RICH INTERVIEWS: Joe Aubry Co-Writer for Space Bastards
First Comics News: How did Space Bastards come into being?
Joe Aubry: Since he was young, Eric had an idea about a sci-fi setting where every character “is a Han Solo.” We talked about it a few years ago and worked out how a future version of the postal service could encourage cutthroat competition and profit from it. We tried to make Space Bastards short films, but we weren’t able to fully present the sci-fi setting, mayhem, and pacing we wanted. Eric had done other independent comics and we decided to try to bring Space Bastards to life as a graphic novel. Once we started getting artwork depicting our characters and settings we knew we had found the best way to tell the story.
1st: Who is Postmaster General Roy Sharpton?
Joe: He’s an eccentric entrepreneur who, during a drunken personal tragedy, transformed the Intergalactic Postal Service into the most successful business of all time.
1st: Who is your favorite character and why?
Joe: Calto Fremis. He’s a minor character, and we wrote a very peripheral story delving into his life before he worked for the Postal Service. Doing that story resulted in a collaboration with Clint Langley and the end product is something I’m really proud of. Calto became a real person with more depth and complexity than I thought we’d be able to achieve in this book. His character’s story made me look at the entire Space Bastards project differently. I love the way Calto solves problems, I love his vulnerabilities and his stubbornness and I really love how Clint depicted him visually.
1st: How does it work having two writers?
Joe: It works unbelievably well. One of us starts with a story or outline and we just keep handing it back and forth, revising it until it contains only the things that thrill us or make us laugh. When something doesn’t work, we can be honest with each other and there are no hard feelings. Eric can be critical of me when I can’t be critical of myself and I think vice versa. It is very helpful to have an immediate audience in the form of a co-writer who can process something I’ve written and give feedback.
1st: Do the postal workers have obstacles besides each other when making deliveries?
Joe: Yes. Conditions in the galaxy change over the months and years and various obstacles are added and removed. Less vaguely, there are many natural planetary and interstellar hazards that can impede deliveries. The most serious obstacle for any postal carrier is usually personal. Vices, addictions, ego, etc. all get in the way of deliveries usually more so than the competition.
1st: Which Character is most similar to you?
Joe: Leroy Palestine. He’s never happy. He gripes and complains in any situation he’s in. He can never relax or go with the flow. He has a really tough time trusting other people.
1st: What is the main Drawing point of this book?
Joe: This is a graphic novel made by guys that love graphic novels. We have assembled a team of top tier artists and have written stories tailored to each’s particular artistic strength. The book can be appreciated on a surface level as a sci-fi action story and on a deeper level as cathartic social satire.
1st: What is the wildest a postal deliverer has been in making a delivery?
Joe: We try to top the violence and absurdity with each delivery, so it depends how far along you are in the series. For sheer chaos and collateral damage, I would say that Zordakk has the wildest delivery moment – in front of a hospital in a city street teeming with police, pedestrians, and half a dozen or so rival postal carriers.
1st: How do you motivate yourself to write?
Joe: I drink lots of caffeine and try to keep up with my co-writer. I don’t get to express myself creatively during my day job so stuff spills out if I have a chance to sit down in front of a keyboard.
1st: Do you think a movie about Space Bastards would work?
Joe: Absolutely, as long as there is an adequate budget. Same with a video game or a television series.
1st: What marvel or dc comic would you most like to write?
Joe: Punisher or Jonah Hex.
1st: How would I make sure I delivered the most parcels if I were a space bastard?
Joe: I’d stick to low risk, lower-paying deliveries and just try to get as many of them done as possible. Stay away from the high profile deliveries and long distances. And always pack a surprise. Gas grenade, flesh-eating bacteria, trip mines, etc.
1st: What do I have to say to all the fans of my work?
Joe: Thank you for the support! Plenty more where that came from!