Ben Fisher talks to Byron Brewer about The Great Divide #4, on sale in December from Dynamite. Covers by Adam Markiewicz and Kevin Stokes.
BEN FISHER: Our protagonists learned some potentially world-changing information in issue #3, and this issue will see them (along with their new friends) following that trail. And it leads to a very strange place, indeed …
BB: I am very intrigued by the character of Victoria Sallaska. What can you tell us about her? Something about her bugs me. (laughs)
BF: Sallaska is a lot of fun to write. We actually got to meet her all the way back in issue #1, during the chatlog at the end of the book (although we only knew her by the initials “VLS” at the time). She’s cocky, and tends to only see things from her own point of view, but she’s also brilliant and maybe the planet’s best chance for survival.
BB: Can you tell us a little about the other companions they have gathered along their quest? Anyone new in #4?
BF: Last issue saw our four main protagonists finally all together. Maria – a gas thief fleeing to Seattle for reasons she still hasn’t revealed. Paul – a former med student struggling to stay sane after absorbing the memories of Maria’s brother. Victoria – a scientist who studied insect migratory patterns before the Divide and now thinks she’s found a clue as to how the whole thing started. And, finally, Eli – a soldier who lost his entire unit under unknown circumstances and appears to simply be along for the ride … for now.
So far, they’ve left a memory-stealing serial killer and former MMA champion turned gladiator pit master in their wake. But they’re about to meet their most dangerous foe yet …
BB: Since that sounds like Spoiler Country for now, let me ask: What IS up in rural Oregon??
BF: It turns out there are parts of the state FAR stranger than Portland …
BB: This book has really surprised readers with its character-driven storylines, I think. I know you were out to “break the mold” of dark, dank apocalyptic world stories, but were you expecting such positive fan response?
BF: We honestly didn’t know WHAT to expect. We took a lot of chances with this book. It moves quickly, and asks the readers to keep up and trust that answers are coming (they are, we promise!). Combine that with the dark humor set in such a dire world, and we really just had our fingers crossed for a positive response.
So it has been such a joy to see the story find a passionate audience. We are forever grateful to everyone out there enjoying our comic and sharing their enthusiasm for the material with friends and strangers.
BB: Will we see any more subtle commentary on the morals and mores of our society, like the great “baredevils” / our propensity to want to challenge what may seem insurmountable, our “Everests”?
BF: Absolutely. Issue #4 touches on a couple of very risqué subjects, and we begin to see how a world like this might operate through the lens of religion.
BB: And as usual, each issue of The Great Divide comes with unique (like the series) additional digital content. What’s in store for readers of issue #4, Ben?
BF: We’re giving some love to the pen & paper role-playing game crowd this time. Like the old school style of the first Dungeons & Dragons game books (home to Stranger Thing’s fearsome demogorgon!), we’re providing all the stats and abilities of The Great Divide’s villains for inclusion in your own game at home.
It’s a fun read, even if RPGs aren’t your bag – we’re filling it with fun nostalgic art and humor that everyone can enjoy.