ComicsVerse’s Brandon Bloxdorf interviewed Justin Jordan at the New York Comic Con 2017!

The following transcript has been edited for clarity.

Brandon: Brandon Bloxdorf here at the New York Comicon 2017, hanging out with Justin Jordan and you’re here with ComicsVerse.

So, Justin, you have a lot of track record beneath you. Your New Guardians run was one of the most phenomenal Guardians run that I’ve seen so far. What was your take on Kyle when you first, you know, or your first approach to it?

Justin Jordan: You know, it’s interesting. At that point, Kyle had been through a lot and that was still in continuity, right? But he was still- the fundamental core of him is he’s an artist. And I’m like how would an artist approach this kind of thing? And I kind of build off from there, but I’m like how does an artist who’s experienced all the stuff that Kyle did, done that? I wanted to try to get that sense of … Fundamentally, Kyle’s not jaded, right?

In my realm, we took him to a bunch of new worlds and did a bunch of new stuff and it was all cool to him. It was all- it wasn’t run of the mill, it wasn’t … As Hal and John are kind of space cops, Kyle still isn’t. He still has that awe about stuff. And I found that that was kind of the good core about the character, and he was still a guy who wanted to do good and who wanted to, you know, help all these people. But he still enjoyed the process. He enjoyed seeing the universe and getting the seeds, you know, the edges of it.

Brandon: And then his craft’s at that point that you’re creating, and all the color spectrums. What drew you towards each color spectrum for the book?

Justin Jordan: It was good. It’s interesting, but without getting too in the dirt as a writer, it’s one of those deals where … they represent parts of the emotional spectrum, right? So you’re like, what is he feeling and how do you make that literal and you know, his ability to use- in the course of the series, he uses all seven of the spectrum rings and that kind of stuff, and he can use them all at once.

So it’s a matter of he kind of needed to feel that. Like what is he feeling there and that limits these things and you make that literal. It was really cool to play with. It was really exciting that you get to do that and you kind of figure out what it meant to mix these various powers because there’s the ability to do constructs, which they all have. Then they all have their other abilities, so how do you use those kinds of things you could use them all, how do you use them best?

Brandon: Nice. It was just recently announced, you’re working with Grant Morrison and Dan Didio on a book called Sideways. Can you give us any details on that?

Justin Jordan: Sure. Sideways is about a kid during the metal event, he goes into the dark multiverse, comes back out with the ability to open portals and some other superpowers. And since he’s a kid who grew up in a superpowered world, he decides he wants to be a superhero on YouTube. He wants to be a YouTube star, and it does not work out well for him because turns out that’s not actually easy to do. It’s kind of our fun, jaunty, excited to be a superhero.

One of the things that always kind of frustrates me is … It’s cool to have people who feel the burden of a being a superhero. But it’s also fun to have people who dig it. You know what I mean? Like on television, CW, at the first season of Flash where he’s just into it. Like, “I got powers and it’s awesome.” That’s what we’re trying to get with Sideways and stuff. And we’ve got beautiful Kenneth Rocafort art. He’s doing probably his career-best stuff to my mind. So it’s really cool.

Brandon: Nice. Luther Strode. That was another one of your big books. You never continue back to that or refer back to it? Is there more to the story that you want to tell?

Justin Jordan: Luther’s story and Petra’s story, the two main characters to Luther Strode, they’re done. We actually talked about and we are open to doing more stuff in the universe. Because we created characters we like. Like in the third volume of it, there’s the shooter who’s the gun-slinger guy. And we’re like, we really like to do a thing about him because he’s awesome. So we would do that.

We’re actually open to the idea of going to other creators we think have a talent, who have not broken in yet and be like, “You want to work in our universe and we’ll try to get you in,” because we broke in on Strode. So it’s only right to, if we can, to help other people break in that same way. It’s the same thing with Spread, my other mid-series, we’ve been doing backups in those books and that’s precisely- just so somebody could say, “Yeah, I was published in an image book and I got paid for it and I’m a pro at image now.” You know? It’s cool.

Brandon: That’s cool. You as a writer, where do you draw from when you start your process? What is your whole mental state that you have to get in to get some of this done?

Justin Jordan: I look at my bills and my cat that needs fed and … You know, it’s one of these things like if people follow me on social media, I post up ideas all the time. Kind of a machine, they keep coming. When it’s there, the first step is always figuring out what it’s actually kind of fundamentally about. I’ve got that book Brimstone coming up, Curse of Brimstone coming up from DC and that was very fundamentally like, “What am I trying to say?”

Like when you do supernatural horror, what interests me and what interested me in creating that was the idea of what drives good people to do desperate, foolish things? Without getting too overly political, I’ve looked at people who I knew didn’t believe in the stuff that Trump would say but voted for him anyhow. I was trying to reconcile what makes people do that. That went itself well to doing a kind of horror thing and that’s how I look at it. What genre makes that work, what idea makes that work.

Then once you do that, you’re like, “How do I make a story out of it?” How do the issues go where the breaks are and you kind of build it up from there. I’m a very methodical, outline-oriented writer in that regard, so I keep working and working on that stuff and get it down do more and more minute detail until I’ve got a script.

Brandon: Nice. Definitely. Anything else that’s coming up that you could give us more details about along that too? With Curse of Brimstone?

Justin Jordan: We’ve got Curse of Brimstone. Curse of Brimstone comes out early next year. It’s got Philip Tan on art and it’s amazing. Philip keeps doing these sketches of monsters that are all amazing. I’m like, “Well that’s definitely going in the book.” He’s like, “What? I just drew it.” I’m like, “Yeah, it’s a story now. So get used to drawing it a lot.” Very cool with the visuals, very impressive.

Brimstone is this cool kind of fire end, as the name would indicate, Brimstone character. He’s kind of cloaked in smoke and he’s very dark and that kind of stuff, so I’m really excited about it. The same way with Sideways, Kenneth Rocafort is doing this amazing kinetic art and he’s just great. What he’s tried to do is … if you’re familiar with Kenneth’s social media, his stuff from the sketchbook, his sketchbook stuff is amazing. We’ve been trying to get that into the book.

We want to do weird, cool stuff and we’re going to deal with this kind of vigorant energy that’s not grim and gritty, but it’s still … It’s serious, but it’s still somebody who fundamentally likes what they’re doing and is trying to enjoy the process and who wants to be a hero.

Brandon: Nice. With Sideways, are you switching off issues with Grant? Are you guys collaborating on certain issues?

Justin Jordan: The way that’s working is right now I am doing the dialoguing stuff over Dan’s plot. What I do is Dan would do a plot, just what they would call Marvel and this is DC, which is they just write what happens. Kenneth draws it then I go in and look at it and I write the dialogue based on that.

Now Grant is actually coming in to help develop a story and that kind of stuff for an art that involves … Some of the characters that Grant’s famous for having created in DC relatively recently, in that kind of universe. So it’s very cool. Anytime you get to work with Grant Morrison, it’s really freaking amazing.

Brandon: Cool. Thank you so much for taking the time, for hanging out with us. You guys are watching ComicsVerse.  Check us out at comicsfirst.com

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