Ben Fisher talks to Byron Brewer about the penultimate issue of The Great Divide, on sale in January from Dynamite. Covers by Adam Markiewicz and Javi Laparra.
BEN FISHER: We’re continuously amazed and grateful for all the support we get from readers. This is a very personal work for both us and we couldn’t be happier with the response.
BB: In January, with #5, you have reached the penultimate issue of the book’s current run. How are things going for you and Adam, and how are things going for Paul and Maria?
BF: Things are going great for us! Adam still hasn’t blocked my number, which is all I can ask of anyone stuck working with me. Issue #5 contains some pretty big moments for the characters and for the mysteries of the Divide itself. It’s fair to say that Paul and Maria are forever changed by this one…
BB: I will not ask how, in January’s issue, the discovery of the Divide’s origin (at last!) affects Paul and Maria. But can you (in a larger, non-spoilery sense) tell us how this knowledge may affect our climax in #6?
BF: I’ve never had more fun writing a comic than I did with #6. I strongly adhere to Chekhov’s principle that if you show a rifle in the first act, it better go off by the third. So I got to tie a lot of threads together in those last 25 pages that result in a pretty wild sequence of events.
BB: The Great Divide has been nothing if not a vehicle in which to observe human behavior under its most stressful, unimaginable circumstances. What subtext might readers observe as the origin of the Divide is revealed?
BF: I certainly don’t want to spoil anything, but you’re right that a subtextual throughline has permeated the entire book, and it culminates in many ways with the reveal of the Divide’s origin. The things that change our lives the most can come from the most unexpected sources.
BB: I know we are running on high octane in the coming January issue, what with the Divide’s secret finally becoming known (presumably to our protagonists as well as to us readers) but will there be any more new characters possibly entering this saga, or perhaps old characters seen in new ways (as was the case with Victoria Sallaska)?
BF: The end of #4 introduced a rather odd new character to the group, and we get to see a lot more of her in #5 – including her strange connection to the Divide. We’ll also learn a bit more about Eli’s troubling past and Maria’s hidden motivations. Time may be running out, but everyone’s got secrets …
BB: Since we are close to the climactic issue #6 in January, I won’t ask about what is in store for Paul and Maria (unless you’d like to tell us, lol). But will there be enough threads and/or folks we care about left to possibly fuel a sequel should that be demanded by readers?
BF: There is absolutely more story to tell. Issue #6 wraps up the first arc cleanly and readers won’t feel cheated by any unresolved plot points. But solving a mystery as big as the Divide can have some unforeseen (and rather unfortunate) consequences for everyone …
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 #5, Ben?
BF: As we’ve discussed before, The Great Divide is largely a metaphor for intimacy and the baggage of one’s previous relationships and encounters. We wanted to see those universal concepts explored through the lens of people with very different backgrounds and experiences than our own. So issue #5 will include a collection of short stories by incredibly talented women and minority writers set in the post-Divide world. I think readers are going to be blown away by the level of creativity and emotion on display. We can’t wait to share it.