by Vince Brusio
How do energy companies work? Who has been the last person to do a walking tour through a power plant with a camera to show the inner workings of the beast? Without any eyes prying (and talking heads denying), those running these companies would be pretty much insulated from threats. But what can’t be denied, is that eventually things do break down. All things come to pass. And what happens when it’s clean-up time? Enter Joe Harris’ new book for Image Comics. Prepare for Snowfall. It touches everything. That’s a good thing. Or, depending on who you are, it might be very, very bad, too.
Snowfall #1 (DEC150539) is in comic shops February 17.
PREVIEWSworld: How did the idea for Snowfall #1 (DEC150539) come about? What helped formulate the premise?
Joe Harris: It came together from a number of fronts at once, really. I'd been reading a lot about the effects of climate change for a while, just as a matter of interest and civic awareness, as well as some fringe-y climate stuff like geoengineering and so-called 'planet hacking,' in which the atmosphere is infused with particulate in order to increase reflectivity and help to lower temperatures — stuff that sounds intriguing, and might be the kind of desperate measures a world in crisis could be forced to resort to — but can you imagine the power those doing the hacking would wield? I started thinking about how energy companies work; like any massive concentration of wealth and power, they'll obscure, deny and outright battle any actions imposed on them that might hurt the continued production of wealth their dirty business provides. But the clean-up, after all this damage and time, is going to be enormous. Eventually, industry is going to pivot. The clean-up is where the future action is. And the corruption of the process by which American, and humanity, responds to the mess is as much what Snowfall is about as anything else. I also read about ‘snowflake farmers’ and was intrigued by these scientists who basically design and produce their own snow in a laboratory setting and my mind just ran with it all.
PREVIEWSworld: What does this story mean to you personally? How are you as a writer invested in Snowfall?
Joe Harris: I want to, as a least part of my career, keep producing speculative fiction that reflects the current state of our planet and environment. Speaking very broadly, t's the issue of this age, and it feels like we're losing it, big time. I have other causes that animate me, and I'm hardly a scientific expert on the subject matter itself. But where it lends itself to a good launching point for sci-fi, a compelling platform for high stakes drama, and a backdrop for characters wanting to fight the power, that’s where I feel most invested I think.
PREVIEWSworld: If you profiled your characters like a behavioral psychologist, what observations would you make? Who should we watch, who should we avoid, or who might surprise us?
Joe Harris: I'd pay attention to August Reasons, our “White Wizard” and the lead in the series. He's complex and motivated by lots more than he's presented as initially, and certainly more than he'd admit to. There's a very fine line between the hero fighting the great oppressor and the villain attacking the forces that make those fortunate enough to thrive under their system feel threatened. As they say, one person's "terrorist" is another's "freedom fighter." But that axiom goes both ways.
PREVIEWSworld: How did the artwork come together for Snowfall? What tweaking had to be done during production?
Joe Harris: When Martín and I were winding down our previous Image Comics series, Great Pacific, I went to Eric Stephenson with Snowfall and told him this is what we wanted to do next. Martín had already done a bunch of design work building out this world and we knew we wanted to do something different from our last series, but which also built on some of the ideas and themes we explored as well.
I think bringing in Kelly Fitzpatrick to color the book provided a pretty dramatic addition to Martín’s work. Between how lush the colors are, and how fascinatingly cool Tom Muller’s design and logo work on the series are, I think we’re all really pleased with how this book is looking.
PREVIEWSworld: We'll let you have the last word on this one. What would you like to say that would convince people to put this book on their pull list?
Joe Harris: Martín Morazzo is a stud at this and you need to pay attention. The writer’s got a few ideas and is trying his best to not drag the team down! :)