Writer Gustavo Higuera attended the San Diego Comic Con for the first time two years ago. Later, in 2007, he exhibited at the con with a partially completed first issue of a series based on his beliefs and research into a concept known as the Third Army. Featuring artwork by Giusseppe De Luca and Mansyur Darman with covers by Juan Ferreyra, the first issue of the three-issue miniseries Higuera's worked so passionately to bring to comics audiences, "New World Order," hits the stands in January 2008 from Shadowline and Image Comics. Higuera spoke to CBR News about the philosophies behind "New World Order" as well as his experiences getting the story published.
"The story is about a global movement called the Third Army whose purpose is to expose the forces of the New World Order, who wish to establish a one-world government to enslave mankind," Gustavo Higuera told CBR News. "The central characters are the Third Army's leader, Max, and a group of young truth seekers who track down the world's greatest modern revolutionary thinkers in order to prepare the world for a new age of enlightenment by the means of an intellectual re-evolution.
"In short though, 'New World Order' is about giving 'the man' the middle finger."
Higuera's story, though fantastical, has its roots in his own experiences and those of people he's encountered. "My main inspiration has been my own quest as a truth seeker that started at a very young age," Higuera explained. "I've always been fascinated by history, the mysterious and unknown. This fascination brought me to meet Jordan Maxwell about six years ago, who became the main inspiration for 'New World Order' and a basis for the character of Max."
Jordan Maxwell is an occult researcher, author and radio host. "They call him the 'Godfather of Secret Societies,'" said Higuera, "and he's thought to be one of the pioneers of the movement to expose the 'powers that be' controlling and manipulating our world behind-the-scenes. It was through Jordan that I got to meet some of the world's most revolutionary thinkers and became exposed to a world I never imagined existed.
"I found out that most of the work done by these activists was almost never given the attention it deserved and was often criticized by the mainstream media as being the ravings of crazed conspiracy theorists," Higuera continued. "It's only until recently, that we have started to see their ideas come more and more into the mainstream like 'The DaVinci Code' and 'National Treasure,' but almost always these ideas are used as a gimmick and never given the full attention they deserve. That's why I decided to create a comic book that would be a true homage to these truth seekers and would dare to ask the questions that no one has had the guts to explore."
Although "New World Order" is set in a fictional world very much like our own, everything in the series comes from ideas and concepts that exist in the real world. "Even the idea of the Third Army itself has a basis in the occult and is a reflection of the underground movement led by truth seekers in the world today," Higuera said.
A unique feature of the book, furthering its sense of verisimilitude, is that each issue features a character based on a real-life figure in the field Higuera is exploring. Said the scribe, "I wanted to do this because they are essentially what this series is about, ordinary people who are pursuing the extraordinary." For example, the first issue of "New World Order" features UFO researcher Doctor Roger Leir.
"I realize this may seem far-fetched and crazy to some people but this kind of stuff is very real to millions around the world, just like many of the other themes my comic deals with," said Higuera. "The question about the validity and truth of these concepts is another story, though. Some of the stuff out there is just completely off-the-wall, while some things like Dr. Leir's research are truly a mystery. I don't think we'll ever find out the 'truth' about these ideas, but I think they are really more of an indication of where we are as a species. "
As one might surmise from the zeal with which Higuera talks about the subject matter of "New World Order," the book is similarly expressive of Higuera's philosophies. "The book, in essence, is a reflection of some of my own personal beliefs and I am very passionate about many of the themes the comic book explores," the author said. "The destruction of the environment, the quest for truth and knowledge, the search for peace and end to war, these are all things that are very dear to me and you can see it in the story of my comic."
Higuera added, "I really try to make a point not to jump to any conclusions in my comic, though, but rather my hopes are that it will inspire readers to 'do their homework,' and perhaps in the process they will discover ideas and concepts they may not have even known existed because, in essence, the readers are the real Third Army and it's up to them to make a choice for a better tomorrow."
The book was in fact titled "Third Army," originally. "Shadowline didn't feel 'Third Army' summed up what the comic book was about and suggested I try to come up with a more powerful name," said Higuera. "[Shadowline head] Jim Valentino then suggested 'New World Order' and that pretty much nailed it, I think.
"Not knowing anything about how comics were made I had to do a lot of research and had trouble finding an artist at first," said Higuera. "Luckily I had help along the way from professionals in the business and was able to find an Italian artist named Giusseppe De Luca to work on my first issue and he did some amazing work. Unfortunately, Giusseppe couldn't finish the miniseries, but lucky for me I was able to find another great artist from Indonesia named Mansyur Darman to take over and the colorist Guillermo Ucha from the first issue stayed on to do the colors for the rest of the miniseries.
"As for the covers, there's a little story there," said Higuera. "I was in Wizard World LA early this year when I attended a lecture by Marc Silvestri and he said something that stuck with me. He said the #1 piece of advice he could give to new creators was to find an established artist to do a cover. I went home and started thinking about this immediately and the first person who came to my mind was the artist of 'Lazarus' and 'Rex Mundi,' Juan Ferreyra. I found Juan on the Internet and was surprised to find out he was accepting commissions. I jumped on this and he pretty much nailed the concept for New World Order in the cover he made for issue one. Once we got picked up, he was glad to come on board to do covers for the entire series.
"Originally, my plans were to self-publish this series on my own, but when I had the first issue complete and in my hands I figured, what the heck, so I sent off about half-a-dozen copies to several publishers, Shadowline being at the top of my list. I got a response from [Editor] Kristen Simon the next morning and by that afternoon I had pretty much got a publishing contract. It all happened so quickly that I could hardly believe it. I still can't. I couldn't have found a better place to get my start in comics."
At the moment, there are only plans to publish the one three-issue miniseries through Shadowline, but Higuera hopes we'll get to see more of his creation. "I would love to keep the series going though but that all really depends on how well it does," he said. "As you know, it's pretty hard to break-in to this business as a newcomer but I've been getting a good response so far. "
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