Inside Duncan Jones returns to the world of Moon and Mute with Madi, alongside Alex De Campi
Most students face student loans years after graduation, but in the sci-fi graphic novel Madi: Once upon a time in the future, soldiers leaving the service must still pay for the cybernetic technology they used to stay alive during their military years.
Writer / director Duncan Jones teamed up with director-turned-comic book writer Alex De Campi for Madi, making his comic book debut with help from eight popular comic artists ranging from Glenn Fabry to Pia Guerra. Originally funded around this time last year on Kickstarter, Madi is now available through Z2 Comics.
The Madi OGN follows Madi Preston, a veteran of a British special operations squad. After completing her service, she and her fellow soldiers retreated to civilian life but ended up returning to service – this time as private servicemen – to pay off debts incurred by purchasing cybernetics to help them in their days. soldier. It’s not ideal, but she works until a job draws her into kidnapping a child who her masters say was just a piece of technology.
Now that Madi is available for purchase, Newsarama spoke with co-authors Duncan Jones and Alex De Campi about this 260-page OGN and deepened the process of collaboration, Jones’ acclimatization to comic book creation and what Madi OGN might put in place for the future – whether that be more comics, or possibly a film / TV adaptation.
Newsarama: Duncan, How do you think your skills as a director helped you adapt to the comics?
Alex De Campi: Jump in here to comment that in terms of working on the script (which was a shared Google document) Duncan probably had a little easier time than he maybe had with other writers because j have a terrible habit of calling shots at panels. I started out as a music video director, and honestly, the language of cinematography is really, really helpful in describing what you want to see in a rectangular box.
Duncan Jones: What Alex said. I think it’s helped me to be very comfortable with collaborative creativity, and when you work with an expert at anything you’d be foolish not to let them do what they’re good at. Alex is nominated for Eisner. I am on his territory
From Campi: From my point of view Duncan stepped in and everything went well, there was no learning curve, he just figured it out and did it.
Jones: The pleasure for me was as much to learn as much as possible from Alex about how to work in this medium as it was to have this amazing book at the end. My job was always to point to the âTrue Northâ story.
Nrama: What made this futuristic sci-fi world built? How did you try to make it different from other science fiction?
From Campi: The look of the book was largely a collaboration between Duncan, myself, and the artists – Duncan had specific ideas and visual references to some things, and then I thought of other stuff (cat cops, for example). example) and then each artist created the rest.
Jones: I now have a few things that are part of my science fiction vocabulary. Gerty from Moon, the capsule building who spent time onscreen in Mute. I wanted to make sure a few of these things were incorporated into our road trip to Madi.
Nrama: How did you try to make it different from other sci-fi?
From Campi: I do not know. Madi’s world is our world, but more. In many ways, that doesn’t sound fantastic to me. It sounds like what we’re headed for. We haven’t given much thought to how to make the book different from other science fiction. Other work is irrelevant. You tell the best story you can and hope.
Jones: As Alex said, it’s a recognizable future. The old cars are Tesla and Rivians. There is a new casino that is being built like a bridge over the Grand Canyon. Camden Town and the tube system in London are VERY recognizable, given a few decades of future technology and aging.
Nrama: The idea of ââfamily seems to be at the center of Madi. Can you talk about this?
From Campi: The themes of family in the book, whether by blood or close friendship, are pretty universal. And especially after a year of confinement, they have become more relevant – it’s easy to forget that there are people out there who love you and will help you if you ask. But the flip side is also that when the going gets tough, some people you thought were better show you their true color.
Nrama: Speaking of family, what made you want to use a handful of artists for this book instead of just one throughout?
From Campi: Two reasons.
First off, finding space on any top artist’s calendar to draw a 260-page OGN, phew, that’s tough. We may not have had that niche in a year – I certainly waited a lot longer than that to work with artists – and it would take them two years to draw the book then. So we could have gone with an artist, but then it would have been like a 2025 book.
The other reason was that it may have been Duncan’s only graphic novel – and he’s very familiar with the comics. So I thought, well, let’s let him work with a bunch of nice people. He always wanted to work with Simon Bisley? Okay, check it out. Does he like Rufus Dayglo? No problem. And then there were a few people that I brought to her attention, like “you gotta check out Annie Wu and Pia Guerra and James Stokoe”â¦ Also, it fit the story a lot, which is a road trip story. , so each artist has a location and a few secondary characters they own.
Nrama: Are there any other stories you would like to tell in the comic book world?
Jones: Yesâ¦ I want to see how Madi is received before I get back into the game. Making a book like this doesn’t come cheap, and getting it right takes time, but I really enjoyed it. Making a graphic novel (or a more manageable comic book) is unlike anything else. It’s definitely liberating!
Nrama: Do you have any other plans for this particular universe?
Jones: I really want to do more with J Squad, the military unit Madi is a part of. Among my many loves growing up was the British comic strip Commando, and it would be so much fun to play with the conventions of this old format in the corporate-run world that I started to flesh out in Moon, Mute and Madi. And obviously, I’d love to see where the characters go at the end of this book.
Nrama: Would you like to work together on another comic book project or even create together outside of the medium?
From Campi: Absolutely. We threw in a few ideas, but we still have a lot to do with launching Madi and delivering the books to backers in Europe and UK, so until Madi is really done as a project, we mainly focus on that.
Jones: A lot. Alex is an amazing person. A workaholic in the best sense of the word, incredibly well read and creative. Our personalities and work interests have enough crossover that we understand each other’s credentials (mostly!) Yes. We would be doing each other a disservice if we didn’t work together anymore!
Nrama: Last question. With a writer / director making a comic, we have to ask ourselves: would you like to make a Madi movie?
Jones: It is a delicate decision, because I am so happy with the result of the book! But on the contrary, it gave me real confidence in what drives Madi’s story forward.
In a way, it’s like having the chance to rehearse the whole movie. It is unique. TV could be really interesting, though, because I could flesh out this world or this corporate territorialist world that’s built up in my head. There are a lot of really interesting sci-fi ideas to tap into out there.
Read our interview with Duncan Jones on the movies that shaped him.