We are here to talk about the Series Roche Limit with Writer Michael Moreci and Artist Kyle Charles. On March 16, 2016, Roche Limit: Monadic Issue #1 comes out via Image Comics the third and final arc of the Roche Limit series. The first issue of this arc arrives on March 16th, 2016 don’t forget to pick up the beginning of the final arc of this series.
So let’s talk about Roche Limit, how would you describe the series?
KC-Hmm, I’d describe Clandestiny as a new flavor of Kool-aid that you swear you’ve heard of/tasted before but every time you get to swirling in the sugar it slaps you in the cerebral cortex. It’s familiar but at the same time experimental. We all tried to make a cool comic that had something to say and a new perspective on old tropes. For the most part, I think we did that and although we’re not the most popular comic on the shelves we’re happy with the outcome of that volume.
What is the Collaborative Process between both of you like for an Issue of Roche Limit?
MM-Kyle and I are in a pretty sweet spot right now, in that we both get each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Kyle covers my ass a lot, and I know what to write that will really get him going. I think we both like going for the moon in terms of our ambitions, so it makes for a good pairing of two people who both want to do big, crazy things.
KC-Our process is pretty standard, Mike provides the script and I read it over once. Then start breaking it down into scenes and thumbnail pages. Mike and I can say very little to each other because we know what kind of visual narrative the story should have. We love a lot of the same movies, writers, directors etc. so it’s easy to know what he wants and he knows what I can give him. Then we have Matt come in and boost that shit to the next level with his sense of mood and atmosphere. Ryan then sprinkles his lettering skills over it and boom, final product. We really are becoming a great team together.
As you prep to finish the series, what were some of the inspiration/influences in scripting and designing this final arc? How does it feel to begin the final arc of the Roche Limit Series?
MM-Dark City played a huge role in shaping my thinking, philosophy, and aesthetic. I’d also throw in 2001 and the Asimov Foundation Trilogy. Still, it’s Roche Limit through and through. We have big ideas, deep philosophies, and a crazy sci-fi/noir that any reader has known and come to expect. We really bring together the threads of Anomalous and Clandestiny, in story and philosophy, and make the Roche Limit experience a comprehensive whole.
KC- I didn’t do as much designing on Monadic as I did on Clandestiny. It’s been a streamlined process so far. Mike added some reference into the script because our setting is much different than the last volume. We’re in cities, elevators, hotel rooms and train stations for this one and Mike has a specific idea of what he wants to see. I know Mike isn’t super happy to see the series go because it’s his baby but I’m looking forward to giving a sweet ending that fans of the book will hopefully love.
The First two arc’s genres of the Roche Limit series were markedly different, is Monadic a different sci-fi genre or a mix of the other two arcs? Kyle were there any stylistic changes with the Artwork for this Arc?
KC-I kinda feel like it’s a mix. Clandestiny was a survival horror with some strong action and the first volume was pure sci-fi noir, there’s a nice cocktail of the two in this book so far. But it’s definitely more in line with the style of the first volume which I know will make some fans happy. We do noir really well, I think Mike was a bit surprised when my pages started coming in. I know he’s aware of how much I love David Fincher and that style of movie/story, but I can boldly agree with him in saying this is my best work so far.
There’s a noticeable difference in my style, Clandestiny was a weird time for me and I think that showed up in the artwork. It was all over the place and it has a hallucinatory feel, like a wild mushroom high. Some of that was because Mike wrote a fucked up story and some of it was me trying new things. It made for an interesting book. That’s all I care about.
What is something you learned about yourself/Comics/Collaboration from creating and working on Roche Limit?
MM-I learned a ton–I’ll always say that this is the book that marked my career. It reinforced, for one thing, my love of sci-fi and how perfect the genre is for what I want to do as a creator. It also gave me the confidence, and all thanks to the readers for this, to go tell this kind of existential story and be as philosophical and challenging as I feel like I need to be. This book changed the course of my career and life, and really brought out the best of me as a writer. I’ll miss writing it, always, but I couldn’t be more grateful that it exists.
KC- I learned that I really like working with Mike and Matt. That our best work is still ahead of us if only for one reason, all three of us grow stronger creatively with each issue.
This being the final arc for Roche Limit did you come across any creative challenges for the series? What will you miss about Roche Limit?
KC-The challenge is just making a strong effort look easy on the pages. You can get caught up in the idea of “If I draw the shit out of this and show how hard I’m trying, people will like that” because that’s not necessarily true. Drawing Monadic has been infinitely easier than Clandestiny, some of that is experience but it’s mostly an inner ease, knowing that your efforts in hours doesn’t equal success on the page (or ultimately, sales).
Because I’m Canadian and my love of hockey run deep, I usually compare my career efforts with hockey. I’ve been gripping my stick too tight, focusing on scoring too much, chasing after the puck instead of letting the game come to me. Trust your skills and let your training take a back seat and go out there and play the game your way.
