The following is an interview with Craig Johnson regarding his comic book series, Project: Saviour. In this interview, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief Barbra Dillon chats with Johnson about the inspiration behind the series, his creative process in both writing and illustrating the comic, and more!
Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: Congratulations on the release of your comic book, Project: Saviour #1! For those who may be unfamiliar, how would you describe its premise, and what inspired you to tell this story?
Craig Johnson: I always struggle explaining it without just spoiling. The basic question in the story is how far would you go to save the world? If you had a choice of being happy or giving all up for others? Is it selfish to want to be happy? This issue lays the groundwork for that. I don’t give too much away just yet. The opening pages are set in the near future, hinting towards what is to come. Then, I give some quick backstory, and then I throw the reader in the deep end and hope they come back for more. I have always wanted to write comics since I was little after being introduced to Batman. While at university, I developed this story at 4 in the morning and it has been an obsession ever since.
BD: What can you share with us about your creative process in writing and illustrating the comic, and what have been some of your creative influences?
CJ: I have a strange process I think of doing each issue. I start with how I want it to begin and where I want to be at the end. Then, I run through various stories in my head, over and over, picturing like a movie or a TV show. Then, I add parts or remove them and leave it for a few days then streamline it. Then, I write it out ready for me to draw. Then, it changes again when I start to panel it out. My biggest influences are, of course, reading other comics as they have always inspired me ever since I was a kid. I always look to Jim Lee and Alex Ross; those are my heroes. Lee’s run on Batman Hush and Ross’s Kingdom Come had a huge impact on me when I first read them and made me want to make comics and tell those kind of stories
BD: What do you hope that readers will take away from your series?
CJ: My main hope is that it will inspire people in the way that reading comics did for me when I started. Even if its’ just one person, I’ll be happy.
BD: How many issues do you have planned in the series’ current story arc?
CJ: Right now I have it worked out at roughly 36-40 depending if change some side stories or add extra stories.
BD: Are there any upcoming projects on which you are currently working that you would like to share with our readers?
CJ: Right now, I am currently elbow deep in issue 2 of Project: Saviour. I do have a project in the pipeline that will actually be part of the Project: Saviour world. Universe building some might say. I won’t spoil it but there will Easter eggs in upcoming issues before the debut in issue 9 (which might also be a hint).
BD: Lastly, what is the best way for our readers to find more information about Project: Saviour?
CJ: The best way is to follow me on Facebook (@ProjectSaviourComic), Instagram (@Project_SaviourComic), or Twitter (@ProjectSaviour).