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We Talk About The Tomorrows with Curt Pires

the tomorrowsAlthough relatively new to the new field of comics, writer Curt Pires has already made his mark with a variety of titles including Pop and the Fiction.  His newest series looks at life in a dystopian world, but with a distinctive feel of its own.  He joined us to talk about life in a dystopian world and what that tells us about our modern world.

Graphic Policy:  Can you tell us about the inspiration for the series?

Curt Pires:  Countless sources. The world around me. Where I see it headed. Remembering when comics meant and said something: books like Invisibles, Planetary, Transmetropolitan. Thinking why don’t we make comes like this anymore? Deciding to fix the problem by making the book.

GP:  The big three of dystopian stories (1984, Brave New World, Fahrenheit) all used a main male character, and this trend seems common enough throughout other works about dystopian worlds.  In this case you have cast a female character, Zoey as the lead.  Can you explain a bit of your choice of her as the protagonist?

CP:  Well the book is an ensemble piece really, with Claudius and Zoey serving as our lead characters but it really rotates. I wanted Zoey to be the focus of the first issue because she basically functions as the reader: someone new entering this strange world, encountering the tomorrows for the first time. The other reason is I just wanted to write a smart, strong female character. Oh, and we didn’t market the book as some sort of “messiah” narrative because we don’t treat our female characters like shit. It’s just good writing.

tom001GP:  A common theme of dystopian worlds is that the people are mind controlled to some degree whether this be with the allegiance to Big Brother in 1984 or the use of soma in Brave New World.  In this case you imply it is social media that is doing the work.  Do you think that we are doing this to ourselves already?

CP:  I think social media is opening our information up to those who seek to obtain and exploit it against us. It’s not opening us to mind control, but it’s opening us to a different kind of control.

GP:  Going back again to the big three again of dystopias, they all used the dystopias as a criticism of some other aspect of human society, whether that be totalitarianism or censorship.  What do you think would define this criticism for the modern day?

CP:  I think all of the three works you mentioned are still relevant to this day. The big issues of the present are: security, surveillance, economic corruption (capitalism) and racism.

GP:  The Vault challenges the Tomorrows concept of reality as a final test before their complete mental freedom.  Do you think that being aware of the reality around us comes from a defining point such as this, or rather from a general progression?

CP:  Well THE VAULT in The Tomorrows is more geared towards self acceptance than defining the parameters of reality. it’s about conquering your own demons, owning yourself, before you set out to liberate others. I don’t believe in consensus reality. Reality is whatever we want it to be and is constantly changing and in flux.

tom002GP:  The main antagonist here is one who is obvious and over-the-top.  Do you think that we can find its villains so easily now with some of the excess that we sometimes observe in our own society?

CP:  Yeah, the antagonist here is an avatar of over consumption and depravity. It’s easy to find villians, sure. But it’s really all based on perspective. Villians to others, are heroes of their own stories. Again, no consensus reality.

GP:  Although it is just hinted at in this first issue, love is also a theme here as two of the main characters have feelings for people that have suffered some tragedy in the past.  How does this fit into the bigger picture of the series?

CP:  Love is everything and everywhere. The Tomorrows reflects it.

GP:  What can we expect to see coming for the remainder of the series?

CP:  The unexpected. There’s no other comic like this one, and that’s the way I like it.

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