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Skid Marks On Savage Streets For Image Comics' Motor Crush

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by Vince Brusio

Do you like the smell of burned tires? Do you like to lay the rubber on the road so that pebbles and stones kick up like missiles shot from an aircraft carrier? And did cartoons like Speed Racer make you want to buy your own Mach 5 so that you could someday be an avenger on wonder wheels? That combination of energy and fast metal come together in creator-owned series called Motor Crush (OCT160552) for Image Comics, and in this PREVIEWSworld Exclusive interview, we talk to the people who worked as the bike's pit crew. Creators Brenden Fletcher, Cameron Stewart, and Babs Tarr give us sci-fi and synthetics in a high-speed, high stakes, wild world of motorcycle racing that’s dangerous, explosive, and sometimes...illegal.

Motor Crush #1 (OCT160552) is in comic shops December 7.

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Vince Brusio: So what’s the origin behind Motor Crush #1 (OCT160552)? What planted the seed for the story? And how did the three of you pow-wow to settle on the specifics on how this project would come together?

Brenden Fletcher: Cameron, Babs, and I were only guaranteed a single arc on Batgirl. We very quickly discovered how much we enjoyed working together and started talking about what we’d like to do as a follow up, in case additional Batgirl arcs weren’t in the cards. So, naturally, the topic of a creator-owned project came up!

Inspired by Babs’ popular “Bosozoku Sailor Scouts” pin-up, I pulled out an old animation pitch I’d drawn up years ago about badass lady bikers fighting drugged-up machines running rampant in a sci-fi world and together we retooled that into what eventually became Motor Crush.  

Vince Brusio: On the surface, this book is being labeled “sci-fi action-adventure.” What can you tell us about the moving parts in the story that qualify it for such a label? How do those parts talk? And how are they drawn?

Cameron Stewart: Motor Crush takes place in a fictional world, but we didn't want to go into hard sci-fi territory — with flying cars, laser guns, robots, and so on — so the city of Nova Honda (where our first storyline is set) mostly resembles our world, with hints of more advanced technology littered throughout, in the form of holographic video screens or the floating "Catball" camera drones that record the racers in the World Grand Prix. Our greatest sci-fi conceit is the titular substance "Crush," which is essentially a drug that affects machinery rather than humans. As the story progresses, we will see Domino travel outside of Nova Honda on a quest to discover the true origin and ultimate purpose of Crush.

Vince Brusio: We have a father/daughter relationship portrayed on the preview pages in the October catalog for this debut issue. A type of Pops and Speed Racer dynamic? What’s the chemistry between these two? Dad too old to hit the trail like he used to, so he’s living out the dream through his daughter?

Babs Tarr: Domino and Sully are very inspired by Speed and Pops. They’re a funny pair but balance each other well! Sully's not only Domino’s dad but her racing coach and mentor. He has taught her everything she knows about racing and then some. Sully is a big guy with a sunny disposition and a booming voice, rarely seen without a smile. Domino plays it cool but it's hard for her not to smile when he is around. Sully used to race professionally, but lost his leg in an accident and is no longer able to ride. He is not so much living his dreams through Dom as he is sharing his passion and fire for racing with the person he cares for most in the world. 

FUN FACT: Fan cast of Sully Swift in my heart — the incomparable Terry Crews! 

Vince Brusio: What is it about this book that makes it explosive? Kinetic? What can you say about what each of you put into it to make it a high-octane comic book, and essential for someone’s pull list at the comic shop?

Cameron Stewart: Motor Crush is set in the high speed, high-stakes world of motorcycle racing, both official and illegal, and so amidst the personal drama between our characters, it's full of intense racing and violent combat.  I storyboard each issue fully and pay particular attention to these action sequences, which I try to make feel exciting, alive, and roar off the page. 

Brenden Fletcher: Motor Crush is full of crazy ideas and wild action. I’m definitely more of an ideas person so I spend a lot of time dreaming up off-kilter world-building concepts and characters. Cameron and I share scripting duties though the entire team, and along with ace-editor Jeanine Schaefer we bash out the story together.

Babs Tarr: It’s explosive because we've built Motor Crush to be a neon-sports-racing-"Drive"-tasting-manga-fever dream! When you read Motor Crush we want you to smell the ocean and gasoline in your nose, hear the engines roaring in your ears, and feel the adrenaline pumping in your veins! Every page will ooze cool and give your eyes a feast of fun.

I think it's worth putting on your pull list because when Cameron, Brenden and I collaborate, some kinda magic happens and with Motor Crush the magic is amplified 10 fold  because we have no limits to where we can go, and what we can do. I am so unbelievably proud of this book and my team. We hope to build something that really is unique and true to ourselves.  Just completely indulging everything we love and having a blast doing it. I know if we're having fun creating it the readers will have just as much fun reading it!

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Creators Brenden Fletcher and Cameron Stewart pose for a picture with Motor Crush.
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Vince Brusio writes about comics, and writes comics. He is the long-serving Editor of PREVIEWSworld.com, the creator of PUSSYCATS, and encourages everyone to keep the faith...and keep reading comics.

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