Eric Peterson and Joe Aubrey are the wild-minded writers behind the brand new series Space Bastards. Their first issue is out at your local comic book shop now, and volume one — illustrated by The Boys artist Darick Robertson — is available for order starting today!
A little about Space Bastards: In the first volume, “Tooth & Mail,” Peterson and Aubrey are joined by Robertson, colorist Diego Rodriguez, and letterer Simon Bowland. The story follows veteran mailman Manny “The Manicorn” Corns and his newbie partner David S. Proton as we’re introduced to the bloody, gruesome world of interplanetary postage.
And later in the year, Peterson and Aubrey will add brilliant artists like Simon Bisley (Lobo) and Clint Langley (2000AD) to the team for a bunch of Space Bastards specials, a one-shot, and a couple of annuals! The Kickstarter for volume 2 just launched this morning — check it out!
And read on for our interview with Peterson and Aubrey:
Monkeys Fighting Robots: Where in the world did such an outrageous idea come from, and what is it that you have against postal services?
Eric Peterson: Oh crap no I have nothing against the postal service. Not at all! It was born out of my original teenage dream of making stories about dudes in space that have it hard and give me an excuse to write smuggler stories, heist stories, etc. And then I think after sleeping under my desk in some production jobs in my late teens and early twenties, I just sort of realized “This is what life is,” and the smuggler thing turned to “if a smuggler has a job, what is it?” “Oh its moving packages from planet to planet and getting shot at and getting into trouble.” Add to the mix my best bud Joe as co-writer for like over a decade and it elevated the piece into what it is today.
Joe Aubrey: This comic will do for postal carriers what Raiders of the Lost Ark did for archeologists. (Or perhaps what Silence of the Lambs did for psychiatrists).
MFR: There are some really cool influences you can see here in Space Bastards #1. Little things like the big corporation being called “Wayne Powers,” like the company in Batman Beyond, and Manny Corns being a bit of a Lobo type character. What were some other things that inspired you guys to make this?
EP: Powers Industries was really inspired by just the antithesis of Roy and the Intergalactic Postal Service. If they are cutting a bloody swathe across the galaxy, who would be the opposite of that? A well-meaning corporate machine that is there to build infrastructure across the cosmos to bring safety and prosperity. There’s no hyperbole there. I think Wayne Powers, CEO of Powers Industries, ultimately does want that. In terms of how, why, etc— readers will have to continue on a bit to find that out. Manny definitely has some Lobo in him, but I don’t think he was originally cut out of that cloth. Generally speaking we wanted a character who, if you put giant heaps of money in front of him and then an intangible thing called revenge right next to it, he’s going to reach for revenge. I think most of the inspiration behind the characters in year one of Space Bastards is pretty grounded in personal tales or things we relate to, just blown up larger than life.
JA: Wayne Powers’ name came from an early fan whose name actually is Wayne Powers. Back in 2013, before Darick Robertson’s involvement, he understood Space Bastards and was so supportive of the book that we felt we had to honor him somehow.
MFR: This issue really starts off with a huge scene, one that we can put together is coming up sometime in the future. How do you feel setting up an ending, or showing a flash forward, changes a reader’s experience of a work? (For what it’s worth, I’m a huge fan of dramatic irony. Loved the first scene.)
EP: Hey thanks! I’m almost never a fan of it. And then there’s like these little outliers like Breaking Bad season two or Tarantino films or Sunset Blvd that make me just love when it is done correctly. I think if we were telling a story of altruistic selfless people who ultimately end up prosperous and maybe start from a place of despair it wouldn’t work. I lean on the Scorsese ruling on this— when you want readers to anticipate an inevitable train wreck it can be handy for setting the stage.
JA: Issue 1 is our tamest issue. There’s less chaos and complexity than in subsequent stories. That flash forward is our promise to readers that things get ramped up fairly quickly.
MFR: How long do you see this series going for? It feels like it has huge potential to go on for ages, even if not all the characters stick around.
EP: Forever. Absolutely forever and ever. We have an ending in mind, as well as a lot of major plots that we think could span a long time. Ultimately I hope readers have enough of a good time with year one’s issues to give us the chance to play this out how we want to. At the same time, I do hope I get the chance to wring every ounce of Space Bastards out of my blood because my life has been infinitely more meaningful not only writing these stories with Joe but also getting to see the end result from the artists. Every day that I get a fresh page from the artists I grew up reading and loving is like a miniature Christmas for me.
MFR: Space Bastards is lots of fun, but it has a lot going on beneath the surface. A major theme, right from the get-go of Space Bastards, is how greed makes us see others as less than human. Just obstacles in the way of our next paycheck. Do you think your work is prophetic at all, hinting at where we’re headed, or do you just see it as a funny hypothetical future?
EP: Hmm… Good question. I’m not sure that I view it as prophetic as much as just a hyperbolic version of the way things are. I’m guilty. I have been pretty coin operated in times of my life. There’s something to be said for the importance of owning your own future. I also think there is a cost. I’m not sure this cost existed in the same way hundreds of years ago, but I think Robert E. Howard would say “Uh yeah, for sure.” I have a lot of fun exploring those observations with Space Bastards, the cost of pushing the pendulum.
JA: We are trying to entertain our readers. Make them laugh. All of this is satire. I suppose our story could be viewed as a cautionary tale against the extremes of capitalism, but hopefully our real life future is steered toward something less dire and isolating.
For more updates find Humanoids on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. For all things Space Bastards visit Spacebastards.com. Check out my review of Space Bastards #1 and the Kickstarter for the Space Bastards Vol. 2 hardcover! You heard Eric Peterson, this series is going on forever, so back it on Kickstarter to make sure that’s the case.