Comics Features Interviews

A New Sound of Comic: In Conversation With JD Boucher, Writer of “Shuffle”

Arledge Comics have recently announced an imminent Kickstarter campaign in 2021 for Shuffle, a middle-grade superhero comic written by J.D. Boucher with art from George Kambadais. Original music will be the backbone of the comic’s premise and action. The team are currently taking submissions for music to be featured in the comic. Details on how artists can submit their music to Shuffle can be found at here. We caught up with Boucher to hear about the upcoming project and what makes such an original premise work.

A Place To Hang Your Cape: What is Shuffle and can you tell us a bit about the main character David and his story?

J.D. Boucher: Shuffle is about David. David is listening to his brother’s old mp3 player when it’s blasted with cosmic energy, turning it into a high-tech suit of armor! The armor gives David powers based on what songs are played. But since it’s stuck on shuffle, he has no idea what he’s gonna get when he presses play. Then of course, things really ramp up once he realizes he’s not the only person in town with new powers. Our goal is to make a super fun middle-grade superhero story with action, real cool moments, and whole lot of heart.

AP2HYC: It’s a very unique idea for a comic. How did this idea come about?

JDB: Shuffle is an idea I’ve had for a very long time. As a kid, I always had some sort of music playing, and I loved to imagine all sorts of stories and sequences set to the music. Combine that with the fact that I watched a lot of superhero cartoons, it was only a matter of time until I put the two together. I definitely have some sketches from back when I was in middle school of what the Shuffle armor looked like.

AP2HYC: How will songs be illustrated as superpowers in the comic?

JDB: Generally, they’re going to look amazing because George Kambadais is going to be doing the linework for the series, and his superhero work is brilliant. More specifically, each song will transform Shuffle’s armor in some way. Some may just be some minor changes (lasers, jet boots), while others may be much more dramatic. My goal is to have each form of Shuffle’s armor and the ensuing powers get across the vibe and attitude of the song as much as possible.

AP2HYC: How big of an impact will each song have on the comic’s story?

JDB: A pretty big impact, actually! While half of the book is scripted already, I’m building the rest of the book from scratch, specifically based on what songs we receive. I know musicians put a ton of hard work and effort into their music. The least I can do is try my best to give each song a chance to shine, even if it’s just for one panel!

AP2HYC: What type of music do you need for Shuffle?

JDB: We want and need everything! Metal, country, rap, funk, gospel, R&B, classical, EDM—you name it! We really want to showcase a variety of artists, genres and styles, that way David can have a big variety of things to work with. I’m a big metalhead myself, but if all of his powers were based on metal songs, you’d lose that fun variety pretty quickly.

AP2HYC: Can you tell us a bit about the creative team on Shuffle?

JDB: Of course! I’m scripting the book, and while I’ve edited other comics and written quite a few anthology stories, this is my debut book as a solo writer. I’m really excited to bring these characters and the world of Shuffle to life. George Kambadais is doing the lineart for the series, and I’m so hyped he’s on board. You can see from his Comixology page alone all of the fantastic work he’s done. But what I really want to shine a spotlight on is his excellent superhero work. Both the free Batman Comic he illustrated and his Instagram are great examples of his skills in action. Taylor Setniker from Arledge Press will be our editor for the project. I’m really glad to have Taylor on board. I know Taylor’s second set of eyes will help make this the best comic book possible. We’re still only in the scripting stage, so we don’t have a letterer finalized at this point. When we do, know I’ll be letting everyone know. Letterers are one of the unsung heroes of comics, and since we’re making a music-inspired comic, I’m gonna make sure to belt out praise for them when I can.

Keep an eye out for Shuffle as the Kickstarter launches in the coming year. What type of music do you want to see featured in the comic? Sound off in the comments or send us your thoughts on Facebook or Twitter!

About the author

Matthew Smith