Geekout: Interview with Ken Pisani (part 2)

Geekout: Interview with Ken Pisani (part 2)

“Q: While writing do you do anything special to get you in the mood to write sci-fi? What is your process?

A: For me, the “sci” is nearly as important as the “fi.” Most of Colonus is at least partially gounded in reality and scientific fact — including the possibility of floatin cities… (Really!) and the great thing about that kind of accuracy is, the more I researched the physicality of Mars and Venus, the more story I continued to get out of it… including Venus’s long slow orbit, which means that, at a crucial point in the story it’s going to turn dark for more than 100 days.

As for the actual writing process, I think I approach SciFi the same way I approach writing anything. Who wants what?  How are characters in opposition? What’s the big set piece this can head for, and what are the small human moments along the way?

But that’s once I have the premise, characters, world… in creating something from scratch, my process is in finding an interesting larger premise that can be explored via a central character or other microcosm: What happens when a chronic liar winds up in a place that trumps any fiction? How long can a beloved public figure hide his true, baser self? Is someone a hero if the outcome is heroic but his intentions are just to disturb the natural order of things?

Q: Where do you see your graphic novel going?

A: All the way to three seasons of TV! Seriously, I have three unique arc’s I’d like to play out that would work nicely on a series. But in the pages of Colonus, I envision a showdown between Mars and Venus that will not play out as expected– carefully calculate acts of persuasion, manipulation and aggression punctuated with moments of violence.  This a generational tale — Braxton is the third generation leader of the Venus outpost, and I see this as sharing someof the time shifting of the Godfather Part 2, where we see how things came to be, the present reflected in the past, as a world is built followed by the struggle to preserve an ideology against the forces of inevitable change.  And just when things seem to be reaching a climax, they escalate.

Right now I’d love to bring i out slowly, 8 pages or so at a time, in an anthology series like Dark Horse Presents.

Q:  How does it feel to be a winner of a Geekie Award?

A: Woo hoo! Such a treat… my fellow nominees all did such strong work, I’m amazed to have won, and very grateful.  And then you walk around the after party with your cool Geekie award ray gun and people come up and tell you how awesome you are, just like, y’know, the Oscars.

Q: Did you get to meet Stan Lee?

A: No! Dang! He was backstage before me and after I won it was a whirlwind of photos and interviews, and then he was gone. (I’ve met him before, he’s really terrific.)  I did get to meet Seth Green, who gave Stan his Geekie, and that was (almost) as good… I love his work on Robot Chicken, especially the Star Wars and DC Comics Specials. What’s more awesome than a funny geek!

Q: Do you have a favorite comic?

A: Lately, I’m blown away by Matt Fraction and Jeff Lemire.  Powers continues to be great, I am amazed how Bendis keeps that simple premise evolving so effectively.  I’m also happy for the return of Astro City.  I continue to love anything by Mignola– Hellboy in Hell is just great.  My favorite new book is probably Nowhere Men, the storytelling is astonishingly different.

On the “funny” side of that, nothing is more original and entertaining that the Goon! And something as seemingly ridiculous as Milk & Cheese is just too hilarious for words.

Q: Which form of creating do you prefer: novel, comic, film/ tv?

A: Great Question! All of these require writing with different muscles.  Of these, the only finished work that anyone is capable of creating solely on his or her own is the novel… so, it depends on how much of a control freak I am in a given moment.

The comic has been really challenging… all that great dialogue you can get away with in film and tv is death on the page (and you just don’t have the real estate for giant balloons of expansive speechifyin’.) I’ll also add that if I didn’t have the amazing talent of my artist Arturo Lauria, the result would be far less enjoyable.  I love the collaboration of making a Tv show or series — with the right group of people there’s nothing better.  As for film, I’ve written screenplays but never had one produced, although I imagine that sitting in a theater crowded with people enjoying your film must be an unparalleled experience.

Having said all that, I think if I wrote a novel that readers really responded to, that would be a crowning achievement.

Thank you! Great questions, it was fun to consider all of this.”


It was such a honor to have the opportunity to speak with a fellow Geek who is so heavily involved in the comic world and to find one who is not only cool but very generous and sincere with his time.

I am anxiously awaiting the next installment of Colonus and wish Ken, Arturo, and Magnus all the best.

To learn more about Ken and his projects please visit the following sites:


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