07 Dec

AfterShock Comics Announces Sequel To ‘We Live’ With ‘We Live: Age Of The Palladions’

AfterShock Comics’ hit sci-fi comic book series, We Live, returns with We Live: Age of the Palladions, set six years after the first series. Written by Inaki Miranda and Roy Miranda with art by Inaki, the first issue is due out Wednesday 9th March with each issue coming out with a different trading card as a bonus.

But, wait, there’s more. It will release as TWO separate number ones, We Live: Age of the Palladions BLACK#1 and We Live: Age of the Palladions WHITE #1. Check out the two different covers, and different previews too, as well as the slightly different synposes before we get into it a little bit more with the Miranda brothers themselves.

We Live: Age of the Palladions BLACK #1 Preview pages:

“We are back into the hopeful, apocalyptic world of Tala and Hototo. 

Year 2090. Six years have passed since Salvation Day, when Palladions, with their majestic powers, emerged as the protectors of humanity, saving the five remaining Megalopolis and securing the future of the human species. 

But nothing stays and the horizon always brings a new storm. 

These are dark times. Death, famine and desperation lurk around the streets of Megalopolis 9. The shield has lost thirty percent of its reach. The New Nature has learned to create cuts in the energy channels that power the Beacon and the Palladions. A never ending horde of beasts siege the remains of the city, increasing the desperation among the population. 

The responsibility of keeping the city afloat lies on the shoulders of Generals Nesbo and Terrassa, who have to resort to risky survival measures. The reconnection missions are the only thing that is keeping the population secure…but nothing seems enough. 

Powerlessness corners the Palladions, who fear not being able to protect the city. 

Everything is black, except for the white snow that covers with silence the dying, black present.”

We Live Age of the Palladions WHITE #1 Preview pages:

“We are back into the hopeful, apocalyptic world of Tala and Hototo. 

Year 2090. Six years have passed since Salvation Day, when Palladions, with their majestic powers, emerged as the protectors of humanity, saving the five remaining Megalopolis and securing the future of the human species. 

But nothing stays and the horizon always brings a new storm. 

These are dark times. Death, famine and desperation lurk around the streets of Megalopolis 9. The shield has lost thirty percent of its reach. The New Nature has learnt to create cuts in the energy channels that power the Beacon and the Palladions. A never-ending horde of beasts siege the remains of the city, increasing the desperation among the population. 

The responsibility of keeping the city afloat lies on the shoulders of Generals Nesbo and Terrassa, who have to resort to risky survival measures. Journeying outside of the city in search of food is the only thing that is keeping the population alive, but nothing seems enough. 

Fear opens its way through Megalopolis 9 like a great crack of faith that separate more and more the population from the Palladions

Snow covers the city with a heavy white mantle, invoking oblivion and nothingness.”

So, about this new series? The Miranda brothers explain more and catch readers up to speed on the time jump of six years:

ROYThe story begins six years after the appearance of the Palladions in Megalopolis 9. After an ephemeral time of prosperity, the city faces a new critical situation. We are in the middle of a very delicate moment where a decision will have to be made for the survival of the population. It’s a story that deepens in the concept of heroism; a kind of heroism that few can assume when it needs to be built from a place of defeat. The readers that have followed us since the first arc will see how the universe of WE LIVE has grown along with the characters. Especially our main characters, who have grown physically, but mostly psychologically.  

The truth is that we don’t want to reveal too much. We feel that we ourselves have been discovering the story as we were creating it. We have faced moments where we were unsure if we have been inventing it or simply uncovering something that had a life of its own. And we would love for the readers to feel the same.

We don’t know what the readers expect, but we like to think that they’re not expecting what they are about to live.

INAKIEach season of WE LIVE requires the presentation of a new world, a changed one, with new rules and logic. Earth mutates at an unstoppable rhythm, and the characters are trying to not be left behind; to survive and endure. One of our main concerns when laying out this new arc was how to define a new fantastical reality that at the same time would feel sincere. A world where, even though we have super powered beings, we’d still be able to speak about the heart that defines WE LIVE; the human condition and the tragedies that surround us, and how we face them and what part love plays in the equation. We didn’t want superheroes fighting super villains or street crime. Because the real problem with humanity is a much more endemic and extensive problem. We are our own hell. We wanted the Palladions to feel real, we wanted them to face the same desperations that our species faces. And we wanted them to feel the same powerlessness. That’s why we felt the need to start this season with two simultaneous issues #1. This gives us the correct space to put the Palladions on the same level as the rest of humans.

Megalopolis 9 is under attack from the New Nature. A third part of its territory is in ruins. The population that is still alive is suffering the direct consequences of a siege. Famine starts to be an approaching problem, medicines are scarce, makeshift cemeteries are being built, entire areas have been reconditioned as refugee camps. I don’t think I need to point out the specific parallelisms with our close reality.

