Interview: Donny Cates on Image’s God Country

God Country #1 Geoff Shaw & Dave Stewart cover

God Country #1 Geoff Shaw & Dave Stewart cover


Donny Cates is the writer of Buzzkill, Ghost Fleet, Interceptor, and more. Now, he and artist Geoff Shaw, bring you God Country, a story of family and one amazing sword. Cates recently told Westfield’s Roger Ash more about this exciting new series.

Westfield: What is the genesis of God Country?

Donny Cates: God Country has its roots in a number of places. I suppose the biggest one is being a kid who grew up in Texas reading Jack Kirby comics! I’ve always felt those two things would be really cool butted up against each other. That’s the general “big idea” genesis. The smaller, more personal reasons have their ties in two events that took place a few years ago. One, a major medical issue that put me in the hospital, and two, my brother had a baby! So yeah, you combine all of those things together…facing my own mortality and this new life in my family…and God Country is what comes out.

God Country #1 preview page 1

God Country #1 preview page 1


Westfield: While the series takes place in Texas, some take place elsewhere. How much world building did you do for the series?

Cates: Tons! More than I ever have before to be honest. It’s tough to answer this question without spoiling stuff, but I’ll say that the story of the gods….the things that take place elsewhere…are just as important as what’s happening with the Quinlan’s. The story, at its core, is about family. And when I say that, I don’t just mean Emmett and his…

God Country #1 preview page 2

God Country #1 preview page 2


Westfield: What can you tell us about the story and who are some of the characters we’ll meet?

Cates: God Country is about a little family going through some terrible things out in West Texas. Most notably the illness of Emmett Quinlan. Emmett is the elder Quinlan, a widower with Alzheimer’s that has been getting worse of late. His son and his family have been doing their best, but when our first issue opens things have become untenable. Unmanageable.

And then….in the middle of all of that, a giant tornado rolls into town and destroys everything. But the storm did not come alone. In the wreckage of their home Emmett finds a twelve-foot indestructible, enchanted talking sword named Valofax. And, as long as he’s holding the sword….he’s back. His mind is returned to him. All is well, except for one minor detail…

The swords true owners (20 foot tall Kirby Gods) would very much like it back.

God Country #1 preview page 3

God Country #1 preview page 3


Westfield: I was surprised to find that the sword is a character in its own right. What challenges has this created for you?

Cates: You know, that’s funny. Because I thought it would present a challenge when I first decided to make Valofax speak, but really, I just ended up treating it like any other character. Valofax is an odd one. It seems to know more than it lets on and speaks in riddles and vague grand language. Valofax is omnipresent and omnipotent, but it has exactly zero patience or time to explain itself. That’s really fun. Writing a sentient sword that’s smarter than I am….it’s a trip!

Westfield: You’re working with artist Geoff Shaw on God Country. What can you tell us about your collaboration?

Cates: Geoff and I have worked together for a while now. We did Buzzkill and The Paybacks together, and we have a really great working relationship/friendship. I write for Geoff in a way that I wouldn’t for other artists because so much of what makes Geoff great is his acting, his emotions. His character work is superb and, in this man’s opinion, unparalleled. I can be looser, more suggestive with Geoff. And he knows how to bring the ruckus, too. Just wait until you read issue 5!

God Country #2 Geoff Shaw & Jason Wordie cover

God Country #2 Geoff Shaw & Jason Wordie cover


Westfield: Any closing comments?

Cates: Just that I hope everyone really enjoys the book. It’s been a dream project of mine for such a long time, and to be able to tell it with Image is beyond exciting. It’s at the same time the quietest, most personal book we’ve ever made, and the biggest most bombastic story we’ve ever told. It’s a hell of a ride.

Also, you should go to Westfield Comics to get yours because those guys are the best!

🙂


Purchase

God Country #1 & 2

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