Scott McDaniel talks about I.T.: THE SECRET WORLD OF MODERN BANKING
Scott McDaniel: Mom is doing very well! She has been battling colorectal cancer since 2014 (now diagnosed as stage 4). It’s a hard battle, but she fights bravely and we trust Jesus for every step. Throughout her fight, our circle of online friends have given her the superhero name “Warrior Woman,” and it fits her pretty well.
Scott: BlackBox Comics is me and Dimitrios Zaharakis, a banking I.T. executive who has worked for many financial institutions, large and small. It was the abusive corporate environments that persist in that industry, along with the devastating financial crisis over the last ten years, that motivated the creation of this book. He’s the pro regarding the banking industry, and I’m the pro regarding comics — it’s a perfect match!
1st: Why is BlackBox Comics the right home for I.T.?
Scott: We had a few established publishers interesting in us. However, the story for I.T. is so unlike any other comic, we decided the title would perform best under our direction. Dimitri and I share a desire to work outside of the typical comic book story box by creating realistic storylines. Once we formed BlackBox Comics, we were free to pursue any additional content we wished. And we are vigorously pursuing a wide range of great new ideas, so stay tuned!
I.T. doesn’t feature superheroes, mutants, monsters, magic, aliens, or any other over-the-top fictional element that is so common in comics. The power of I.T. lies in the sheer power of the financial industry as well as the caustic interpersonal conflicts that go on in the corporate banking environment. There are many people that suffer various types of abuse at work, and we think many people will see themselves in the pages of I.T.
1st: Who’s working on I.T. with you?
CREATOR/PRODUCER/EDITOR: DIMITRIOS ZAHARAKIS
WRITER/PENCILER/ASST ED: SCOTT MCDANIEL (Daredevil, Nightwing, Batman)
INKER: ANDY OWENS (Batman, Superman, Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
COLORIST: Teodoro Gonzalez (Executive Asst: Assassins, Pathfinder: Goblins)
LETTERER: TAYLOR ESPOSITO (Constantine, Bodies, New Suicide Squad)
1st: Neither information technology nor banking sounds like exciting careers. Is this similar to the Accountant movie?
Scott: Great observation about the commonly perceived staid banking career! And I too felt the same way before taking on this work! I thought banking was conducting by quiet, reserved, detail-oriented bean-counters who were supremely satisfied when the sum of column A matched the sum of column B. No drama, no flair, no conflict. Just math! Thanks to Dimitrios, I discovered that this image was completely wrong.
The reality is that banking is far more dynamic. Fundamentally, banking is all about risk management. Banks make the vast majority of their profits by making loans, and making loans is inherently risky business. It’s all about maximizing the creative power of profit and minimizing the destructive power of risk. Because of fractional reserve banking, those potential rewards and risks get intensely magnified.
Human behavior being what it is, risky business attracts risk-seeking people, those who are excited when engaged in potentially dangerous activity. So the reality is that banking is an industry that is literally churning with energy.
Add to all this risk-taking activity the most volatile passion of the human heart: the love of money. The love of money is the root of all evil. Like gasoline on a fire, this love of money can ignite passions that set everything on fire. Let the fun begin!
Our secret world of banking is full of office politics, internal deception, cover-ups, scams, frauds, unprofessionalism, jealousy, hatred and revenge perpetrated by a staff comprised mostly of lunatics, bullies, womanizers, man-eaters and sharks.
As for the Accountant – I didn’t see it, and I don’t know its story. The closest pop culture reference I can offer is that I.T. is like “Jerry Maguire meets Wall Street!”
Scott: Evan Adonis is a true hero. He strives to love his family well, excel in his work, and be loyal to his friends and colleagues even at his own expense. He was raised in a home that valued love, truth, honor, respect and charity. The secret world of modern banking, with its hatred, lies, deceit, revenge, selfish schemes, etc., is a direct affront and challenge to everything he was taught and that he believes.
Socially, Evan grew up poor and in a very rough neighborhood. He knows how to defend himself. And he isn’t afraid to fight.
Professionally, Evan works for People’s Trust Bank of New York in the position “I.T. & Operations.” He is exceptionally skilled at his work. But Evan is disgusted by the total lack of accountability for bad actions, and by the total lack of willingness of management and authorities to even acknowledge they occur. Legislation abounds, but enforcement is never present. He is disgusted at how many good people are manipulated and abused simply because they are too weak or too afraid to fight back.
Evan is not afraid. He will fight back.
1st: What is it that Evan Adonis discovers?
Scott: Great question! I don’t want to give away any secrets, so I’ll simply offer the following. The bank’s I.T. expert works at the nexus of the bank’s communications and data networks: phone, internet, email, internal systems, and access to private customer databases. Nothing is hidden from his view, and consequently, all manner of corruption is clearly revealed. ALL MANNER of corruption!
1st: Who wrote the code?
Scott: Lol! Sounds like a line out of “Pirates of the Caribbean!”
You’ll have to read the story to find out!!
1st: Is I.T. a mini-series or on-going?
Scott: I.T. is an on-going series. I’m writing the second story arc right now!
1st: What makes I.T. so cool that no true comic fan should miss it?
Scott: I.T. is a must-read for several reasons. First, it pulls the curtain back on the world of modern banking. Beneath its calm and quiet exterior, banking is literally churning with energy, most of which is destructive to those trying to do honest work. Second, Evan Adonis is a true hero. He fights for everything that is right and honest and true, and he’s willing to sacrifice himself for his friends. Third, Evan Adonis is YOU. This world can be a dark and brutal place, and here is a guy who bravely walks through the darkest shadows and hottest fires because it is the right thing to do. In that, we hope to inspire you to keep moving onward, and to keep moving upward.