Super Scott Allie is mostly known around these parts for his Buffy Season 8 editorial skills, so we at Buffyfest thought we'd introduce you to Scott Allie, the writer. With the upcoming release of his graphic novel Exurbia, Mr. Allie spoke with us about the story that's been close to his heart for years. You can listen to the full interview in the podcast link.
Exurbia is a post-apocalyptic story about Gage, a boy who struggles with his own post-activism apathy. After years of fighting the good fight, Gage is left broken and cynical by the dilapidated streets of his home town, his past run-in with his hero and the messianic messages from the town's new savior, The Rat.
While speaking to Super Scott Allie, the first thing we wanted to do was get a little more background on how Exurbia came into being. Scott explained that originally, after saving up enough money so he could leave his job working as a soft publisher, he decided to self publish a series of short stories.
"I did an anthology of short horror stories but the one oddball in the group, the one thing that wasn't a horror comic was this thing that evolved into Exurbia. It was these characters living in this really screwed up city, very strange city drawn in a very cartoony style, but very weirdly cartoony it wasn't like, it didn't look like any conventional cartoon style. And Kevin McGovern, and I just kept developing more characters and we just liked the setting, like the vibe we were going for with it and it slowly evolved from a bunch of random short stories into a graphic novel where we saw who the main character was and who his supporting cast was and how they were going to come into conflict with one another."
One of our absolute favorite parts of Exurbia was the story of a character referred to as "The Rat". Scott sums up the character this way:
"We evolved this character called the Rat who was this talking rat who smokes cigars, drinks way too much, and has somehow become the default messiah of this screwed up town."
We talked about how society always seems to need someone like the Rat, someone who they can make into more than what they are, someone to put all your hopes and beliefs into. One of the most interesting things we touched upon in that regard was how Joss fits into that paradigm. Here's what Scott had to say:
"People do that alot. I do that a lot. It's pretty unhealthy. People do it with tv shows. There's lots of people who do it with Joss. You know 'Joss Whedon is my Master Now' (referring to the t-shirts people wear). Or I do the book with Gerard Way and I go to events with him and there's all these teenage girls running around with t-shirts saying "Gerard Way saved my life" like that's the catch phrase among Gerard fans and it's like, woh, that's a lot to carry around for poor Gerard. People I never met, I saved your lives? How dd I do that?"
The image above originally ended up on the cutting room floor. Scott Allie spoke about how the political relevance of the dancing condom had fading once the Bush Administration left office. Since the interview, Scott has informed us that it actually found its way back into the book.
Exurbia asks a lot of important questions that are extremely relevant today. This is a graphic novel that will have you thinking of your own role in society (or should) and the nature of savior/hero in a crumbling world.
Exurbia is set to be released on October 7th. Check out some preview pages here.