THE KILL JOURNAL Exclusive Interview With Writer Adam Lawson On His Follow Up To THE EIGHTH

THE KILL JOURNAL <font color=red>Exclusive</font> Interview With Writer Adam Lawson On His Follow Up To THE EIGHTH

We recently caught up with director and comic book writer Adam Lawson about his comic book projects The Eighth and The Kill Journal, and learned some really fun stuff about the indie books. Check it out!

Earlier this year, we spoke with director Adam Lawson (Snakes on a Plane, Escape the Night) about his comic book project The Eighth, which features an intriguing story about symbiotic ancient Sumerian armor. Now that his newest series, The Kill Journal, has been fully funded on Indiegogo, we decided to catch up with the writer again to learn more about his new project.

While chatting with Lawson about The Kill Journal, we learned all about the story, which features Revenants being hunted by their survivors. We also touched on The Eighth again to learn more about things like the thermodynamic equations he had to study when writing it.

To listen to our chat with the director and comic creator Adam Lawson, click the podcast player below. We have also included our conversations with indie comic writers Joshua Plack (Eudaimonia, How to Die) and Michael Oden (Elysian Fields: The Pyramid Gambit).

3m 39s
Literary Joe

What brought you to comics?

3m 44s
Adam Lawson

I was interested in comics before I was interested in film and television. Comics is where it began for me in regards to a love of visual storytelling.

It ended up coming back around full circle. There's always been this long time passion since childhood to do comic books. When COVID hit and television shut down, I had been developing the Ape, and it gave me a window of time to unleash this other passion. Now, I have another one called the kill journal that's in the works. Over the years, I've been hiring artists and building concept work and building out these comics that someday I would do. Well, that someday is 2020.

5m 8s
Literary Joe

Does Jorin Evers handle the art of your new book? Or, is that another artist?

5m 18s
Adam Lawson

No, that's a different artist. The concept images were all done by an incredible artist named Tonton Revolver, a fantastic French Artist. Tonton built those originals, and this guy named Raymond Bermudas has done our own Wolverine and a bunch of other things and is doing the interiors. We'll not be drawing this time around; Jordan is still busily working on the eighth issue. Issue seven is done. It's getting coloring now. Before we even started, we had five done. Then he did six while we were doing the campaign and seven. We're going to have the whole thing done in I'd say three months, fingers crossed. So then we can get it actually to backers earlier the final, the final hardcover. So that's what we're hoping for.

Sydney is in that vein, where she's this aggressive female action-oriented character. Marty is with her, who's also that way. It's a bigger pack this time around. They're all in quite an aggressive arena. They're hunting slashers. You can't be timid in this arena, or you're dead. She starts with long hair, and she doesn't look like that, and she becomes that woman there as she gets brought into the survivors club and starts this hunting process.

10m 19s
Nick Brooks

How does the armor work? Are there any influences from comics that came into the character as far as the design or anything like that?

10m 35s
Adam Lawson

The original design of The Eighth does not look like Jorin's version of him. This was the original design. It wasn't supposed to look anything like Venom initially. James' take to the art, who did much of the concept artwork for the early Call of Duty games, was different in its look and design. It was much more of a machine. The idea was this organic metal, and add life to it when Jordan was drawing it, early on, the detailing required to communicate that, which was beyond what an interior comic page can handle. James' original designs took a week to do one arm. Interior artists can't quite work that way.

11m 43s
Adam Lawson

So, with the bandwidth of it, it became this almost stone or tree. It became an organic material, and the mental aspect of it left along the way. One thing I wanted to craft in it is this was a suit that was being built. When you see the final issues of this, he's much more like a Venom meets Iron Man in the end. It's a full suit with a lot more capability than what Venom is.

It's actually a piece of a bigger suit of armor. And by the end, it's essentially what he was going to become, which is very little like Venom in the end. The idea is its power is based on the scientific phenomena about taking arranged particles and, with a small electronic, electric charge, transforming them almost spontaneously into a complex arrangement, like taking a glass of water and freezing it. But instead of the water become a cylinder, it would become an ice swan. And this isn't a real tie to the phenomena. They can't recreate it very effectively; it occurs very randomly.

