Interview: Machine Girl Returns in 'Machine Girl & The Space Invaders'
Jan 11, 2021
Interview by Troy-Jeffrey Allen
She's already the best fighter in the galaxy...so what is left for Machine Girl? How about Space Pirates?
PREVIEWSworld: So this is the official follow up to last year’s Machine Girl 4-parter. For those late to the party, what is Machine Girl all about?
Matts: Yes, this is a follow-up but NOT a direct continuation. We intend that all of the Machine Girl books can be read on their own, as all of them will present new story arcs. But, of course, there is some important connective tissue between books. Regarding the story, we wanted to do a fun graphic novel. Lots of action and fights in Space with a strong female character that kicked some very diverse alien butts! The idea of Megan being an earthling outcast in an alien world really drove our emotions. But we wanted her to be more powerful than any human being and thus the concept of making her a cyborg-ish person really ignited our imagination. Regarding the character: Megan is a teenage girl; she is super funny and very naive in some aspects. But she is stubborn and well determined to get whatever she wants. She grew up on an alien world and that seems to be natural for her but at some point, she can't help but feel an attachment and nostalgia to her unknown mother planet: Earth. And she is obsessed with that world! She is a very jolly and cheerful person that has a big heart and always wants to help others.
PREVIEWSworld: What made you both want to come back to this series and continue Machine Girl’s story?
Sergio Mojes: I needed a break from drawing normal people! I love drawing creatures, monsters, and aliens from time to time!
Matts: We started this project almost 10 years ago! Neither I nor Sergio would be able to focus exclusively on the series, so it was more like a side project for us among our daily work. But given the time it took us to complete the first story, we grew very fond of Machine Girl and her universe. After the good performance, the first miniseries had last year, we wanted to keep telling stories about Megan and her gang. Our idea is to try to have a new miniseries every year.
PREVIEWSworld: Sergio, as an artist, what’s it like revisiting this series? Did anything change?
Sergio: Well, mostly I changed! I became the father of a boy since I did the first miniseries and that definitely changed my life. I also started working digitally. So, this new miniseries has been done entirely digitally. That helped me to go faster and work with more confidence. The first mini took me almost 5 years to finish. This one: I did it in 8 months! Definitely an improvement.
PREVIEWSworld: And what about these space pirates? What can you both tell us about them? How do they factor into this new story?
Matts: They come from the previous arc. They are now the new family for Megan as she has been adopted by them. And she does her part too! #1 opens up with a heist the Pirates planned, and Megan is helping them. We both love how they fit in their story, as they give us the chance to use some colorful and bizarre characters. I love the scene where Megan wants her part of the bounty they got. Sergio did magnificent work with expressions and gestures there.
PREVIEWSworld: Any visual standouts in the space pirates crew, Sergio? Is there one you particularly enjoy drawing?
Sergio: It’s like therapy for me! I have no restrictions to do them, so I can go crazy with designs. I love to explore new designs and mix them with some pop culture accessories. If you pay attention you will see some of the Space pirates using soccer jerseys, or baseball caps. I like to have fun with that mixture of common elements in a Sci-Fi story. I think I like to draw Captain Ahab, the most. He is a gentle giant and it’s relaxing to work on his design. Also, I want to highlight how important are the colors that our chromatic wizard did for the story: Moncho Bunge. He is a super talented colorist that fits perfectly well with his style and adds a ton of details to the story.
Matts: Totally agree! Also, the lettering and FX that our team -led by Martin Casanova did- are awesome. Special mention to our fantastic cover artists: Wenjuinn Png, Laura Braga, and Diego Greco!
PREVIEWSworld: What can you both tell us about these “Space Invaders?”
Matts: Well it is clearly an homage to the famous game. We don’t want to spoil it, but readers can expect some bug-like aliens in #2 and forth.
PREVIEWSworld: Our villains are a faction of ruthless scientists/mercenaries working for one of the dominant empires in the Galaxy. They do some dirty work for them as they experiment on people they found scattered over the Galaxy in distant moons or small planets.
Sergio: So, basically, they come from Space and they Invade these colonies, so not much else to add!
PREVIEWSworld: Can we expect some old characters from the first series to pop up?
Sergio: Definitely. We have Molvvky and Serpy, who are Megan’s closest friends. And of course, captain Ahab and his pirates saved the day on the first miniseries. Also, a couple of new characters like LedZ who is our very own Han Solo, and some friendly little guys that are going to appear later on in the story.
PREVIEWSworld: The first series definitely had a little bit of everything. I see some Frankenstein…maybe Battle Angel Alita…but I’d rather ask you. What inspired this comic? In terms of script and visually?
Matts: Mos Eisley Cantina! I always loved the setting in Tattoine with all of those aliens living together, with their own markets, beverages, currency, et… having some Alien races co-existing is something I found fascinating. There is a lot of Star Wars references and inspiration here. Also, there is an easter egg in the first miniseries: Dr. Peegot (Megan’s dad and creator of the Cyborgen species) is an anagram for Gepeto from Pinoccio’s story. There is a clear influence there when Peegot/Gepeto creates artificial life that gets real at the end. Also, as incredible as it may sound, I just discovered Battle Angel Alita with the movie. I ran and bought the first volume after that, and I can see many similarities between the characters but is totally a coincidence.
Sergio: Visually there are bits from everywhere. I love B-Class movies so a lot of vintage sci-fi comes to mind. I like the Flash Gordon movie from the 80’s a lot too. As well as some Masters of the Universe and many other ’80s-’90s characters.
PREVIEWSworld: You both worked together on the first series. How did that collaboration come together?
Sergio: We are both from Buenos Aires, Argentina. A common friend introduced us, and after a while, we wanted to do something special together. We started working together in another comic book, called Rancat. That is an urban superhero/crime drama story. And after a few chapters, the idea of doing something different, with spaceships, aliens, and a strong female lead was very appealing.
PREVIEWSworld: Looking forward, what can reader expect from Machine Girl and the Space Invaders?
Matts: A fun and entertaining story. With plenty of new characters, lots of action, some love discovery maybe…
As we said before, our idea is to do a series of stand-alone graphic novels, interconnected of course, but all of them can be read on its own. The first miniseries was more an origin story. This one explores how Megan has grew up, she is (a bit, just a bit) more mature and she is still looking for her place in the universe.
PREVIEWSworld: In terms of audience, who would you say this book is for?
Matts: As cliché, as it may sound, this is a book for everyone. If you like Science Fiction stories, or a strong female-led narrative, or just some action with monsters/alien species and spaceships you will like this story. I’ve seen reviews of the first miniseries by people from diverse genres and they all seem to have liked the book, so just go ahead and give it a chance! ;)
Sergio: For sure it’s not a book for kids! There is some cursing and extreme violence all over the book, so be aware as we don’t want to traumatize children!