You may or may not know who Aubrey Sitterson is, but you’re probably familiar with his past work. He’s been an editor at Marvel Comics, and has edited such little indie titles as Invincible, Walking Dead, and Kick-Ass. He’s also a big, big wrestling guy, and works for WWE. It turns out that Aubrey’s also a writer, and has this graphic novel, Worth coming out from Roddenberry Entertainment soon. We talked to Aubrey about the book, and you can also check out the preview.
Aubrey Sitterson: A has-been super-human, whose ability has been rendered obsolete by the evolution of human society, finds redemption and self-worth while being forced to explore the circumstances of what happens when a superhero can no longer be super. Klingons show up in Act 3.
Seriously though, aside from the Klingons, Worth is firmly rooted in the grand tradition of the work of Gene Roddenberry. The story that Trevor Roth, Roddenberry Entertainment COO and Head of Development created really speaks to the heart of the secular humanist issues that imbue all the best science fiction (including Star Trek). And just like Star Trek, Worth provides the opportunity to explore and debate some of today’s most relevant issues – more specifically, our relationship with technology – while simultaneously imbedding an emotional core that makes the whole thing stick.
iF: How challenging is it to write a superhero story that feels like you’re saying something that hasn’t been said hundreds of times already?
AS: It was a pressing concern for me when I went into the project, especially as a guy who’s loved superheroes his entire life, and even spent years editing books in the genre for Marvel and Image. What makes it a little easier with Worth, however, is that while the main character was once a superhero, it’s far, far removed from being a “superhero story,” in terms of the tropes we engage, the cliches we discard and even the very pacing of the book. Further, in true Roddenberry fashion, Worth goes against the grain and doesn’t approach the superhero from the normal “origin story” angle. Worth tells the story of what happens after all of the battles are over and all of the fanfare is gone.
iF: How important is the setting of Detroit to the story?
AS: Vitally important. What Trevor and the other Roddenberry guys brought to me was a well-formed outline, or skeleton if we want to get spooky, for what has become Worth, and it was my job to put all the pieces together. Setting the whole thing in Detroit is probably the piece I’m most proud of. The Motor City is emblematic. It stands as a clear example of countless pressing social issues – workers’ alienation from their labor, the crash of the United States economy, the reinvigoration of American production, etc. If I’m doing my job right (please let me have done my job right), these are all things that we’re going to touch upon in the pages of Worth.
iF: With a book about a past-his-prime superhero, called Worth, set in a place like Detroit, is class consciousness part of this title?
I read Karl Marx as a Philosophy major, so if you ask me, class consciousness is a part of EVERY title! Seriously though, without getting all college-boy on you: Yes, Worth is a character who is marginalized by society, his role stolen by technology’s evolution, and his history is based in the radical political scene of Detroit in the late 1960s. So, yeah man, there are hell of class issues going on here. The whole thing is meant to be read to the MC5 catalog. The entire thing – don’t skip Back in the USA. No one gives that record its due.
iF: You described Chris Moreno’s art on this to me as “the best work of his career”. What makes Moreno the right guy for this job?
AS: If you only know Chris from his more “cartoony” work, like on Sidekicks, you’re in for a real shock when you pick up Worth. The guy is a flawless cartoonist, able to make the extreme feel natural and a wiz with facial expressions and slightly-tweaked-from-reality character designs. His work on Worth is, frankly, some next level shit, as he’s been able to use graytones and fully-realized backgrounds to lend his work a certain heft that makes his emotional cartooning even more impactful.
iF: When will people be able to get the book into their hands?
AS: Barring the Mayan apocalypse, zombies, God once again flooding the Earth in rage or even less interesting catastrophes like full-on Cavendish banana extinction, you should be able to get your hot little hands on Worth in the first quarter of 2013.