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In the Vault comic book Resonant, the chirping sound of cicadas can warn survivors of the apocalypse when the next Wave is coming. These Waves cause humans to act on their darkest impulses all at once, which makes for a dire situation when Paxton, a single father of three, needs to get medical supplies for his ill son.
Resonant is the brainchild of writer David Andry, who is paired with Alejandro Aragon, Jason Wordie, and Deron Bennett, a splendid art team that everyone needs to know about. Their five-issue mini-series is quite the addition to Vault's growing list of impressive titles. SYFY WIRE talked with Andry about this thrilling new science fiction survival adventure.
Where did the idea for this story come from?
David Andry: I clearly remember being in college and being in a third floor balcony and having the feeling that I was going to jump off. Not that I wanted to, but I took a step back from the railing and said, whoa, what's that about? This is pre-Internet days, too.
I've had those feelings, too, since I was 7, where I've been up a high building like the Statue of Liberty or on the edge of a cliff at the Grand Canyon, knowing how close I am to just going over!
Andry: It's actually very common, and it's called "high place phenomenon." The French describe it as the "Call to the Void." It's like when you're driving your car across a bridge, what would it be like if I turned? It's not a feeling of wanting to do harm; it's just this thought. It sat with me for a while, that we have a lot of thoughts that we can ignore, but don't even feel like they're our thoughts. They're just there, in our subconscious. What would happen if everybody followed those thoughts at the same time?
That was the concept of Resonant, but then I had to find a story to work through that world. I've also been obsessed with Greek myths. I started to think about the journey of Odysseus and the Odyssey, and how would my retelling go in this world where people would occasionally have to follow those impulses.
So, you have a central family starring in your story, right?
Andry: Yeah, it's a single father, Paxton, with his three kids, one of whom is chronically ill, and is mostly confined to a bed or a wheelchair, and in this world that adds a layer of urgency to his journey. You'd want to get back to your kids regardless, but this is like there's a desperation to his journey. So he has to find medicine and medical help for his son and get back. I also wanted to follow his kids, too, as they grew up in this post-apocalyptic world. It's their normal.
On the news, you see people trying to flee bad areas and migrate to other places, and you see these kids, and I remember there was this group of clowns traveling and would find these migrant children and entertain them, and the kids would have fun for a day, amidst being in a horrible, horrible situation. They're still able to play and have fun. That made me think about how these kids would react to the world they grew up in. That inspired the whole story. I wanted Paxton to have a reason to get home as fast as possible, and see how these kids act when their dad isn't around, but also live in a world where there is a constant threat.
Is this just one family we're going to follow?
Andry: The kids may stay together, they may not stay together ... there's going to be various storylines, but we're always going to follow this one family, all the way through.
There's a great mystery at the end of the first issue, with the cicadas, or chirpers, as they're referred to. Is this going to be a regular fixture in the series?
Andry: Yes! The cicadas can detect the coming of the Waves, like dogs can protect from an earthquake coming and crickets can chirp slower or faster as a response to how hot it is. So I like this idea of a precursor to the Wave, so people can prepare for it. How do you prepare for something that makes you act on your deepest, darkest impulse? So, as you'll see in the first issue, some people bind themselves down so they can't harm themselves or others. Paxton is out in the wild, so what can you do when you're out in the wild?
What's it been like working with your artist, Alejandro Aragon, colorist Jason Wordie, and letterer Deron Bennett?
Andry: Alejandro has been the best. He's so motivated to create a beautiful comic. He's so easy to work with, and his character designs and layouts are beautiful. I have very little feedback once he sends me things, because he always takes my scripts and elevates them. I could not be happier with a collaborator, and he adds a lot of himself into this story.
Jason then takes the beautiful work by Alejandro and is taking it up another level. The colors in this book are worth the price, alone. Honestly, other than Matt Wilson, who is the gold standard for me, as far as coloring goes – this is the best coloring I've seen. It just happens to be my comic.
And Deron is lettering the crap out of this book. It's a total team effort. There's been very little of me, and a lot of them.
It's quite an assembly for what's your first big book, right?
Andry: Resonant is my first Diamond distributed published work. I had a short, six-page story in an Iron Circus anthology called FTL, Y'all. I have self-published for four to five years, I have a relationship drama series and a few self-published anthologies that I work with various artists on. So all thanks to Vault Comics, Adrian and Damian Wassel, the brothers that run it. They gave me a list of artists to work with, and Ale was at the top of the list, and I had followed him socially, and it was a really easy choice.
Adrian's edits have made everything better. A lot of things that people are pointing out in the first issue came from Adrian's feedback, and the first issue was re-crafted with Adrian's help to create what people are responding to. It's a great team effort.
Resonant #1 and #2 are available now at your local comic shop, with subsequent issues scheduled to be released on the following dates: #3 (September 25), #4 (October 30), and #5 (November 27).