Since we've enjoyed their past Kickstarter projects, we wanted to find out more about this one. We talked to Jimmy and Justin about this project and more.
COMIC VINE: What is HYPE all about?
JUSTIN GRAY:Hype is the story of a hero with superhuman abilities who can only function for one hour a day. During that hour he is expected to save the world from numerous threats that are too difficult for anyone else to handle. Hype is also the story about two people trying to navigate what it means to be human, while all that other stuff is happening. How do you live a rich full life in one hour on any given day? Also how do you put these global problems your risking your life for into perspective?
JIMMY PALMIOTTI:Hype is taking an idea and running with it and then dealing with the problems this idea would have along the way. Creating any kind of life holds a responsibility to it for the creators so we explore that and the relationships Hype has with the people around him, as well as the world he lives in.
CV: When did you guys come up with the idea?
JUSTIN:Hype has been around for a while and it has gone through a number of evolutions. Initially a straightforward superhero tale, the character and concept changed because we saw the potential to make it something different. A love story emerged to become a large portion of the inner conflict. Hype as a character changed from being a dashing and pulpy action hero to someone struggling to put his life in perspective.
JIMMY: Like Justin says, its been with us for a bit and we felt it really didn't fit with a lot of what we were doing at the time and we held back with it until we figured a Kickstarter would be perfect for this project. We just didn't want to give away this good of an idea and these days, its hard to get a book out there with any company that doesn’t want a piece. As well, we thought about image, but thought the one shot nature of the story wouldn't fit what they were looking for. Kickstarter was the perfect place to get the book in the right hands. What is also cool about the Kickstarter is that these are print on demand, so only this version will exist for the Kickstarter.
CV: How does the tone of this compare to your other books?
JUSTIN: I’ve mentioned many times in the past in some way or another that we try to approach each project and idea as unique. The tone, the look, the characters should be fresh and deeply rooted in the source material. Everything needs to have its own voice. Hype is bright and shiny like the main character, but the world is very similar to the 21st century we know. There are common threats, relatable technologies and yet the fantasy elements of a good superhero story exist as well.
JIMMY: I would say it compares to The Resistance and Denver in the way that we ground the story in the real world, but take things a bit further in a science fiction way. As always, after all the gloss and action, the book is about relationships, with people and with nature.
CV: Is this a completely self-contained story or is there room to continue?
JUSTIN: It is both. Obviously people familiar with comics know the serialized nature of the medium and you never want to close a door to future storytelling. We could easily expand the universe that Hype exists in, but the focus for this story was to introduce the world, characters and at the same time tell a smaller story inside the greater landscape of what Hype’s potential can be.
CV: What's your favorite thing about this story?
JUSTIN: For me it is the opportunity to put myself in the shoes of someone that has next to no life experience, someone that is curious and child-like, but is also expected to do some very adult things for reasons he may not fully comprehend.
JIMMY: The sense of discovery. While writing it, we kept thinking of what each person had going on and adding more and more pages along the way. You can do this with your own book and open deadline. We have been working on this fir a while now. Once the Kickstarter is done, we are getting it right to the printers so there is no waiting time.
CV: You guys also have Delete coming. What can you tell us about it?
JUSTIN:Delete is a project I’ve been in love with for a long time. I’ve always viewed it as the love child of Luc Besson, John Cassavetes and Philip K. Dick. It has these sci-fi elements and it has this very human angle to the situation and characters, whils at the same time being packed with violent action sequences. In thinking about it now, even though both were writing independently of each other at different times, there’s a similarity between the two male lead characters, but for very different reasons that make both stories unique. It is one of the most pure action movie type stories we’ve done.
Jimmy:Delete is coming in March from First/Devils Due and is a blast! Delete has John Timms working on the art, as you may know, he is one of my Harley Quinn artists and he is doing an amazing job on this book. We have been working on this mini series for over 2 years now.
CV: Jimmy, You currently have Harley Quinn (plus the Gang of Harleys miniseries), Starfire, Super Zero (at AfterShock), Delete and Hype going on. Plus managing the Kickstarter. How do you balance it all?
JIMMY: Amanda and I were just talking about this very thing over breakfast this morning. The thing I tell people is to always keep a schedule and make sure to hit all your deadlines and part of that is knowing how much you can do or not do. A lot of what you are seeing has taken years to put together. The DC stuff is current but books like Delete and Hype have been worked on for a while now and a lot of time things line up and come out around the same time, which is unfortunate, but it cannot be helped. That said, I take care of my health, keep lists and calendars everywhere and make sure everyone is taken care of. Screw up on this job and you are doomed.
CV: These books are coming out from DC Comics, AfterShock, and Devil's Due. Is this your way of playing the field rather than put all your eggs (and books) in one basket?
JIMMY: My one basket for commercial work of other peoples characters is DC comics, mostly because they give me a ton of freedom to do what I want, understand best how I work, and at the end of the day treat me better than any other company, indies included. I work with the other companies because these works are creator owned or shared and they are usually original ideas out of the gate that I have a personal attachment to, and want to stay attached. My most important company is my own and that is Paperfilms, the one where we publish our Kickstarters from and sell our books. We are always at break-even stage, but manage to get a project or two out a year, and this is my one true love.
What people do not understand, though a lot are figuring out, is that comic people for the most part do not make a great living and it's a constant hustle. The Kickstarters reflect this pretty well because the amounts asked reflect just how expensive it is to put out your own books, but I will continue to do so, and will continue to support and help others along the way.
CV: People already know they should be reading Harley Quinn and Starfire. What can you tell us about Super Zero and Delete?
JIMMY: These are two books that have their own voice. Super Zero is a weird one with a character that could easily be someone we know taking their love of comics a bit too far and Delete was created by us because we love movies like The Professional and sci-fi as well. Both of these projects live or die by sales, so enough could not be said by me how important it is to preorder these books with your local retailer. Again, two series with a lot of love that we hope will continue on one day past their original mini-series status.
Take a look at the video for HYPE.
Be sure to visit the Kickstarter page to back the project and to find out more information. Of course, be sure to check out Jimmy and Justin's other projects as well since they're so groovy.