Interview: Talking Golgotha with Matt Hawkins and Bryan Edward Hill

TOP COW KICKS OFF GOLGOTHA KICKSTARTER

The creators behind Cyber Force, Postal, Think Tank, Eden’s Fall and Aphrodite IX bring you a new 128-page graphic sci-fi novel!

The GOLGOTHA mission planned to mark mankind’s first colonization of another world. They expected to wake up from cryosleep to find a place untouched by civilization.

A crash-landing revealed the truth: While they slept, mankind advanced, and the second colonial mission arrived before they did.

The surviving crew of the Golgotha, and its single military member, Cpt. Michael Lawton, were now relics of the past…in a future that had no need for them.

We had the opportunity to ask the creators Matt Hawkins and Bryan Edward Hill some questions, which they took time out of their busy schedule to answer.

Check out the Q&A below!


Rogues Portal: Where did the inspiration and concept for Golgotha come from?

Matt Hawkins: I was studying quantum entanglement and whether cryosleep was even possible when I started thinking up weird scenarios. One of them would be how the relativistic nature of time would mess around with people and their lives. We’ve seen some of this in the Alien movies and in some other sci-fi but I never feel like it’s explained as to HOW it works or even if it’s possible. I wrote up a couple paragraph things a few years ago and then started talking with Hill about it.

Bryan Edward Hill: Matt had this great idea about the first human space colony arriving late enough to the destination that the second colony is already there. Instant conflict. Once I heard that, I was in.

 

RP: What is it about the sci-fi genre that draws you to it? 

Hawkins: It’s what I read growing up. I was immersed in Arthur C. Clarke, Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov and so many others. My dad was an engineer for the military and I grew up on Air Force bases so it seems a natural progression. Plus I’m a nerd.

Hill: For me, sci-fi allows us to explore ideas. You can isolate a concept about the human experience, augment it and probe it. I’m also a sucker for cool future aesthetics. Maybe it’s my naive hope that humanity’s future will be better than its present.

 

RP: You two have built a remarkable creative team with Yuki Saeki providing the artwork and Bryan Valenza doing the colors. What has it been like collaborating with them on Golgotha? 

Hawkins: I’ve wanted to work with Yuki since I met her at ECCC a few years back. I’m a fan of her art and storytelling. She wanted Bryan Valenza on the book to add a cell-shaded quality to her linework. I always try to please the artists, so when he said yes I was happy.

Hill: They’ve both been great. Yuki and Bryan both understand manga very well and combining that influence with western visual storytelling makes the book a unique experience for readers.

 

RP: Some of the characters in Golgotha’s preview pages are well developed. I notice that you guys put great detail and depth into most of characters you create. What is that process like?  

Hawkins: I believe in the iceberg principle for world building and character background. You have to know 100% of it to effectively tell your story, but you only ever see 10% of what’s on the top. This is a lot of back and forth and just answering questions. What does this person like? What do they do with their free time? What do they care about and why? What are their dark secrets? Some of this came to me from being a gamer. I played D&D and ran several games for a long time. I also try and find real people that are similar to the characters I create and I look into their world (interview them). Authenticity and plausibility are very important to me.

Hill: Bourbon, a Spotify playlist and a lot of thinking. Many times I’ll write scenes that won’t go into the book but they teach me about the characters. It’s a pretty organic process for me.

 

RP: Do you ever base characters off of people that you know in real life? 

Hawkins: Yes but never a one to one ratio. David Loren is somewhat based off of three people I know merged into one. Mark from Postal is based off of two people I know. I would never do a one to one without the person’s permission but doing amalgamations seems fine to me.

Hill: Hmm. Never exclusively one person or another, but sure, my experiences with real people inform all my characters. Historical figures, or at least my personal impressions of them, also factor into my writing. For GOLGOTHA I kept in mind my experiences with veterans, as my family is full of them. That definitely informed Michael, the main character of the book.

 

RP: I have been following Postal from the beginning and I was psyched when i heard the news it would be a TV show. How exciting is it knowing your characters will come to life on the screen? 

Hawkins: It’s pretty damn cool and I’m crossing my fingers that it has a nice long run!

Hill: It’s fun. To be honest, although I’m a screenwriter and I work in television too, I’m not obsessed about adaptation. It’s a really strange process, seeing these folks you’ve been writing now get interpreted by other people doing great work. It’s surreal. In the best of ways. The David Lynch way, not the nightmare way, ha ha ha.

 

RP: Eden’s Fall was a brilliant cross over with the characters from Postal, Think Tank, and The Tithe. Is there a chance we will see another type of cross over in the future? 

Hawkins: Samaritan is kind of a standalone story sequel to Eden’s Fall. The character The Cleaner from Eden’s Fall will be an important character going forward.

Hill: Matt makes that call, but I would love to do something like that again.

 

RP: Out of all the characters you two have created, which ones are the most special to you? 

Hawkins: For me it’s David Loren I just love the guy. He can be a dick, but that’s a defensive mechanism. He’s a very layered character that’s neurotic, overthinks everything and tends to say things he shouldn’t. I’ve given David all of my own personal flaws.

Hill: Hmm. I like Molly Schultz, one of the antagonists of Postal. She’s a hipster sociopath and I’m glad to have that in popular culture.

 

RP: What other projects are you guys working on that we can look forward to in the future? 

Hawkins: I’m working on Swing with Linda Sejic it’s a companion book to Stjepan Sejic’s Sunstone series. The Clock with Colleen Doran is a eugenics conspiracy thriller about giving people cancer on purpose. Stairway with Raffaele Ience is about finding hidden messages written in our DNA from ten million years ago. I’m also working on a new Cyber Force series so stoked on that.

Hill: I’ve got Aphrodite V coming up this year with brilliant art from Jeff Spokes. I’ve also got an original project I’m launching that I’m very excited about, but details have to wait on that.

 

RP: What is the best part of creating comic book worlds?

Hawkins: I really like the wonderment of it. The pure creation of staring off into space and dreaming shit up and then seeing it become real. Well…at least real in comic books. It’s the greatest job in the world. I know I’m a lucky guy.

Hill: Working in my pajamas with my dog on my lap.

 

RP: And it’s playoff times! Who are your picks for the NHL/NBA? 

Hawkins: Go Lakers! Heh. Yeah I know they’re not in the playoffs .I’ve been to a Kings game once but no clue if they’re in the playoffs.

Hill: You picked the two sports I don’t watch! Who’s the biggest underdog? I always root for the runt of the litter.

 

Thanks guys! Ready to support GOLGOTHA? <—– click away and check out some of the rewards that you can get for supporting the project:

  • Thank you credits
  • Signed trade paperback and digital copies of Golgotha
  • Top Cow 25th Anniversary 11×17 print set
  • Digital DRM-free PDF or CBZ file of the 128-page GOLGOTHA graphic novel, a physical copy, the writers’ original summary, scripts, correspondence between the creative team and original concept art sent to your inbox and more!

 

My name is Dave. I'm in love with all types of film. I enjoy comics, video games, and writing. I also love soccer. I love watching all competitions and I play goalkeeper as well. Hit me up on Twitter @sycotic

Dave Hildebrand

My name is Dave. I'm in love with all types of film. I enjoy comics, video games, and writing. I also love soccer. I love watching all competitions and I play goalkeeper as well. Hit me up on Twitter @sycotic

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