Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Jupiter - An Interview with Drew Sumner

Jupiter is a man with a past, a really cool, movie star, pro wrestling past. That's all behind him now though and what's ahead has pointy teeth and has kidnapped a whole bunch of scientists. It's going to take more than elbow drops and high flying footwork to solve this case!

Presented in black and white (like a proper noir) Jupiter is the first chapter in a Ghostbusters meets Raymond Chandler world full of Femme Fatales, ghosts, dropkicks and tommy guns. 

The flashbacks to Jupiter's past wrestling career gives a weight to the character and works well with the Mike Mignola style inking.

The whole concept of the comic is great, the image of a luchadore in a detective outfit walking through the grim dark streets is not something that will leave my mind and just fills me with thoughts of the possibilities of what we see next, and I WANT to see what happens next, this comic has me wanting more!

So me and Drew had a little Q&A about the comic, some coming development for Jupiter and which dip is best for a Churro...

Hi Drew, how's it going?

Really well thanks, I headed off to Birmingham MCM last week for my first con in over a year so it’s been hectic, but exciting

Who are your favourite comic book characters?

I really love Scott Pilgrim, mainly because when the books were coming out I too was a twenty-something, unemployed bass player who had been through a messy breakup, so I definitely related to Scott. Not quite so much punching in my day to day though.

I also really love James Kochalka in American Elf, though he’s drawing himself so I’m not sure if that counts

Oh and Batman. Batman rocks.

And artists?

Well Bryan O’Malley was a massive influence on me along with a HUGE list of others but if I was being picky I’d probably have to say Jeffrey Brown, James Kochalka, Darwin Cooke, Chris Ware, and Box Brown

What about writers?

I think Garth Ennis would certainly be up there as he really manages to combine that dark sense of humour with clever, personal messages in his work. Along with all the guys above I mentioned I’d add John Allison, Justin Jordan and Ryan North

What's on your pull list right now?

I work part time in a comic book shop so I’m really spoilt for choice but favs at the moment would include Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, The Spread, Batgirl, Lumberjanes, Rat Queens, The Manhattan Projects, Saga and Rocket Racoon

Now onto the comic...

What were some influences to you story wise apart from the Luchadores?

Well I’m a huge movie nerd and I love genre mashups, like for instance with my last book ‘Sheriffs Of Nottingham’ you have wild west lawmen plucked from 1880’s Texas and dumped in modern day Notts city centre, so the idea was putting Spaghetti western characters into a Shane Meadows movie. 

With this I was reading a lot of Raymond Chandler and watching films like Chinatown whilst concurrently reading through all of Hellboy and BPRD, so that’s how I dreamed up the world Jupiter is in. 

I also really have a thing for grind house movies, a sub-genre of that was the lucha libre monster movies like El Santo vs The Screaming Banshee where these masked muscle men went up against demons and vampires and stuff, for no real reason. Fascinates me that that was a thing, so I decided to do my own and have a guy who could beat up ghosts and whatnot.

I love the idea of a Luchadore Detective, what made you think of it?

I doodled Jupiter at work one day, just in his wrestling gear, leaping through the air looking all luchadore-y and started to wonder who he was and what his backstory was, I then drew him some more, in a suit at one point and it all started to fall together from there really.

I can imagine that his mask gets quite smelly after a long day of Detective work and Wrestling, does he have several of the same mask or different designs in the wardrobe?

A luchadores mask is a sacred object, in real life some wrestlers will change theirs if they change the persona they wrestle under but in the world of Jupiter it’s an important and powerful artifact passed down from his father. 

It does get a bit ripe under there from time to time though. 

Are we ever going to see him without the Mask?

One of the cool things about Lucha Libre wrestling I found out when writing the book is that they will have matches where the loser is unmasked and its this hugely shameful thing and the wrestler will retire etc, it’s a pretty massive deal.

I’m not saying we won’t ever see him sans mask but it’d be a pretty big thing if/when it happens.

Does Jupiter have other rival Wrestlers in different careers?

He does and there are parts of his past that come back to ‘haunt’ him. 

Regarding rivals, though I think his biggest problem is that he was always second fiddle to ‘El Santo’ who was a real life luchador turned movie star, in the jupiter books he’s something of a legend, the proto-jupiter almost and Jupiter sees him as a legend and mentor but also wants to get out from under his shadow, especially where monster hunting and mystery solving is concerned.

What can we expect next from Jupiter, and you?

Well I’ll be doing two more issues in this story arc and I’m hoping to get a graphic novel published later in the year featuring a huge story where we learn more about Jupiter’s past, the history of Lucha Libre and there’s a massive mystery to solve. 

I should hopefully be at ELCAF, Thought Bubble and a few other shows this year hocking my wares and scribbling all over peoples purchases.

I’m also playing with the idea of getting a quarterly anthology comic off the ground with some comicksy friends like Rachael Smith and Rob Cureton, but thats all a bit up in the air for now.

Okay now onto the quick fire round...

Marvel or DC? 

A member of the Merry Marvel Marching Society since 1992 thank you.

Mario or Sonic?

Mario. I mean, who doesn’t love an Italian dwarf in a racoon costume?

Chocolate or vanilla?

One scoop of each please.

Churros - Chocolate or Caramel dip?

Caramel all the way 

Burritos or Fajitas?

A burrito is more filling and less likely to slide down the front of your nice, new blouse.

Tequila or Mezcal?

Tequila I guess? I like that there’s a brand where the bottle comes with a tin sombrero so you can pretend your thumb is a bandito.

Captain America or Iron Man?


And finally, if you could write a story featuring any Wrestler, and you have the chance to either write in our Universe or make up a whole new one  - Who would it be and why?

It’s got to be Macho Man Randy Savage, probably in a sort of Being John Malkovich type movie where everybody is the Macho Man and the only way you can tell you’re the real macho man is because you’re the cream of the crop and you rise to the top.

Thanks for your time Andrew!

You can buy the first issue of Jupiter and buy some of Andrew's other art HERE

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