Cremisi #3 Review and Creator Interview with Writer Issac Fox: A Dream Project 15 Years in the Making
Shay’s bad day…
It always happens when you least expect it. You’re just going through the day as always and then horrible news or event happens, or you know…an infected monster decides to rain on your parade while you’re just minding your own business. I like to call them Mondays but for Shay, it’s much too real. I got the chance to sit down and read the new issue of Cremisi to find out where the story will go from the previous issues and the crew just can’t catch a break (and we keep getting more questions). I also sat down and chatted with creator/writer Issac Fox to see if we can learn more about his dream project…
Fox does another wonderful job in this issue. This time, we get a little taste of some edge of your seat thriller and Sci-Fi Horror as he leads up to some character revelations for Shay. Things he and Alice figure out (and leaving the reader scouring the pages for the answers) are all leading us by a good leash to where he wants us to go. In my previous reviews, I grew to enjoy his style more and more from the first issue and I can see the give and take he provides with information. Even with the slower pace of Wake Up Call, Fox doesn’t forget the information revealed in past issues which is a good sign of a well woven story. Every panel has a point which is also good since I’ve read a few indy comics that like to drag out actions a bit too much. I’m still very excited for more.
Ms. Sayako outdoes herself again. The subtle emotions from the characters help the reader and add nice weight to scenes. We also got our first look at a monster character to give Shay a run for his money. Not only was it well drawn, it was downright terrifying! It’s build, eyes, and weapons were well designed. The environment art complimented the buildup to the big bad as well. The claw marks, the blood, and the damage all throughout just makes you aware that something is on the ship with Shay. The only thing that I might have done differently, is with Alice. Her character design is wonderful but as a reader, I’m still trying to decipher if she is just a hologram, does she become solid, or is she a projection? At this point, they can’t alter the opacity or give her a glow but maybe use some lighting/shading techniques to offer some visual cues for the reader. The reason why is because I’m not sure if she can just come out and help in any way physically or if Shay really is alone right now as a lone fighter. If so, that’s a big handicap if he gets caught deep in space all by himself.
The crimson makes a pretty nice comeback in Wake Up Call compared to last issue. Seeing all the devastation from whatever ravaged the ship, even offering a clue/connection to a past issue. The use of it to contrast the dark hallways was a nice touch as well. As I mentioned above, the artwork on the monster was really well done. This includes the shading. The muscle definition, a sunk in eye that makes it look like it’s missing one, and we also see some damage. Like a battle scar on a lion, he is missing a claw and it’s a nice touch to show that this monster isn’t new. It’s been stalking this ship for a while now. Which is a subtle but great detail attributed to Sayako Rush and her artwork.
First, let me thank you for letting us talk to you about Cremisi and congratulations on getting #3 funded!
Thank you! It’s been a hard road, but we’re finally making some ground. It’s incredibly difficult to get your work out there, but completely worth the effort.
It seems like you have a lot of depth to the story spanning many years. How long have you been developing the story?
Cremisi has been in development for almost 15 years. It started as a video game project I was putting together in high school using some RPG maker program. As I went on to College and learned more about writing, the story gradually evolved into what it is today.
How did you and Sayako (artist) meet?
Sayako and I met through fairly generic means. When I decided to put Cremisi into motion, I went out looking for artists. The first place I started my hunt on was Deviantart, and that’s where I found Sayako.
What’s the story behind the ALICE acronym?
For ALICE, I needed to develop a sidekick for Shay who could serve as a personable character and a program at the same time — a computer you could be friends with. I’d like to say there was a deep, spiritual process through coming up with her name and acronym, (A Lovely Intelligent Computerized Entity) but it was a shower thought after a binge-writing spree of character sheets and story information. The shower might be the best room in the house for thinking. haha
Maria was a pretty big focus for the first 2 issues, will we be seeing her again?
Maria has perhaps the biggest evolution of any character within Cremisi. She was originally written far weaker and not meant to be much more than a temporary travel guide. When Sayako designed her, I was so impressed with the design I decided to rewrite issue 1. This led to further edits for the story down the road. Maria will return and has a big role to play in not only the main story, but the development of one of our future core cast members.
When do you have the other races planned to show up?
Cremisi starts off in human-controlled space, making them the majority race. As the story develops and our cast venture further out into Free Space, we’ll see more and more alien races. I wanted to establish a foundation for our readers to plant their feet in, before plunging them into a universe of aliens, monsters and magic.
Do you have our next look at Cremisi (the demon) planned out yet?
The entire story of Cremisi is written and ready to go. While some edits are inevitable, the core story and character appearances are planned out. The truth behind Cremisi will be revealed piece by piece as Shay is forced to face the main villain.
Issue #3 shed some light on Shay having a partner in the past. Obviously, that partner is nowhere to be seen in the present. Does that tie into why he drinks?
The partner Shay has in issue 3 does not tie directly in to why he drinks, but does have an affect on his drinking. We’ll see this in issue #6.
On your original Kickstarter page, I noticed you mentioned influences from Trigun, Cowboy Bebop, and Firefly. I was able to catch the tiny details in those influences in the first issue. Are there any others you plan to make homage to in future issues?
Cremisi’s major influences come from Outlaw Star – one of the three space-western anime we got here in the west back in the early Toonami days. Issue #1 being titled Crimson World is a nod towards Star’s pilot episode, titled Outlaw World. There will be more subtle homages paid to other works which inspired us as the series continues. Every now and then you may find something interesting in the background.
At the end of issue #2, Shay holds up a picture of a woman. Can you provide a little bit of backstory on her? An ex-girlfriend? His former partner? More reason to his drinking problem?
The girl we see at the end of issue 2 plays a major role in the story. We’ll see her in future issues and learn more about her little by little. All I can say for now is she’s a member of an amphibious race and we’ll get to go to their home planet in a future issue. She also ate her fish raw, so Shay probably had to keep a steady supply of breath mints around for her. haha.
What can we expect from future issues? Any special events like the art contest that Sayako did or any special information that you would like to share with your fans and our readers?
The future issues of Cremisi are going to be a lot heavier. Issues 1 and 2 function as an episodic introduction to the series. Issue 3 is where we start to get to the real meat of the story. From here on, we’ll find a universe filled with disparity and brutal hostility. Deep psychological torments are brought to light, people die, and the horrific truth behind Cremisi is discovered. Our characters will be faced with dilemmas questioning what makes one decision good and another bad. We’ll likely have more contests and ways for us to interact with our fans in the future. Our team will also start making a lot more convention appearances. Our hope is to take our readers on a journey and build a community with them.
I am definitely looking forward to seeing this Kickstarter project grow. I have a similar personal journey and can say that a lot of people are inspired by the continuing success of projects like these. Good luck to Cremisi, Sayako Rush, and a big thank you to Issac Fox for answering our questions. Issue #4 can’t come fast enough.