Kickstart the Week with Future Primitive Mag #1

Kickstart the Week Future Primitive Mag #1

By: Nicole D’Andria

Learn more about the timeless continent, Ultima Pangea, in this relaunch of the Future Primitive series, previously published by Markosia Enterprises. Taking inspiration from retro sci-fi and fantasy mags like Heavy Metal, Savage Sword of ConanWarren’s 1984/94, Epic Illustrated, and more, I spoke with members of the Future Primitive creative team about this Kickstarter launch.

The first three issues of Future Primitive will reprint the original story published by Markosia back in 2016. These reprinted issues will include not only the original story but also recolored pages and add extra materials. The series follows a group of Neanderthal warriors protecting an all-powerful energy source that they worship as a God.

The Future Primitive series is written by Kevin Gunstone (Twin Worlds, Planet of Daemons) with artwork by Slobodan Jovanovic (Steele Vs), colors from Stefan Mrkonjic (Planet of Daemons), and letters/designs by Patrick Foster (Vincent Price Presents). The book will be published by Studio Azoth, a new crowfunded publisher in Brighton, UK.

They need to hit their $5,992 goal by December 24, 2020, at 6:15 AM EST. Possible rewards include a digital ($5) and physical ($23) copy of the first 56-page issue with a variant cover by DC/Milestone artist Prentis Rollins ($25) as well as a version of the book in grayscale/black & white ($28). To learn more about their rewards, which also include t-shirts and art print, and to help them reach their goal, check out the Future Primitive  Kickstarter here.

I spoke with the creator/writer and colorist on the book below.

Kevin Gunstone
Kevin Gunstone

Me: You mention in the Kickstarter that Future Primitive was inspired by retro sci-fi and fantasy magazines like Heavy Metal and Savage Sword of Conan. What is it about these magazines that you drew inspiration from and implemented in Future Primitive?

Gunstone: I’ve always preferred stories that take the reader out of the everyday. In the early issues of Heavy Metal, you’d find the mind-expanding art of Druillet and Moebius. The stories were imaginative, in a cosmic way, and had unique settings—as opposed to the mainstream Marvel/DC books which were primarily set in NY or similar. The stories, such as Man-Gods which appeared in Marvel Preview, were aimed at a more mature audience. The Man-Gods’ artist, Alex Nino, was less constrained in the larger magazine format and had amazing page layouts and was reflected in his work for Warren too. This more expansive approach was fully realized with Jack Katz’ First Kingdom, primarily a series of amazing full-page panels and a vision of an earth transformed, and story-wise, First Kingdom was a big influence on FP too.

Me: What can you tell us about the previous Future Primitive story, “Memory of Being,” and how does this new story fit in timeline-wise?

Gunstone: The first story to appear in FP Mag is “Memory of Being,” which we’ve been remastering since it appeared a few years ago from Markosia. Future Primitive is such a big story that we felt it was best to present the whole saga right from the very beginning. Without revealing too much, the first story ends in tragedy but sets up the rest of the series which fully explores the wider Future Primitive world.

The Aten - concept art print
The Aten – Concept Art Print

Me: How would you describe Kulkan of the Skybearers and his tribe? What are their day-to-day lives like on the continent of Ultima Pangea?

Gunstone: The Skybearers are a deeply spiritual race of sun worshippers. On vast cave walls, they record the complex solar myths that explain the origins of their Neanderthal race which they call The Memory of Being. Their everyday lives are comparatively simple and centre around their reverence of the Aten; the mysterious, aeons old, energy source their world relies on. Kulkan, as the Neanderthal King, is deeply committed to the protection of his race and their mountain retreat of Ytza. But he is aware that the Aten’s power is fading, and their civilisation could soon be at an end…

Me: When creating the world of Ultima Pangea, how would you describe it as compared to our own world?

Gunstone: Ultima Pangea is a vast supercontinent set on our Earth – either in the past or the future. It’s a world that was transformed some 300,00 years earlier by the explosion of a nearby supernova, with the resultant radiation transforming life on earth.  The world itself contains elements, and mythical names and places, familiar to us in the present and were chosen for that reason, as I believe it gives them more resonance than purely invented names which lack meaning and association.

