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Wiper: John Harris Dunning Breaks Down the Invigorating Universe of their New Noir Sci-Fi Graphic Novel

Wiper: John Harris Dunning Breaks Down the Invigorating Universe of their New Noir Sci-Fi Graphic Novel

Wiper: John Harris Dunning Breaks Down the Invigorating Universe of their New Noir Sci-Fi Graphic Novel

Dark Horse Comics previously announced the brand-new original graphic novel titled Wiper. The graphic novel is written by John Harris Dunning with art by Ricardo Cabral, colors by Brad Simpson, and letters by Jim Campbell. The graphic novel takes readers into a one-of-a-kind noir sci-fi experience as they follow private detective Lula Nomi. Nomi ensures their clients get the utmost privacy as they wipe their mind after completing the job.

The series is scheduled to release on November 16, 2022, and John Harris Dunning caught up with us via email to share more about the universe they created alongside the stellar team of creators. Check out the full Q&A below and be sure to visit your favorite comic shop or anywhere books are sold to find out how memories can be fatal…

GN: Thanks for taking the time to speak with us!

JHD: It’s a pleasure – the creative team has been immersed in it for ages, and we’ve really enjoyed the journey.  It’s so satisfying to finally share it with others!

GN: ‘Wiper’ delivers about as interesting a concept as one can imagine. What brought about the idea for the series?

JHD: I’m pleased you like the core concept. I’m fascinated by how we create our identity, and how malleable it can be. I’ve always admired chameleons like David Bowie and Madonna who flitted from identity to identity, inhabiting each one and then transforming into somebody quite different. To me this constant reinvention displays a huge appetite for life, an insatiable curiosity. I’m reminded of a quote by the actress and world class beauty, Candy Darling – “I am a thousand different people. Every one is real.” This was my starting point for the story of ‘Wiper’.

GN: With the importance of our memories essentially shaping us as people, is this something that was on your mind throughout the process or possibly explored in the series?

JHD: Memories are how we build the narrative of who we are. It’s also how we shape our views of the culture we live in. Just as history is easily rewritten and misreported, I think we often reshape our memories to better suit our current ideas about who we are.

GN: You seem to touch on some aspects that are pertinent to this day and with the technological advancements we continue to see, how much of the graphic novel represents the current state of our world?

JHD: Well spotted. Let’s face it – most science fiction is about contemporary issues. That’s what’s always made the genre so relevant. You take a contemporary issue, then push it to the max. It’s an experiment that often yields interesting results. What I was interrogating here was how the big tech companies shape our daily lives – both helpfully, and in ways that are extremely sinister.  The danger of giant corporations fronted by idealogues is that the paradise they’re creating are always someone else’s idea of hell.

GN: You really dug into seamless world-building right off the bat and it was done beautifully. Did this level of world-building lead you to releasing ‘Wiper’ as a graphic novel rather than a limited series?

JHD: I’m pleased you felt the passion we brough to the table – we fell in love with the world from the get-go, and the whole creative team from artist Ricardo Cabral, to colourist Brad Simpson, to letterer Jim Campbell, all put their hearts and souls into making the story come alive on the page.

The book was commissioned and started in the first lockdown. The distribution of comics was interrupted, and the future was looking very uncertain, so it was easier to get ‘Wiper’ away as a single larger work. Which we’d very much like to follow on from! This format allowed us to intensify the process of world-building, so that was at least one benefit that came out of the pandemic for us.

GN: Ricardo Cabral and Brad Simpson brought ‘Wiper’ to life on the panels and really captured the spirit of the sci-genre and turned it up a notch with the vibrant colors and expressions captured in the characters. What was your favorite part of working with the art team?

JHD: That’s a hard one to answer. There was so much I enjoyed about the team. First, Ricardo – the man is genius, and his attention to detail is staggering. He built this world up from technology to clothing to architecture. Everything was done from scratch. It’s a breathtaking achievement.

I still look at some of the panels and find details that help round out the world that I haven’t noticed before. Brad’s colours were a hugely important component. They quite literally set the tone of the book. We were going for something that was moody and dark – but that also communicated something of the spirit of the 1980s, it’s high energy sense of fun and playfulness. Brad’s work is delectable – like having a psychedelic revelation in an ice cream parlour. We enjoyed living in the world of ‘Wiper’. We want our readers to enjoy it too.

GN: What would you say to a reader to convince them to pick ‘Wiper’ off that comic book shelf?

JHD: Open the book on any page and feast your eyes. It’s unlike anything else out there right now.

GN: Lastly, we just want to say thank you for taking the time to share more on this universe you built. It really is sci-fi wizardry as its described and the way you manage to entertain the reader through the complexity that sometimes can accompany the sci-fi genre, you managed to really take the helm and deliver a unique playful concept that was enjoyable through and through.

JHD: Then we’ve achieved our goal – to give our reader a thrilling experience that will stay with them and invigorate them long after they’ve finished reading the book. That’s what all my favourite graphic novels have done. My ambition is to give back some of the inspiration I’ve received along the way.

Source: Dark Horse Comics

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