Last year when Titan Comics made their debut into the world of monthly comics one of their titles was A-1 an anthology from Atomeka Press that contained three ongoing stories. One of those stories and honestly the breakout of the bunch was Capre diem from writer W.H. Rauf and illustrator Rhoald Marcellius. Titan offered me the chance to talk to both creators and let's just say after reading the collected first volume, I knew I had to pick their brains.
DUSTIN: Can you start off by telling us what Carpe diem is about, but please pretend that we’re the new Sir Monday?
WHR: The clock strikes midnight. This is it. Time to save the world.
Hold still, Jude is taking your measurements. All my agents are dressed to kill. Get it?
They're all good at smashing things but that's it. They're a bunch of loose cannons. Sometimes I even wonder why I need seven of them when one could destroy a city on his own. But seven is a better concept. Seven, led by one like you.
Okay? Everyone ready? Go, go, go!
Who are we fighting tonight, Jude? Mutant Jellyfish? As long as you don't touch it -- WHOA. DID MONDAY JUST LAND ON TOP OF THE MOTHER JELLYFISH???
DUSTIN: It seems like Carpe diem has a lot of influences and references, what are some of the standouts or just your favorites?
WHR: I like chapter 5's cover (team Zissou!) and Godzilla Sir Monday. Also I remembered high fiving myself really hard when I thought of the name Slim Dotcom.
RHOALD: I love killing Mondays! Especially when we killed Marioday! That was one of the best plots we ever made; and of course that Zissou and Godzilla references. We also put many Beatles references in the comics. Like Sir 8thDay was based on the Beatles "8 days a week". That's why we have an 8th day on the team. :)
DUSTIN: How did you two come to work with each other on the series?
WHR: We were high school friends actually. When we saw each other again, years later, Rhoald was already working for this comics/illustration studio. He got me hired there cause they wanted someone to write for their webcomic. That was in 2010. We still work there. Even in high school when we were drawing in our notebooks, we never dreamed that this would be our future.
RHOALD: Ahoy! That's right.
DUSTIN: With the comedy being reliant on both the writing and the art did that change the way you two collaborated?
We're just having fun. ;p
WHR: I'm the Ego, Rhoald is the Id. Which is a pretty ideal combo if you watched a lot of 80s sitcoms. I have to know the map of story and that makes me over think everything, almost all the time.
DUSTIN: Were there any challenges with telling shorter stories, but with an overall all story arc?
RHOALD: Actually… It's kinda hard. We cut off some really good ideas, just so we can tell it in 10 pages. We try pumping up every punchline, or find the perfect hooks. It's kinda difficult, but still fun to do :)
DUSTIN: On the art side, where did the character designs come from?
RHOALD: When I create a character, I always put some background story for them, but basically they came from my doodles. For Carpe diem, I was thinking about a group of secret agents who not only wear similar outfits but each has a significant color code. More like the Beatles and Reservoir Dogs. And a little bit of The Wedding Singer for the final outfit. ;p
For the character's name, I must admit that I wasn't the first who uses agents with days as a name. I'm a big fan of Eiichiro Oda's One Piece. And he did it before me.
Here's some quick basic idea for the character designs:
- Monday: the first Monday I designed was taken from James Bond.
- Tuesday: Half redneck, half Irish, all hooligan, with a little bit Freddie Mercury and Lemmy Kilmister.
- Wednesday: a Luchador version of Me. Yes. Me :)
- Tuesday: A Super Shaman. Got the idea from old Chinese vampire movies.
- Friday: An Arabic ninja. I got the idea from my childhood memories; playing ninja with sarong as the mask.
- Saturday: The only girl on the team. The idea was she's a high school student whose good with guns. Pretty dangerous. Lol.
- Sunday: The father figure. Ex-Monk, ex-Yakuza. Pure agent.
- 8thday: The last day of the week. Jack Skellington with Magic 8-Ball for a head. A true gentleman, indeed.
- Jude: A koala version of Kumar Pallana. Got the name from "Hey, Jude". Too obvious. ;p
Gosh, I still want to talk. But I think I've already talked too much. Lol.
DUSTIN: Will we see the death of more Sir Monday’s in future volumes?
WHR: We'll mix it up probably; Monday is the only one alive while the others die one by one. No, jk. We have a few ideas for book two. Hopefully, we get to tell that story too.
RHOALD: Too bad, NO! We just got a killer super-agent for our new Sir Monday. He's better than all of our agents combined
So I think this one will survive… There he goes, killing them Mutant Jellyfishies from outer space*--WHOAAAAA. Nevermind. Forget everything I just said.
DUSTIN: HA! Well thank you both!
Well again a big thank you to W.H. Rauf, Rhoald Marcellius and Titan Comics. Be sure to check out the collected edition of Carpe diem out this week in book stores.