Previews below. Now… Interview time!
SEAGUY is a super hero in a scuba outfit who hates the sea and has no powers. How ironic. The shear ridiculousness makes one smile…a lot.
So who is SEAGUY and what’s his purpose?
Good question! Who are any of us and what’s our purpose?
Put simply, Seaguy is a young man who desperately wants to be a hero, trapped in a ‘perfect’ world that has no need for heroes. His purpose is to find a meaningful role for himself in a world where everyone is special. He also wants to impress the warrior woman She-Beard, for whom he carries a torch but can’t actually speak to.
He’s the first ‘superhero’ to truly embody the concerns of the 21st century.
Back in 2004 in SEAGUY’s first appearance he was a young boy, in this 3 issue miniseries he’s a teenager.
What’s changed about him?
‘Seaguy’ is structured to tell the story of an entire human life from birth to death, but we didn’t want to start with him as a baby so it’s done in a more symbolic way.
The first book in the Seaguy trilogy, ‘Seaguy and The Wasps of Atlantis’, began with our hero’s ‘birth’. We saw him living in a childlike world without consequence: Death is ineffectual, everything is just right and everyone is his friend in Book One. Then he goes on his big adventure, discovers some harsh truths about the world and about life, loses his dearest companion and is finally dragged home for brainwashing by a culture that no longer seems quite as tolerant of him now he’s begun to see through its temptations. In the first book, although, he’s not a child, he’s written with the kind of wide-eyed, vacant, naivety that typifies young kids.
When we meet Seaguy in this second book, ‘Seaguy: Slaves of Mickey Eye’, his features are sharper and more defined. He’s restless, bored, and suspicious of everything. He’s beginning to question all the things he previously took for granted. He is, in short, a teenager. So this second volume is ‘dark’ Seaguy and it’s all about what happens when society decides you’re a troublemaker and sets out to remould you in its own image. Where the first book was done in a picaresque style, this one is pure Hollywood 3-act adventure.
Can Seaguy escape from the false ‘El Macho’ identity They’ve trapped him in? Can he make it back to New Venice in time to prevent the wedding of Seadog and She-Beard and thwart a plan to turn everyone into mindless, dribbling idiot slaves?
The final book ‘Seaguy Eternal’ is Seaguy as a grown man – it’s about what happens after you’ve saved the day, got the girl and changed the world.
SEAGUY is set in a unique future with oddball characters and bizarre situations yet you seem to be alluding to some very relevant concerns about modern life.
Would you elaborate on the concept and those issues?
The world of Seaguy is a reflection of our own, definitely. Everyone’s a ‘superhero’ in Seaguy’s world, just as everyone is a ‘star’ in our own.
Blogging makes everyone a writer or a critic. MySpace makes everyone famous until there are so many famous people that no-one’s really famous for anything at all. Twitter turns every twitch, fart and half-baked thought into a global press statement. ‘American Idol’ makes everyone a potential celebrity. The Renaissance/Romantic idea of the special person, the genius, the ‘superhero’, is dying before our very eyes. Everybody wants to be a rockstar and nobody wants to clean the streets. At the same time as all this desperate self-aggrandizement, we’re watching endless reruns of the same shows, the way kids repetitively watch the same DVD cartoons over and over again. Our most successful movies are about children’s cartoon characters as we try to cocoon ourselves with nostalgia and repetition against the howling, incoherent darkness of ecological disaster, paranoid surveillance culture, Terror and financial collapse.
In ‘Seaguy’, this process is taken to an extreme; the world he’s grown up in has been dumbed-down and infantilised to a ridiculous degree. People live in designated ‘Comfort Zones’ arranged around sinister theme parks. Alienated, lonely, confused and self-important, they confide these fears to an anonymous voice in ‘Diary Rooms’, inspired by ‘Big Brother’, while pretending an outward happiness to the other self-absorbed people they encounter on their trips to the shops or the Park.
Who’s behind this and how Seaguy’s world ended up the way it has is one of the big questions we’ll be answering as we move towards the conclusion of the trilogy. The theme park, cartoon, ‘oddball’ nature of things has a simple and terrifying explanation that will turn on its head everything Seaguy knows and understands.
The colourful, childlike approach was developed as a way of talking about the world we live in without getting too preachy or too dark. Some of the points I’m making are quite bleak, so by wrapping my social commentary up in Saturday morning cartoon surrealism and daft humour, I felt I could sweeten the pill.
Many creators find their inspiration in movies, art or literature.
Where did you find your inspiration for SEAGUY?
Seaguy started as a daft name my wife, Kristan, came up with after I challenged her to think of the most stupidly perfect superhero name that hadn’t been used yet. The first Seaguy stories were made up as a laugh but I soon realised the potential to do something big and resonant with the character.
So it began as a series of weird, surreal routines then I decided I wanted to evolve it into something that was a bit ‘Don Quixote’, a bit ‘Candide’ and a little of the Celtic wonder tales I grew up on. I imagined a sci-fi ’Pilgrim’s Progress’ but with action and laughs and saw Seaguy as a way of telling the story of an entire human life through this character’s struggles and adventures.
Seaguy is ‘born’ onto the first page, already playing a game of chess with Death, which is kind of how we all arrive in this world. ‘Your move, Seaguy.
Cameron Stewart really brings your imagination and your script to life with his vibrant artwork. Tell us about working with him.
Cameron is a brilliant artist and one of my favourite collaborators. The intelligence and craft he applies to his work is staggering and never fails to inspire me to new heights. He’s always looking to make his work better and he’s not afraid to veer away from my art directions when he has a better idea. The art for ‘Slaves of Mickey Eye’ displays a new level of accomplishment and it’s a privilege to be able to go back to this world with him.
Which SEAGUY character or scene was the most fun for you to write?
I like all of the Seaguy characters but my favourite moment in the whole series is when Seaguy must assume a new identity as El Macho the Bulldresser. His encounter in the bullring with the terrifying E Monstro has to be seen to be believed.
Do you listen to music while you work? If so, what were you listening to while writing SEAGUY?
The first book of Seaguy was in an attempt to capture a kind of whimsical, fairytale quality with an edge of lurching paranoia and fear, and as far as I can remember, it was written to Syd Barrett, Milky, King Missile, Julian Cope, Nick Nicely, Donovan and others.
This latest one has been written to stuff like the Aliens, Lil Wayne, JJ72, Winston Glory, CSS, Liam Lynch, Pendulum and whatever else is on the Windows Media Player at the moment.
Are you a swimmer? Have you ever been scuba diving? If so, where was your favorite locale?
I’m a poor swimmer but I like to swim. I’ve never been scuba diving but I did go snorkelling in the coral reef when I was in the Maldives.
What’s next for SEAGUY? Can we expect to read another miniseries?
Yes. ‘Seaguy: Slaves of Mickey Eye’ will be followed by the final miniseries ‘Seaguy Eternal’ which completes the trilogy with a voyage into the Thousand-and-One Islands of Lostralia, for a final confrontation with Ant-Dad, and the revelation of the true reality behind Seaguy’s world..
OK. Now… preview!