The distant future is one of the most popular topics of fiction, as each writer will have their own interpretation of how the world will come to be in many years’ time. For his new series Fractual, Daejuan Jacobs has a particularly striking vision, which he shares below:
AP2HYC: How did you get Marco Turini onboard?
Daejuan: I posted on an online forum related to comic book creators. He replied to the posting and we talked through email. He had done science fiction work before, and developed an eye for designing the universe I had in mind. After all was said and done, he was interested in the story, and we were looking forward to collaborating on the series.
AP2HYC: What kind of future are you depicting? Is it dystopian or close to it?
Daejuan: What we have here is the beginning stages of a dystopian, but it is not fully there yet. When the story opens up, the world has already been plagued with corruption and misfortune for the general populace. Violent crimes have been steadily rising, most countries have carried out some form of militarized national police authority to manage the influx of crime. As the story goes on, we will see the government policies created in a precursor to a dystopian.
AP2HYC: Were there any influences on your depiction of the future?
Daejuan: I’ve always been a fan of Judge Dredd and RoboCop. In these stories, you have a future dystopian that is a social commentary for the real world we live in. The corruption and authority of the government, some of the violence foretold in these works are not as preposterous if you actually look at what has happened in the world today.
AP2HYC: Why are people using advanced technology for absurd entertainment?
Daejuan: Well because they can, and it’s entertaining. But really, it’s prevalent on mainstream media. The abundance of scripted reality shows, virtual reality lives akin to The Sims, and the dependence on social media is a result of people attempting to escape the deteriorating social order. In this world, it is much easier to consume entertainment than it is to fix social issues. Again, it is not too far-fetched compared to our real life situation.
AP2HYC: Can you describe how the protagonists, Bryce and Sasha, get mixed up in all of it?
Daejuan: At the start of the first issue, these two have known each other for about six to seven months. Well, Sasha knew Bryce, and Bryce knew an individual online who turned out to be Sasha. Bryce has worked with the government for some time, but has always been more observant to the growing imbalance in social stratification and corruption within his own government. Sasha worked covertly with an underground organization as a form of resistance to the government while at the same time attempting to uncover secrets to recent strange incidences. She profiled Bryce, predicting he would aid discovering the truth. Using his credentials, he has been feeding her inside information, while she has been providing tips to prevent violence from other radical groups. They are two different people from opposite sides of the law with one common goal.
AP2HYC: Can you talk about the villain of the piece?
Daejuan: There is no single person that can be considered the villain. Rather, there are organizations and a corrupt social order that make up the wrongdoers in this series. Private corporations and government agencies who seek to monopolize power and keep the masses complacent. The main source of conflict in this series is secret development of instruments that will have a profound impact on their cosmos.
AP2HYC: Will this be a self-contained miniseries or are you planning more?
Daejuan: As of right now, it’s a self-contained miniseries, with a story arc that will end with an opening for a future series. If this becomes popular enough, I definitely want to continue the story, but I want it to happen organically.
AP2HYC: As this is your first comic, how do you feel about entering the industry? Do you feel that there are a lot of opportunities to get your foot in the door?
Daejuan: Absolutely. Added with the recent resurgence in comic book sales, I’m very optimistic about entering the industry. Being able to download a comic book for the price of a cup of coffee helps too. I’ve been going to large and small comic book conventions, and I think comic book fans are frequently looking for something new, something they can’t find with any of the few larger publishers.
AP2HYC: Do you have anything else planned?
Daejuan: Not at the moment, I’ve been really focused on getting this project launched. But I’ve got my eyes and ears open for anything that might be interesting.
You can pre-order Fractual here.