All of man’s trash is our treasure in Debris #1, forthcoming from Image Comics’ Shadowline imprint. In the latest dystopian saga from the Green Wake team of Kurtis Wiebe and Riley Rossmo, the last tribe of humanity ekes out an existence on the endless mounds of refuse from generations of waste and spoil. All’s well and godawful for our species until the kingdom of garbage starts to rustle, then rise up. It may be our mess, our debris, but it’s the planet itself that calls it to action. Against us.
And that’s gonna prove a Colossal pain in the neck for humanity.
We talked to writer Kurtis Wiebe about the stiff new penalties for littering in the far-flung future of Debris. Included, a preview of the art from Debris #1 by Riley Rossmo and master colorist Owen Gieni
iFanboy: Let’s start with the title. What’s been reduced to debris? How widespread is this destruction and who does it affect?
Kurtis Wiebe: Essentially the entire planet has been reduced to and covered in debris. Obviously the series is set pretty far in our future but the devastation we brought onto the globe with our waste has had a long lasting and irreversible effect. Namely, there is only one tribe of humanity left and they are eking out an existence within the garbage strewn wasteland that we’ve left as our legacy.
iF: What is this tribe like? Would we recognize their location from any crumbling landmarks or is the world so far gone that we’re gonna need a new map?
KW: The tribe lives in what is essentially an ocean of garbage. It goes on forever and they have never seen the end of it, have never traveled beyond it. Everything they have, from weapons to clothing, is salvaged from the junk around them. Obviously they are very crafty having found a way to exist in this near uninhabitable landscape, but they have one advantage: they live next to an ancient water source. They understand little about it, only that it draws water from deep inside the earth. It’s also how they manage to eat, basically consisting on a diet of what is essentially seaweed.
As to where this town (called Maiden) actually is, well, Riley and I both know, but other than a few nods that a handful of people might recognize, we won’t touch on it too much. I actually have laid out the travel route that Maya takes on her journey outside of the town to help both Riley and I visualize it. I didn’t realize how difficult it would be to solidify the world bible in such a bizarre post apocalyptic setting. Actually putting it in a real world location helped immensely.
iF: So there’s only this one group of humans trying to get by out there, but are there any other intelligent beings picking through the wasteland? Any predators besides the landscape itself?
KW: The tribe is the last surviving members of the human race. Organic life, outside of them, is extinct. A few years before our story begins, the spirits of both animals and ancient creatures have returned. The smaller animals are called Umbral by the tribe, they are generally non-threatening life forms who take their original shape by using parts of junk around them. So, in the first issue we see garbage ostriches. Then there are the Colossals which are very old spirits that existed on earth thousands of years ago. They are ancient mythological creatures that have been driven insane by the devastation and pollution the human legacy left behind.
They are extremely dangerous.
iF: Let’s take a look at these preview images. So, this is an example of a Colossal? Trash cleans up nice with some spirit magic, yeah?
KW: Yes, this is one of the Colossals that makes an appearance in Debris. Obviously we wanted this to be epic so we aren’t stopping with one, there a few more littered throughout the world. Pun intended.
This one in particular is Jormungand and he’s a nasty monster. He’s harassed the people of Maiden for quite some time, but always from a distance. Things are changing and something is luring the beast closer and closer. It’s pretty clear from the preview pages that Jormungand is drawn to the Umbral and… something else.
I think everything looks a little prettier with spirit magic. And Owen Gieni’s colours, of course.
Look for Debris #1 on July 25th. $3.50, from Image Comics.