Posted - 02/14/2017 : 08:08:13 AM
Writer for Freeway Fighter
Published by: Titan Comics
Interviewed by: Richard Vasseur/Jazma VP
Rich: How did you end up working at Titan Comics?
Andi: Networking and a huge slice of luck! I was trying to pull together funding for Freeway Fighter at the time and bumped into Chris Teather (of Titan) when I was visiting a book fair in London. I spoke briefly about the project and he said to keep him updated on its progress. The project moved forward rapidly and when all the funding and team were in place I formally pitched Freeway Fighter to Titan. It was a nervous wait for their response, but when they got back in touch it was all systems go! I have to give credit to Titan, their team have been very proactive in their approach to such an iconic brand.
Rich: What is the story line of "Freeway Fighter"?
Andi: It’s a prequel story of ‘how’ the famous Interceptor car from the gamebook winds up in an outpost called ‘New Hope’. We’re introduced to the original owner of the Interceptor, an I-400 racing driver called Bella De La Rosa. This mini-series focuses on the transformation the car goes through, from high octane racing car to lethal killing machine.
Rich: Who exactly is Ian Livingstone?
Andi: What a tough question! I guess to some he’s best known as the co-founder of Games Workshop who brought Dungeons & Dragons to Europe, to others he’s the co-creator of the epochal Fighting Fantasy gamebook series which defined reading in the 1980s, while a third group will know him better as the man who launched Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. To me, he’s the guy that helped shaped my formative years and ultimately inspired me to write.
Rich: What about this comic is unique?
Andi: This is the first time a book from the famous Fighting Fantasy brand has been interpreted into the comic form, that’s pretty special in my mind. Secondly, I also think the fact that we have a female racing driver in the ‘Lone Wolf’ role is pretty cool, setting it apart from the Mad Max franchise (which, for the record, I totally love). Finally, where we stand out is that the car has as much as important role to play as the characters, it’s almost a character in itself, something I’ve always looked for in stories of this genre. I mean, if you were on the road for so long with just a car for companion, wouldn’t you start talking to it? :-D
Rich: Who is the Freeway Fighter?
Andi: In the comic series that’s very much up to debate, on the surface it appears to be Bella De La Rosa, a 1-400 racing driver who drives the Interceptor. But without giving too much away, I think everyone in the story is a Freeway Fighter to a greater or lesser degree. If you’re asking about the Gamebooks, then my answer would have to be ‘You’.
Rich: You’re the writer on "Freeway Fighter" who is the artist and how well does their art mesh with your writing?
Andi: Simon Coleby is on art duties for Freeway Fighter, he’s got an amazing style with some real grit to his work. I’m fortunate that Simon and I have worked together as a ‘dynamic duo’ for a little while, both on the Dark Souls II and Just Cause 3 comics. I find we work well together and I’m constantly amazed how he manages to pour so much detail into his panels from my script.
Rich: Would you like to be the driver in "Freeway Fighter"?
Andi: The reckless part of me would, but then the sensible part would realise the great loss of life that goes hand-in-hand with this scenario. I think everyone toys with the idea of being the ‘lone survivor’ in a future, but nobody really wants that to happen.
Rich: How would you feel about doing more comics along the line of "Freeway Fighter"?
Andi: That’s the Holy Grail for me, I’m hoping that fans want more from the Freeway Fighter universe. I feel this mini-series only scratches the surface of a huge well of possibilities. If not Freeway Fighter, then I’d certainly want to see a Deathtrap Dungeon, Forest of Doom or City of Thieves comic in the future.
Rich: How has your writing improved over the years?
Andi: I like to believe I’m more confident in my writing style, self belief plays a huge part in growing as a creator. Freeway Fighter would bring my issue count into the mid thirties, that’s a good indicator that I’m doing something right.
Rich: What is "Red Dog" from 451 about?
Andi: I have always seen it as ‘Lassie in Space’. It’s a touching story of a boy, his robot dog and the fate of a distant mining colony on an inhospitable planet called Kirawan. Rob Cohen’s script has plenty of heart intertwined with tense action set pieces which is synonymous with his film work.
Rich: Before "Freeway Fighter" what were a few of the comics you worked on?
Andi: I’ve been working with 451 Media Group on most of their titles, including: Red Dog (with Rob Cohen), Exmortis (with the Williams Brothers), S6X (with George Pelecanos), Sunflower (with Mark Mallouk). Outside of that I self-published my Creator-owned title, Overrun, which I co-wrote with Matthew Woodley.
Rich: What comic that you have never written would you like to?
Andi: Anything from the Aliens universe, I’m a huge fan and already have planned out a story I want to develop.
Rich: If you could have one super power what would it be and why?
Andi: Teleportation, I want to avoid having to use Southern Rail at any cost.
Rich: What would you like to say to those who have enjoyed reading your comics?
Andi: Thank you for taking a chance on something I wrote, if you enjoyed it, tell everyone! If you didn’t then maybe just keep that to yourself.