Talking With Curt Pires About New Near-Future Political Thriller, ‘New America’ From ComiXology

by Olly MacNamee

New America is a politically charged new comic book miniseries debuting on comiXology tomorrow, Tuesday 23rd August. Set in the near-future it depicts a country literally and figuratively divided with no compromise in sight. I caught up with it’s writer and co-creator, Curt Pires, to ask him more about this new series:

Olly MacNamee: Curt, your new series on ComiXology, New America, certainly has strong parallels with contemporary political events happening in America. Can I assume it’s such event that caused the impetus behind this series in the first place? 

Curt Pires: Very much so. I think the kernel of the idea behind the book started forming in late 2016 following the Presidential election. I sat with the idea for a bit, and then began developing an earlier iteration of the book around 2018. Almost had that version of the book come out, but then things seemingly fell apart at that publisher I was working with at the time. I kept tinkering with the idea and wanting to come back to it, and eventually connected with Luca and was able to realize the version you’re reading today. Sadly the books only gotten more relevant and prescient as time goes on. 

OM: Beyond the contemporary political issue informing this new book there is the central premise  of a divided America, even in this future. Divisions between the left and the right which are undeniable, but you paint as becoming far worse. How does this division shape and fuel the narrative and society of this near-future world you are establishing?

CP: The impetus for the foundation of New America and the idea of secession from this broken political system feels like something that’s not that far off from where we are now. Beyond America it seems broadly that the western idea of democracy is crumbling and the balance of power on the international stage is radically shifting. 

OM: Focusing more on the main players now then, and Wyatt Walker, brother of President Corey Walker. And a man who’s been happy to hide until he is identified at an MMA event he’s fighting in. What can you tell us about him, given he does take up arms for the cause once he is found out?

CP: Wyatt has sort of a troubled past and has been missing for a long time. The mystery of his disappearance and what exactly caused it is one of the big central mysteries at play across these three issues of New America that comprise the first volume. 

OM: Of course, a series like this is nothing without its supporting cast. People who’ve seen their fair share of military action, such as Lisa and Javi; part of the troop Wyatt join up with. The latter trusted by the President, but weary of his brother. Is he just too cynical, maybe? Or is his a story based on bitter experience?

CP: It’s a bit of both. Javi’s job is to protect New America and so naturally he’s grown cynical and maybe a bit dogmatic in the way he deals with things. He doesn’t have the love or rose tinted glasses for Wyatt that President Walker does, so when Corey shows back up, he’s asking more questions. Is more suspicious. 

OM: I must say, the art by Luca Casalanguida, is a great gritty fit for this book. It reminded me somewhat of the late, great John Paul Leon (Earth X), or Tom Coker (The Black Monday Murders). How did you go about deciding on a suitable art styles and artists, for this series and then approaching Casalanguida?

CP: God, I love Luca’s work. I had seen Luca’s work on a few things and had marked him down as someone I needed to work with. But I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to get him. Late 2020 when I was getting to restart attempts on getting the book going again and bringing it to life, I reached out to him and it worked out. I see some JPL like you say. I see some Risso. Some Toth. Great influences, but Luca’s really his own artist coming from this lineage of amazing storytellers. 

OM: Clearly you follow politics quite avidly, as do I. And I can certainly see the division in America here in the UK too. A more philosophical question to end on then, but do you see a time when such divisions can find some common group? Or, are we heading for an endgame similar to that presented in New America #1? 

CP: I have a degree in political science and funnily enough this has been the closest I’ve ever come to getting to use it, ha. 

I think as long as there’s money in politics and advertising money in news it’s going to be impossible to de-escalate things. The most extreme views are the ones that get the most clicks, and so we’re constantly dealing with the amplification of views and individuals who do not embody the opinions of the vast majority of people. 

Beyond that, money and lobbying really makes it impossible to do anything about the vast majority of issues plaguing us today. And again, I don’t want anyone reading this to think I’m singling out America here. This is a problem in Canada, the UK,  basically all democracies.  The American commitment to pure laissez faire capitalism does make it particularly accentuated. 

OM: Many thanks for your time, Curt, and all the best with this socio-political sci-fi story.

CP: Thank you.


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