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Exclusive: Mark Sable Talks Rift Raiders!

The writer discusses his new project and gives us some exclusive new art!


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If you read and enjoyed UNTHINKABLE by Mark Sable, published by Boom! Studios, then you will be happy to hear that Mark is back with a brand new OGN that will be published by Kickstart. RIFT RAIDERS is an original graphic novel by Sable who seems extremely proud of the new book- and no doubt he should be. One look at the breathtaking panels in the exclusive preview given to ComicVine would leave anyone impressed. If you have been waiting for something new and exciting, then this might be what you have been looking for. The OGN hits shelves on October 20th, 2010! 

ComicVine: Thank you for giving ComicVine readers the exclusive first look at your upcoming project, RIFT RAIDERS, which looks really stunning. Who is the artist who worked on the comic with you? 
Mark Sable: The art is by Julian Totino Tedesco, with colors by Juan Manuel Tumburus.  They did the art for my  BOOM! Studios book, UNTHINKABLE.  But as thrilled as I was with their work on that, I think this is Julian and Tumbu's breakout book.  Julian came up with a completely new style, and I gave him much more room to breathe.  This is a much more dynamic, action-packed and most of all fun book.
 == TEASER ==


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CV: Who will be publishing the comic book? Will it be released as a series? Do you have a series planned for RIFT RAIDERS? How much of the story do you have planned out?
MS: It's being published by KICKSTART, a new publisher, and released as an OGN.  So it's a complete story with a beginning, middle and an end...although if it does well enough, I'd love to do a sequel.
There are a couple things I should say about Kickstart. They are going to do what a lot of publishers have talked about doing but haven't been able to pull off - have a major presence in big box retailers like Wal Mart.  Kickstart is all about reaching new readers with accessible books.
 
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CV: Can you tell us a little bit about the characters? Who they are and what the premise of the story is? Where does the story take place? What is the time-period?
MS: RIFT RAIDERS is the story of four teenagers who think they are orphans - Dodger, Myles, Layla and Sikes - who learn that their parents have been scattered throughout time and space.  So the setting is really everywhere, and every..when - the scope is huge.
Dodger et al meet a man named The Fence, who promises to re-unite them with their families...if they travel through time steal time mystical weapons for him.  Supposedly, the Fence is doing this to keep them safe from a time-traveling conqueror known as The Casimir...but his motives and allegiances quickly become suspect.
Dodger is a guy whose treasure-hunting parents have been keeping secrets from him all his life, so in response he's become a master thief.  Myles is the group's historian and moral compass, always worried about the consequences of messing with history.  Sikes is the opposite - someone who could care less about his parents...he just likes stealing.
My favorite character, though, is Layla.  She's the most experience time traveler.  Orphaned at an early age, she's been trained by history's greatest fighters, from the Shaolin Monks to Wild Bill Hickock to Mohammed Ali. I like the idea that the most dangerous, kick-ass character in the book is a teenage girl.  Comics need more of that.
 
CV: Based on the preview, it looks like you are dealing with a lot of interesting concepts- the Mona Lisa, Medusa's head- how do these factor into your story? Will we see Perseus (who defeated Medusa in Greek mythos) or Leonardo da Vinci appear in your story? 
MS: One of the things I wanted to avoid was history lesson kind of time travel.  They are in Renaissance Italy to steal Leonardo's flying machines, in Ancient Greece to steal Medusa's head, and their next stop is the Civil War to steal a steampunk exoskeleton created by Charles Gatling.
The conceit is, the reason we don't see these things in present day is because the kids steal them.  So, there's no working flying devices or multiple Mona Lisa's because they've taken them out of the time stream.  In this world, Perseus was a geneticist way ahead of his time who created a Medusa-like creature who isn't in the fossil record for the same reason.  But the historical characters play cameo roles for the most part, and are kind of easter eggs for history buffs.

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CV: Where did you draw your inspiration for the story?
MS: I originally pitched Rift Raiders as Oliver Twist meets Time Bandits, and the idea came as a kind of mash up between those two worlds.  Dodger is a reference to the Artful Dodger, and The Fence is Fagan archetype. I wanted a book that had reckless time travelers, so that's where Time Bandit's influence came from. As the book evolved, it's drawn a lot of comparison to Goonies, which I like because that's the kind of fun tone I'm looking for.
Ultimately, this is like a spiritual sequel to GROUNDED, my first Image book with Paul Azaceta.  Meaning it's a fun, smart, accessible book with a lot of ironic winks to the reader. 

 
Rift Raiders looks like an action packed adventure and is certainly a graphic novel I will be keeping my eye out for. What do you guys think of the concept of the story based on this interview? What about the art? Will you be picking it up?  Check out the full page previews below!