Coming in June, writer Jim Zub (SKULLKICKERS) and artist Filipe Andrade (CAPTAIN MARVEL) embark on a journey into imagination as they launch the newest mini-series from the Disney Kingdom line. Zub was kind enough to answer a few questions about this upcoming series.
COMIC VINE: What is the story of this new mini-series, FIGMENT?
JIM ZUB: It’s an origin story showing how the Dreamfinder and Figment came to be. We’re putting together a sweeping adventure of exploration and wonderment inspired by the Journey Into Imagination attraction from Walt Disney World.With any work for hire project I feel it’s important to understand that you’re working with someone else’s creation. That requires research and trying to understand the core of that property. Figment is no different, but channeling aspects of an a famous Disney attraction and the original design material from the Disney Imagineers into a storyline was a really unique challenge.
CV: What was the process like in taking a staple at Journey into Imagination and writing a full-blown comic about him?
JZ: It was intimidating at first, but as the process has rolled along and the ideas started to coalesce together it’s been really enjoyable. All of us on the team are excited about enhancing the ‘mythology’ around Journey Into Imagination and enriching the sense of history and personality of these beloved characters.
CV: Have you ever seen the original Journey into Imagination ride and, if so, what did you take away from it?
JZ: Yes, actually. I went to Walt Disney World with my family when I was 14 years old and the ride really stuck with me. At that point in time I was obsessed with everything sword & sorcery, so a ride with a dragon mascot and magical adventure was definitely a big plus. When you’re that age the whole park seems full of endless possibilities, but Journey Into Imagination really takes that concept to another level by stressing the creativity within all of us.
CV: What is the tone of this series like? Will it have more of a SKULLKICKERS comical vibe or will it stay in the same tone as SEEKERS OF THE WEIRD? And why go that tonal route?
JZ: I think it has a bit of the whimsy of Skullkickers, but obviously we’re not going to have that level of violence or irreverence for this kind of project. This mini-series is about exploration, delving into larger ideas about the creative impulse and the courage it takes to dream big and carry through on those dreams.
If I had to sum it up I’d call it an “eccentric eclectic adventure” story. We’re trying to channel elements from the ride while fleshing them out into an exciting and dramatic plot and that fits the tone of both the ride and our story.
CV: What was your greatest challenge in taking Figment and partially creating a full comic around him?
JZ: With any work for hire project I feel it’s important to understand that you’re working with someone else’s creation. That requires research and trying to understand the core of that property. Figment is no different, but channeling aspects of an a famous Disney attraction and the original design material from the Disney Imagineers into a storyline was a really unique challenge.
CV: There's a steampunk element to this series. Are you a fan of it and what did you add to this book to give a steampunk feel?
JZ: It wasn’t my goal to add “steampunk” to Journey Into Imagination. I really think it was always there, even if that wouldn’t be what they would've called it when the ride was created. If you look at the crazy contraptions that Dreamfinder rides around in - steam-powered machines with twisting pipes, dirigibles and flapping glider wings, horns and funnels... the elements were already there, we’re just utilizing that.
CV: FIGMENT is an all ages book. What did you have to change about your writing style to reach everyone from adults to kids?
JZ: I don’t know that it’s a huge shift, to be honest. Although Skullkickers has some violence at its core, it’s always done with a wink and grin. I like joyous stories more than dark and downtrodden ones, so this fits my general storytelling sensibilities well. I’m definitely doing all I can to tap into a hopeful feeling for this story and I hope that readers have as much fun reading this as the team is having putting it together.
Thanks a bunch to Jim Zub for talking to us about the new series and make sure to check out FIGMENT when it hits store shelves in June!