FALLEN WORLD #1 hits your local comic book store this week From Valiant Entertainment. The five-issue mini-series is written by Dan Abnett with art by Adam Pollina.
The quick pitch from Valiant – In the year 4002, a cyborg samurai named Rai struggles to find his morality, while the Nanite-filled supersoldier Bloodshot is on a mission to save the citizens of Earth. Will they work together for the greater good? All signs point to no. Oh, and did we mention there are also dinosaurs on the loose and powerful animal-human hybrid mutants? Good luck with that, Rai.
After reading FALLEN WORLD #1, we can confidently say the book is epic on a Game of Thrones scale. Monkeys Fighting Robots spoke with Abnett about his writing process, and how he’s able to pack so much content into a single issue. Read the interview below.
MFR: Dan, thank you for taking the time to chat with Monkeys Fighting Robots.
ABNETT: My pleasure!
MFR: As a writer, how do you balance the scope of the story in FALLEN WORLD and give each character a moment to connect with the reader?
ABNETT: There’s certainly a lot to get in, given the story has such a grand scope…and you know from the outset your “real estate” is limited to a certain number of pages and issues. Careful planning is the answer. Laying the story out to make sure you’ve got enough space to tell the whole thing, convey the “big” story points, but also give enough space and time for characters to breathe, to have their moments. And if you do that, with any luck, you make that connection with the reader.
MFR: FALLEN WORLD has fascinating plot elements (A.I. vs. Man, Class struggles, environment, refugees). These plot threads are going on right now in today’s society. How much of today’s headlines seep into your writing and how do you convey a message with sounding preachy?
ABNETT: I think it’s inevitable, you can’t help but have things seep in. And even in the most fantastical story, I think it’s always helpful to have it grounded with elements and ideas that are current in the world around us.
That said, I seldom deliberately aim for those real-world themes. The plot elements in FALLEN WORLD connect strongly with our daily lives, but I chose them because they suited the business of the story, and FALLEN WORLD, not ours. They fit naturally. I think when you pick contemporary themes and try to push them into a story, that’s when it can get preachy.
MFR: FALLEN WORLD #1 ends on a climactic note, to where I need to read issue two right now! How hard is it to build up tension throughout an issue, and then “stick the landing” with an exciting cliffhanger?
ABNETT: That comes back to planning again 😉 You want that high or dramatic note to end on, so there is an eagerness in the reader to find out what happens next. I usually plan out my beats and work out exactly where I need an issue to end, in terms of drama, then structure the issue to lead to that point.
MFR: With a five-issue mini-series, what is your outlining process? Do you stay ridged in your outline, or if a new crazy idea pops into your head, you change things up?
ABNETT: Pretty rigid, otherwise disasters occur, but I keep as much flexibility as I can to accommodate ideas as they pop up. You don’t get all your great ideas in one hit—some things may occur to you as you’re actually working on a project. That’s when you need to think on your feet and fit them in…or do a major revision!
MFR: Adam Pollina’s art is awe-inspiring in the first issue of FALLEN WORLD. Can you talk about your relationship with Pollina and how you built this world together?
ABNETT: His work is superb. I just created the storyline and described the sorts of things I need, and I imagine in terms of the way the world works (and the story!), and he’s simply delivered. Usually, everything I’ve needed or hoped for, and more besides!
MFR: What was your emotional reaction to Pollina’s art on those final two pages?
ABNETT: Very strong 🙂 It’s powerful and emotional.
MFR: Thank you again for your time, and best of luck with FALLEN WORLD!
ABNETT: Thanks… and thank you!
Do you plan to pick up FALLEN WORLD #1 on Wednesday? Comment below with your thought on the book and interview.