Exclusive Interview With Rogues Gallery Creators Hannah Rose May & Justin Mason!
Rogues Gallery is a new series that we knew from the start our fans would love so we just had to speak with creators Hannah Rose May and Justin Mason and share what they had to say with you before preorders are due this Friday!
IC: For those just hearing about this book for the first time here, can you give them a bit of an introduction?
Hannah: Sure! Rogues’ Gallery is a high concept home invasion thriller set against the backdrop of unhealthy obsession and toxic fandom. The series follows Maisie Wade, an actress who has been playing the RED ROGUE, a massively popular comic book character, for most of her career. Ready to start a new career chapter and eager to put the legion of controlling fans behind her, Maisie decides to quit the show. But when her abrupt exit from the RED ROGUE’S hit TV series leads to its unceremonious cancellation, Maisie finds herself trapped in her own home by a group of unhinged superfans. Dressed up in the cosplay of the Red Rogue’s arch villains, these diehards want to teach Maisie Wade a lesson. Caught in a sinister game of cat and mouse, Maisie realizes that if she is to survive the night, she must become the hero she has grown to despise.
IC: Many of the best stories in all mediums come about when the writer calls upon their personal experiences. Given that the lead character in Rogues Gallery is also an actor, it seems likely that your career in that field would inform the story to some degree. Is that the case?
Hannah: To a degree, absolutely. As an actor, I tried to imagine what it would be like to be in Maisie’s shoes, to really channel the intensity of what it must feel like to have the weight of a beloved franchise on your back. I’ve been fortunate enough in my career to be a small part of some franchises, like Altered Carbon, and see the level of commitment and dedication that the entire cast and crew put into bringing these IPs to life. I wanted to make sure that our readers were able to feel the level of responsibility that Maisie feels to deliver a quality product to the Red Rogues’ fans, while also highlighting the hypocrisy and toxicity that a vocal minority can create, no matter what you do.
IC: Justin, fans are loving your work on Spider-Punk and with good reason. Rogues Gallery is equally amazing but is your approach any different here where you’re not working with an established character?
Justin: I personally approach each new book with 110% no matter the characters/title. It can be a bit different with more work added at first with new characters/stories that are completely fresh BUT once you get past the grit it ultimately is the exact same approach.
IC: Hannah, you’ve said that this book deals with toxic fandom but isn’t a rant against fandom itself. From your perspective though, is it difficult to separate the positive from the negative when those negative voices can be so much louder even though they’re a minority?
Hannah: I wouldn’t say that it's a rant on fandom, we’re all fans of something and I most certainly love and appreciate the sense of community and belonging fandoms create. But, there is a darker side to fandom that we’re starting to see bubble up all across social media and I wanted Rogues’ Gallery to explore that. I think it’s important that we realize that it’s okay to have a difference of opinion, what I love, someone else might not, but to allow those differences to become dividing lines is where things can get dangerous.
IC: How long have you had the first kernels of this story in mind before seeing it realized now?
Hannah: Years! Literally, I have wanted to write this story for years and then once the pandemic hit, I no longer had an excuse and made it my mission to make this dream a reality.
IC: What has the process been like between the two of you in creating the look of the characters and the world of Rogues Gallery?
Justin: When I first jumped on RG I knew that I had to bring Hannah’s vision to life. We were always bouncing ideas off one another to make this book the best it could possibly be. I’ve been on gigs before that had no push back on any ideas I threw out there but sometimes it’s nice to really juggle ideas around and get new perspectives on things to actually strengthen the basic ideas.
Hannah: Justin is an excellent collaborator and I was so fortunate to be working alongside him on my debut book. Having sat with this idea for years, I had a very clear vision but I wanted Justin to feel free to add his own magic. We had to visualize both our characters and the comic character’s they cosplay as since they’re also based on heroes and villains from within the Red Rogue comic series. It was a blast creating our own suite of superheroes and villains, who have their own rich, dense comic history within the world of Rogues’ Gallery. As our story progresses, so too does the sense of encroaching darkness, both in a literal and metaphorical sense. Justin expertly introduces the darkness of a psychological thriller throughout the last two issues, while still making Rogues’ Gallery feel distinctly like a superhero book.
IC: What do you hope readers will feel while reading this story?
Hannah: I hope that readers enjoy the twists and turns we’ve got in store, because there are a few, but mostly I want them to come away feeling like they went on this journey with Maisie, that they're as changed by the events as she is. I wanted this story to be exciting, fun, and entertaining, while also shedding a light on toxic fandom.
IC: Do you have any final words to fans who might not be quite convinced yet that they need to get their hands on the first issue?
Justin: I do feel that fans may be more hesitant towards RG but I know that once this book hits shelves it’s going to open eyes. There’s so much more to this book than what is shown on the surface and when the fans dig into the first issue they will start to see the beginnings of what we’re trying to say… as fans ourselves.
Hannah: We’re telling a non-linear story with our first two issues, that the events shown in issue one are from one perspective and issue two explores those same events from the other perspective. We didn’t want to lead the witness with our readers, we wanted to make sure that they’re able to understand the motivations of both perspectives before we have story lines collide. That’s some insider info right there as we haven't discussed issue two with anyone yet so don’t spill the beans, alright :P
Writer HANNAH ROSE MAY makes her comic debut with rising-star artist JUSTIN MASON for an all-new series with DECLAN SHALVEY.
The Purge meets Scream in a home invasion thriller that follows disenfranchised TV superhero actress Maisie Wade as she is terrorized by an unhinged group of intruders cosplaying her day job's archvillains. If Maisie is going to survive the night, she'll need to be the hero she has come to despise.
GENRE Action & Adventure, Horror, Thriller
The Purge meets Misery in a twist on the classic slasher tale where a celebrity's biggest fans can become her biggest foes.
ON SALE: 7-20-22
Preorder your copy today and find out why Rogues Gallery is our top pick of the month!