I’ve only read the first issue and without giving anything away, what kind of stuff can fellow space opera fans expect in future issues? New worlds? Crazy aliens? Pulling a Last Jedi and subverting our expectations?MM: A LOT of subversion. This book is weird, it’s fun, but it also has a beating heart that, in the journey of these characters, speaks to very human experiences of free will, friendship, perseverance, and, maybe most importantly, finding your own way in the world. And grafted on top of all that is a crazy-ass world filled with weird aliens, trippy worlds, and a pretty gonzo plot that has a ton of twists and turns. Wasted Space is available on April 25th. Over the past year new comics publisher Vault Comics has been making waves with quality comics primarily in the realm of science fiction. Following in that same line of quality science fiction comics is Wasted Space. This comes from seasoned comics pro and recently published prose novelist Michael Moreci along with artist Hayden Sherman, colorist Jason Wordie, and letterer Jim Campbell. I had the pleasure of reading the first issue of Wasted Space and getting to chat with them about this exciting new comic.How would you each describe Wasted Space to someone?MM: If Philip K. Dick wrote Preacher, you’d have Wasted Space; it’s the most fun you’ll have in a dystopian space opera all year long. And I mean that. Everyone loves a good origin story. How did Wasted Space come to be?MM: Weird story, but the idea came to me when I was sick as a dog last Christmas. The actual day of. I was miserable, just absurdly sick and unhappy about it. I was unhappy about our country’s political landscape. I was unhappy be driving to my in-laws. On the ride there, it all came to me. Like the whole thing. I must have been souped up on some really potent cold meds, but that never happens. I mean, it’d been percolating for awhile, the basis for the idea. Tim Seeley and I had been engaged in long conversations about comics had lost their edge, their willingness to be risky, to rattle cages, to upset the apple cart–and I’m not just talking about taking down the obvious, low-hanging fruit. I’m talking about turning an eye on our world, every inch of it, and taking no prisoners. That bite–that’s in Preacher. It’s in Scalped and Unknown Soldier and so many classic books. I wanted to bring that sensibility back.The story shows some characters that are variants on televangelists but evoking things from mythology like Tiresias. It reminded me of Rachel Pollack’s novel Unquenchable Fire but is entirely different and unique. What about spirituality do you want to explore specifically with this comic? When it comes to expressing a spiritual culture in a comic like Wasted Space do you feel it’s restrictive in some ways because it still needs to be handled with care, freeing because it allows exploration of our own spirituality and beliefs here without the same level of scrutiny, or a mix of the two?MM: The book is all about systems of manipulations. Religion, government, family. I wouldn’t say we’re restricted, because we’re not making a spiritual book. It’s not exploring faith in that kind of way, not a spiritual way; it’s broader. It’s more about these levels of, again, manipulation that bring people and societies to specific ends. Granted, it’s hard to talk about spirituality and not be spiritual in some sense–and the more spiritual stuff comes in later, particularly with Molly’s and Billy’s relationship to the Creator as well as the role of Legion–but it’s less about transcendence and more about control and power.Michael, Science Fiction has been your focus for some time including the release or your first prose novel, Black Star Renegades. Like Wasted Space hit has some elements that would be familiar to anyone as well as sci-fi jargon and a certain pacing to it to keep the reader engaged without giving away too much information up front. As the writer, how did you balance crafting a first issue that is welcoming to new readers while also diving head first into this world?MM: This is something I’ve worked hard to accomplish–making sci-fi that can be wholly mainstream, that can be read by anyone, even if they don’t have a library of sci-fi traditions in their head to draw from. I read a ton of sci-fi–a ton–and I can never bring myself to enjoy the junk science jargon that crowds so many of these books. I love world-building, but there’s a fine line between world-building and indulgence, and I am committed to the former. What’s always at the forefront of my work is the story. Story, story, story. And if something doesn’t serve the story, if it doesn’t keep the plot and the characters moving, you can bet I’m not going to write it. And to me, story is like math–it’s a universal language. If you have a good story–if it’s clear, if it’s accessible, if it has something to say–then it doesn’t matter who picks it up or what weirdness the thing contains. As long as you’ve nailed those fundamentals–and not buried them with excess–you should be able to hand your comic or book to anyone, and I think we’ve done that with Wasted Space #1.Hayden, I’ve read The Few (Image) so I’m familiar with your work as well. Your style and approach to Wasted Space seemed reminiscent of Ted McKeever. Particularly his work on Doom Patrol and Superman’s Metropolis. What were some of your influences when approaching Wasted Space? Did you do anything you haven’t done before when bringing this project to life? And were there any moments that stand out where you made an artistic Michael