Me: What is the number one reason why people should back the Kickstarter for Future Primitive Mag #1?

Gunstone: I would love people to back FP because it’s a comic (and story) that engages their imagination. With Boban’s spectacular art and Stefan’s atmospheric colours, I hope the reader finds it an immersive experience that takes them out of the everyday – which, after the grim reality of 2020 is no bad thing!

Future-Primitive-Mag-1-variant-cover-by-Prentis-Rollins
Future-Primitive Mag #1 Variant Cover by Prentis Rollins

Me: What inspirational words do you have for aspiring comic book writers?

Gunstone: I prefer to write stories that are a challenge and that explore ideas and characters I find fascinating – or have the potential to be – not because I think they might play to a particular market or current trend. Developing and writing a comic like FP is time-consuming and requires a lot of commitment, which requires total dedication. Ultimately, I think it’s important an only write comics I want to read and hope that other people want to read them too.

Me: Promote yourself! What other projects are you currently working on that people can check out in addition to Future Primitive?

Gunstone: I always have several projects on the go. Aside from FP I’ve been writing a series called Inner Worlds for Action Lab, which has suffered from some unfortunate art delays (for several reasons). I recently completed a new proposal with a fantastic Spanish artist called Alberto Hernandez called Sea Kings, which is a fantasy series that comes from the same creative wellspring as FP and which we’re currently shopping around. I would love to write more Planet of Daemons, which I produced with the artist Paul Moore for Amigo Comics a couple of years ago. But Amigo is currently on hiatus, so we need to find a new publisher for that. I have a lot of story ideas—nearly always big ones!—so I’m always looking for talented artists as committed to seeing the project through as I am.

Stefan Mrkonjic
Stefan Mrkonjic

Me: How did you learn about and become part of the Future Primitive creative team?

Mrkonjic: The artist of the book, Boban, is a friend, and when I originally saw the pages he was working on, I thought it was really great stuff. I expressed an interest to work on the book if they ever needed a colorist.

Unexpectedly, a couple of months later the original colorist dropped out and I got the call. I hit the pause button on all the other projects right away.

Me: If you could describe your particular color palette in Future Primitive within one sentence, what would you say?

Mrkonjic: Primal, mythical, its main purpose is to evoke a history (that never was).

Me: How have your colors distinguished themselves in this project versus your past projects?

Mrkonjic: This is a unique project. When people think of comic books, they usually think of bright, garish colors. In some ways that could not be more different than Future Primitive. Here it’s all about creating the atmosphere, using more natural, earth tones but then contrasting that with prophesies and visions that have more psychedelic, neon quality.

Future Primitive - interior art 1
Future Primitive – Interior Art 1

Me: What is the number one reason why people should back the Kickstarter for Future Primitive Mag #1?

Mrkonjic: Future Primitive does what all good fiction should do: transport you to some other different and exciting place. And I think we all need a bit of escapism right about now.

Me: What inspirational words do you have for aspiring comic book colorists?

Mrkonjic: Being a comic book colorist is like playing the bass in the band, lots of people are OK at it but there’s just a few that are really excellent. So, strive for excellence!

I consider coloring to be a part of comic book production that has been seriously held back just by technical limitations of what you can reproduce in print. Now, there’s so much room to grow and I can’t wait to see the advancement that people will bring in the future.

Future Primitive - interior art 2
Future Primitive – Interior Art 2

Me: Promote yourself! What other projects are you currently working on that people can check out in addition to Future Primitive?

Mrkonjic: I’m actually drawing a short story for a Mean Guns comic anthology right now, based on a cult movie by Albert Pyun (starring Christopher Lambert and Ice-T). You can expect that to hit crowdfunding platforms in the early part of ’21.

Me: Thanks for taking the time to expand on your fantastical world, Kevin and Stefan. Readers can check out the official Kickstarter page for more mythological mayhem.

 

Do you have a crowdfunding project? Want to be interviewed about it and have the project featured on “Kickstart/IndieGogo/GoFundMe the Week?” Let me know in the comments below or message me on my website. Also check out the official Kickstart the Week: Interviews with Comic Book Kickstarter Creators Volume 1 on Kindle, free for Kindle Unlimited users!

Listen to the brand-new “Kickstart the Week” podcast!

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