FRONTIERS Preview and Interview With Writer/Creator Geoffrey Ashley
By Scott Green
October 30, 2016
At Nerd-Bot Con a tag line of an upcoming publication caught my eye. That tag line: FRONTIERS is the humble story of a man destined to destroy humanity…and why that really isnt such a bad thing. I think that this would catch anyone’s attention. I spoke with Geoffrey Ashley, the writer and creator of this story. He sent me the link to download the preview issue, which I’ve included below. After reading the preview issue he was kind enough to answer some interview questions.
First the review:
This is the story of Kieran Murphy, a man working for the mysterious Curator. The story opens with Kieran about to destroy humanity. Kieran is trying to collect an artifact for the Curator and is meeting with someone sketchy, who’s supposed to be supplying it. The meeting doesn’t go as planned.
I found this introduction very compelling and can’t wait to see how the story progresses. I’ll definitely keep reading this as the series comes out and I think you should as well. Download the preview issue from the link below and I know you will agree that this is a well earned Recommend.
Interview with Geoff Ashley:
FRONTIERS is the humble story of a man destined to destroy humanity…and why that really isnt such a bad thing.
A century from now, Kieran Murphy is a fugitive army deserter living in a world dominated by a handful of corporations which use technology to suppress the population. Murphy fights against those corporations, looks for work to keep his head above water and tries to find personal peace as he travels down a preordained road which leads him to the destruction of the Earth.
1. For the most part it seems that this is in black and white, with a little color for blood. Is that for the preview issue or will it be in color when finished.
The black and white line drawing with color for emphasis was always my plan. I love the simplicity of the line drawing and that less is more aesthetic. Its crisp and striking. And using selective color both in accents and in some full-color pages works really well to underscore growing tension and emotion and to keep the reader engaged. Ive had a lot of excellent feedback so far on the style.
2. Have you set a price for each volume?
The sole reason Im doing this is because its a story Ive wanted to tell most of my life, so prices havent even crossed my mind yet. I suspect thats why Im a writer and not a businessman. I just received the rest of the art for the first issue, so right now Im focusing on lettering and post-production and getting it out in November. And then Ill have to figure out a price!
3. What platforms will this be available in, such as physical, digital, etc. If it will be available digitally do you have links you want to share?
It will be available in a physical format, as well as a digital download. Im still working out the logistics of that. But, readers will be able to find all the latest news on the FRONTIERS web site http://idestroyhumanity.com as well as on Instagram (http://www.instagram.com/idestroyhumanity), Twitter (http://twitter.com/humanitygoboom) and Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/idestroyhumanity). Following any (or all) of those sites will keep you informed!
4. What inspired you to create this story line?
Growing up, I wanted to be Han Solo, Luke Skywalker and Captain Kirk. But, I also wanted to be George Lucas and Gene Roddenberry. Now, Im living all those dreams at once, since I have to inhabit a character to really write effectively. Im inventing the adventures that capture my imagination and putting them down on paper.
Ive been a writer for as long I can remember. And I was inspired to tell stories by STAR WARS, STAR TREK, BUCK ROGERS, BATTLESTAR GALACTICA and countless other films and TV shows, genre and otherwise. Inspired to tell stories that mean something to me. That entertain me. Not to be selfish. But because trying to anticipate what an audience wants is a fools errand. So, I write what entertains me and I hope it entertains others, too. But, even if nobody else gets it, Ive been true to myself and my vision. And thats all anybody can do.
FRONTIERS has been my passion project since I was a kid. It has grown and matured as I have (as if I can honestly consider myself mature) and it is truly a part of me, more than anything else Ive written. So, Im both happy and terrified to finally share it with an audience. Terrified because it is so very personal. But happy because people are already responding so positively to my unique mix of action and sarcasm. People actually get it, and that is gratifying beyond words.
5. What is your creative process, how do you decide on what goes into the story?
I go where the story takes me. There are certain points I know I want to hit on the journey, but the journey itself is the story. It shapes the characters. It sets the stakes. It makes those important points I want to hit actually matter.
When Im ready to write, I put on headphones and listen to classical music. Its energizing, but Im not tempted to sing along like I am with other genres of music, so it really helps my focus. I sit down and start by outlining the stories in a narrative fashion. Then, I work the stories into scripts.
When I get stuck, need to figure out a storyline or simply need to blow the doors off and get more creative, I walk. Just randomly around the neighborhood. Sometimes I talk to myself as I hammer out dialogue or plot points, so I probably look like a loon. But, one nice thing about Los Angeles is looney behavior doesnt really stand out at all.
6. Where is the story going to from here?
As the log line indicates, its one mans road from average guy to genocidal mutant. So, it is Kieran Murphys journey as he discovers his destiny of destroying humanity, how he gets there and what he does afterward (and yes, there is a lot of story afterward). Its an exploration of fate and how it can be both coerced and corrupted.
FRONTIERS is also a timely, anti-corporatization, cautionary tale, as Murphy takes revenge against a cadre of ber-companies, battling to loosen their hold on…well, everything. Government. Military. The economy. Everything.
The story is often told with flashbacks to Murphys life and the events which shaped him before the graphic novel series, primarily his military service, how he was shanghaied into the military and how he became a fugitive. The flashbacks tie into the present-day storylines, informing them and reinforcing their themes. Its much the same way flashbacks were utilized on MAD MEN.
And right now on the FRONTIERS website (http://idestroyhumanity.com), there is a live-action, short film called A WAR STORY. It is a prequel to the graphic novel series and gives some good backstory, as well as a few foreshadowing Easter eggs, about Murphys character. So its a good watch for fans of the series.
7. I found the tag line about destroying humanity interesting. Can you tell me if Kieran succeeds or will that be too much of a spoiler? Also why is the destruction of humanity not such a bad thing?
Oh yes, he does succeed!
The first page of the first issue is a flash-forward in which Kieran Murphy rather casually admits to the reader he destroys humanity. Then you see him unleash a devastating assault on Earth.
And its not a the Enterprise blows up in the teaser, but its really a temporal loop and everythings okay again after the credits kind of thing. Murphy destroying the Earth is not a dream, a parallel reality or any other kind of misdirect. Its fact. It happens. And its his choice to do it.
I wanted to introduce the series lead character this way to challenge the reader. To say this is part of who this character is, but youre going to like him, anyway. And more importantly, youre going to understand him.
The evolution of how Murphy gets to the point of deciding to commit genocide is key to the series. Just like in BREAKING BAD, which starts with an ordinary man forced to take bigger and bigger steps toward the darkness. You identify with him. You root for him to succeed, even though the things hes doing are reprehensible. Murphy is more of a relatable anti-hero than that, but the idea is the same. And by the time Murphy destroys the Earth, you will understand and likely agree with why its not such a bad thing.
8. Will any other species or aliens get involved in the conflict or is it only humans or humanoids?
There are lots of aliens in the FRONTIERS universe. In the flash-forward on the opening page, Murphy is shown as a hybrid of alien and human. And thats just for starters. The Earth is one member in an alliance of 12 alien planets. And Murphy will encounter many aliens in his adventures.
9. The curator sounds kind of like the collector from Marvel. Are there similarities? What are the differences you can share?
They both collect things, but thats where the similarities end.
The Curator is one of the villains of FRONTIERS, but he is much more low-key than Marvels Collector. He is dangerous, but in a quietly-sinister and more ambiguous way. His motivations are very, very different than those of the Collector. And youll never be able to guess what the Curators ultimate goal is.
The preview issue download link is: http://idestroyhumanity.com/preview.html