wasn’t expecting that really elevated the project?HS: This book pulls a lot of inspiration from the likes of Cam Kennedy, Phillipe Druilett, and Paul Pope. With each page the aim is to really dig into the worlds we’re exploring, while keeping a level of energy and motion moving things along. As for anything new in this book, this is the first time I’ve gotten to populate settings solely with aliens of my own creation. Which is all the better when almost half the book is like one big Cantina scene, with aliens moving everywhere and playing an active role. I’ve been filling up sketchbook pages with aliens ever since just to make sure there’s enough!And a lot of the dramatically elevating moments with the art come very much in the concept stage when things are still being fleshed out. I dunno if everyone would agree with me on this, but the contribution I’m most pleased with is turning a vague villain alien into a snake-like creature that pilots a robot humanoid body. Sounds silly (and it is) but that’s why I love it. We don’t really get into the how or why or anything, but for me the fun part of designing characters for a book like this is taking ideas and building them into new weird things that can make the world feel just that much bigger. In the end, each alien has its own story in my head.Jason! I really love the colors in Wasted Space. The lighting affects you do throughout the comic really elevates the story. How did you go about deciding on the palette for the comic? What made you go with more earth tones in Marango versus the blues and violets of The Ring of Cassoria?JW: The palette was inspired by various classic sci-fi stories, with some spaghetti western thrown in. It can be difficult to color a sci-fi comic without Star Wars and Blade Runner in the back of your mind. Dark, crowded cities, neon lights, grungy desert towns. At first glance, it’s all very familiar, but the advantage of a familiar palette is that it really stands out when you do something unfamiliar. Like the congregation scene or the white in the last few pages. Plus, Hayden’s loose energetic style gave me a ton of room to play around with textures and light without worrying too much about realism. Marango is a dusty, run-down backwater. So I wanted to keep the colors gritty and a bit unpleasant. Cassoria on the other hand, is a sprawling, vibrant city. It made for some nice warm vs cool contrast when cutting between the two.Jim, I’ve seen a few books you’ve lettered like Destiny, NY. How do you approach lettering a comic like this with needing to differentiate balloons from humanoids, robots, aliens, and more?JC: I letter somewhere in the region of 6,000 pages a year, so I have a pretty solid idea of what works and what doesn’t these days, with all my horrible mistakes (hopefully!) now firmly in the past. My primary concern is always, always readability. Doesn’t matter how cool it looks, there’s just no point if you can’t read the damn thing. For this book, I wanted to use Blambot’s latest dialogue font — Collect ‘Em All, firstly because I think it’s stylish and beautifully clear, but also because it’s brand new, it’s not being used all over the place yet. Consequently, it looks quite fresh and I thought that was important for a book as visually distinctive as this one.I added in a slightly rough, inky outline for the balloons and captions to try and make everything sit well with Hayden’s energetic ink style (tip of the hat for mentioning Cam Kennedy, there, Hayden — one of my favorite artists and criminally underrated in the US).Since lettering went digital, there’s been a tendency to chuck a new font at every character who comes along and I’m trying to push back on that a bit. If you saw a magazine page designed with a couple of dozen fonts, or, God forbid, tried to read a novel where every character’s dialogue was rendered in a different typeface, you’d think that was terrible design. I figure the same rules apply to comics. I’m trying to keep a very limited range of fonts to give the book’s lettering a more cohesive visual appearance. Instead, I’m going to see if I can differentiate where necessary with an interesting balloon style. It takes a little more work than just changing the font, but I hope it’ll be worth it!Why is Vault Comics the perfect home for Wasted Space?MM: Because they had the guts to let us tell this wild, crazy, and bold story! And I mean that for real. And in addition to that, the Wassel bros are the most passionate, hard-working duo in comics, and their love and dedication shows in every book they publish. We’re all thrilled and honored to keep Vault’s good thing going; I can’t imagine making this book anywhere else. HS: Everyone at Vault is so encouraging to run with ideas, make things that are weird but work, and keep pushing. Anytime someone turns something in, whether scripts, promotional pieces, sketches, or colored pages, the whole team gets visibly amped up! It’s awesome and keeps the whole thing as fun as it ought to be. A book like this is right at home with a publisher that’s so clearly delighted to be making comics.JW: Vault is amazing. They really encourage the everyone to get involved and add input every step of the way. By the time I started on the project a bunch of work had already been done, but they were all very welcoming and made me feel like part of the team. Stay on target Netflix Axes ‘The OA’ Sci-Fi Series After 2 Seasons‘Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ Becomes Mostly Harm… Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.