First Comics News: What is the story in “Void Trip”?
Ryan O’Sullivan: Void Trip is the story of the last two humans left alive, Ana and Gabe, on a road trip through the intergalactic highway of space, to the promised land of Planet Euphoria. Chasing them on this journey is an all-white, nameless, gunslinger, who might just be the long-forgotten god of the human race. Void Trip aims to answer that old question of “how can we be free in a universe that won’t allow it?” and is equal parts comedy and tragedy. If you’re a fan of comics that will give you laughter, tears, and existential dread in equal measures, Void Trip is the comic for you!
1st: Why will readers identify with Ana and Gabe?
Ryan: Because they’re two halves of the same coin. Ana is the young, carefree, hippy. She lives in the moment and all that matters to her is living her life freely, no matter the cost. Gabe, on the other hand, is an older dude. He’s been around a while. He knows how things work. He knows that to be free in life you have to play along with the system a bit. He knows true freedom is just a dream.
I think everyone I’ve ever met falls into one of these two camps. So having our heroes, who are both absolute hippies by their very nature, not necessarily see eye-to-eye, provides for an exciting dynamic relationship with a lot of conflicts.
1st: What is a froot?
Ryan: Froot is an analog for drugs. In our story, Ana and Gabe get high by eating psychedelic space froot. Originally we’d conceived of Void Trip as a road-trip drug story for kids, with our heroes getting “sugar highs” from eating too much froot. When we realized that Image Comics probably wouldn’t let us tell an all-ages drugs story, we decided to change the story severely. We kept the froot, though. Because by that point we’d grown to love it.
1st: Why are Ana and Gabe together?
Ryan: They’re the last two humans left alive for one thing. But the main reason they’re together is that they’re almost like a family. Gabe is the bad mentor, Ana is the bad pupil. They need each other more than they realize, especially in a universe where everyone is out to get you. They also like each other, despite their incessant arguing.
1st: What is the setting for “Void Trip”?
Ryan: The intergalactic highway. The road between the stars.
1st: Which character Ana or Gabe do you identify with the most?
Ryan: I identify with both of them. And not just because writers put a lot of themselves into their characters, but because they both represent different sides to me. Ana is that angry optimist, who wants to force the world around her to play by her rules, whereas Gabe is the hopeful pessimist, who wants to find happiness in the small freedoms you can eke from existence. I probably lean more towards Ana than Gabe, although she’s not an author surrogate by any means. Ask me this same question tomorrow and I’d probably say I identify more with Gabe.
1st: What was the thing you enjoyed the most about working on “Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III”?
Ryan: I’ve been a Warhammer fan all of my life, so being able to write something in that universe was absolutely incredible. It’s such a rich, diverse, and subtle universe. Very challenging to write for. Very rewarding too. The part I enjoyed the most, however, was working with the illustrator, Daniel Indro. He’s fantastic artist, and he gelled really well with the minimalist scripts I wrote for that series. Our sensibilities coalesced well on that series. I’m excited to work with him again.
1st: Why is “Turncoat” a book people should pick up?
Ryan: With Void Trip issue #1 coming out on November 22nd, Turncoat would be a good book for people to pick up to see how Klaus and I started working together. I think you can see our progress as a creative team. So for people who are into that kind of stuff, it’s worth picking up. Plus, even though it was our first book, I still think it holds up. I still miss writing about the characters. Duke, Scarebear, Galadorin, and all the rest. We had a lot of fun playing with those guys and gals.
1st: “The Evil Within The Interlude” is this comic going to give people nightmares?
Ryan: Probably not, because it’s not pure horror. It, much like the games, is an adventure story as well as a horror story. It does cover a lot of unsettling themes and topics though. And I did have a fair few nightmares when writing it. So…perhaps?
1st: What makes a writer a great writer?
Ryan: Knowing how bad you are, and smashing through those limitations to make ground-breaking work. This might seem like pseudo self-deprecation, but it’s not. All writers think they’re brilliant, you wouldn’t put pen to paper and ask to be paid for it if you didn’t think you were good at it. But it’s the good writers who know their own limitations and strive, endlessly, to push beyond them. It’s the great writers who do push beyond them.
1st: What do you have planned next?
Ryan: I’m under NDA for the future licensed books I’m doing. I’ve got a creator-owned series coming out next year with a publisher I’ve never worked with before. And I think Klaus and I may have another book in the pipeline. Plus the trade collections of everything I’ve been doing this year are due to drop late 2017/early 2018.
1st: Would you ever try a froot?
Ryan: I would try anything once.
Rich: What comics besides your own would you recommend?
Ryan: Comics I’m enjoying right now: Limbo, Angelic, Black Mumba, Brigands, Arcadia, Turncoat (the other one), Savage Town, Wolfenstein, Quake, Darth Vader, Old Man Logan, Astro City, All-New Wolverine, X-Men Gold, Berserk, Yotsuba&!, and Junji Ito’s work in general.
1st: Any final words for your fans?
Ryan: Void Trip #1 is out on November 22nd in all good comic stores and online at Comixology. You can find me on twitter at @ryanosullivan and you can email me on email@example.com. If you’re at New York Comicon this year, you can find me at the Image booth at 5 pm on Friday 6th October. I’ll be giving away free previews of Void Trip Issue #1 alongside Plaid Klaus.