Jericho: The Series Continues (in Comics)
by Devils Due Publishing
Review by Drew Bittner
Date: 10 December 2009 /
America has been attacked and 23 cities are radioactive wastelands. Was it an enemy nation, a terrorist attack or--the most dangerous possibility--a conspiracy reaching to the very top levels of multinational corporate culture?
The TV series Jericho spent two seasons following the folk of a small town as they struggled for survival and answers. Now the action picks up in a monthly comic from Devil's Due Publishing.SFRevu would like to welcome writer Dan Shotz (former co-executive producer and writer for Jericho the series) and editor Cody DeMatteis to this interview. Thanks for joining us at SFRevu.com, gentlemen!
To start, let's recap the premise of the series for our readers. Many US cities were destroyed by nuclear attacks; the characters in the town of Jericho, Kansas, didn't know what had happened until well into the series. What DID happen?
Dan Shotz: John Smith was the mastermind behind the attacks. He was a former employee of the Jennings and Rall Corporation; Smith rallied extremist groups to bring down the government and the infrastructure of the United States by destroying 23 American cities.
He succeeded in demolishing the cities but the outcome of how this country is putting itself back together is not quite what he had in mind.
SFRevu: Who are the major characters in the comic book?
Dan: All the fan favorites (Major Beck, Heather, Stanley, Mimi, Gray, Eric, Gail, Emily, Dale, Jimmy and Bill) from the series will be back, but the primary focus will be Jake and Hawkins on their mission.
>Editor's Note: Jake--a troubled young man played by Skeet Ulrich--was the "point of view" character for much of the series. Hawkins, a mysterious character who knew a bit more about the attacks than he admitted, was played by Lennie James.SFRevu: The comic book is basically "Season Three" of the show. Where does this find our heroes?
Dan: Jake and Hawkins have left Texas after the Allied States leveled San Antonio and Lackland Air Force base in Issue #1. Their goal is to break John Smith out of Allied States' Loomer Ridge Prison in Colorado.
As the Civil War looms between the East and the West, our heroes need John Smith to help turn the tide. Smith knows the inner workings of the Allied States Government and is also a key rallying icon to give the East the advantage.
In Jericho, Major Beck--with the help of the Jericho underground--is using his Allied States military status as a front to build a resistance movement.
SFRevu: Was returning to these characters fun? Are there any new tangents or discoveries that will surprise fans of the show?
Dan: The group of us that are building and writing this story are so excited to be working together again. The Jericho story is very close to all of us and each of the characters is so fun and challenging to write. We are treating this book as a direct continuation with big reveals and twists.
SFRevu: What would you like to say about your art team? They seem to have the look of the show down very well.
Cody DeMatteis: With both penciler, Alejandro F. Giraldo and the colorist, Juan Manuel of Juanmar Studios I'm more than happy with the art team we have going. We've spent a lot of time working closely with the team to make sure the likenesses are spot on and I feel we've produced something the fans will love.
SFRevu: Cody, what challenges have you found on the editorial side, given that adaptations can be very complicated? How did you get involved with this project?
Cody: The dynamic in storytelling between a television show and a comic varies somewhat, so getting the pacing and structure together for this mini series was an interesting challenge, one that writers Dan and Robert (Levine ) handled wonderfully.
It's been fantastic to have access to the original show writers and producers for making sure that this iteration of Jericho will be as true as another season of the show.
Given that I was a longtime fan of the show, when DDP got the license and company president Josh Blaylock offered me the book, I was quite excited to get on board!
SFRevu: Sure sounds like it! Okay, so what can we expect down the road? It seems, for one thing, as if our heroes will have to make a deal with the devil if they hope to avoid destruction...
Dan: Action, Explosions, Marriages, Deaths, New Villains, New Friends, Unanswered Questions and most importantly, Jake and Hawkins kicking you know what. Enjoy the ride.
SFRevu: Sounds like an awful lot is coming down the pike. Thanks, Dan and Cody! Look for JERICHO #1 and 2 from Devils Due, both on sale now!