Talking to The Apocalipstix Team

Talking to The Apocalipstix Team

One part action, one part science fiction and then smothered I rock'n'roll, The Apocalipstix graphic novel is the story of al all-girl rock band doing an 'end of the world' that's well… in the end of the world. Josie & The Pussycats meets Mad Max is a start, but t get the real experience you should check it out yourself.

This graphic novel is a by-product of a meeting of minds between writer Ray Fawkes and cartoonist Cameron Stewart. Fresh off launch events at San Diego Comic-con and later in Toronto, and now they're up to talk about the book which is in better bookstores now.

Newsarama: Thanks for talking to us, guys. Let's get right into it - what's the world like in this book?

Ray Fawkes: The world is a mess. Just a terrible, awful, ruined mess. The landscape is ugly, the food is unappetizing, disgusting mutants and madmen scramble all over the wreckage, leaving mucky footprints and chittering in a most upsetting fashion. It's getting so I can hardly work.

Oh, you mean the world in The Apocalipstix? That place is pretty fun. Sure, most of civilization is gone, but the roads are open, rock n' roll music echoes off the sunny plains, and there's never a problem finding a place for a picnic.

NRAMA: What say you, Cameron? And don't do any fancy footwork like Ray over there.

Cameron Stewart: Surprisingly up-beat for one that's just barely survived a full-scale nuclear holocaust. Even though the cities are crumbling ruins, the countrysides are scoured by fire and radiation, and the roads are ruled by tribes of marauding pirates, people still know the value of a rockin' good time.

NRAMA: Hey – people still need to party. Guys, how would you describe the band?

RF: The Apocalipstix are ready-for-anything survivors. They're determined to enjoy themselves, come-what-may, and they'll shoot or drive their way through anybody who says otherwise.

CS: These are a trio of girls who, when the world collapses around them and it looks like it might be the final curtain for the band, decide not to pack up the merch table and go home but to strap on their instruments, load up with ammo, and go on the greatest tour of all. The road is long and dangerous until they reach the next gig, but they're kick-ass chicks who aren't going to stop before they get an encore.

RF: They are: Mandy, the stunt-driver and trouble-stomper on the mic and lead guitar, Dot, the optimist charmer and deep-thinker on rhythm guitar, and Megumi, the hard-edged gunslinger with a collection of shoulder-chips on drums.

In short, I would describe them as a trio of very nice girls. Mutant road pirates usually describe them by screaming and pointing and rolling around in the dirt.

NRAMA: Cameron, how did you and Ray get together to create the Apocalipstix?

CS: Ray and I have been friends for years and I've wanted to work with him on something since I first read some of his self-published work, such as the excellent Spookshow and Mnemovore (later remade as a series for Vertigo). Circumstances always prevented us from doing it but when I had a rough idea for a story about a girl band on tour through the wasteland, I knew exactly who I wanted to write it. He took my silly, one-line idea and developed it into something that was hilarious and exciting to draw.

NRAMA: This book was announced several years back, on the heels of a short story appearing in an anthology. What took it so long to make it?

RF: Everything in its time. Patience, my friend. Before he could turn to this book, Cameron was busy with another gig he promised to finish first - The Other Side, for Vertigo comics, which was some damn good work and certainly deserved his full attention. Now it's time for The Apocalipstix, and I'm sure it will blow as many minds as his previous work did.

NRAMA: Do you have anything special like store signings or convention appearances for the book?

RF: We launched the book at San Diego Comic-Con, signing at the Oni booth and at Cameron's booth he shared with Darwyn Cooke and Dave Bullock.

We'll be attending the FanExpo con in Toronto on the weekend of August 22nd as well.

NRAMA: And before we go guys, what would you say your inspiration is for the book?

CS: The two biggest and most obvious inspirations are Josie and The Pussycats (created by one of my artistic heroes, Dan DeCarlo), and George Miller's "Mad Max" series of movies. Both of them get little easter-egg namechecks in the first few pages of the book. Also thrown in the blender are Tank Girl, Akira, Escape From New York, Death Race 2000, THEM!, Motorhead, and many more.

RF: My inspiration for this book was twofold, really. On the one hand, I wanted to pay tribute to all the strange and wonderful films that warped me as a child - the dark sci-fi of the sixties and seventies that re-ran constantly on a local television station here in Toronto when I was a kid, packed with exploded cities, giant animal monsters, and the like. Films like "Them", "Death Race 2000", "Westworld", etc. On the other, I was influenced by some great and serious dystopic fiction - books like "The Road", "Riddley Walker", and "A Clockwork Orange". Somewhere between all that, the world of the Apocalipstix grew in my mind.

The Apocalipstix is currently in stores. For more, click here.

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