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Follow your Hart

HartFood and comic books go together like marathoners and cattle prods- surprisingly well. At least, that’s the thought I had when I first spied a copy of SOL at my local breakfast spot. Looking up over my steaming stack of sweet potato pancakes at the Sunflower Cafe, I spied a little display box of some of my favorite things- new comic books! After a scrumptious meal with my wife and a brief conversation with the cashier, I learned that the mastermind behind the Sol comics was standing right behind me! Well… in front of me. Maybe a little to left. Alright, so he was in the kitchen when she told me. We picked up two copies, got them signed by Hart Jeffers himself [above], and eagerly took them home to begin our new adventure.
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SOL throws you right in the middle of the action, introducing you to the protagonist, Jane, on the very first page. When we first find Jane she is heading up an illegal asteroid mining operation somewhere far above Earth. SOL is complex sci-fi world with dozens of different sentient beings struggling to occupy the same part of the cosmos, but never fear, friends! We’re here to guide you through the issue with none other than Hart Jeffers himself. Let’s see what he had to say about his new series.
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SOL‘s first issue opens on an illegal asteroid mining operation (presumably) somewhere above earth. What makes this activity illegal, and what drives people into it?
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Hart: SOL opens with Jane running an illegal smuggling run under Fincorp contract. She’s a free bot who is the best at bringing her A.I. led government the asteroids it needs to replenish their forces against the Hume Alliance. In SOL, A.I. arise independent of human control and are able cordon off the northern United States (or the N.u.S.A.) under their control before being discovered. Humanity freaks out and most of the remaining hume governments form an alliance to destroy or subordinate the rise of these strong A.I. Currently there is an interstellar blockade that is trying to starve the N.u.S.A. government of the resources it needs to replenish it’s front lines in the war against the humes in the south. This smuggling op is illegal because hume law reigns supreme, and A.I. has been designated an existential threat to humanities dominance and survival.
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What factions and powers are at work when we find Jane and Harvin running their operation? Who rules and how far does their influence extend?
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Hart: In the Northern A.I. led government, power is split between Fincorp (the private sector), and Nan or N.u.S.A (the public sector), but this dynamic is about to be upended the first arc! In the southern (former) US, we have the Neoconfederacy (the deep south), and Free Cities of the South (the coastal cities). The NCR (New China Republic) is the current solar system-wide hegemon. Suffice to say, most of the political spheres of current influence look radically different in SOL, but I’ll wait to reveal our other geo-political players until the story warrants.
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Let’s talk race and species- in the first issue alone we see diggers, drones, dragons, androids, a walrus man, and humes. Some of these species seem to fill specific places in society- diggers dig, dragons guard, etc. while others seem to fill many different roles. What kind of social atmosphere is at play here?
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Hart: In SOL humes reign supreme, but their grip is slipping. There are now multiple competing species with high levels of cognition operating in the greater SOL system: strong A.I., aliens, and Sprecansol. Sprecansol are the talking animals that inhabit Earth now. Earth’s biosphere is crashing,and PETA- in a desperate attempt to push back on humanity- weaponized cognition, unleashing it as a plague on the mammals of terra firma. Animals can now talk and use tools. They are pissed that we have trashed the planet, and are waging their own war against us. The aliens won’t really be explored until our third season, but let’s just say the that NCR has bigger problems then the A.I. it’s fighting in the N.u.S.A. The space dragons you see in the pilot issue are manufactured and lack true sentience. HOWEVER, there are really OLD Dragons not created in a lab by humes also roaming the SOL system. You’ll meet one of those in our series launch issue! There are only about a dozen really strong A.I. running around, the ones you’ve seen Fincorp, Nan, the Janes, the Helens and their corresponding male models. Some we haven’t seen: Deep Blue, Stuxnet, Vejgar, Asimov, and Tay-tay to name a few….
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There are several references to Jane’s love of books and reading. What’s her deal? Is reading just a hobby for her, or is there something more significant at stake?
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Hart: So reading via paper has been outlawed in N.u.S.A. and what is allowed to be read is strictly controlled. Books are banned and deemed contraband. Jane spends her free time hunting philosophy books and academic journals to better understand herself and the world she’s living in. Also, she subscribes to this thought that I overheard on the Chris Harris Football Podcast: “Reading literary fiction improves theory of mind. Reading a book- seeing, traveling the world through someone else’s eyes- makes you a better, more sympathetic person. I didn’t make that up. It’s science.” Jane’s trying to prove to herself that she’s a real mind, and not a simulation overlaid on someone else’s soul. Reading is a way for her to fight that.
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What’s the story behind the heart tattoo under Jane’s eye?
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Hart: Initially, it was an inside joke between Tony (the original SOL illustrator) and I. An obvious play on my name. Originally,(this may still be the case) her tattoo was going to change, After awhile, we decided it just fit her so well that it should stay. Jane’s a hip lady and likes to dress accordingly. She does a lot of different things fashionwise because she’s desperate to distinguish herself and her identity as an individual. The heart tattoo is a reminder to care more about people. She’s pretty shut-off as a person and she knows that about herself. That heart signifies to Jane that it takes heart and soul to be a fully formed person.jane
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Anything coming up that we should know about?
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Hart: Sol will be doing our series launch early 2017 with a new art team: Butch Mapa and Lisa Moore of Last Ember Press! Here’s a preview of their brilliance [right].
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The Pilot issue is already available through Captain’s Comics, Early Bird Diner, or you can come see me at Sunflower Cafe!
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Please check out the Run Riot Media Facebook Page for all future announcements.
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This entry was posted on June 29, 2016 by .
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