Friday, 22 April 2011

One Question Interview #23: Joey Weiser

One of the thumbnails depicting Weiser's original, slightly darker Cavemen in Space ending

As one of the very first creators that we interviewed on the blog, we’re very pleased to have Joey Weiser back to kick off our second wave of One Question Interviews. The man behind Cavemen in Space, The Ride Home, and Mermin, Weiser is responsible for some of the most accessible and appealing all-ages comic work available at the moment. Also, he draws the weekly giant-monster kaiju-inspired webcomic Monster Isle, which is obviously the best genre a webcomic can possibly be.

Catching him off-guard, we jumped at the chance to talk to him after he hinted on his Twitter account that his 2010 AdHouse all-ages graphic novel, Cavemen in Space originally concluded a little differently.

Q: Is it true that Cavemen in Space originally had a different ending?

Yes!  I recently mentioned this on Twitter, because it’s been about a year since my fundraiser to publish the Cavemen in Space graphic novel.  The original concept for how the book ends had a much different twist.
In the original ending, the crew of “The Wheel” still successfully defends their space station from the Zanntu invasion, but ultimately the Earth is still taken over by the alien empire.  This take-over leads to Professor Casimir’s experiment being shut down, and then the characters are given the same choice to either return back to the past, or live with the Professor as his assistants, now under Zanntu rule.

This ending was one of the very first ideas when I was brainstorming for the book, along with the final conclusion with who decides to return to the past, and the very last panel.  It stuck around through all the outlines, the pitching process, and even into first draft or two of thumbnails.  The concept came to me because I was actually working for a company at the time that was purchasing and integrating other companies into them.  It was interesting to me because it was certainly difficult, and not many employees actually transitioned over unfortunately, but life goes on for better or worse.

However, as I continued to work on the book, it grew into another thing, and this idea wasn’t working for me as much in the end.  I think it’s a good twist for “twist’s sake,” but it didn’t really reflect the kind of ending I wanted anymore.  Plus, I became more concerned about Casimir’s growth, and thought that it was better for his character if he made the decision himself to shut down “Project: Cavemen” rather than just being forced to.

Our gratitude goes to Joey for being so nice about us accosting him on Twitter for this answer. If this feature left you a bit mystified, Cavemen in Space can be previewed and purchased over on the AdHouse site. He'll be debuting new work as part of the 2011 Fluke Anthology (see our post about last year’s here) at FLUKE! 2011 in Athens, GA.  Our personal favourite of Weiser’s characters, Mermin, was most recently seen in this gorgeous illustration he did for the Drawn for Them ♥ Japan Tumblr. Yes, you’re quite right, he does make a lot of neat stuff, doesn’t he? It would only be right to buy one of everything on his webstore now.

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