And the characters? Where are they at?

ROYWe have dedicated a lot of time to understand how the relationship between Tala and Hototo would develop after Hototo’s transformation. Their individual psychology and also the invisible string that bonds them to each other. We had to learn to look at the world through the lenses of two different realities. One being the perspective of the Palladions (especially in Megalopolis 9) and the other being the perspective of humans; and work them separately. This took us to discover new characters that have been essentials for tying this arc emotionally.  Through these new characters we have gone as far as we needed when exploring the limits of human behavior.

And of course… we have a little cool surprise with one of my favorite characters: Humbo.

INAKIIn the epicenter of this epic story, we are back into the immense story of Tala and Hototo. Not only has the changed, but the journey has affected the siblings. Though it hasn’t been able to touch the love that they have for each other; their world is still “them”. This new arc is somehow like a three-ring circus. Everything is happening at once, and the characters are being pushed and pulled by the hurricanes of destiny. 

As Roy says, Tala has grown not only externally, but also internally. The psychology of this “new” Tala is complex. We have had an infinity of discussions about who she is in this new arc. And in the end, we realized that the secret to knowing a character is to put her in a scene and let her live and react.  The characters will decide who they are and one can only discover it as they unfold. The same happened for Hototo. He now has super powers, but it is the connection with Tala what really defines him.

And apart from the rest of the Palladions readers will meet General Terrassa and General Nesbo; they are partly in charge of the survival of the population of Megalopolis 9, and their decisions might be the only thing that separates their lives form their death. It will be interesting to follow their paths and to analyze who takes the right one.

As for working together? It seems it’a all good. More than good!

ROYSeeing how he creates the visual universe. When we finally reach the sweet spot where we are both excited with what we wrote, I love waiting to see how he finishes it visually. My imagination is never prepared for what he fabricates drawing it. On the other hand, I enjoy the extreme trust we have achieved when throwing ideas at each other. We are like two gunslingers trying to outdraw the other, we play to see who is quicker and hits the target first.

The toughest moments are when bullets fly by and don’t hit anything … in those moments we just need to trust that one of us will hit the mark eventually. It’s ironic to think that when one fails, all he wants is for the other to win!

INAKIIt’s the pure joy of experiencing creativity in action, to reach the spot where we both smile and get excited with what just happened in the room. Sometimes I find myself with no ideas and no clues… we need something special but I have nothing… so we just start to talk randomly about things we have read or seen… but I know that I have nothing clever… I am simply talking and waiting for Roy to do some magic trick that will put us back on the road to joy.  

And then there’s the incredible emotion that comes from being able to share with your own brother the happiness that comes with creating something important.

Look out for We Live: Age of the Palladions BLACK #1 and We Live Age of the Palladions WHITE #1 March 9th from AfterShock Comics.

16 Feb

“We Live: Era of the Palladions” to Continue the Mirandas’ Sci-Fi Epic

The fifth and final issue of Roy and Inaki Miranda’s AfterShock series “We Live” hits stores tomorrow, and the publisher have announced a follow-up by the same creative team, “We Live: Era of the Palladions.” The series will start sometime later this summer, and continue the story of Tala, who spent the first volume ensuring her brother Hototo left Earth before Extinction Day.

“Now is the Era of the Palladions,” the synopsis states, “a new age for Earth and her people, protected against wild nature by armored heroes. But what happened to Hototo’s friends, Humbo and Alice? How will the world move forward? And what has become of Tala, now that she has no brother to protect?”

Writer Roy Miranda said in an official Q&A that the first arc of “‘We Live’ was really conceived as a prologue. The story, the characters and their destiny gain their true purpose at the end of this first season. And it was risky, because we depended on the sales numbers, we depended on the readers following us to the real ‘starting line’; to the point where we could open the door to this new universe. If the numbers wouldn’t had followed us, we would have missed the chance to really start this story. So the feeling is bigger than excitement, it’s feeling that the dream we want to fulfill really starts now.”

Co-writer and artist Inaki Miranda said he felt grateful to readers for helping them make it “to this point,” and warned this time, “anything can happen. Nobody is safe. Don’t forget that.” Colorist Eva de la Cruz and letterer Dave Sharpe will also be returning for the second run. For more from the Miranda brothers, check out the full Q&A below, and click here for a preview of tomorrow’s finale:

THE MIRANDA BROTHERS ON HOW EXCITED THEY ARE TO BE RETURNING TO THIS WORLD AND GROUP OF CHARACTERS:

ROY: WE LIVE was conceived to start when issue 5 ends. When my brother and I were crafting each issue we really enjoyed knowing where this arc was going. This first arc was really conceived as a prologue. The story, the characters and their destiny gain their true purpose at the end of this first season. And it was risky, because we depended on the sales numbers, we depended on the readers following us to the real “starting line”; to the point where we could open the door to this new universe. If the numbers wouldn’t had followed us, we would have missed the chance to really start this story. So the feeling is bigger than excitement, it’s feeling that the dream we want to fulfill really starts now.