They can't figure out how it goes, but it can occur to the idea is this is a suit that reassembles in that fashion from a simple mess or mesh on him into these complex devices and, ultimately, a lot more complex powers. But at the core of it, it's communicating with molecules. As the story progresses, he becomes more in tune with the molecules of the world. At some point, he goes, spoiler, he goes blind and only sees with the suit. In the initial image of it, it's very much this Venom essence to it, particularly in issues one and two, right when he's first developing it. But by the time it really gets to be, later on, it's very removed from that.

I wanted to merge those two universes. That it was ancient and yet futuristic at the same time, and because this suit can be commanded to do things, it's essential molecules that he's arranging with math equations. For example, he's running an equation in his brain, and then the suit adjusts for it. So unlike a symbiotic where it's partly alive, the suit is not partly alive. It only functions based on the equations that he's running. So, in a way, it's like his brain is the computer that runs code that causes things to happen.

15m 41s
Literary Joe

As far as the equations you write in the book, do you write completely random numbers and letters, or is there some method to the madness?

15m 55s
Adam Lawson

Those are thermodynamic equations that are real equations. They have to do thermodynamics, meaning it has to do with heat relevance and energy transfer, which seemed like the most appropriate. It's somewhat of what the equations look like in this science, and also thermodynamic equations look the coolest cause they use a lot of different shapes that aren't in traditional math. Those are like key trends, like energy transference equations that are real. For some of them, there's more to the equation. Sometimes you see half of the equation due to page space. If you are a thermodynamic mathematician, you would recognize it.

16m 45s
Literary Joe

If a reader was to do research and try to find out what those are for, would that shed more light on other pieces of the story? Or is it just translating what we're reading?

17m 3s
Adam Lawson

It's the latter of those two. That it's showing the equation, he's running to change the suit's energy to manipulate it. It doesn't necessarily have a hidden message outside of that. I had read an article about it a few years back. I've always been such a fan of science. My dad was a scientist. So when the story came about, and I was thinking of how the suit could run, that's what came to mind. I dove into some research on what those equations would be. It's a little tricky piecing them together, but I love how they came out. I love how his thought box is the equation. That's what's in his head. To see a true mathematician at work, it's like a magic trick. It is in such a different realm that most people inhabit. It seems like magic. That's why I chose math because, at high enough levels, it sure looks like fantasy.

19m 16s
Nick Brooks

Did you always plan on having the character dip his toe into the darker side of things? Was that always the plan, or did you find that as you created the character?

19m 38s
Adam Lawson

I always had that vision for him. I was reading this book about the safe zone in China. Mao, his home life, and upbringing were devastated by the Japanese's impact in World War II. So much chaos and so much tragedy, 20 million people killed in China. We often forget about the other side of the war. Mao didn't know what to do. He tried to control China. Which he did, and then he built it into an empire. There was a big body count associated with that. There's this idea that at the core of David, he's trying to make the world better in the only way he can understand how. Which is to control it, and then he pays the price for it. Unlike now, he turns back and says, what is this other way. That is essentially the question being asked by the eighth. What is the other way? How do you do that? This journey is refining his understanding of what is until the ending of the novel graphic novel, where he comes to understand what the other way is.

21m 28s
Nick Brooks

Would you say that there is a potential long-term reason for David being attached to the suit?

21m 38s
Adam Lawson

The core of the armor is replacing parts of his cells. It's making him into somebody new. That's what it has to do because for the armor to fully function, it can't be on a regular person. They have to be refined, transformed. So, at the core of it, that's what it's doing to him. And he doesn't know it. He has this need to have it on because he's being altered on the cellular level. The core of David's and Emma's relationship is that they're on opposite sides of the line.

*This interview has been edited for clarity. Comic Brooks co-hosts audio.*


 

A horror graphic novel about Revenants and the Survivors who hunt them.


Grab your copy of The Kill Journal here.

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