Gerry Duggan and David O’Sullivan talk ANALOG [Interview]

We’ve been massively excited about ANALOG from Image Comics since Louise first found out about it at NYCC 2017.

The first issue was every bit as impressive as we’d hoped, with writer Gerry Duggan and artist David O’Sullivan delivering “great world building and art” and what I considered to be “very much my kind of sarcasm, irony, and black-hearted humour.”

And, ahead of the release of the collected trade paperback of the first five issues of the series later this year, we were thrilled that both Gerry and David were able to take some time out of their schedules to sit down and have a chat with us.

BIG COMIC PAGE: Firstly, for anyone out there that either hasn’t heard of or has been swithering about picking up ANALOG, could you sum up where we are just now in terms of the story?

GERRY DUGGAN: Well, our first trade is out on October 3, and the first issue of our second collection will be along shortly after. It’s a good time to jump into Analog. Jack McGinnis is just one of the couriers called “Ledger Men” that can be hired to move secrets around the world when the internet is no longer a safe way to do that. Jack had a hand in the “great doxxing” and yes, a lot of people were hurt, but I think he did it hoping the oligarchs and technocracy in the ruling class would lose the most. There’s a pub in every city that is a front for Ledger Men/Women, and so we’re getting to do a lot of fun world-building to see how different cultures have embraced an analog life…or rejected it.

BCP: I find the concept of the Great Doxxing and the switch back to analogue a fantastic hook for this story. Chicken and egg question though Gerry, which came first? Was it a case of the story and setting kind of growing together, or did one lead to the other?

GERRY: I’ve always laughed about the concept of cloud computing. I use it, it’s a tool. But clouds don’t just hold water, they also shower it down. It was just a “What if” that lead to dozens of interesting questions for David and I to explore. We have so many fun stories, including ones starring characters that we’ve not even been able to introduce yet. I could collaborate on Analog with David for at least a couple more years.

BCP: I don’t want to get too political but one can’t help but see the social commentary at work here, albeit with the kind of dark satire that I am a fan of. Have you as a creative team set out to make these kind of statements or do you see them as a natural product of the creative process and the overall world building?

GERRY: I think all art is political, but I don’t think Analog gets bogged down in the debate of right versus left, or red versus blue. Analog leapt over our current shitshow and imagined a place when all the secrets are out there. If you didn’t own the platform then you’re just someone to be bought and sold.

DAVID O’SULLIVAN: I don’t think we are making any statements, or taking sides, just observing human nature.

BCP: On a side note, has working on this series made you reconsider changing your passwords and online security levels? :)

DAVID: No, I really should.

GERRY: I’m no security expert, I’m just the guy that imagined all your emails, texts, and search history in a searchable bin, but everyone should use two factor authentication whenever possible.

BCP: Aside from the engaging story, the series is really complimented by the world itself and the cast of characters. Did you have a look in mind when developing the story? I always wonder how the collaborative process works and how much changes from what you have in mind through to the finished page.

GERRY: Credit David and Mike Spicer for that. I write pretty detailed scripts, but I always allow for David to do things his own way, and I always polish my script before Joe Sabino gets it to do his great lettering work. Sometimes that’s when a joke or two might pop up, but I’m always trying to shorten sentences in balloons and boxes. Cover less art. Be more concise. Be better. Shorter. Funnier. Darker. Be more of what I think I need to be to raise my game to match the art.

DAVID: No look in particular, more a feeling from Gerry’s description. Gerry would describe something in a panel, say Graffiti about the “leak” or robots taking jobs from people and I would try to reuse those elements when I can. It slowly builds up a library of Analog’s world. Then Mike and Joe add their amazing touches and Gerry polishes the whole thing.

BCP: In terms of the characters themselves, David – Is there a particular favourite for you to draw?

DAVID: Oona, is my favourite at the moment.  She’s a force of nature, so happy when I get to draw her! 

BCP: This could be seen as a bit of random question for anyone who hasn’t read ANALOG, but if you could experience life as an animal avatar for a day what would you choose and why?

DAVID: Sloth, sleep all day, sounds great.

GERRY: Butterfly. Or perhaps a raven. To fly would be perfect.

BCP: With the trade coming out soon, the ending has me hyped for the next installment. How far ahead have you planned things and can you give us any hints of what we can expect or look forward to in volume two?

GERRY: Well, we did a lot of world-building and character work in the first volume, and we’ll be ratcheting up the threats and tension in volume two. Volume three will bring some threads to a close, but hopefully introduce new ones. As I mentioned earlier, I have ideas that are one-shots, and then ideas for longer multi-issue stories.

BCP: And finally, what would you each say to someone who was on the fence about picking up ANALOG to convince them to give the trade paperback a look when it goes on sale?

DAVID: This is some of Gerry’s best writing. It’s got heart, action and plenty of laughs. It’s worth your time and your $9.99!

GERRY: Ryan Condal is a really talented writer who is adapting it for Chad Stahelski, who really digs the comic and is attached to direct a feature film adaptation…and he knocked you on your ass in the JOHN WICK movies, so maybe let’s give him the benefit of the doubt, right? Our first trade is 5 oversized issues for 9.99, so we’re a pretty damn great deal.

ANALOG VOL. 1 TP goes on sale in print and digital on October 3rd 2018 from Image Comics.

The writer of this piece was: Adam Brown
Adam Tweets from @brother_rooster

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  1. Advance Review – Analog Vol. 1 TP (Image Comics) – BIG COMIC PAGE

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