rick and Morty Super Spring Break Special with Oni, and you can pre-order a ‘Contested Convention’ special featuring President Curtis vs. Rick/Doofus Rick coming in August! James introduced me to the world of genre cookbooks and cocktail books with Insight Editions, after he wrote books for Rick and Morty, and Supernatural (check them out, he killed it!). I wrote the ‘flavor text’ for BioWare’s official Mass Effect Cocktail Book (available October 2024) and recently turned in a manuscript for Bethesda’s official Starfield Cookbook (available 2025), both featuring fantastic recipes by Cassandra Reeder (The Geeky Chef).

JA: Outside those projects with Jim, I’ve been writing a much more optimistic pseudo-superhero series with YouTube/Twitch legend JackSepticEye called The SOMEWHAT INCREDIBLE JACKIE-BOY MAN. While it was initially sold direct to fans through Jack and publisher BadEgg, you can now order it through your local comic shop!

Also, if you like horror, keep an eye on next month’s Dark Horse solicits for a really fun one-shot you’ll want to order for Halloween season…

BD: Lastly, what is the best way for our readers to find more information about Survival Street: The Radical Left?

JF: Well, the best thing to do is to pre-order issue #1 from your local comic shop! Seriously. Email them right now and ask them to order one for you! (It truly makes a huge difference for original series.) But if you’re just interested or excited to see more before it comes out – follow Dark Horse on socials, or James on Instagram (@james_asmus). You can check out our work together at FutureSkeletons.com.

JA: And if you want to read a taste of Survival Street for free (!) you can download a 12-page digital issue #0 from my webstore! We originally made it as a short to test it out for ourselves, and thought it might wind up being half of a first issue – but by the time we set the book up with Dark Horse, we had so many more ideas we were excited to do that we gladly made this one something we could just give away to help find the right audience for the book.

JF: A little bit of sharing, just like our puppet friends taught us.


Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief

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