INAKI: There’s also a feeling of gratitude to the readers and a big relief for having made it to this point.

THE MIRANDA BROTHERS ON WHO THEIR FAVORITE CHARACTER IS FROM THE FIRST ARC:

INAKI: I think Roy and I both agree on Tala being our favorite. We worked on her interior a lot. Every step that she takes in the story, we feel it and see it through her eyes and thoughts; she is the readers eyes… she makes us understand and feel the heavy burden of responsibility on her shoulders, the unconditional love she has for her brother and the helplessness that she experiences as she faces such a hostile world.

Well, there’s another reason. We know what’s in store for her in the second season…

ROY: Humbo is also a favorite of ours. I feel his humor is very much like the humor Inaki and I grew up with in my family. I like to think that we were just like him when we were his age; and that we would had faced a world like We Live with his attitude.

THE MIRANDA BROTHERS ON WHAT NEW AND EXISTINNG READERS CAN EXPECT TO FIND IN THIS ARC:

ROY: We erase a lot of boundaries at the end of issue 5. We write new game rules, with as much possibilities as our imagination allows us. But the essence of WE LIVE will continue. You will still hear a voice on the back of your heads saying “don’t get too comfortable, because everything is possible, anything can happen; for better or worse.”

INAKI: Yup, anything can happen. Nobody is safe. Don’t forget that.

THE MIRANDA BROTHERS ON WHO THEY’D LIKE TO DIRECT AND STAR IN, IF THIS SERIES WAS MADE INTO A FILM OR TV SHOW:

INAKI: We’ll leave the actors casting to the director (it’s a tough one). I feel the hidden personality of WE LIVE is a blend between the big epic scope of a blockbuster and the subtle contemplative and intimate beats of an independent film. The perfect director for WE LIVE would be someone who likes and knows how to play in both fields simultaneously.

ROY: This said… how about David Benioff and D.B. Weiss from Game of Thrones.

INAKI: OK, how about Neil Druckmann (The Last of Us).

ROY: Jon Favreau.

INAKI: Gavin O’Connor (Warrior), David Mackenzie (Hell or High Water), Rupert Wyatt (The Gambler), Bennett Miller (Moneyball)… all these would make me happy as well. It’s WE LIVE, anything can happen!

 

05 May

‘We Live’ Imagines Final Days of Humanity

The new AfterShock Comics series shows how two siblings negotiate the near-end of the human race.

AfterShock Comics’ latest series begins at the lowest point of humanity, but as its creators explain, the family drama We Live is anything but apocalyptic hand-wringing.

Set in a near future where a number of different events — including climate collapse and a world war to claim dominance over the few remaining resources — have left only a third of humanity alive, the unthinkable happens: a message arrives from space, announcing the upcoming, unavoidable extinction of the human race.

There’s a small sliver of hope, however. Those responsible for the forthcoming genocide promise that 5,000 children will be spared, providing rescue bracelets and placing nine “Extraction Beacons” around the world that will provide safe passage to those present and wearing the bracelets when the end comes.

“We are five days away from Extraction Day when we start the story,” co-writer and artist Inaki Miranda told The Hollywood Reporter. “We follow the journey of two siblings, Hotoro and his older sister, Tala, from their home to a distant Extraction Beacon. What Hotoro doesn’t know is what his salvation implies — if they survive and succeed in reaching the Extraction Beacon in time, that will also mean that he will lose his sister Tala forever, since she doesn’t wear a bracelet and must stay on Earth. The weight of the journey falls upon Tala. She will risk everything to save her little brother, keeping him unaware of the real tragedy that’s unfolding.”

The series, added Miranda’s brother and co-writer, Roy, “is a story about defeat. It talks about a human race that has accepted its own extinction. Imagine what it‘s like to begin an adventure in that emotional state. We have combined two great human conflicts, desperate migration and the consequences of climate change, and we have placed them on the shoulders of two innocent kids. That right there is a fabulous blend of fairy dust and powder in the pockets of imagination.”

Inaki added that this book is one for the current struggles we face.

“We are living a moment where we can’t think in future mode; there are too many variables in the game. Our present feels a lot like walking through fog. And in the middle of all this, we also harbor a powerful human emotion and the sentiment of fighting the adversities: keep walking, surviving, thriving,” he said. “I’d love this book to be experienced as a parallel read, in some magical way,  to all the adversities that we are going through right now. I’d love for Tala and Hotoro’s journey to turn into a part of  the readers’ own journey as well. That’s the magic of storytelling, it’s all about the metaphors that we can re-create and the emotions that we can extrapolate into our own lives.”

We Live, which is from colorist Eva de la Cruz, will launch Oct. 14. Look below for preview pages from the first issue.