According to Jon Rivera and Michael Avon Oeming, the creators behind Cave Carson Has an Interstellar Eye, the series is a great jumping-on point for new readers, but existing readers will also discover that the story "gets even deeper into the meaning of the weirdness."
The first incarnation of the series - titled Cave Carson Has a Cybernetic Eye - was launched as part of musician/writer Gerard Way's new Young Animal imprint. The volume's 12-issue story led into the events of this winter's "Milk Wars" event.
But the series relaunches with a new #1 issue this week by Jon Rivera and Michael Avon Oeming. Newsarama talked to the creative team to find out what's different this time around, why it's a great time for new readers to come on board, and what readers can expect from Cave Carson Has An Interstellar Eye.
Newsarama: Jon, you've got a unique opportunity here to get new readers with this new #1 issue, but I'm sure you're pulling from what was done in the first volume. It's still accessible to new readers though, right? Are you making this a jumping-on point?
Jon Rivera: Oh yeah! I think the point of "Milk Wars" was to give us a clean slate - "Milk Wars" being the event we just did with the DCU, and this is our first time seeing Cave after those events.
So yeah, we wanted to give people a fresh jumping-on point.
We had also set up a lot of characters and things in the first series, and we'll be able to pay that stuff off too for people who have been reading the book for awhile.
We really wanted to give people a nice, fresh start while still respecting the continuity and stories that we had built up over the first 12 issues.
Nrama: For people who might be picking up this series for the first time, where does #1 start?
Rivera: It takes place about two to two-and-a-half years after the last series' last issue. At the end of the last series, had set up the characters Cave and his daughter, Chloe, and Marc Bartow, Cave's psychedelic guru. And we set up that they could visit other earths and other realities. So they've been doing this for a little while.
And as we pick up the story, Cave gets a call from Star Adam, who's a friend of his that he had known years ago before Chloe was born. And it brings in a new situation for them. I don't want to spoil too much.
We've got three core characters, and they're all comfortable with each other now. They've been doing this for a while now.
Cave and Chloe have become close over time. And everyone's at a place where they're wondering what's next in their lives.
So this get this call from Star, and Star presents this new situation that they get caught up in. And off they go.
Michael Avon Oeming: I think Jon did a really good job of making it a jump-on point. In a way, I was a test audience for that, because - just the way scheduling stuff works out - I hadn't read "Milk Wars" yet when I was drawing this. I knew some details about "Milk Wars," but really broad strokes.
So I pick it up and there's, like, a scar on Chloe's face, and some sh*t's gone down. And people are gone. And people are here.
But to me, it felt like a fresh story. It's implicated that there's been some time, but there was no need for excessive exposition or anything. It's a great jumping-on point.
Rivera: Thank you, Mike!
Putting the scar on Chloe's face in the first issue is sort of our homage to the cybernetic eye itself, because as we discovered when we started making the series, that's actually why Cave got a cybernetic eye in his original adventures before we picked up the character. It was to show a passage of time, since it had been years since the character had shown up in comics. So we thought it would be fun to carry on that tradition and give Chloe her own scar.
Oeming: She also picked up a habit - I don't want to spoil it.
Rivera: Yeah, she has a new vice.
Nrama: Mike, does it feel good to draw this new series? It seems like, with this new approach, there might be more room for creativity on your part?
Oeming: Yeah, it's great. There's all kinds of new toys to play with. There's this 17th Century mansion that Star lives in, and we got to do some '60s retro space stuff and Kirby homages and all kinds of space imagery.
And we get to this whole other planet where I get to design some new craziness.
The tough thing is, when you're on a monthly book, even though you're having a great time, you're living with certain set pieces for a very long time.
So it's nice to jump into a fresh pool of water.
It's also the first time I switched completely from this mixed media - working a little bit digitally and a little bit analog - I started just working 100 percent digitally here. The colorist, Nick [Filardi] was able to work within that to create his work too.
So there's a lot of freshness with this. And that's exciting.
Rivera: We wanted to use this series to give Mike the opportunity to draw in different art styles now too. He's got this super diverse talent. So that's been fun.
In the first issue, we have a couple of flashback, since Star is a character from Cave's past. And Mike's able to draw in a different style.
Throughout the series, we've been trying to take moments and show different art styles and mix up the visuals as much as possible.
Oeming: Yeah, in issue #2, there's a watercolor page. And in issue #1, there's a page that's actually not digital - I drew it with a parallel pen that gives the linework a completely different style to it. And I did a wash in the background. And then Nick took all that and made it into something that nobody's ever seen before, which is awesome.
Nrama: Besides the art, the approach to the story feels a little different too.
Rivera: Yeah, one of the big differences between this series and the first series is that the first series is one long story told over 12 issues. It's a giant epic adventure that goes through different realities, but it's also got that core of a father and daughter getting to know each other.
But this one, I thought about it when we were re-starting the series, and I thought it would be cool to do shorter stories.
So we have multiple stories in the series. Everything comes together as one big story in the end, but now we can break it up a little bit and have smaller, funnier adventures.
I think the book is funnier and a little more satirical this time out. I think both the characters are in a better place now - Cave and Chloe. Of course, there's no expiration date on grief, but they've had some time now, and I think they're starting to settle into the people they're becoming.
It's really fun writing them in that way. I think it makes the book funnier.
Oeming: It definitely is. There are laugh-out-loud moments.
And I want to give Jon a compliment in stepping up the weirdness and psychedelia he did in the first arc. We didn't just continue using the weird stuff. Jon finds ways of using weird stuff in deeper levels of the story. Like, there's a whole arc about the cellular level of your memories being reenacted in the cells of your skin and stuff.
It's not weird for the sake of being weird. I don't think our first arc was either. But this one gets even deeper into the meaning of the weirdness.
My part of the storytelling is just the visual storytelling. But I feel like the storytelling is really stepped up in this issue. I'm proud to be part of it.
Rivera: I'm so happy you're part of it too.
And Mike being as diverse of an artist as he is, it really inspires me to push the book visually and conceptually. It's one of those things where I'm like, well, I know Mike can draw this. I can't always predict what it's going to look like, but I know it's going to look rad - especially with Mike and Nick.
Nick is doing crazy stuff in this new series. It's so fun to see what he does.
Nrama: Is there anything else you want to tell fans?
Rivera: Cave and Chloe are going to be mostly exploring brand new parts of the DC Universe, but there will be the same kind of emotional core that the first series had. And it is going to tie into a story that is personal to Cave. So it's not just going to be random adventures in space - there's a story we're telling about who we become after we have big moments or changes in our lives.
So it's a really good time to join with these characters, when they're both trying to figure out their place in the universe.
Oeming: Yeah, and there's all this cool adventure stuff in the book too. Gerard [Way] writes a column in the back, and there's this really cool Cave Carson back-up story by Paul Maybury.
Rivera: Yeah. Definitely read the back-up story, not only because Paul's drawing it, but it is going to have some effect on the narrative as well - on the overall story of the series.