It’s no surprise if you have been following along with our recent reviews of the the comic Goners that we here at Nerds Doing Stuff are absolutely enthralled by the book. We highly recommend picking up the issues next time you’re at your local comic store and check out our reviews of Goners to get yourself in the right mindset! The 6th issue and final addition to the first arc of the story hits the shelves at the end of this month, and I was quite lucky to be able to get to talk to creators Jacob Semahn and Jorge Corona about all things Goners and more!
You two have introduced a lot of lore built into this story that weaves around these characters. What influences helped to create this lore that you continue to write for each issue?
Jacob Semahn: The work of Stephen King kicked off my thirst for dread. Ever since the age of eight, I would seek out horror titles whether VHS or paperback on all things macabre. Soon after, I turned to folklore and mythology… literature that accounted for a plethora of rich and unused mythic creatures that were just begging to be rediscovered.
Jorge Corona: Ever since I was a kid I loved horror or supernatural folklore from different countries or regions. I remember a book I carried around that were horror stories from different Latin American countries; that later expanded into a craving for general mythology from around the world.
Who had the idea to feature a different supernatural creature each month? Why did you choose the ones you have thus far?
JS: Everything on our book is a collaborative effort, but the “Horror Spotlight” is there to give a deeper background on the creatures in the story without having to plop in on-the-nose dialogue from our heroes. Let’s be real… It’s a crutch. But a fun crutch!
JC: The idea also came once we started talking about the creatures and their functions within the Goners universe. We wanted them to come from real world myths and legends but give them specific traits for our make-believe universe.
If either of you could be any character from the story so far, mortal or supernatural, who would you be and why?
JS: I think Ezra Jones has quickly become my favorite character… So I’m gonna go Team Ezra.
JC: I’d have to say Raleigh. First off: the ponytail and winning smile… plus he’s the adventurer; Raleigh embraced the family tradition in the best possible way.
Jacob, you will have released six great issues of Goners and wrapped up the first arc in the Latimer family story introduced in the first issue. Since the first arc has wrapped up, do you have the entire written story of these younger Latimer’s all planned out?
JS: I have five loose story arcs mapped out. This first arc drops the reader into the middle of a family under siege. It’s quick and disorienting. Characters die and family sins are revealed over the course of one harrowing night. However, the following four arcs would show a slower progression of our characters through the years and whether the past does indeed repeat itself.
When looking back to the beginning of the Goners process, have there been any surprising changes from the initial drafts of the story?
JS: Yuuup! Jorge really strove to change an initial character that I had into the Skin-Walker character that we see in issue #4. Figuring out how to please my co-creator and tie in the history and character of the Skin- Walker was interesting. I think we made a good go of it to the point where it feels natural and not crammed in. High five.
What other comics are you reading right now?
JS: Currently catching up/reading: Injustice- Gods Among Us, Roche Limit, Jorge’s Feathers, Manhattan Projects, Vinland Saga, Deadly Class, Hexed, Black Widow, Ms. Marvel, Five Ghosts, Gotham Academy, Master Keaton, and getting pumped for Steven T. Seagle’s upcoming Imperial tpb!
*Note from Robby: I think he has quite the kick-ass taste in books right now!*
When it comes to the art of the book, each month seems to bring more and more surprises. A lot of the time, supernatural elements are drawn in a certain way, yet all of the creatures in Goners seem to have new takes on the old normal supernatural beings. As an artist Jorge, how did you find that fine line between representing the way people interpret these beings and the way you wanted to interpret them?
JC: Thanks! Yeah, the process was getting the creature from Jake; he’d send a link or a description to the original mythos behind the creature and what the creature did in the book. From that I did a quick research to see early depictions of them (if and when possible) and then try to adapt them to something that felt organic with the rest of the characters. I think, by the end of this first arc, I pretty much set the rule that whatever the monsters were, I would try to bring anthropomorphic elements to it, making it look like all these species, demons and humans came from a similar ancestor. You can even see it in the Chenoos and the Primordial Ones.
What was your favorite panel to draw thus far? Any specific characters you like drawing over the others?
JC: The panels are many. From the ones I initially cursed Jake for making me draw–massive battle scenes and then loved the end product–to the quiet ones like the car sequences; it was fun to imagine the interactions of these characters in a reduced space in unbelievable contexts. As for characters, like Jake, Ezra quickly became a favorite. Seph too! All the tentacles wrapping everything around her was fun as… hell! Buahaha… sorry.
As a fan of your work in Feathers, what would you say is the difference between drawing a horror book versus drawing a fantasy tale?
JC: Hahaha in a nutshell: the amount of ink. For both books my style is pretty animated but, even though Feathers is a dark fantasy, there’s a lot of atmosphere you can create by a well-placed shadow or silhouette. But in more subtle ways, there is something about the angles you use within the lines. Sharper angles feel always more threatening than softer ones. If you go back and compare the two books, you’ll notice that the elements in Feathers, except maybe when you see the Man in the Scarlet Scarf, have a softer feel than the elements in Goners, where everything looks a bit more aggressive.
We’ll have our review of Issue #6 up before the issue hits shelves on the 25th of March, so keep an eye out for that. It’s going to be a good one! A big thank you to Jacob and Jacob for taking time out of their schedules to answer our questions. As fans of the books, it was remarkable to be able to ask the two of them our thoughts.
Make sure to grab the trade paperback come April. Order it from your local comic book store today!