John Taddeo Interview

The Zoom Suit animated short has appeared at numerous festivals across the country. Now, creator John Taddeo brings his creation to comics from Superverse Productions. Westfield's Roger Ash contacted Taddeo to learn more.

Westfield: The Zoom Suit animated short has been doing quite well. Which came first, the idea for the comic or the short?

John Taddeo: I wrote the first draft of what became Zoom Suit at 12 years old, so I had no idea how to write either a comic or a movie script. It was just in story form, but I had definitely envisioned it as a comic book before an animated short. I'm a huge fan of comics. I probably read near a hundred books a month.

Westfield: What can people look forward to in the book? What can you tell us about the story?

Taddeo: It's about an alien suit that was recovered from the Roswell Crash of '47. Through a crazy chain of events reminiscent of a silver age superhero's origin, it winds up in the hands of a latch key kid. He goes from being the target of schoolyard gags to the target of the FBI, CIA and a turncoat NSA Agent code named, Simon.

What's cool about Zoom Suit? It's an exciting story. Every time you think you have it figured out, we twist you in another direction. We actually wrote 13 television episodes before the comic, which will be the basis of the story, so you'll see stuff happen in the first issue that will make a lot more sense as the series moves forward. It's got a ton of pop culture gags and hidden jokes... and a few other surprises that may take you out of the book and onto the net!

Westfield: The idea of an average guy getting a suit that gives him powers has been used in comics before. What makes Zoom Suit unique?

Taddeo: It's nothing like anything before. This is different from jump, the title is Zoom Suit - not Zoom. This is a story about an alien suit and how it affects everyone that touches it. The main character in Zoom Suit is the suit.

When we put the first half of the animated short online in February, we ended it with Simon falling at terminal velocity reaching for the Suit. The forums went nuts saying we ripped off Iron Man, X-O and a few other titles that I had actually never even heard of. It was merciless... just as we hoped.

Then April 1st... April Fools! The suit doesn't fit! Simon and the suit fall helplessly to the ground. The suit is found by Myles and mistaken for a Halloween costume. All of a sudden people were like, "Wow. I didn't see that coming. Maybe these guys are onto something."

We are. Zoom Suit is hot.

Westfield: If the mini-series does well, do you have more Zoom Suit stories you'd like to tell?

Taddeo: I definitely want to do at least the 13 episodes that were written for TV as comics, but if we do episode 13 and leave on that ending people will lose their minds. This is not like your, "Put everything back the way you found it comic."

Westfield: Are you working on any other projects you'd like to mention?

Taddeo: Zoom Suit has so many facets there is no way I could do it justice and do anything else. The animation is online right now at www.superverse.com, the comic hits in April. There's a Zoom Suit "Web Comic" designed specifically to download to your PSP, Video iPod or computer. We have a massive contest underway to win Zoom Suit limited editions. Then there's this hidden internet thing, but if I say anymore about that series editor Diana Striker will flip - it's this big hidden secret in the book, like a DVD "Easter Egg" type thing. All this with 60 film festivals in the last 10 months, a film deal with David Foster (Executive Producer of The Core, The Fog, Collateral Damage, Gleaming the Cube) , the TV stuff... Zoom Suit really has 100% of my attention.

Westfield: Any closing comments?

Taddeo: This is a comic written for comic fans by a comic fan. This was a great project to work on and it shows through in the work. If you check it out, you're going to feel like you're part of the team, and if you read carefully and find the clues... you will be.