Sean Lewis and Hayden Sherman Dissect Technological Dystopias In 'Thumbs'
Apr 05, 2019
The creators behind The Few present a dystopian world where technology has allowed corporations to take on the government, and a group of teens are caught in the middle. Image Comics sat down with Sean Lewis and Hayden Sherman to get the inside scoop on Thumbs #1 (APR190011), an April PREVIEWS Gem of the Month, coming to comic shops June 5th.
Image Comics: How would you describe Thumbs?
Sean Lewis: What would happen if Mark Zuckerburg started to give free technology and video games to lower-income kids in the hopes of turning them into his own army? Thumbs is a kid in a trailer park who, like most kids, is enamored with a tech billionaire named Adrian Camus. Camus has been supplying kids like Thumbs with interactive games, free technology, and even special schooling. But why? It's his own willing army in training.
Image Comics: Following The Few, this is your second comic about a dystopian future. What made both of you return to that genre?
Sean Lewis: The Few was a special book for me, and the working relationship with Hayden was really defining. With The Few, I wanted to make a sci-fi book that was actually kind of quiet and introspective. I wanted to look at guilt and belief, and I really wanted to see if a comic book could slow you down. Hayden got that instinctively, and his art did magic. For me, sci-fi allows me to explore things I am terrified of in a concrete way. I read about Amazon getting involved with lower-income NYC schools training kids to be Cloud representatives and giving free technology, and I start to wonder what is the end goal of this? How long is it before Amazon creates an iNanny to raise your children for you? And what lessons will that tech teach them?
Hayden Sherman: The dystopian future is always a fun way to take current anxieties and blow them up to create new worlds where those anxieties can be experienced in an extreme and almost literal way. So it’s definitely fun to do that again here in Thumbs, tackling different fears to create a new sort of world. That being said, the dystopian setting for The Few was on a much larger scale compared to what we’ve got here in Thumbs. There’s still a feeling of a defined culture and systems in this new dystopia, but I’d say it feels more localized to one society within a world that’s dealing with these new technologies and limitations in differing ways.
Image Comics: The story follows a group of gamers recruited into a private army to fight the U.S. government. Who are the key players in this war?
Sean Lewis: Charley Fellows, aka Thumbs, is our main character. He is searching for his sister, Tabitha, who was raised outside of his tech world. Nia is Thumbs' best friend who helps him in finding his sister. Adrian Camus is the billionaire who created this army. And The Power is like the U.S. Government. They are who Camus originally had planned on fighting. They are led by two anti-tech zealots: Sewell and Cora. Sewell and Cora both have suffered as a result of our interconnected age and have lobbied to end technology in the general population. And then there is MOM. MOM is an app designed by Camus to help raise children. MOM is also bad ass. Imagine an app that could live in 3D, charged with electricity and plugged into an endless mainframe of information. Yeah, that's MOM.
Read the rest of the interview at ImageComics.com!