AfterShock Comics have announced a follow-up to the 2020-21 miniseries “The Kaiju Score,” titled “Kaiju Score: Steal From the Gods.” Writer James Patrick, artist Rem Broo, and letterer Dave Sharpe will return for the second installment, which will see the thief Michelle, now leading her own crew, on a new heist that also involves giant monsters.
Patrick commented, “If the first series was about Godzilla-like monsters, this leans into some Lovecraftian ones in terms of size and concept. Add to all of that that the heist in this one has a bit of a new twist to it. Last time, they had to get close to a kaiju. This time, they have to… well, that would be spoiling it. But we kind of start where the last one left off and it makes sense why Michelle gets involved in another score like this after the old job in Florida. Even if she comes to regret that decision quickly.”
Published by AfterShock from November 2020 to February 2021, the first, four-issue “Kaiju Score” series saw Michelle and three other criminals trying to steal a piece of art that had become stuck to the hide of a kaiju. The book has been optioned for a film at Sony Pictures, penned by Brian and Mark Gunn (Brightburn), while Patrick has also written “Campisi: The Dragon Incident,” a comic that similarly mashes up the crime and fantasy genres, for AfterShock.
For a full Q&A with Patrick and Broo, scroll below after an unlettered preview, and the incentive cover by Juan Doe. “Kaiju Score: Steal From the Gods” #1 will be released on April 13, 2022, and will retail at 32 pages for $4.99.
JAMES PATRICK ON WHAT THE NEW ARC IS ABOUT AND WHY HE IS EXCITED FOR IT TO BE RELEASED:
“The new arc is about Michelle picking up where she left off at the end of the last arc. She’s moving into a new role and we’ll explore the complications of it. Oh, and there are more giant monsters. There are BIGGER giant monsters. We only scratched the surface of the kaiju in the first series, and we’re playing with a new concept here.
If the first series was about Godzilla-like monsters, this leans into some Lovecraftian ones in terms of size and concept. Add to all of that that the heist in this one has a bit of a new twist to it. Last time, they had to get close to a kaiju. This time, they have to . . . well, that would be spoiling it. But we kind of start where the last one left off and it makes sense why Michelle gets involved in another score like this after the old job in Florida. Even if she comes to regret that decision quickly.
And I’m excited because I get to expand this world, I get to push some of these characters further, and because the tone and style of this book is a blast to flex inside of. To just kind of go crazy with the swagger and dialogue. Fast cars, colorful characters, fast talking, and Rem Broo just drawing the hell out of all of it. It all mixes well and right now it’s a kickass sandbox to play in. The world is established, now we get to play in all its corners.”
JAMES PATRICK ON HOW HE DECIDED WHICH CHARACTERS FROM VOLUME ONE WERE BEST TO CARRY ALONG AND FEATURE IN VOLUME TWO:
“I didn’t look at it specifically that way. I more started with did I have a story to tell, did any of the old characters still have a story to them, and when I figured out that one of them did, that’s when I started pushing things forward. You know, instead of it being a thing where I wanted to keep going with the concept first. It all swirls together after that, and then I tried to push the concept. But Michelle comes out of the first series in the most dramatic place of all the characters. In some ways, it feels like the most interesting part of her life is just beginning. So let’s take that journey with her. She’s not the only character from the first arc to appear – we’ll see some other familiar faces – but this is her story.”
JAMES PATRICK ON WHAT SOME OF THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES IN CREATING A COMIC BOOK ARE, AND HOW HE OVERCOMES THEM:
“Well, no matter how much you think you’re prepared to make something, it becomes real once it’s greenlit and then your biggest obstacle is that those books are going to start coming out at a certain date and those books are then periodical. The periodical nature of comics is always unique and it’s always challenging you because you’re trying to make the best of the limited space you have in the time you have to get it done. And when you’re writing two or three or four other books, this compiles. But when you do good work in this space, it’s very rewarding to point to those books and say I did it under these circumstances. I guess it’s kind of a similar concept, if not timeframe, to the crunch that Saturday Night Live has. Because if you were taking your time writing full scripts before a green light, and those didn’t get picked up, you’re putting a lot of energy and time into things that will never get seen. It’s a balancing act before the greenlight, and then a race after.”
REM BROO ON WHAT KAIJU (FROM FILM, TV, GAMES, ETC.) INSPIRED THE CONCEPTS AND LOOKS OF THE KAIJU IN THIS NEW ARC:
“James pointed out from the beginning that the Old Ones are less Kaiju but more Cthulhu-esque like creatures. To my shame, I have not read any H.P. Lovecraft stories so far, and I only had a vague idea on how Cthulhu is generally represented – I mainly knew about the tentacles part. So my original struggle was to discover what could make the difference between the two types of creatures. So I googled it and ended up on Pinterest, where I was just randomly clicking on whatever creature seemed of somewhat interest, then skipped to another. I did this visual run for quite some time, until my head seemed that it was finally saturated with possible details and ideas. At that moment I took a break, and let everything sink in for a couple of days. Then one morning I returned to my sketch board and just randomly started to draw, with no exact purpose, just playing with the line. Slowly three creatures started to take shape, and I just started adding more and more details to them. Two of these designs became final. But since the question was aiming at something more specific, I think that the original designs for the Zerg race from the Starcraft video game are somewhat always at the base of this type of creatures for me. I studied them intensely some years ago, and they are somewhat embedded into me.”
REM BROO ON IF HE HAS A FAVORITE PAGE/PANEL FROM THIS SERIES:
“For this first issue of the new arc, I would choose the final page of Michelle and Javier’s discussion in the mansion. I find that it has a very good balance between dialogue and atmospheric panels. First you have the cumulated tension between the two characters, represented by the close up focus on Javier’s smirk and the lips of a deadly serious Michelle. Then you have a relaxed Javier who’s sure he has given the convincing final argument. But then you can almost feel the slow passing of time. Michelle takes in the situation, then without pressure drinks her whiskey and places it on the board. She gives an unexpected bold verdict, then the lights go off and finally there’s just darkness and silence left. James’ script gave me enough space where I could play and come up with elements that created, as I see it, this almost movie like scene. It’s a scene that takes it’s time, there’s no rush, but is still incredibly dense.”
REM BROO ON WHAT SOME OF THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES OF CREATING THE ART ARE, AND HOW HE OVERCOMES THEM:
“When I read a new script page, my initial reaction is “I have no fucking idea how to put these words into a drawing”. My mind turns into a total blank and I start questioning myself: “That’s it? Did I lose my artistic skill?” I suppose it’s a reminiscence of impostor’s syndrome. So I always need to remind myself that I can do this, and I just need a little bit of time to allow the script to sink in and my mind to process all the new information. And then, a couple of minutes later, I go over the script a second time, words start to make sense and ideas simply start flooding my imagination, slowly building images. Another challenge is to learn to let go. I’m a perfectionist when it’s about art. For me every panel, every page has to look at the best my skills allow them to. And in the comics context, where as an artist speed is sometimes more important than artistic perfection (for several good reasons) that’s not necessarily good. I would like to be able to let go of adding that tiny detail in the corner of the panel, that doesn’t add anything, to a better understanding of the story that no one will notice anyway. To generally be able to simplify some aspects of my drawing style and artistic process. This is a challenge that I’m still trying to overcome.”