We are happy to bring you our latest spotlight interview. In this episode, we spoke to a pair of creators who have a very cool comic project coming to shops soon. Writer Cavan Scott and artist Nick Brokenshire will be debuting Dead Seas from IDW Publishing in December.
This pair of longtime collaborators have a massive list of comic work between them. We have already reviewed the first issue of their new creator-owned book Dead Seas, and we were super excited to get the opportunity to talk about it with them.
Cavan has written quite a bit of Star Wars content in novel, audio book, and comic form over the years. He also has written for properties such as Pacific Rim, Transformers, Doctor Who, Adventure Time and more. His creator owned comics include Shadow Service from Vault Comics and The Ward from Dark Horse Comics.
Nick is an comic artist who has worked on Star Wars, Transformers, and The Once And Future Queen among others.
We talked about the process of making their latest collaboration and spent some time talking about the differences of growing up a fan of the comic media in the UK verses America.
We hope you enjoy the SquadCast below and check out some of the transcribe interview even further down the page.
Pop Culture Squad: Where did this book come from?
Cavan Scott: It comes from my love of old disaster movies shown on a rainy Sunday afternoon on British television. Things obviously like Towering Inferno and the direct inspiration, The Poseidon Adventure. I love these films, and I’ve watched them many, many, many times. But as with most things, I think most things would be better if there were ghosts and monsters.
I was literally watching The Poseidon Adventure, which was linked into another project I worked on, Star Wars: The High Republic. It was one of our touchstone movies that we watched before we started working on it. And I was watching it and, and I was looking at this amazing bit of cinema and all these wonderful characters that you fall in love with, and then you lose about ten minutes later.
I started to think, “Wouldn’t it be cool if some of those came back as ghosts, as the ship was going down?” And that was where the idea came from. So, in Dead Seas you have a haunted prison ship, which at some point in the future the series will start to sink. No spoilers there really, I think we’re quite open about that.
Yeah, as there’s already ghosts on board, that number will increase, and it all came from watching that movie on that rainy afternoon.
PCS: What can you tell us about the setting of this story?
CS: I am quite fascinated by this concept of, you know, private prisons, and corporations running prisons. And, Barrico Industries, the company behind [the ship], they’re a big international brand, and part of their business is they run correctional institutes.
Within the world of Dead Seas, ghosts are real and exist and everyone knows this. They’re constantly there in the background, and the people of Barrico especially have discovered that ectoplasm, which is left behind when the ghosts pass through, can cure all kinds of diseases. It’s a bit of a miracle drug, but it’s very dangerous to harvest. And in the true style of gangs of prisoners having to do hard labor, they offer prisoners a chance to reduce their sentences by going to this haunted ship and gathering ectoplasm, because that’s always going to end well.
PCS: Nick, I really enjoy the visual layout of this book. What was your thought process for character/monster designs?
Nick Brokenshire: As far as the monsters or ghosts, I think when, when Cavan and I were batting the idea back and forth, I remember at the time I was just trying to invent visuals that hadn’t really been seen in connection to spooky ghouls monsters, and ghosts. So I was just trying to think of twisted characters really, rather than specifically just ghosts, because that could just be a person. You know? That could just be a see-through person.
PCS: Yeah, on the second page of the book, there is a huge page turn. The first ghost we see is a what we know as an “abuelita”, and you really set the stage there, I think.
NB: Yeah. Some of these things are influenced by the way that you draw in general. I find that sometimes I’ll have a jumping off point. I start off with an abuelita, a little old lady. But then I’ll sort of just think, “Okay, hand. What can you do with this nice little old lady? How can you twist it? How can you pervert it physically?” You know what I mean?
Visually, I’ll just follow that. I just let my hand do the thinking without thinking too hard. There are ghost characters in there where we’ve specifically decided that because they died in us a certain way, then their physical appearance will be influenced by that in some way. In a way, I suppose I’m influenced a little bit by Beetlejuice. You know the scene where they go down into those offices and everybody shows how they died. So that kind of thing. But even more so.
CS: The one thing I was going to say, to add on to what Nick was saying, me and Nick have been talking about this for a long time. And when I first mentioned the idea to Nick, he just went away and started drawing ghosts. It was a bit like the moment in a film production, when you have concept artists drawing things.
I think sometimes people see things in concept art and they go, “Oh, that should have made it in the movie.” But, you know, it’s not really understanding how a lot of concept art works on a film. Sometimes the artists just draw things that they think would be cool for the movie, and it influences the overall scene and feel of the film. That’s exactly what happened with what Nick was coming up with. These amazing ghosts.
It made us think about what ghosts are like in this world, and we sort of worked back through there. A lot of think a lot of those original concepts that you came up with Nick ended up in in some way in the book, little cameos and things, and we will know what they are, but everyone else just think they’re part of the scenery.
If you want to know even more about how these two creators work together and find out just what The Beano, Monkey, and Speed Racer mean to these guys, listen to the rest of the SquadCast. You wont be disappointed.
Dead Seas is set to be released from IDW Publications on December 21, 2022. You can find our Preview Review of the book HERE.
Dead Seas #1
Written by Cavan Scott
Art by Nick Brokenshire
Colors by Brokenshire
Letters by Shawn Lee
Cover Art by Brokenshire
Ghosts are real and dangerous. But they’re also valuable, their ectoplasm capable of curing countless diseases. There’s only one problem: harvesting the wonder drug can be just as deadly. Prisoner Gus Ortiz is willing to take the risk in return for a reduced sentence-anything to see his daughter again. All it will take is a few months at sea scraping ectoplasm off the walls of the Perdition, a floating prison containing the most vicious ghosts on Earth. Surrounded by dark waters, Gus soon realizes that angry spirits are the least of his worries. The Poseidon Adventure meets The Haunting of Hill House in this supernatural thriller.