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Nathan Edmondson Asks Readers, "Who is Jake Ellis?"

Written by GLX on Sunday, January 02 2011 and posted in Features

GLX had a chat with Nathan Edmondson to discuss his latest mini-series.

jake1When did you first start working on Who is Jake Ellis?

About June of last year (2010) I wrote down the words "Who is Jake Ellis?" without really knowing what they meant--and without myself knowing who Jake Ellis was.  Within a month, though, I had the basic outline, and I'd figured out who Jake was, and what Jon could do. All I needed was an artist.   The right artist.  That took another two.

How did you get involved with Tonci Zonjic?

I started trolling the interwebs which I often dread; not only is it very much like fishing for one single fish in a whole ocean, I'm sure to be in for a large number of frustrating rejections after I "think" I've found the right person time and again.  Jason Latour, at a barbecue in Charlotte, offered me some excellent advice at the height of my frustration--he told me to look less for the perfect artist, and more for the person who would share my vision and enthusiasm.

It wasn't a week later that I was in communication with Tonci, having seen a bit he'd done with Kathryn Immonen.  We were off to the races, and Jon and Jake began to come alive.jake2

The title of the comic refers to Jake Ellis, but who is Jon Moore?

Jon is truly the more active protagonist in the story--at least the way we've decided to tell it.  He is the spy for hire, the master of mayhem, something like Jason Bourne meets Rusty (from Oceans 11).  Jon is the only one that can see, talk to, and get advice from Jake, but even Jon doesn't know who Jake is.

Jon was at one point a low-level CIA analyst working abroad.  He wasn't a hot shot or a cool cat or any of that.  This was all before Jake Ellis.

I've heard that you're working on a series of video diaries for this project. What led to this decision?

The video journal is primarily to promote my coast-to-coast tour in January.  I'll be sending updates from the various cities that I hit, talking about the events at the stores, how I've been ambushed by Apaches in the desert, how I was drugged in Vegas and woke up with a tiger in my bathroom, etc.

Since the story takes place in Europe, how did you try to capture the essence of the tale's various locales?

I've worked hard to use locations that I know from having lived abroad, adding a real geography and atmosphere to every panel, I hope.  I've spent quite some time gathering reference and information for Tonci on each street and park and train station, and Tonci has infused his own sense of realism and dedicated his pencil to depicting, as much as possible, every real-to-life detail he can.

jake3Who are some of the villains that Jon will encounter?

Can't reveal any secrets, but the world will start to close in on Jon, you'll see--and discovering the real villain is the only way out.

Does Jon have friends that aren't in the "gun-for-hire" biz?

From his past life, yes, but Jon has been in hiding--in the underground--for four years.

Looking at some preview pages, Jake Ellis seems to be an emotionally distant figure. Will more of his personality be revealed, over the course of the series?

Absolutely, but maybe not in the way you would expect.

Even though you can't specifically mention what villains Jon will face, is there any possibility that the CIA will make their presence known?

There's a possibility, yes.jake4

Do you have any projects that are in the works?

Indeed.  I have an ongoing in devo and two other minis; and I'm starting a second novel as well.  I'll be sure to keep you updated when the time comes!

Finally, would you care to distill what makes Who is Jake Ellis? cool within a haiku?

Always with the haikus!

Here, a mystery:
Jake Ellis, in a thriller
Launching this winter.

Who is Jake Ellis? is slated to hit stores on January 5, 2011.

Written or Contributed by: GLX

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About the Author - GLX

For years, GLX has been writing on-and-off for The Outhousers about comics, video games, and other stuff. He currently resides in The South. You can catch him in the forums or @glxwriter on Twitter.



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