Although both writer Nathan Edmondson and artist Tonci Zonjic had done numerous comics before 2011, the publication of their five-issue espionage series Who Is Jake Ellis? put them both on the map for comics readers and comics pros. And now, after a year out in the cold, the duo are returning -- with their characters Jake Ellis and Jon Moore -- in an all new sequel titled, intriguingly enough, Where Is Jake Ellis?.
After the events of the first volume, the question of Who exactly Jake Ellis is -- and Jon Moore -- has been answered somewhat, but that revelation came on the heels of a larger mystery -- who is the organization known as the Facility that's out to get him, and where has Jon burrowed himself away to avoid their sights. After the stunning conclusion to that inaugural volume last summer, Edmondson and Zonjic are back in this follow-up series scheduled to launch in December 2012.
Penciled in for five issues, Where Is Jake Ellis? starts with the enigmatic Jon Moore on the lamb one year after the events of Who Is Jake Ellis?. With one of the world's most secretive organizations targeting him, Moore's going to have to step up his game to stay one step ahead of the Facility. In this exclusive interview with writer Nathan Edmondson, we discuss the intricacies of telling a espionage tale, the questions at the heart of the series, and the creative synergy between Edmondson and Zonjic.Newsarama: Without trying to spoil the ending of Who Is Jake Ellis?, can you tell us where this new series picks up after the finale of the first volume?
Nathan Edmondson: Just a few months have passed since the events at the Facility. In those few months, little has changed; one man is in hiding, another in recovery, and the mysterious group behind the Facility still wants Jon Moore.
Nrama: The teaser artwork shows Jon in a bit of a different light – frazzled hair, unshaven face. Where’s Jon’s head at in this new series?
Edmonson: Funny choice of words. I'll say this much: Jon's head looks a little different in the opening pages.
As for his head: Where Is Jake Ellis? is a darker story than Who Is Jake Ellis? was. Before Jon was a bit haphazard, toying with something he didn't quite understand. In this story, we will see that his actions have consequences, and Jon will be pushed to a limit much farther, and forced to make decisions much more difficult than we saw and experience with him before.
Nrama: Now with the Facility out of the shadows, what kind of measures are they taking to bring Jon back into the fold?
Edmondson: That is one of three questions being asked in Where Is Jake Ellis? – along with, WHO, exactly, is the Facility – and Where is Jake Ellis?
Nrama: Does Jon have anyone on his side to avoid what the Facility has planned for him?
Edmondson: I can't spoil any surprises, but I can say that there will be another character or two with a role in Where.
Nrama: In Who Is Jake Ellis?, you and Tonci seemed to hit on something special and that book has easily become both of your hallmark works. Why do you think that is, and how soon were you and he talking sequel?
Edmonson: We spoke about the sequel before beginning Who Is Jake Ellis? There was in fact some conversation initially about whether or not to make the story a 12-issue arc or more, or to start with a miniseries. We chose the latter. So we've always had in our minds what would come next. As for what's made the book special: I get a little bit afraid when I start trying to figure that out. I prefer just to shrug it off and type up the next panel, and then let Tonci work wonders with it.Nrama: Speaking of sequels, this is the first sequel you’ve done of any of the creator-owned work you’ve done over the past few years. What’s it like revisiting past work – or did you even stop working at all?
Edmondson: I never really stopped working; I've been tinkering with the story a while, but of course I've turned my attention to other projects as well. As for putting out a sequel, its equal parts daunting and exciting. It's no simple task to live up to Who Is Jake Ellis?, but then again, I'm working again with Tonci, and the chemistry between us I think will produce just what readers are hoping for.
Nrama: I can't let you go without getting you to divulge a little more about this new series for our readers. Can you open up for us a bit and tell us something unexpected that happens in the first issue? Maybe a tease of a panel, a shot or a piece of dialogue?
Edmondson: Issue 1 is a bit of a pistol-shot start to a race. We waste no time diving into the action. You'll see what we mean.
Any more than that: Not yet. We're still a few months off until the fall release, so for now, the single teaser will have to do.
Except, I can say this...Where Is Jake Ellis? will take readers to new parts of the world from the first installment.