What is JACKPOT! all about? What is this world he's creating like? We talked to Ray to find out exactly what we can expect in this new title.
COMIC VINE: What is JACKPOT! about?
RAY FAWKES: JACKPOT! is a book about the world's smartest crooks bumping into literal Gods on Earth, and going after their greatest treasure. Not their money or their stuff, but the ultimate source of their power. The power to become Gods themselves.
CV: How many characters make up the group of con artists?
FAY FAWKES: There are five people in the crew, and even knowing that gives you an edge over most of their targets. Most people only think they're dealing with two or three of them, the "faces" of the team.
CV: Is this an idea you just came up with or one you've had rolling around in your head?
RAY FAWKES: I've been wanting to do a book like this for a long time. The idea for it has been developing, in one form or another, in the notes for a few years now. I'm fascinated with con artists, and I'm a one time gambler myself, so the subject matter is really appealing to me and has been for a long time.
CV: What can you tell us about the comic book world you're creating? Is the existence of gods and superpowers widely known?
RAY FAWKES: The existence of superpowers in JACKPOT! is a complete secret - one that certain people are willing to kill to maintain. As a result, the world looks a lot like our own, until you get a glimpse behind the curtain, so to speak. Then? All bets are off.
CV: Where does the story take place?
RAY FAWKES: The story takes place all over the world, and in dimensions beyond human understanding. Glamorous hotels, back alleys, oceangoing vessels, and twisted, infinitely repeating holes in reality all figure into the first arc of the story.
CV: Do you have a favorite character at this point?
RAY FAWKES: Ah, of course I do, but you're asking me to publicly choose between one of my children! It's one of the crew of con artists featured in the story, and it's just because I really, really enjoy writing their dialogue.
It's funny though - as it often is with writers - ask me this question tomorrow, and I might have a different answer. Sometimes I'm in love with the quiet characters, and all the things going on in their minds. Sometimes it's the clever ones with their smartass remarks.
CV: Did you work with Marco Failla on character designs?
RAY FAWKES: Yes, of course. This was one of those projects where Marco came in after I'd done some initial work, so there were a lot of notes for him, but once his pencil touched paper the characters all became his creations as much as mine, and he did a brilliant job with them. I'm very happy to be working with Marco.
CV: How much of the story do you have mapped out at this point?
RAY FAWKES: The entire first arc of the story is mapped out - six issues - and then the ultimate ending for the book is planned. How much room we have between the first arc and the ending will determine how many of the notes and possible story lines I've got in my book will make it to the final series - and that, of course, depends on the market, right? I can say I have a one year plan and a three year plan and a five year one - and I do - but which one we get to play out? We'll see.
CV: How crazy are things going to get?
RAY FAWKES: Oh man. Batshit crazy. By the time readers finish the first issue, they'll have seen violations of the fundamental rules of reality, even if they don't realize it at first. By the time we're three months in, we're talking impossible landscapes in six or seven dimensions. And THEN it gets really weird… you'll have to see it to believe it.
The good news is you won't have to wait too long to see it and believe it. JACKPOT! #1 is out in April. Be sure to let your comic shop know that you're interested in a copy!