At this year’s Comic-Con International in San Diego, “Earth 2” writer James Robinson announced his new creator-owned series with artist J. Bone. “The Saviors” is an invasion horror comic focusing on a lone slacker that has to save the Earth before the aliens take over.
Prior to the announcement during today’s Image Comics panel, Robinson dropped by the CBR Yacht to speak about the new series, his collaboration with J. Bone and branching out into creator-owned territory and other genres.
CBR News: James, you announced a new book from Image this weekend, and it’s the first creator-owned book you’ve done in quite some time —
‘James Robinson: Obviously, I love writing the mainstream comics, but I thought it was time to branch out and do things on my own. Myself and J. Bone, who is Darwyn Cooke’s collaborator on a lot of projects, but he also is a very talented artist in his own right, we are doing a book called “The Saviors,” which is an invasion horror comic, which feels a little bit like “The Invasion of the Body Snatchers” or the TV show “The Invaders,” but these aliens also have the ability to become more like “The Thing.” It’s one young slacker who gets caught up in this whole conspiracy and has to get involved in saving the world, but the aliens themselves feel like they’re saving the world. There’s this interesting dichotomy in terms of the aliens. One of the things I will say is that I sort of modeled it a little bit on “Mars Attacks,” so don’t get attached to anybody. Anybody can die in this thing.
Is it a humorous book?
It’s very serious. J. Bone came to me and he said, “People think of me as a kids cartoonist or a funny cartoonist — I want to do something dark and serious.” So this is very serious, very noir-y, really terrifying monsters, graphic violence. It’s not what you expect from him. I think it’ll be a nice refreshing book — something we haven’t seen in a while.
How long have you been developing this?
It really came from doing “Shade” #4, which had artwork by Darwyn Cooke and finishes by J. Bone, and then talking to him in Canada at FanExpo and just slowly getting the collective wheels rolling in my head and we put this idea together.”
Creator-owned comics has a huge spotlight on them right now, sales numbers are going up across the board. Are you interested in taking the track of just doing creator-owned?
I don’t know. I would like to do more of my own stuff, of course, but I’m one of those guys that just enjoys writing these characters. I know everyone talks about, “They’re not yours, they’re owned by the corporation,” but that’s just a part of the reality of it that, if you’re willing to accept it, there’s a lot of fun to be had writing these characters.
What about other kind of writing. You hinted that you might be writing something slightly different.
I’m working on a novel. I don’t even want to tell you what the genre is because it’s such a unique one and I’m waiting to reveal that. I promise you, you’ll be the first person to know. There’s something else in the world of films that I [can’t talk about.]
Is there a genre that you really haven’t played with that you’d like to do more of?
When I was growing up, I never really enjoyed science fiction, but I’ve actually been thinking more and more about science fiction and the science behind it, so that’s possibly something I might do a little more of in the future.
Science fiction always seemed to have the most freedom because you can just make up science.
You can, but — this is the discipline I’ve learned the great science fiction writers do: they do make up stuff, but there’s the germ of truth behind it and they never lose that. Having that germ of scientific truth behind the fiction takes the work and the research and everything else. That’s the thing I want to make sure I do and make sure I’m not pulling fantastic stuff out of my head, which is easy.