Tony Daniel Interview

Tony Daniel is the creator of such books as The Tenth, Silke and F5. He has recently done some cover work for Image/Top Cow's Tomb Raider. This month, he brings us his latest creation, Humankind, from Image/Top Cow. Worlds of Westfield Content Editor Roger Ash recently contacted Daniel to get the low down on this book.

Westfield: How did this series - Humankind - come about?

Tony Daniel: I began creating Humankind about 2 years ago. I took a year off of working in comics to pursue other creative endeavors. During that period, I began coming up with characters and a story, and I began drawing it on my free time. After my one year self-imposed sabbatical was up, I had a choice to make: take the offer from Top Cow to draw Tomb Raider or continue on with Humankind. I chose Tomb Raider mainly because I didn't want to come out with a new book after being gone so long. I felt a little forgotten and wanted to show people I was back and ready to draw again.

Also, I just wasn't ready to do it all on my own again, like with The Tenth, Silke and F5, where I did everything, from the inks (sometimes) to the marketing. I was burnt out.

But now I'm doing Humankind sort-of on my own in the sense of creatively I can do whatever I want. I get paid. The rest of the creative team gets paid. So I don't have to worry about those things. But this time it's a little more like having a partner in there that I'm not used to. So hopefully everything goes great and we'll put out 100 issues.

Westfield: Who are the main characters and what can you tell us about them?

Daniel: The main character is Dr. Bruno Karloff, a Russian doctor who was onboard the Space Shuttle Challenger 12 when it got sucked through a black hole of sorts, marooning him on an alien planet that seems to have stolen much of its own culture from Earth. The other main characters are Sparrow, the sexy leading lady. She's a Sgt. Detective with the Human Crimes division in the city of "New Rome." She's full-blood human, grown and cultivated on this planet. She has an "Enforcer" named Greta, who can shift from android female, to hulking machine, and male. And of course there's a slew of strange creatures and androids and mutants and hybrids for good measure.

Westfield: What can we look forward to storywise in the series?

Daniel: Bruno's storyline revolves around him trying to get back to Earth. Or at the very least notify them of an impending alien threat to Earth. Kinda like the opposite of ET. Sparrow's storyline revolves around her fulfilling her duty as a law enforcement agent and dealing with whatever kind of loyalty she feels for her race, albeit one that's on a planet she's only read of or seen on DVDs.

Westfield: Why did you decide to set the series on a planet that patterns itself after Earth instead of actually setting it on Earth?

Daniel: I think that the story could happen on Earth as well. I kind of did that with The Tenth. I thought it would be a little more interesting since I've never approached a story in this manner before. Plus I get to create an entire world. From the architecture, though inspired by Earth, still different and alien; I also get to create from scratch their transportation system, military weaponry and the overall atmosphere. Here, on Earth, everything is already established. There's only so much you can do, as an artist, to make it yours.

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

Daniel: I have an idea for a quarterly comic that I'd like to begin work on. Right now I'm in the middle of a lot of work and can't really prepare for that yet. But hopefully by this Summer I'll have a good idea of when I can start it up.

Westfield: Any closing comments?

Daniel: Yeah, read Humankind!!