We recently had a chat with the talented Joe Badon who had some very interesting things to tell us about his current Kickstarter comic project Terra Kaiju. Read on to find out more…
A Place to Hang Your Cape: Can you tell us a bit about Terra Kaiju and the main character Kohitsuji?
Joe Badon: Terra Kaiju is a Kaiju (Giant Monster) story set in feudal Japan about two warring villages who pit their Kaiju Gods against one another. Kohitsuji is a young samurai whose village is under attack from his neighboring village’s flying serpent demon god Hebragon. Kohitsuji is a tragic, romantic, heroic character, having to make the choice between marrying his lover OR sacrificing life so that he can awaken his village’s kaiju god Terra Ramu. Terra Ramu is a 100 foot terracotta samurai god that sleeps at the bottom of a dormant volcano waiting to be awakened with the perfect sacrifice.
AP2HYC: You’re obviously a fan of Japanese movies, what are your main influences and what draws to these particular stories or themes?
Joe: I am very much a fan of the kaiju genre. One reason I love it is because it still pays homage and finds it’s roots in the historical culture of Japanese beliefs and mythology. Most of what we call science fiction tends to try to discredit old belief systems and/or spirituality. The Kaiju genre, many times, embraces these ideas and incorporates them into their stories.
The movie Daimajin was a big influence for this project, based in feudal Japan and firmly rooted in ancient belief systems, the movie creates a beautiful mythology. GMK was another big influence especially the idea of how the giant monsters were possessed and gained strength through the souls of the martyrs and ancestors. These all have rich spiritual themes that I wanted to incorporate into Terra Kaiju.
AP2HYC: For this project, you are both artist and writer. Which do you find more challenging, and why? Do you have a preference for one over the other?
Joe: I prefer to draw of course. I’m a full time freelance illustrator so I am far more confidant in my drawing ability only because, from the nature of my job, I have many more hours of practice at it.
BUT I love to have the chance to draw and write together. Any writer will tell you that they have hundreds of potential books in their head, lining the walls of their brain ready to be created. So I looked at that virtual bookshelf in my head, picked up Terra Kaiju and said “It’s time!” This Kickstarter, once successfully funded, will allow me to arrange the time in my freelance schedule to be able to complete the book.
AP2HYC: I thought it was really interesting and unusual to have a soundtrack as one of the Kickstarter rewards. Can you tell me more about the music and how the soundtrack came about?
Joe: Music is another passion of mine. I do it on the side. One thing I love to do is to give the reader a more immersive experience. Creating a soundtrack that the reader can listen to while reading the book will take him/her one step deeper into the world of Terra Kaiju.
AP2HYC: Will there be more Terra Kaiju to come and can you give us any teasers about it? If not, what is next for you?
Joe: This book is a one shot book for now, meaning that the story will wrap up at the end of the book. IF the book is successfully funded and IF there is enough of a demand for book 2 THEN I will totally write a sequel. It really just depends on how the audience reacts to this book.
I do have a couple of another books slated for publishing in 2015. One is Frankenbabe (written by Matthew Johnson), about a stripper turned undead crime fighter, coming out through 215ink comics in the spring. I also have a top secret project that’s coming out in 2015 that I can’t talk about until everything is finalized unfortunately BUT it’ll be pretty big.