Existence 2.0 #1
If there’s a bright side to dying, it’s the chance that reincarnation
might be true. And with innovations in technology – that could come
true. That’s what happens in the upcoming comic series Existence 2.0.
Existence 2.0 follows a self-absorbed physicist whose
consciousness is transferred into that of another --- the hitman who
just killed him. Still reeling from that doozy of a mindbender, he
finds he can’t process it standing still when the same people who put
out a hit on him have kidnapped his daughter. With no clues as to who
or what they are, he has to retrace his steps and dredge up his past to
find out why he’s been targeted in the first place and who is out there
in the dark.
Writer Nick Spencer and artist Ronald Salas have teamed together to
create this book, working with Jim Valentino’s Shadowline imprint of
Image to put it out into the world. Existence 2.0
#1 is scheduled to debut on July 1st, and we talked with the creators
by email to find out more about this sci-fi sequential story.
Newsarama: Thanks for talking to us, guys. Let’s talk about the
book --- Jim Valentino describes this book as a mixture of crime and
science fiction. How would you describe it?
Existence 2.0 #1, page 1
Ronald Salas: A mix of crime and science fiction definitely fits.
Nick Spencer: Truth is, I think we bounce around a lot of
different genres here. It’s a mystery with a lot of crime noir elements
laid on top of a high concept sci-fi premise, with a little black
comedy thrown in there for effect. We worked hard to make this a story
you could enjoy on a lot of different levels. Little something for the
whole family in here.
RS: I would definitely say that first and foremost, it's an
action whodunit. There's a mystery at the center of the book and the
focus, for me, is how that mystery unravels. And as it unravels,
there's a lot of fighting, bullets, blood, and sex that come in along
NRAMA: The center to all this is a scientist – can you tell us about him?
NS: Sylvester Baladine—the most narcissistic, self-absorbed,
petulant physicist you will ever encounter. Sylvester is a guy who has
dug himself a huge hole in life, and managed to alienate everyone
around him. So when he gets this new life via the consciousness
tranfer, he’s thrilled to just leave everything behind and start anew.
The problem is, he has one last shred of humanity in him—he loves his
daughter. And when he finds out she’s been kidnapped, he’s forced to
dig back into his past and find out who murdered him.
But, you know, with this book, who’s at the center is actually a pretty
complicated thing… I’d just tell everyone out there to keep reading.
Existence 2.0 #1, page 2
NRAMA: Another good question is to the title itself “Existence 2.0”. What does it mean in regards to the book?
NS: The title came to me while I was perusing Slashdot and a few
of my other favorite science/techie blogs. I actually think I had the
title here before I had anything else, truth be told. I was just
thinking about software and how we handle those updates or revisions
and thought it would be pretty funny if we applied that kind of system
to our lives.
Sylvester is, due to the transfer of his consciousness into the body of
the hitman who just killed him, in his second life, this is his
‘Existence 2.0’. And he is exactly the kind of guy who would refer to
it in such cold, venture capitalist-friendly terms.
NRAMA: This sounds like an intriguing project – how did this all come together for you two?
Existence 2.0 #1, page 3
NS: first talked to Jim Valentino and Kris Simon at
Image/Shadowline about the concept last year, and they apparently saw
some potential there, it was just a question of finding the right
artist for it. That took some time, but eventually a mutual friend
(Jeffrey Burandt, who does a great comic called AMERICANS UK himself)
hooked me up with Ron, and things just took off fast from there.
RS: I read Nick's 5-page sample script and immediately liked the
snappy prose and the overall concept. I quickly put together 5 pages of
art for us to show off at this year's New York Comicon. One great thing
after another has been happening ever since!
NS: All credit to Kris and Jim for believing in the premise, and
to Ron for taking it up to the next level with some truly amazing art.
Existence 2.0 #1, page 4
NRAMA: Before we go, I know fans get excited when they see the
book promoted out there. Since this is a really out-there kind of book,
do you have anything special planned, promotion-wise, to coincide with
the debut of the book?
NS: Oh yeah. It’s a little too early to say too much, but I have
a lot of ideas. I always looked at the kind of stuff guys like Jonathan
Hickman and Ed Brubaker did to get people excited about their upcoming
books and said ‘when we get a turn, we’re definitely gonna learn from
this.’ So Tim Daniel (who does a stellar job designing our covers) and
I are working hard on some viral campaigning and online back matter
stuff that I think will really grab people’s interest. Stay tuned on
For now, the stuff I can talk about: we have a
very cool motion trailer in the works, and we’re lucky to have the book
come out right in the heart of convention season, so expect us to have
a presence at SDCC, Wizard World Chicago, and beyond.