[TERRA ZERO S.F] Parallel Man and Christopher Jones’ Interview!

Last month’s Terra Zero S.F was very special, as we received an exclusive first issue of Parellel Man, the new Indie Sci-fi comic project that will be published by Future Dude, written by Jeffrey Morris and Frederick Haugen, and with Chrispother Jones’ (Young Justice, Batman ‘66) art. Here we’ll bring the English version of the article.

Parellel Man shows us an USA that discovered, by the end of WWII, the skill to travel through another dimensions in the multiverse. This government soon starts to conquer and slave other parallel Earths under the flag of the Ascension. Our hero is the nephew of an old leader from a rebel group known as “The Futurists”. A group that seek to bring down the Ascension

The first issue of Parallel Man fulfills what it promises, taking us to some awesome alternative Earths. All of them very clever and creative. An Earth where the dinosaurs extinction never happened, for example. The best part of it? Humanoids Dinosaurs riding regular dinosaurs. Yeah, I know.

Although the concepts of alternative Earths’ travel and of a “chosen” hero trying to take down a tyrannical Government aren't new, Parallel Man does it very well. Conquering us mostly by it’s pace. The series starts by throwing us right in the middle of the action and it doesn't look back for a second. The world building is done at the same time we witness some awesome chases.

Visually the issue looks fantastic. Christopher Jones’ drawings have a Cartoon style to it, with colors perfectly chosen to give it the right feeling. All the worlds look different even those that aren't much. It’s worth a mention that some designs were made by the great Battlestar Gallatica’s designer Eric Chu.

The book brings a fresh take on old concepts and does it through a very well paced narrative. I strongly recommend you to give it a chance.

To finish, we had the opportunity to talk to the artist of the series, Christopher Jones that, among other works, it’s remembered by his awesome work on the “Cartoon line” of DC publications.

Hey Chris, glad to be talking to you. So, I read the first issue of Parallel Man, and enjoyed it quite a lot. So, If I may, I would like to include some questions in the article.

Hey Matheus, Happy to answer your questions.

I think that the first thing would be to you to introduce yourself to my readers, I know you drew some Young Justice’s comics and other comics for DC and Marvel Comics. Can you talk about you and favorites and/or more memorable jobs?

After drawing a number of fill-in issues and short stories for anthologies, my first ongoing series for DC Comics was The Batman Strikes, based on the animated series The Batman. Given that Batman is my favorite superhero I was pretty happy getting to draw the denizens of Gotham month-in, month-out. I think I drew 46 issues out of that title’s 50-issue run, so that was quite a substantial body of work. My next series ended up being Young Justice, again based on an animated TV show. Between the characters and stories I had the opportunity to draw, as well as working with writers including Greg Weisman who was co-producer of the show, Young Justice is probably my favorite body of work in my career so far. I do love Marvel characters too, but I think about half the work I’ve done for them hasn’t been widely seen! I did more animation-based stuff for Marvel including issues of Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and some art for Marvel Superhero Squad — both the comic and the TV show. But I also drew an inventory Spider-man story, a custom Iron Man comic for the Department of Energy, and an 80-page Avengers coloring book and I don’t think any of those ever saw the light of day outside very small circles. Before my current Parallel Man project I had a chance to draw a story for DC’s Batman ‘66 book, based on the Adam West TV series. That was a ton of fun and I hope to draw more of those when my schedule allows for it.

Ok, I liked your art a lot in this issue, it has a Cartoonish Jack Kirby vibe to it. What are your biggest influences? Not just as an artist, but as a sci-fi fan in general. What kinda of Sci-Fi do you enjoy the most?

I’m a huge Sci-Fi fan, and I grew up on a lot of stuff from the 60s and 70s. Star Trek, of course, but also goofy stuff like Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea. I really love Andrew Probert’s designs for Star Trek and designers like Syd Mead who manage to create Sci-Fi worlds that are visually exciting but also feel real and functional.

Can you talk a little bit about the inception of Parallel Man? How did you guys arrive at this Multiverse” concept?

Parallel Man was conceived by Jeffrey Morris and developed with his co-writer Fredrick Haugen. When I was brought in to draw the comic they already had some concept art by Battlestar Galactica’s Eric Chu and some great vehicle designs, but I still had plenty of design work to do myself — from characters and uniforms to many of the locations we visit in our story. The idea of a multiverse is nothing new, but hopefully we’re bringing something fresh with the kind of story we’re telling with it. Parallel Man is meant to be a fast-paced adventure — dropping you into a complex universe where events are already in motion and trusting that the reader is smart enough to piece together what’s going on from how the story is being told. We get to visit many of the parallel Earths as part of an extended chase that makes up most of our first issue. In working on the comic we talked about how The Empire Strikes back used the settings of Hoth, The Cloud City and Dagobah as a backdrop for its action. We’re doing the same thing but instead of alien planets we’re visiting different versions of our planet. Our concept of parallel worlds is the theory of divergent timelines, the further back the point of divergence the greater the differences are likely to be. Some worlds we see are different just on a socio-political level. On another Earth the asteroid extinction event never wiped out the dinosaurs. There’s a lot to explore.

Last, but not least, I saw in the series fanpage that there will be a game as well as an animation of Parallel Man. Can you explain to us how this will work, and what has been the process of adapting your job to other medias?

In addition to this initial 7-issue comic book, FutureDude is launching a collectible deck card game and a mobile game. The thing I’ve been the most involved with outside the comic book has been doing development and storyboards for the 12-minute animation that’s being produced as a sort of pilot for a Parallel Man animated series. The comic book is where we’re really defining the look of Parallel Man and these other spin-offs are then pulling visuals from that to build these other incarnations around. It’s pretty exciting! You can find more information about all the different forms of Parallel Man at the web site: http://www.futuredude.com/titles/parallel-man.

Well, Chris, I think it’s basically it. I’m looking forward to the launch of the title and very excited for the future of the project. Thank you very much for your time.

Hopefully that answers your questions. Looking forward to your review! Thanks again for helping us bring more attention to this project!

Chris.