After Guy Salvatore's girlfriend Sith died, he can't get through a morning without monsters coming out of the bathroom mirror or being pressed with his friends' concern over his well-being.
We spoke with creator, Chandra Free, about
The God Machine.
The Big Bad Wolf: Can you give our readers a synopsis of The God Machine?
Chandra Free: Sure! Basically the story is about a young man named Guy Salvatore who is going through a rough time in his life because his girlfriend recently died. But that's not just the beginning of Guy's woes. He's starting to see monsters that plague and torment him daily. Guy is pretty certain that this just isn't part of the depression, that it must be something else, this can't be reality.
Then, one night, a mysterious man comes to Guy and informs him that his girlfriend is actually still alive, floating in and out of “Dream Worlds.” He tells Guy that he is the only one with the ability to go into the “Dream Worlds” to save her.
Now this is just the beginning of a much larger story. It will touch on my own mythos of the Gods, their politics, and a multitude of dimensions with many different creatures. Beyond that, it will delve further into the psyche of a young man whose reality is expanding as he is on a quest for love and sanity.
The Big Bad Wolf: Can you give us more information on the main character, Guy Salvatore?
Seventeen-year-old Guy has lost his way in life. He was the ideal “A” student rising to meet all of the highest academic standards and being quite successful according to his parents. He's now behind in all of his classes, and the potential of not graduating looms in the background. Even his band with Andrew, his best friend, is on the rocks. He detests Andrew's Gothic Society (viewing it as a lot of pretentious childish behavior), has refused to be a part of it ever since it's conception, and has been dragged along to every single function it's ever had.
Guy is a skeptic, always questioning things around him. He doesn't believe in things unless he has tangible proof in front of him. So when Guy starts to see things, he naturally tries to figure out the most plausible answers to what's happening.
The Big Bad Wolf: Guy’s world seems to be very complex. Can you talk a bit about the Gods, etc., that shape this world?
Good God and Evil God are in charge of maintaining balance throughout all of existence. They are not your typical omnipresent gods. In fact, they maintain this system through a governing body called “The Order.” The Order acts as a democracy, combining all the voices from each section of existence through The Order's members. The members function as representatives from multiple dimensions and the worlds thereof.
Good God is the most powerful of the Gods and acts as an executive. She is an artist and creator of many strange and unique worlds. In her free time, she loves to sleep in coffins and read tabloids which she absolutely hates.
Her compatriot is Evil God, the second most powerful god. He's a lazy god who shrugs off his duties to watch TV and eats various meats on sticks. Somehow these two gods manage to govern all of existence without blowing the 'place' up.
The Big Bad Wolf:
What kind of monsters will we see in this book?
A whole host of creepy creeps, big eyed, big toothed, and elongated weirdos - the ones that lurk in the shadows! We have little cranky witchlings who would spoon out your eye for the perfect box of cereal, inter-dimensional creatures who devour the flesh of foreign bodies that don't belong to that particular world, sadistic creatures that derive pleasure from tormenting their victims with their own bowels ripped out and dangled in front of their faces, man-hungry caterpillars who feed on the sexual lust of their bound victims - you know, the typical family friendly monsters that you'd see on Saturday morning cartoons.
The Big Bad Wolf: How did you come up with the idea for The God Machine?
Well I was standing on my toilet one night and I fell off, hit my head, and came up with the flux capacitor...
I was in high school at the time, (about 1999) I had just read “I Feel Sick: A Story About a Girl,” by Jhonen Vazquez and that inspired me to think outside the Anime box. I started looking at Indie comics as the route I wanted to take my story. That's when I first conceived of what later became “The God Machine.” I drew about a gazillion images in a sketch book looking for an answer to “what story do I want to tell.” That's when I came to the my first drawing of Guy Salvatore. I became so fascinated by this character and that I was compelled to make a whole world and cast around him. Sounds crazy doesn't it?
The idea of “The God Machine” will be turning a decade old this December, and has grown exponentially from that one single drawing of Guy. It is no longer just a story about a young man who's going through a loss in his life, but that of a young man who must grow beyond his narrow, inner-world to become something more...
The Big Bad Wolf: The art really sets the mood for this book. How would you explain the style of this book, as it definitely has a dark feel?
Chandra Free: I believe in that getting the right mood and tone of a scene is important in conveying the emotional content of the story. I break things down by each individual scene choosing colors that are appropriate to the context. On some occasions, the imagery is much brighter and airy (like heaven), but when dealing with the mind of a depressed teenager in high school, you want to show his mental state with the proper gloom of purples and oppressive grays. I also bring in abstract shapes to heighten the sense of style and design. To get down to the technical aspects of what my work looks like: it tends to have elongated figures, remnants of my former Anime style, and a deluge of lush color palettes.
The Big Bad Wolf:
You handle both the art and writing duties on this book, are there any other members of the creative team?
It's all me. I do have my husband and friends edit my scripts (which are usually quite the mess!), and I sometimes bounce a few ideas off of them, but I'm the sole slave to this beast. I have kicked around the idea of bringing in other artists and writers to do guest spots when I open up the story to other worlds. I'd probably co-write with them to ensure continuity, but they'd be encouraged to bring new flavors to the mix. The idea, hopefully, is that I'm making a mythology and a new world that lends itself to other people's unique voice. The possibilities are endless, but “The God Machine” is just starting up, so we'll see just how the creative team grows.
The Big Bad Wolf:
When is the first issue due out?
October 28th, 2009. Previews code: AUG090638
The God Machine: Preview Book has 48 pages of the first chapter that begins this epic tale! Along with bonus bio-pages.
You can pre-order it through DCBS http://www.dcbservice.com/search.aspx?search=god machine for a limited time. (Pre-orders last til August 31st! Do it now!)
The Big Bad Wolf:
Is this a monthly title?
I originally planned it to be a bimonthly, but my publisher and I decided to make it into a graphic novel series. This format works better for the story overall. The first graphic novel is set to come out in the first quarter of 2010.
The Big Bad Wolf: Where can our readers find out more about The God Machine?
Archaia's website: http://www.archaiasp.com
The latest news: http://spookychan.blogspot.com/
Big Bad Wolf: In closing, what would you like to say about The God Machine?
At it's core, “The God Machine,” is a humanistic tale dealing with questions about the self, the nature of existence, love, and pain. It delves deep into the hearts and minds of it's characters; especially Guy Salvatore and Good God.
As I've said before, the God Machine is an epic psychological tale that's dark yet humorous in tone; it deals with the politics of Gods, and everything you wanted to know about existence, but were afraid to ask!
The Big Bad Wolf: Thank you for your time,
Chandra! Best of luck with The God Machine!
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