Mech Cadet Me and Mech Cadet Yu – an Interview with Greg Pak
I’ve just had the immense pleasure of reading Mech Cadet Yu, from Greg Pak and Takesshi Miyazawa, and published by Boom! Studios. In it, Earth has been given a few giant mechanised soldiers that adopt human pilots, so of course humanity wants to give them the best and brightest. What happens when the Mech picks an unexpected pilot? What does a seemingly lowly custodian have that the finest soldiers are lacking in? Follow along as I interview series writer/creator Greg Pak for a bit more insight!
The initial germ of the idea was just this thought of mysterious giant robots that descend on the Arizona desert every four years to bond with kids. And then I started thinking that if that were happening, the military would build a school there to train cadets who would bond with these robots, so the robots could be incorporated into the planet’s defense system. And that made me think about the ongoing threat of giant monsters from outer space. Finally, I thought about who our hero should be, and since I’m always most compelled by underdogs, I realized it should be the janitor’s kid, who was never supposed to bond with a robot and join the Sky Corps. But one day a robot crash lands in just the right place, and Stanford happens to find it…
GP: Tak’s one of my favorite collaborators on the planet. We co-created Amadeus Cho for Marvel back in the day, and from the beginning I knew we had something special going on. He just kind of gets everything I write. All the little character details, all the tiny bits of body language, all the subtle drama and humor… Tak gets it all. So whenever he sends in character or robot or monster designs, I pretty much just cheer him on. He’s soooo good.
This is a good place to plug the rest of the creative team. Colorist Triona Farrell and letterer Simon Bowland are doing tremendous work, and my BOOM editors Cameron Chittock and Eric Harburn have just been fantastic. Everyone just gets this story and is doing everything they can to make it sing.
GP: I’m looking at that now and I’m realizing we’ve got a comma there that shouldn’t be there! The plaque reads “Stanford, Yu.” But his first name is Stanford; his last name is Yu. So his name on the card should either be listed as “Stanford Yu” or “Yu, Stanford.” Good eye!
I’m just gonna say that the registrar goofed up when making the sign. Oops!
GP: SPOILER ALERT!
At the end of issue #4, our four young Mech Cadets got into big trouble when they disobeyed direct orders and took it upon themselves to save the neighboring community from a pack of giant Sharg. In issue #5, we’ll find out what their punishment will be — and what new trouble they’ll get into, this time side by side with the legendary Skip Tanaka, the first person to ever bond with a giant mech. Look for a new, surprising role for Stanford’s mom Dolly, a big reveal regarding Chief Max, deepening conflicts between Stanford and his rival Park, and a huge, shocking cliffhanger. My editor Cameron Chittock thinks this is the best issue so far. Hope you dig!
Please do check it out, and please do call your local retailer to pre-order the Volume One trade and issue #5!
Mech Cadet Yu is published monthly by Boom Studios. If you’re a fan of giant robots fighting aliens, action/adventure stories, and TONS of heart, then add this series to your list! Issue 5 and the first collection, featuring issues 1 – 4 will be available January 5, 2018!