Interview with the writer and artist of Bloodworks, Adam Chrimes & Francisco Hnilo, hosted by RJD (comixkid2099).
Bloodworks: The Rhesus Generation
Sixty years after the genesis of Project Chrysalis, thousands of Meta-human combatants are leaving their deadly footprints across the Globe. Enter; Ares and Ultra, super powered agents in the employ of her majesty’s government. When a terrorist threat strikes the heart of London, can these two deadly Demi-Gods hope to be deployed in time? And just how far has the dream of the superman fallen in these grey times?
RJD: Fran, coming back for the return to Bloodworks, do you think that this installment will be better than issue 0, which was sorta like a prologue?
Francisco Hnilo: I believe so. Of course, it relies heavily on the reception among readers, but drawing it sure was much more fun than issue 0. I mean, in the first one, we had a very slow-paced storytelling and no super beings at all, while in this issue we finally introduce actual superheroes, and have some cool fight scenes. And that’s the fun stuff that most of us comic book readers love, isn’t it?
RJD: I know that’s what I love to read in a comic. Lol. Speaking of issue 0, is the style of your art going to be different in anyway, compared to issue 0?
Francisco Hnilo: I think so. It’s been a long time since issue 0 came out, and I believe (well, I hope) my art has improved since then… besides, the script also was much more elaborate and had plenty of details I had to respect, so it meant I had to be more careful with what I drew and in consequence the art looks much more polished than in the previous one. Fight scenes are fun to draw, and this issue has plenty of them too, so I was much more enthusiastic about what I was drawing… I hope that readers can see that in the drawings of this issue. What’s more, KC and I discussed about introducing a different style of colouring for this one, which I guess will make the issue look way more modern and interesting.
The basic idea is that classical ‘here we have these super-powered humans, and people has got used to them because they are sooo many and they’ve been around for such a long time’ but suddenly something unexpected happens and that status quo changes radically… and certainly not for the better. Adam Chrimes added the super-powered and non-powered superheroes backstory, which I had never imagined and that is a really good idea and works very well for giving the comic-book much more consistence and drama. – Francisco Hnilo
RJD: What made you and Adam feel like an issue 0 was essential for the flow of this story?
Francisco Hnilo: Issue 0 was absolutely necessary for introducing readers to this “universe” that Adam and I are building, in my opinion. We had to explain where superheroes came from, how they came to be, etc. We couldn’t just have them flying around without a suitable explanation, so issue 0 kind of suggests what happened… it only suggests it, for that storyline goes on in some of the following issues, to give readers a full view of what the creation of the super hero formula meant and how many lives were lost in the process… yeah, it wasn’t just ONE guy exploding, you know.
RJD: Will we be seeing any of the characters we briefly saw in issue 0?
Francisco Hnilo: Hurm… No, not in Issue 1. They will appear later in the series, anyway, so we’ll learn much more about them as the story goes on. Issue one is the beginning of a different storyline, which is told at the same time as the one introduced in 0… So in this one you’re meeting different characters, different situations and even a different year!
RJD: What has been your favorite part of the short but wicked cool series thus far?
Francisco Hnilo: The guy exploding. And the very sexy super girl in Issue 1. Nuff said. Lol
The comic is hopefully a very grounded superhero tale in the vein of Watchmen that takes super powered individuals and places them within a 21st century backdrop. The over arching premise is this government project called ‘Chrysalis’ that was implemented in WWI and has spread to the other world powers since. Within the book itself is a nice dichotomy between those who have been given the serum and those ordinary folks that are just running around in gaudy tights looking after their council estate. – Adam Chrimes
RJD: Ha. Since you enjoyed the sexy girl, we at least know that you are a pretty average guy, despite how you enjoy watching fellows blow up. (just kidding). Moving on to the other half of the creative team, we now have some questions for the writer of Bloodworks, Adam Chrimes. Adam, I’ve asked fran, and now I shall ask you. Do you believe this upcoming installment of Bloodworks will surpass the quality and awesomeness of issue 0?
