Top Cow's second annual Pilot Season initiative consists of six one-shots by top industry creators featuring brand new or under-utilized Top Cow characters. After all six issues have hit stands, fans will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite Pilot Season installments at the Pilot Season MySpace page, and the top two vote-getters will be awarded their own series. In our continuing coverage of Pilot Season '08, CBR News spoke to writer Jay Faerber ("Dynamo 5," "Noble Causes") about "Pilot Season: Urban Myths," a P.I. story set in a modern-day... Ancient Greece?
On sale this week, "Urban Myths" is set in New Athens, in an alternate present day where all of the Greek gods are alive and well and continue to meddle in the lives of men. "It's got classic private eye elements in a modern day mythological setting," Faerber told CBR NEws. "And, like the very best 'Rockford Files' episodes, what appears to be an ordinary case -- in this instance, Jack, our P.I. hero, is hired to find a runaway teenager-- soon gets much more complicated. Oh, yeah, there are redneck cyclopses, too."
The hero Faerber mentioned is Jack Medusa, son of the Medusa of legend. "Which means anyone who sees his face turns to stone," Faerber said. "He's also got those funky snakes for hair. So Jack wears a metal mask to protect the people around him. He's the ultimate outsider, so working as a private eye (the epitome of 'outsider') suits him just fine." But Jack does have one companion in the person of his father, a blind mechanic, whose infirmity renders him immune to the powers of the Medusa lineage.
After the inaugural Pilot Season wrapped up in 2007, Faerber approached Top Cow editor Rob Levin about the possibility of contributing to the next Pilot Season competition. Faerber had been kicking around the idea for "Urban Myths" for several years, and when he learned that Pilot Season '08 was going to feature original concepts, the two seemed to be a perfect fit. "It's one of those 'I'll get around to this someday' type of ideas, and it just seemed right for Pilot Season, since they didn't want superheroes," Faerber said.
The process of finding the right artist for "Urban Myths" was daunting, but Rob Levin had had his eye on a talent named Jorge Molina, who turned out to be perfect. "Once Rob showed me Jorge's samples, I knew immediately that he was our guy," Faerber said. "And the fact that he inked and colored the book himself is just amazing. He really delivered the full package. He's easy to work with and very enthusiastic. He took my script and made it better, which is all you hope for in an artist."
Though "Urban Myths" certainly lays the groundwork for an ongoing series, Faerber promised readers that the Pilot Season one-shot would be a standalone story unto itself. "I don't think it's fair to end one of these things on a cliffhanger, in case the book doesn't become a series," Faerber said. "I want it to be entertaining in its own right, as a single story."
When it comes to his book's chances in the competition, Faerber is hoping to win by default. "I tried to charter a boat with all of my distinguished competition as passengers, so I could then sink it," Faerber confessed. "But they all said they had other plans. So I'll just have to hope the book's good enough to win on its own merits."
"Pilot Season: Urban Myths" hits stands this week.
Now discuss this story in CBR's Image Comics forum.