Jan Duursema and John Ostrander are doing a Kickstarter campaign for a new graphic novel about a magic user defending the galaxy during a time of great strife called Hexer Dusk. It's almost completely funded with over two weeks left, so you can help put it over the edge! I figured I'd have a talk with Jan and John about the comic and the campaign. They even shared an exclusive, never-before-seen piece of art from the project!
Where did the idea for Hexer Dusk come from? How do you go about pitching a writer on a project like this?
JAN: My initial images for Hexer Dusk were dreamed up--literally. I saw two huge Sky Cities light up and explode. I knew we only had a moment before the concussion of the blast laid waste to everything around me. Woke up—thought whoa, that was strange... Next day, I couldn't get the images out of my mind, so I started scratching out a story and drawing character sketches.
John and I always said we would create our own sci-fi series someday, so I called him and pitched it to him. Pitching John was easy because we'd done so much work on Star Wars comics like Legacy and Republic together. I told him my idea and I could tell that right off, this was the kind of story John could sink his writer's teeth into. We talked over story direction and what elements needed to go into this first Hexer Dusk story. John went off to plot and I went back to sketching characters—Hexer Xane Dusk, Scavvers, Sooz and Prybar. The Missus—700 lbs of radioactive alien muscle and her mister, Captain Skargle. KOMBOT, the homicidal combat bot.
John, does your prior experience with Jan allow you to sort of have a shorthand with her, where you can see where she's coming from on a topic before she elaborates?
JOHN & JAN: Absolutely. We don’t exactly read each other’s minds, but we can sense each other’s intent. We also hammer out the plot together and that really creates a synergy. We know how to do this kind of stuff; we’ve done it for over a decade. I think we’ve gotten pretty good at it.
JAN: About the mind reading thing—John came up with The Missus and described her to me as a large alien female. I played around sketching out examples of the character until I found her look. John said that what I came up with was exactly perfect for her.
[Jan then shared the first drawing of Missus with me - never-before-seen! - BC]
What drew you to the project, John?
JOHN: Jan came up with a really cool initial image – two great sky cities exploding and falling from the sky to the ground at the climax of a great war. From that moment so much follows—a rift in the dimensional space, that allows creatures called the Weird through to Dusk's galaxy--as well as galactic devastation. And, of course, the chance to work with Jan again. We created some epic stuff in our Star Wars work at Dark Horse and this time we get to do it with something that is OURS.
What is Hexer Dusk about?
JOHN: Its’ about survival. It’s about going on when everything you knew and the values you've held all your life have been blown away. It's about hunting the hunters when that enemies greatest desire is to to possess you. Literally. Along the way, Xane Dusk will learn things about himself and he won’t like everything he learns.
JAN: Xane Dusk is one of the last Hexers. Most of these martial magic users were killed at the end of the war. Unfortunately for the galaxy, Hexers are the only beings who can kill the Weird—other dimensional creatures that can only live in this dimension by taking over bodies—living or dead.
Do you have plans for further Hexer Dusk stories?
JOHN: Oh yes. This is just the tip of the iceberg. Everybody still remember icebergs? An iceberg in space. Space icebergs. Okay, I’m rambling.
JAN: John's right! We've got lots more ideas for Hexer Dusk stories and I'd like to get to explore this new galaxy and be able to tell those too!
There ya go, folks! Go fund Hexer Dusk! You DO remember how awesome these two were on Star Wars: Legacy, right? So come on, now!