Published on March 21st, 2018 | by Dana Folkard0
CHRISTIAN CARNOUCHE INTERVIEW – THE RESURRECTED
Australian comic book writer, Christian Carnouche, has just released the first issue of his new comic book miniseries, The Resurrected on Kickstarter. The Resurrected is a story about redemption, the acceptance of our mortality and about how far one Aboriginal-Australian detective will go to save his people from certain extinction. Impulse Gamer was lucky enough to chat to Christian about his gritty sci-fi thriller, his inspirations for the story and some of the challenges that he encountered.
For those who are hearing about The Resurrectedfor the first time, can you give us a brief summary of the story and introduce the key players?
The story is set 2037 five years after Australia was ravaged by a techno-plague. The Drexler Nanotech Corporation has created a serum engineered to resurrect the dead; however the ethical implications were widespread and the serum was ultimately banned the world over.
It is in this setting, that an Aboriginal-Australian detective, Cain Duluth, and his Japanese-American partner, Akimi Ozaki, work for the Special Division for the Resurrected (SDR) in Nova Lucis. Their mission is to pursue and permanently detain ‘Rezzies’ (individuals who have been resurrected using the prohibited serum). Their investigation of a brutal murder of a Rezzy launches Cain and Akimi into a clash with Drexler Nanotech and its enigmatic CEO, Xander Calypse, in a bid to save Cain’s people from almost certain extinction. If they are to succeed, Cain must re-discover his Indigenous roots, while also finally learning to overcome the loss of his family who died in the techno-plague
This is an interesting concept. Can you tell me how you came up with this idea and what inspired it?
I guess the concept for the series came to me in different waves. I’ve always been interested in the fragility of our mortality, and how we deal with it, so I knew I wanted to write a story that somehow broached the subject of the quest for eternal life. I believe that how we deal with death and loss goes a long way towards shaping who we are and that living well is about accepting death as a natural part of life.
Secondly, I wanted my protagonist to be Indigenous-Australian. As an Australian, I’m ashamed about how the local indigenous population was treated, and continues to be, so I thought I could play a very small part in getting a positive message out there. The plot in many ways echoes the colonial history of Australia and as the series develops, we will explore episodes in our history, such as the ‘Stolen Generations.’ That wasn’t the only reason I chose an Indigenous protagonist though. I grew up in an area in Sydney that has a lot of Indigenous yet I rarely see Indigenous characters in mainstream media, especially in comics. So I thought it would be cool to represent them in a positive light in my own series.
As for the fictional setting of Nova Lucis, the newly created United Nations city-state off the east coast of the United States, I think I was inspired by my own work here at the UN, where everyone is from everywhere.
Were there any challenges you encountered when tackling such a politically charged story such as this?
The story hasn’t been published yet so the only politically charged challenges have really only existed within my own mind, such as the fact that I’m not indigenous, yet I’m writing an Indigenous protagonist. My solution to this was to conduct extensive research and to have Indigenous friends and peers review my story and some of the artwork.
I do though expect to receive the usual criticism that people encounter when they try to highlight issues about racism in Australia, i.e. Australia was ‘settled’ not ‘invaded,’ Indigenous should just suck it up and move on etc. etc. I believe in what I’m doing so I’m not too bothered by that to be honest.
I also have a diverse cast of characters in my story, such as Aboriginals, Japanese-Americans, Haitians, Lebanese, Anglo-Saxon Australians etc. so it’s possible that the #comicsgate people will complain about diversity in comics as they like to do these days. At the end of the day though, the multicultural cast simply reflects the diverse world I grew up in and continue to be part of. For me, diversity is simply a reality and I am not even trying to be more inclusive, it is just a reflection of my own life.
Without giving away any spoilers, what are some of the exciting things people can expect to see unfold over the course of the arc?
The first issue in our series poses a lot more questions than it answers. So plot-wise, it will be cool to see the answers as the plot develops.
The setting of the story will also expand, with Australia becoming the main setting for the last couple of issues. Being an Aussie, I’m particularly excited about that!
There will also be a lot more action from issue two onwards. Issue one was really just the set up to the story.
Can you tell us a little bit about your creative process?
I plotted the entire five issue series and then had my wife and a few friends look over it before passing it onto my editor, Erica Schultz, who proceeded to rip it apart… Once the story was established, I set about writing a script for each issue, which Erica also edits. I’m now about halfway through the script for issue four. I am a full script kind of guy so my scripts can take a while to write. I’m astounded how well our artists Crizam Zamora and Salvatore Aiala manage to convert my words into images.
This is my first ever comic book series so I’m improving as a script writer with every issue. That said, the scripts are getting harder and harder to write as the story become more expansive; with new locations and characters.
What can you tell us about the Kickstarter?
We finally launched the Kickstarter last Friday night:
So far it is going great guns and at the time of writing this we are 70 percent funded after only three days. That said, I’ve been incredibly lucky with all of the support from my family and friends and sincerely, this would not be happening without them.
On top of the basic comic, we also have some cool rewards, including a variant cover by Ariela Kristantina and Bryan Valenza and a print by Michael Montenat.
One thing that surprised me was how popular the ‘be a character in the comic,’ pledges were. We had eight slots in the beginning, with seven been snatched up within two days!
Issue two is complete but I’m still undecided whether I’ll Kickstart this issue.
Finally, what brought you to this moment as a creator, and did you find that living in The Netherlands made it more difficult to break into comics?
I love comics (I collect them) and I also love writing (I’m writing a novel and have a couple of blogs) so I guess it is not huge shock that I decided to write my own series.
It is quite difficult in some ways to live in The Netherlands and to create English language comics. Comics are popular here but mainly Dutch language ones and there aren’t many creators here that I can network or simply hang out with and chat about comics. Plus, my local comic book stores don’t sell single issue comics so I have to go all the way to Amsterdam to keep on top of my current reading list (which is huge!). That said, we do get some cool comic conventions here and the UK is only a train ride away so I get the chance to head over there for conventions. My favourite comic store, Henk, in Amsterdam has also offered to host a signing once my comic is printed so that is pretty cool.