Adam Chrimes: I certainly hope so. From the pages I’ve seen, Franscisco has really brought his A game this time along. I was bowled over when I first saw the pages for the zero issue but seriously, his pencils for this issue are industry level easily and some of the most detailed lines I’ve seen even in professional comics. The art looks gorgeous and It has a wonderful kinetic energy that I think will make it an exciting read. I was really happy with the comments for the first installment and it was encouraging to see such a positive reaction to what was essentially a short set up piece. This issue brings us into the world of the series proper and it’s more of a break neck introduction, which was a joy to write after the ponderous zero issue, so yes I hope we’ve made it a good read for folks.
RJD: Fran touched on this slightly, but this upcoming issue will be set in a different time period, correct?
Adam Chrimes: Indeed. The series is set in a modern timeframe, the zero issue was an introduction to the series that showed us the traumatic origins of project Chyrsalis during WW2. Now we are into the series proper and thrust into a modern climate, albeit one that is populated with super powered individuals and where the Chrysalis programme has been refined.
RJD: You’ve said in the past that you don’t like the short stories like issue 0. Do you think those challenge you to write in new and different ways, or constrict your writing capabilities?
Adam Chrimes: The zero issue was originally meant to be the base template for all further installments of the series. I had just started reading “Freakangels” which is a weekly web comic by Warren Ellis and Paul Duffield which follows a 6 page format and is one that I thought would work for Bloodworks. Obviously this being a largely amateur piece of fun in our spare times, me and Francisco don’t really have the time for such regular updates and this necessitated the lengthening of each instalment to give the reader more bang for their buck. This did result in me rewriting a few of the scripts and lengthening them by a few pages but I hope the end result is worth it.
RJD: It will especially be more bang for our buck, since we aren’t exactly paying to read it. Lol. As you mentioned earlier, this is a world that has had a different history than our world since World War 2. So how does that sort of thing affect the political structure, the economy, etc in seventy years?
Adam Chrimes: On the money. The whole premise of the title is the culture of superheroes in this society and how their prevalence throughout history has affected the lives of everyone on the planet. When you think about it, most superhero universes have the “capes” as an almost sub culture, this underground vigilante movement, It’s only within the last decade that the major publishers have brought their superheroes into a mainstream functioning capacity such as the Superhuman registration act with Marvel. “Bloodworks” features a world that has had superheroes functioning alongside governments for well over half a century and this has created a stark political climate. The society is divided between those “legitimate” Metahumans who are largely under the employ of various governments; very weaponised agents, almost like a commodity and this underground movement of costumed vigilantes, most of whom have no biological enhancements but feel that they should not have to relinquish the rights to defend themselves to a select group of aloof individuals.
RJD: Nice. I’m getting more and more excited. This almost feels a little like the Watchmen. I know that you and Fran have admitted that you are both heavily influenced by Warren Ellis in this series, but has Alan Moore, and specifically, the Watchmen been an influence? I only ask because what you described sorta reminds me of the substory running through that mini series.
Adam Chrimes: Definitely. “Watchmen” is a work of fiction that ranks within my top three novels and the debt that modern comics owes to the series is immeasurable. The fact that Alan Moore had the balls to say “hang on, in order to go out at night dressed in gaudy costumes and get into fights on other peoples behalf, you’d have to have some serious psychological defects” was just fantastic and the whole book has a wonderfully stark voice. Watchmen influenced “Bloodworks” in the sense that I wanted it to be a very politically driven book, with the superheroes very much part of the infrastructure of the various modern nations. If the series does smack of Moore sometime, it’s just because I spent a great deal of my early comics reading life absorbing all great British writers and trying to sponge off them aimlessly.
RJD: The British writers are great, aren’t they? What has been your favorite part of this series thus far?
Adam Chrimes: Finding my feet with the writing to be honest. The next few issues coming up really set the status quo for what I hope will carry this title for a long while. I can only see Fran getting better with his artwork so I know in the coming issues, he will continue to blow your mind visually. There’ s some scenes in the next issue that I’m particularly proud of and I hope you guys like it too.