Ben Templesmith has made a name as an artist with vibrant and often times gruesome images of horror and suspense. His work on "30 Days of Night" solidified his rising star status within the industry. This July he does double duty as both artist and writer of "Singularity 7" from IDW Publishing.
"Singularity 7" tells the story of seven special individuals who hold the key to saving a scorched Earth from total ruin. A nanotechnological plague threatens to take the Earth to the brink of total disaster, but these seven individuals attempt to counteract the events of the plague, giving the Earth the possibility of a real future. The recently married Templesmith took some time out of his busy schedule to talk with CBR News.
"It's like fried lamb brains chased down with 3 shots of vodka," joked Templesmith when asked to describe the series. "Really, it's just a comic, dealing with a couple concepts of nanotechnology, Armageddon, God, and a few other things I forget. Oh, and a lot of people die."
As we mentioned before, the key to survival is held by these special seven. Templesmith introduced the characters.
"There's Chon, the 'new guy.' Bit of a young punk.
"There's 'Deadeye.' An old timer who still remembers the good old days, and is a bit bitter about it, but very focused.
"Geneva. A rather arrogant lady who loves swords and guns.
"Makko. Also likes guns...and a mace. And seems to have a rather bad amphetamine habit.
"Gunnar. A hot head with a gimp mask. Apparently, he's from Iceland and he swears too much.
"Gallis, a rather snotty young man who styles himself a bit of a leader but unfortunately no one else does.
"And Acrona, a young girl. Well, she looks young at least. She's probably the oldest of the lot... being able to use the nanites she can control to permanently keep her youth.
"What'll make all these guys a bit different from the average bloke is that somehow they're immune to the nanites that are disassembling everything on the planet at a molecular level. For some reason, nanites bond with them and they get some limited control, to varying degrees and varying effect. They're not necessarily the main characters though."
But where did this nanotechnology come from that's threatening humanity as we know it?
"The nanotechnology came from...elsewhere," said Templesmith, "and simply latched onto one human as a kind of central core node...and it starts from there. He seems to have mental control over the machines that have bonded to him, and thus, as they replicate he discovers he can do things, and becomes a virtual God in a way. Problem is, it sends him crazy to. I mean, it probably would most of us if you think about it. "
Templesmith holds a fascination with the future and the technological changes it brings. Nanotechnology is just one part of that.
"Nanotechnology is already real, and getting better all the time. It has so much potential.
"I have interests in many things, just rarely get time to read up on them, so this was a bit of a good excuse. I read up on the basic principles, and a couple great books all about the potential for nano stuff, but I'm by no means dealing in the hard science as such. This is a comic book after all and I have guys running around with nano guns and nanoswords!"
With this being Templesmith's first time in front of the type writer he's seeing the creative process from a different perspective. He admit's that while having all the ideas in your head and working from that works for him, that approach doesn't exactly work for his editors. For "Singularity 7," the art and writing go hand in hand.
"I plot out the scenes themselves first in broad points, allocate page amounts to each scene, etc., then lay them out, jotting down pertinent bits of dialogue that might work as I go.
"Then I draw it all up and finalize dialogue at that point and send the whole thing off and collapse."
"The biggest challenge is actually remembering after I finish the art that I have to still be creative...usually finishing the art means I can go rest, but not with this..still have a bit more to finish, dammit!"