First Comics News: Why did you decide to Co-Create “Saturn and Orion” with Ben Farreri?
Jay Huwer: Ben and I had been working together for a few years when he approached me about creating a character that fit the Daredevil or Batman style. I find that my strength is writing dark stories. This was just the project I had been looking for. The biggest challenge was to stay away from a derivative character but hold onto the style Ben was looking for. I immediately started writing a few character biographies, and, with a little refinement, Saturn and Orion were born.
1st: What makes these two heroes special?
Jay: Saturn is a hero everybody can relate to. She is young and thinks she knows it all. This creates a rebellious, arrogant attitude that puts her at odds with her father figure, Orion. Speaking of Orion, he knows how smart Saturn is and wants to guide her. He tries to foster her strengths and doesn’t want to knock her down. For him, it’s hard to show how much he cares for his adoptive daughter because Orion knows, once he lets his guard down, someone dies. Like any good parent, your kids might not like what your decisions, but ultimately, you are doing what’s best for them.
1st: What is the relationship between Saturn and Orion?
Jay: William Weiss (Orion) took Harper O’Leary (Saturn) In when she was very young. He would eventually adopt the child and began grooming her to be the heir to his empire.
1st: What powers and or abilities do Saturn and Orion have?
Jay: Saturn’s power is her mind. She is a young technological genius. She graduated early from high school a few years before her peers and skipped college. She quickly began developing gadgets to join Orion on his quest to fight crime. Orion is a bit of a mystery. Symian Labs, his corporation, has been working on genetic manipulation for many years. Some people believe he actually experimented on himself. This may explain why he hasn’t appeared to have aged in the last fifteen years. It’s also possible that his impressive strength also comes from some sort of experimentation.
1st: How would you describe Saturn and Orion’s personality traits?
Jay: Saturn is an arrogant know it all. She is very short tempered and gets easily frustrated with people who are not as smart as her. Orion is matter-of-fact. He is used to being in charge and doesn’t like when people disobey his orders. This makes him seem closed off to those closest to him, but deep down inside, he cares. Orion just has a hard time showing it.
1st: What is the storyline of “Saturn and Orion”?
Jay: A mysterious villain kidnaps a young girl in Sol City. It is up to Saturn and Orion to put together the clues and find this man before the innocent girl’s soul is sacrificed to an ancient god.
1st: Who is Zodiac?
Jay: Zodiac is our main antagonist. He’s tasked himself with honoring the old gods. These are the gods that, over time, have become myths. Zodiac discovered that if these gods don’t receive their sacrifices, they will wreak havoc on the world. If you look at the disaster stories written throughout mythology you will find what he is afraid of. Zodiac doesn’t want to sacrifice innocent people. He doesn’t have a choice.
1st: You are the writer of “Carriers”, why should people pick up this comic?
Jay: Carriers is a fun, lighthearted book. I have a blast writing those pigeons. Saturn and Orion is an entirely different animal. It’s dark and mysterious with a lot of little things going on. It’s a character driven tale that, at its heart, is a commentary on our society’s reliance on our gadgets. This is a story that pits technology against ancient mysticism.
1st: How was Pilot Studios created?
Jay: I think Ben can give you more insight on this one. I joined the studio after it’s creation. I’ve been fortunate enough to work my way into becoming a regular writer for the company.
1st: Where do you see Pilot Studios in 5 years?
Jay: Pilot Studios is growing quickly. Saturn and Orion Book One is the company’s first Kickstarter. This is designed to help expand the Pilot brand. If it is successful, I believe there will be a few more in the works. Once the fanbase learns they can depend on Pilot Studios to put out quality books, we will continue the expansion. I see us expanding the distribution and gaining a steady presence at a few more comic book conventions. We are all under Ben’s leadership. He is the brains behind the studio. I’m just trying my best to help him fulfill his goals.
1st: Do you have any ideas for other comics?
Jay: Do I ever. At this point, I’m seeing a steady stream of artwork coming in for a science fiction saga called Polaris. I also had the honor to write a major crossover for Pilot Studios called the Zion Wars. This book will take Pilot Studios’ main titles and connect them into one cohesive universe. Of course, I have a few Carriers scripts written with a few more in development. There’s also a couple of story ideas that aren’t quite ready to share just yet.
1st: What would you do with both Saturn’s and Orion’s abilities?
Jay: That’s a great question. If I could do what Saturn does, I would probably invent the first holographic chess table. That would make Star Wars fans happy.
1st: Can you tell us something about you no one else knows?
Jay: Secrets? Oh man. I’m usually an open book. That’s probably my biggest fault. I’m big on the foot-in-mouth comments. I guess my biggest motivator would also be a pretty big secret. Did you ever try something and think people are waiting for you to fail? You know if you fail everybody would simply say, “I told you, you couldn’t do it.” That’s my biggest motivation. Anytime I think about closing the laptop and walking away, I think about all those people waiting for me to fail. Those people want to tell me I couldn’t succeed at writing simply because they never tried, or they couldn’t do it. I refuse to give anyone that power. Truth is, that’s most likely all in my head, but it’s what drives me.
1st: What would you like to say to all the fans of your comics?
Jay: Thanks for your support. The Saturn and Orion Book One Kickstarter has shown me that you really believe in my writing. Ben and I put everything we had into making this book the best piece of literature we could. To see you there for us means a lot. I’d be silly not to give a special thanks to my biggest fans, my wife, and kids. They’ve put up with my insanity on a daily basis.