A Reflection of Our Grim (?) Future
Hello Nerd Fam! It’s a big day for creator-owned comics as Mad Cave Studios debuts Don’t Spit in the Wind by Stefano Cardoselli (Writer/Artist) and Dan Lee (Colorist/Letterer), Mad Cave’s first creator-owned comic! Yay indies! We had the opportunity to talk with both Stefano and Dan about the book’s themes, their influences, and more!
Don’t Spit in the Wind Synopsis
Since the earth became inhospitable, a crew of garbage men have been tasked with cleaning up mountains of toxic waste. After descending deep inside a nuclear facility to search for a missing crew member, Rodriguez and Boy find evidence that the crew has been killed by an unknown predator. Meanwhile, Travis is trying to survive his own encounter with a swarm of locusts!
- About the book and its themes
I noticed a resemblance to the Pixar film Wall-E in the themes. Was it an inspiration? If yes, is this a movie that impacted your younger self?
Stefano: Certainly there is a strong reflection of Pixar, but if I have to be honest, I didn’t think about Wall-E as much as I did Alien, which is what I’m interested in and influenced by.
Dan: I did enjoy Wall-E (and still do!) but it was not really at the front of my mind whilst working on this book. Even though the themes are similar, the world Stefano has designed felt a lot grimmer to me. I was thinking more about Mad Max.
Why do you think people are not paying enough attention to the climate crisis besides all the evidence provided?
Stefano: I don’t want to give sermons on sermons, but it’s important to note that we certainly aren’t in good shape in terms of the environment.
Dan: I think most regular folk are busy enough just trying to earn a living, keep the roof over their heads and food on the table. But I don’t think the onerous (sic) should be put upon them. People who are already in a position to make the kinds of changes that are needed likely don’t want to because it will affect their bottom line.
Besides climate change, this book criticizes the chain of command and how rich people mistreat their workers. Why do you think comics is a medium to speak about these real-world issues?
Stefano: Most people work a lot for wages that sometimes can’t cover all expenses like bills and food, as opposed to a certain part of society that flaunts opulence and overpriced useless stuff. But obviously, I’m not a politician—I write and draw comics.
There are some religious references. Is this something the book will touch upon in later issues, or just a part of the character identities’?
Stefano: Not really, it’s definitely a characteristic that makes the identity more realistic.
- About the creators and the comic book scene
Your art style is unique. What are your influences? And why do you think we don’t see as many experimental and diverse styles in mainstream comics?
Stefano: Thank you, this is a nice compliment to say to someone who draws! My influences are definitely Moebius, Bisley, Miller and Geof Darrow.
The European comic book scene is more artistic and less commercial than in America; would you agree? What are the similarities and differences between European comics and American Comics?
Stefano: I see the opposite—the European scene seems quite conformist to me. I like to think of comics as something universal without defining them.
Dan: Beyond the work of Moebius and the series Blacksad, there is a gap in my knowledge when it comes to Euro comics. But I think it may be a misnomer to define them as ‘more artistic’. Certainly the art is beautiful in what I see, but I think there are plenty of wonderfully creative comics in the western and Asian markets to be found when you dig past the mega hits. I would offer up the beautiful series Little Bird with gorgeous art by Ian Bertram and Matt Hollingsworth to represent the western comics market and anything by Taiyō Matsumoto to represent the Asian comics market.
This is one of the first creator-owned books by Mad Cave Studios. How do you feel about it? What do you think of the current state of the Indie comic book scene?
Stefano: Like a roller coaster a little down and a little up but even there, but the health of the comics industry seems good to me and in any case! Working with Mad Cave is fantastic! Wonderful experience at every level, great respect and attention, I am extremely happy with this collaboration.
Dan: It’s been a wonderful experience working with Mad Cave on this book. They really let Stefano and myself run wild creatively and I think it has led to a really good looking book! Their promotion of the book has been a real delight to see too. As for the state of indie comics, I know things have been rough for the industry in recent years but I am incredibly excited by a lot of books I am seeing from both indie publishers and creators that are self publishing through crowdfunding. To point out a few; Pink Lemonade by Nick Cagnetti from Oni has been a real joy to read and I’m very excited for Tales to Enlighten: The New Testament from Matt King and his never ending army of artists.
There you have it folks! Don’t Spit in the Wind #1 available now so be sure to pick up a copy today!
Editor’s note: we’ve also got another great new debut issue we definitely recommend checking out: Indigo Children #1 from Image Comics. Read our review here!