I’m not over thinking my layouts, I’m not over doing it on detail, I’m picking my shots to service the story and always reminding myself that less is more.
How has this process of being a Creator owned project differ from other projects you have done?
MM-No other publisher on Earth would let us be as grand, ambitious, and weird as Image has lets us be on Roche Limit. There’s no way. The books is too risky, too anti-mainstream, and too messy. But I like all those things–I make art because I want to say something, hopefully, important. And nothing worth saying was uttered without rattling some cages.
KC- For me it hasn’t, I’ve been at one publisher in my nearly three-year-old career and that’s Image. How I broke in might be the best way to do so. Graduate from college, gain an incredible mentor like Nat Jones, have him groom your skills and then give you your break. I did a pin-up that led to a one shot, the one shot led to a mini-series and the mini-series led me to Roche. It was a smooth transition and to be where I am this quickly isn’t just luck, I’m 29 years old and have been drawing for 26 years, I’ve drawn my ass off but I know how shitty it’s been for some other creators to break in so I’m very thankful for my path.
What one piece of advice would you give comic book writers and artists about pursuing Creator owner books?
MM-Don’t let anyone tell you what you can and can’t do–and don’t wait for anyone to give you permission to create. Go, do it. No one’s going to make your art for you, no matter what stage of your career you’re in–so go learn to do it yourself.
KC- I’m going to speak to the young people, instead, the young artists who are ready to take a step forward but are scared.
Live life. Don’t go to college right out of high school. That’s silly. Gain some experience. Find out who you are. Break yourself apart and fail as hard as you can, then get up and get back to the fight. Then, do it all over again. Get used to failing, the experience of doing so is the most valuable tool I have.
I’m a minority, First Nations, and here in Canada, we are the lowest rung and treated so. Being resilient is a part of my DNA. It’s made me who I am and has helped me succeed. I’ve sat on the Board of Directors for a charter high school for at risk youth because of my path. From a criminal to a university student in the span of days, now I’m here.
So if you think it’s impossible, that you’re incapable, it’s not, and you ABSOLUTELY are capable. Also, if you feel like there is a system pushing against you, trying to silence your artistic voice and bury you in self-doubt, there is. It’s up to each individual to decide whether or not they have the vision, determination, and strength to do it anyways because the world needs us. We (artists in any field) scare the powers that be, the ability to inspire people is a strength that’s worth the struggle.
And this will never be easy, not if you decide to quit and forfeit your artistic voice to the every day and not if you push forward and stay the course. I feel like my generation wants it quick. It will never be that way, and as soon as it is, that’s the exact moment you should be questioning the reality of your situation.
Also, draw the head, spine, and knees first.
What can the readers look forward to with Issue #1 of the Monadic Arc? And the final arc of the series?
MM-Well, let’s be honest–this is not a good jumping on point. It just isn’t. But if you’ve liked Roche Limit so far, Monadic will keep the good times going as we conclude the trilogy in a satisfying, I hope, way.
KC- Some readers will love that we’ve returned to the roots of Roche with the noir aspect, and some will love that there’s strong philosophical questions, others will come for the Roche and stay for the Limit. It’s great writing, sexy art and an overall need of sales so I can stop living on people’s couches. I want to be a real boy!
Is there anything else you would like to tell the readers and where readers can find your work and where can people get in touch with both of you? What is next for you both?
MM-I’m about to hunker in and start writing the first in a series of sci-fi novels coming from St. Martin’s Press in 2017. I’m over the moon to be writing books again, and I’m lucky to have a terrific editor and a great publisher to work for. I also have a new comic series launching in June, which is going to scare the pants off of people. I cannot wait to get that rolling.
And you can find me on twitter at @michaelmoreci, or you can check out my website: michael-moreci.squarespace.com.
KC-Sure, readers, you can find Roche Limit vol 1 and 2 at local comic shops as of now, trades. Vol 3 as well when it drops. And you can find me on the corner of 124th st and 105 ave, living in a sweet, dingy old pink walk up apartment. Drop by for beers whenever. If you can’t make it, you can find me @kylecharlesart on Twitter.
Next for me is Time Served at Heavy Metal, an 8 page short in Grant Morrisson’s first issue as E-I-C, which is incredible because he’s my favorite writer and has spoken up about the inhumane conditions of First Nations people living on reserves, so that won my heart and made my mom fall in love with him immediately. After that, hopefully, I’ll have impressed Grant with my art that he will ask me to join him on a spiritual journey, and we can make a book about the struggle of the modern First Nations people (and if you can’t read between the lines, I’m being facetious). UNLESS he actually did, then, I’m being deadly serious. Cheerio.
The Geeked Gods remember to pick up the Ist issue of the Final Arch Roche Limit Monadic on March 16, 2016, and the previous volumes are available wherever you pick up comics.