One of AfterShock’s big hitters of last year was Kaiju Score by James Patrick and Marco Locati. Well, fans will be glad to hear of a second series, again with writer James Patrick with art by new incoming artist Rem Broo. Kaiju Score: Steal from the Gods debuts this April and we have a first look to share with you as well as a few words from both the writer and artist about this new book and what to expect on both the writing front and art front:
“Michelle is back, she has her own crew, and she’s making her own rules. Unfortunately, her tendency for getting into hot water still remains, and her involvement in that now-infamous job in Florida, known as the Kaiju Score, is haunting her in many different ways. It’s about to put her on a collision course with a new job, new characters, and – of course – new monsters. The second volume of the critically acclaimed, best-selling KAIJU SCORE (optioned-by-Sony Pictures) is here, and just like last time, not everyone will get out alive.”
James Patrick expands on the sequel series and where one of the characters from the first arc, Michelle, is at now:
“The new arc is about Michelle picking up where she left off at the end of the last arc. She’s moving into a new role and we’ll explore the complications of it. Oh, and there are more giant monsters. There are BIGGER giant monsters. We only scratched the surface of the kaiju in the first series, and we’re playing with a new concept here.
If the first series was about Godzilla-like monsters, this leans into some Lovecraftian ones in terms of size and concept. Add to all of that that the heist in this one has a bit of a new twist to it. Last time, they had to get close to a kaiju. This time, they have to . . . well, that would be spoiling it. But we kind of start where the last one left off and it makes sense why Michelle gets involved in another score like this after the old job in Florida. Even if she comes to regret that decision quickly.
And I’m excited because I get to expand this world, I get to push some of these characters further, and because the tone and style of this book is a blast to flex inside of. To just kind of go crazy with the swagger and dialogue. Fast cars, colorful characters, fast talking, and Rem Broo just drawing the hell out of all of it. It all mixes well and right now it’s a kickass sandbox to play in. The world is established, now we get to play in all its corners.”
And while Michelle still makes the cut, not all the characters do. And here’s why:
“I didn’t look at it specifically that way. I more started with did I have a story to tell, did any of the old characters still have a story to them, and when I figured out that one of them did, that’s when I started pushing things forward. You know, instead of it being a thing where I wanted to keep going with the concept first. It all swirls together after that, and then I tried to push the concept. But Michelle comes out of the first series in the most dramatic place of all the characters. In some ways, it feels like the most interesting part of her life is just beginning. So let’s take that journey with her. She’s not the only character from the first arc to appear – we’ll see some other familiar faces – but this is her story.” – James Patrick
On the art front, Rem Boo shares some of the inspirations he drew upon while producing this book:
“James pointed out from the beginning that the Old Ones are less Kaiju but more Cthulhu-esque like creatures. To my shame, I have not read any H.P. Lovecraft stories so far, and I only had a vague idea on how Cthulhu is generally represented – I mainly knew about the tentacles part. So my original struggle was to discover what could make the difference between the two types of creatures. So I googled it and ended up on Pinterest, where I was just randomly clicking on whatever creature seemed of somewhat interest, then skipped to another. I did this visual run for quite some time, until my head seemed that it was finally saturated with possible details and ideas. At that moment I took a break, and let everything sink in for a couple of days. Then one morning I returned to my sketch board and just randomly started to draw, with no exact purpose, just playing with the line. Slowly three creatures started to take shape, and I just started adding more and more details to them. Two of these designs became final. But since the question was aiming at something more specific, I think that the original designs for the Zerg race from the Starcraft video game are somewhat always at the base of this type of creatures for me. I studied them intensely some years ago, and they are somewhat embedded into me.”
As for his favourite moment…
“For this first issue of the new arc, I would choose the final page of Michelle and Javier’s discussion in the mansion. I find that it has a very good balance between dialogue and atmospheric panels. First you have the cumulated tension between the two characters, represented by the close up focus on Javier’s smirk and the lips of a deadly serious Michelle. Then you have a relaxed Javier who’s sure he has given the convincing final argument. But then you can almost feel the slow passing of time. Michelle takes in the situation, then without pressure drinks her whiskey and places it on the board. She gives an unexpected bold verdict, then the lights go off and finally there’s just darkness and silence left. James’ script gave me enough space where I could play and come up with elements that created, as I see it, this almost movie like scene. It’s a scene that takes it’s time, there’s no rush, but is still incredibly dense.”
Finally, Boo revels some of the challenges in tackling the art on this sequel series:
“When I read a new script page, my initial reaction is “I have no fucking idea how to put these words into a drawing”. My mind turns into a total blank and I start questioning myself: “That’s it? Did I lose my artistic skill?” I suppose it’s a reminiscence of impostor’s syndrome. So I always need to remind myself that I can do this, and I just need a little bit of time to allow the script to sink in and my mind to process all the new information. And then, a couple of minutes later, I go over the script a second time, words start to make sense and ideas simply start flooding my imagination, slowly building images. Another challenge is to learn to let go. I’m a perfectionist when it’s about art. For me every panel, every page has to look at the best my skills allow them to. And in the comics context, where as an artist speed is sometimes more important than artistic perfection (for several good reasons) that’s not necessarily good. I would like to be able to let go of adding that tiny detail in the corner of the panel, that doesn’t add anything, to a better understanding of the story that no one will notice anyway. To generally be able to simplify some aspects of my drawing style and artistic process. This is a challenge that I’m still trying to overcome.”
Kaiju Score: Steal from the Gods #1 is out Wednesday 13th April 2022 from AfterShock Comics