Developing The FightVerse With Aubrey Sitterson And Fico Ossio

by James Ferguson

No One Left to Fight from Dark Horse Comics, the book billed as “The Comic You Always Wanted” and definitely delivered on that tagline, is getting collected in a trade paperback in March 2020. It was also our #1 comic series of 2019. Writer Aubrey Sitterson and Fico Ossio took us on an incredible journey through a new world with familiar ideas that hit so very hard. I spoke to them when the series first began and was able to catch up with them again on the eve of the trade paperback’s release.

They’ve saved the world countless times, growing up together and growing apart in the process. But now, with adulthood tightening its grip, they’re forced to reconcile their regrets and resentments, coming to terms with the lives they’ve chosen. Inspired by the legendary Dragon Ball, critically acclaimed creators Aubrey Sitterson (The Comic Book Story of Professional Wrestling, G.I. Joe) & Fico Ossio (Spider-Man, Revolution) invite you on an action-packed journey through their expansive new world. Collects No One Left to Fight #1-#5.

James Ferguson: I love and hate you for this comic. I love you because No One Left to Fight is an exploration into everything I love about adventure and sci-fi and I hate you because I need this comic to run for a million issues. Being cognizant of spoilers, how did you come to the decision to end the series with so much left to explore?
Aubrey Sitterson: Brother, if you ask me, one of the best parts of serialized storytelling is the wait, whether it’s the next issue, arc, or saga; it’s time for fans to think about, ruminate on, and maybe even go back to re-explore THE COMIC YOU ALWAYS WANTED, Fico and I spent a lot of time fleshing out and developing the FightVerse, so not only are we excited for people to spend some additional time living in it, but it’s been part of the plan since jump.
Plus, given how hard to find issues of the first arc of No One Left to Fight were (The super-rare first printing of issue #1 went for more than $20 a pop on eBay!) taking a little breather gives fans an opportunity to get on-board for what comes next.

JF: How did you decide on the different powers each character had and how they shot giant energy blasts out of their hands?
AS: One of the things that sets No One Left to Fight apart is our approach to, you guessed it: Fighting. Fights in THE COMIC YOU ALWAYS WANTED aren’t just eye-candy or the minimum required action to mollify fans, they’re both the most crucial, deep-cutting exploration of our characters and the clearest display of their values, fears, and what’s truly important to them. In short, the way FightVerse characters approach a battle shows why they fight.
So, of course we had to come up with unique ways for each of them to throw hands! And since we’re pulling so much from the shonen and seinen fight comics genre (making an American comics version of Dragon Ball Z or One Punch Man or JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure or…), the fighting styles had to be visually stunning with fighters screaming out the names of their special moves.
Fico Ossio: One of the best things about this genre are the power moves! To come up with those was one of the best parts of working on this! So, it was a mixture of different influences from great titles of the genre. The key inspiration point came from DBZ, My Hero Academia, and One Punch Man. And also a lot of goofing around making poses as if we were members of the Ginyu force. I´m pretty sure there were some pictures sent between brother Aubrey and me. It was a lot of fun to play with.
But it is key to make them also speak about the characters. The power move, if done right, helps define and add new layers to the characters. And with having the characters so well defined and relatable, they made it easy to figure out what their moves would look like.

JF: One of the many standouts for No One Left to Fight is the design of the world. You just know there’s a deep history there. How did the look and feel of this place and its characters come about?
FO: I´ve been working in comics for over 10 years now, and I´ve always worked on established characters and stories. This was my first take on a creator owned book. That really brought out my creativity. And not only working on something of our own, but inspired by a genre that I´ve always been a fan of and never before had the chance to show some of that stuff. It was great to finally cut loose and draw all these ideas with no restrictions. Probably that´s why the characters and world are so full of details and little things. But EVERYTHING in No One Left to Fight has a reason and some of the things that are on the pages are clues to future stories or tell a bit of the world.
And I really connected with Aubrey on a creative level. It was a great collaboration process of non-stop back and forth ideas that was a lot of fun!
Color had a huge part in giving the world a distinctive look and feel. And was probably the most interesting part since in manga there is no color. So I took it as a great opportunity and, more important, a great tool to convey to the reader the tone and unique language a shönen book could have.

JF: How do you collaborate with one another? Is it a showdown like a Street Fighter battle? Or are you all contributing to a big Spirit Bomb? (Yes, I had to throw in a Dragon Ball Z reference).
AS: James, are you kidding me right now? How could the epic collaboration of Fico Ossio and Aubrey Sitterson, on THE COMIC YOU ALWAYS WANTED, be anything other than a Fusion?
FO: YES!  A fusion move… with Ginyu Force flav!

JF: What’s next for No One Left to Fight?
AS: That, my fine-feathered friend, is up to the fans. I know that’s a cliché thing to say, but here’s the thing: Fico and I have always been ready to do, bare minimum, 300 issues of this thing. We’d love to do FightVerse stories until we, and all of our characters, are old and grey; we’ve definitely got the material for it. But in order for that to happen, we need to move some units, daddy, sooooooo…
Pre-order No One Left to Fight today wherever you buy comics! And make sure to put in a request at your local library so other folks can get their hands on THE COMIC YOU ALWAYS WANTED.
Comicon would like to thank Aubrey Sitterson and Fico Ossio for taking the time to speak with us. The No One Left to Fight trade paperback is set for release at your local comic shop on March 11th, 2020 and at bookstores and Amazon on March 24th, 2020.

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