One Girl and Her Heroic Dog: Joshua Covey takes ‘The Road North’ [Back Pages]
The Road North is a new all-ages comic from writer/artist Joshua Covey, set in a lawless wasteland of a future where mankind has all but become extinct. With the planet slowly dying, the end of man is hastened by the arrival of an alien species called 'The Pure', who have one goal --- to wipe out the last human survivors and claim the planet for their own.
Across the dystopian sands walks a young refugee called I, as well as her trusty canine companion, Z. Together, they're on a mission to find I's brother, dodging The Pure and sticking to her wits in a deadly landscape. Covey, an artist whose work has been published at Boom and Dark Horse among others, has taken his latest story to Kickstarter, where he's already met his funding target to take the book to print. We spoke to Covey about how The Road North came to be.
ComicsAlliance: What’s the basic premise of The Road North?
Joshua Covey: Alright... Here goes! A young refugee and their canine companion search for hope and a better tomorrow in the lawless wastelands of a not so distant future.
CA: How long have you wanted to get this comic up and running?
JC: It's taken me, off and on now, a little over a year to get the story where I want it. I've done a lot of fine-tuning, waiting for that right moment when everything just clicks --- and I feel that moment has now come.
CA: What was it about this story which made you want to tell it?
JC: The message within it. I wanted to tell a story that plays heavily on the elements of companionship and how far you would be willing to go for the ones you truly care about.
CA: What was the genesis of The Road North?
JC: All of my stories seem to stem from watching my two children. As they continue to grow and learn, I find myself being inspired by them daily. I want to create stories that I am proud to show them, stories that they themselves can enjoy. Ones that are fun and adventurous, but at the same time, have within them a strong message that I hope they can learn and continue growing from.
Stories that will instill good morals, courage, strength; and a bond between them both. I guess, in short, my stories are life lessons for my kids. And, hopefully, for others as well.
CA: How important was it to you that this be an all-ages story?
JC: Very. I want to tell meaningful stories. And I strongly believe you can still do such a thing without the use of over the top violence, swearing etc. I always ask "why limit yourself to one demographic?" It's unnecessary. Why not tell a story that can be appealing to both young and old?
CA: What made you decide to take the comic to Kickstarter?
JC: I want to tell stories how I see them. I also believe that a creator should be able to interact with the ones that support him, or her, on an eye to eye level. They should make themselves available for the fans of their work. To answer questions, personally. I believe Kickstarter is a way to do just that.
For me to tell my stories how I want to tell them, and to get full honest opinions right up front and from the source. To be able to interact with the supporters one on one, is a huge importance to me.
CA: How much of the story have you already completed?
JC: All four issues of TRN have been completely scripted out and I am getting close to completing the illustrations on the first issue.
CA: What’s your estimated delivery on the final comic?
JC: With a bit of work still to do on the comic itself, and with the added work from Kickstarter incentives, I am giving myself a bit of a cushion. So, for now, the expected delivery date for The Road North #1 is November 2015. I know it's a bit much, but I'd rather be ahead of schedule than behind!