You don’t have to look far for doom and gloom, both in the real life and in fiction. Matt Miner and Eric Palicki are imagining a better world with a new anthology called All We Ever Wanted. The comic is described as “more Star Trek and less Mad Max.” It collects stories from creators such as Tess Fowler, Eliot Rahal, Jason Copland, Jeff McComsey, Ryan Cody, Paul Allor, Rich Douek, and more.
A Wave Blue World, the publisher for All We Ever Wanted, is currently running a Kickstarter campaign to fund the book’s release. I had a chance to catch up with Matt and Eric, who are editing the anthology, as well as contributing to it, to speak about the project.
James Ferguson: How did All We Ever Wanted come together?
Matt Miner: Eric and I decided last year, before we put together This Nightmare Kills Fascists, that we’d do these anthology projects regularly, as a way of making comics that nobody can say “no” to. We started with an extremely politically-charged book, and after that we decided to kind of do the flip-side of all the negative doom-and-gloom and imagine stories set in a better future.
Eric Palicki: Tuning into the nightly news, it sometimes seems as if reality itself looked over our shoulder while we were prepping TNKF and said, “Hold my beer.” The world as it is can grind you down after a while, so Matt and I, knowing we wanted to follow up TNKF with something, decided to turn our attention to the world as it could be.
JF: There’s an all-star list of talent involved in All We Ever Wanted. How did you curate the stories featured within?
EP: Aside from Matt and myself — and Matt doesn’t know this, but I was *this close* to giving up my story spot and sticking to editing this one before Eryk Donovan, who’s on my bucket list of collaborators, agreed to work with me — there are no repeat creators from TNKF. This is intentional. I’m truly astounded by the number of colleagues who approached me during or after the TNKF Kickstarter campaign about appearing in a follow-up, so we wanted to give as many of those creators spaces as possible.
MM: It was all a matter of approaching friends and professionals that Eric, Tyler from the publisher, and I knew and thought would be a good fit for the theme of the book. We assembled a really strong mix of seasoned pros, rising stars, and undiscovered pro-level creators doing outstanding work and looking for a way into comics.
JF: How do you define what “a better world” is? I can tell you that mine involves a lot of cookies.
MM: For me, it involves the Earth reclaiming control, things going back to a much simpler time, and humankind learning from their past mistakes. For others, they see robots and space travel and giant leaps forward in technology. We left the interpretation of the theme open for the creative teams to define themselves.
EP: I second the cookies!
For me, a better world would be using the technology we have to build up, rather than destroy. You know, most of us carry a device in our pocket with access to all the information in the known universe, and yet we’re more interested in liking photos of each others’ lunches than in using that information in any meaningful way.
I don’t talk about my day job much around my peers, but what I do when I’m not making comics is manufacture breakthrough cell therapies to treat cancers. Chimeric antigen receptor T-cells, which sounds like the sort of phrase Warren Ellis might write, but it’s all science, no fiction. For me, a better world would be one in which CAR-T research had the sort of bottomless resources presently reserved for making bombs and the bombers to drop them.
But the beauty of our new book, and it is a beauty — that Ariela Kristantina cover! — is, everyone is free to interpret for themselves how a better world ought to look.
All We Ever Wanted can be pre-ordered through Kickstarter. Rewards include the book itself, signed bookplates, other comics from the creators, original artwork, and more.