Creator-Owned Spotlight: No Wonder [EXCLUSIVE] with Jeremy Hauck

Are we too plugged in? People are almost always staring at a screen of some kind, whether it be a phone, a tablet, or even an old fashioned laptop, believe it or not people still use them. Even in this wonderful world of comics, things are trending to the digital age. You can get any book you want and read it on any of your numerous electronic devices. A new creator owned comic, No Wonder, takes us to a world where we are jacked-in 24/7. I recently had the pleasure of asking No Wonder’s creator, Jeremy Hauck, some questions about his new project.

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Hush Comics: When did you start the project? What was the most difficult process you found?

Jeremy Hauck: No Wonder actually started out as a TV script I wrote almost two years ago. The concept has drastically changed since then, but the message has remained the same.

As for the most difficult process, I’d say it was definitely building our world at an early stage. When most of our world’s population essentially knows “everything,” as a writer, you need to consider the repercussions that might have on a working society. There wouldn’t be any school, right? When there is nothing to teach, why would there be? What about the economy? How do you tackle internal conflict? These were difficult questions to answer, but they needed to be addressed if our audience was going to buy the concept.

HC: You have a full team for No Wonder. This isn’t so regular with small creator owned projects, especially picking up an editor and a web designer. What made you want to go all out with this? Was it hard assembling the right team?

JH: I knew that if I was actually going to attempt this and create my first comic book, I wasn’t going to half-ass it at any stage. Sure, the budget increases when more players join the collaboration, but that’s the sacrifice you make if you want to have a professional-looking, polished product. Luckily, I have an amazing team of polishers.

Finding a web designer was easy; he’s my best friend that happens to work in that field and has done an incredible job with our site so far. Finding our editor was easier since, well, she’s also my girlfriend. She has supported me since day one and I couldn’t have done this without her.

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It took a few months to find our tremendously talented illustrator, Ellis Ray III, but he was well worth the wait. I brought Sean Callahan (our colorist) and Jamie Me (our letterer) into the fold after reviewing their extremely professional portfolios and, before I knew it, we had an actual team working on this project.

HC: In No Wonder, humanity is essentially wired together in a collective mind of sorts. Is this a virtual reality they all exist in?

JH: That was actually an idea I tossed around in No Wonder’s infancy, but when it started to feel too much like The Matrix, I decided against it. A.T.O.M isn’t virtual reality nor augmented. Think of it like this: before the user can even question about the dimensions of a table or ask how far Jupiter is from Earth, the answer is just…there; leapfrogging the learning process entirely.

I’ve done some research with how the mind works, and you’ll see that in later issues, but hopefully that answers your question because if I say anymore, we’ll be in Spoilertown.

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HC: In the pages you’ve released we see the city streets being used as farmland. Obviously mankind still has to eat even if it’s plugged in 24/7. Who is planting, managing, and gathering the resources? How are they dispersed and administered to the populous?

JC: *Choo-choo* Next stop, Spoilertown.

I’d love to answer this because it’s such a good question, but I’m going to leave that one alone so the mystery remains. Besides, that’s what this comic is all about, right? Leaving you the opportunity to wonder instead of just giving you the answer?

HC: No Wonder stars Turner Lane, a teenager. What made you decide to have a younger protagonist? As a teenager, how naturally curious were you?

JH: Personally, I was pretty curious and skeptical as a teenager – questioning religion, fate, and what made the world tick on a day-to-day basis – but I don’t think that was unique to just me. Our teen years have always been depicted as the “developing age” of our lives. It’s a terrifying but exciting time for us because, although we’re developing, we don’t exactly know what we’re developing into. Turner’s age just felt like it should be right in the middle of that, especially since he’s being pulled away from a device that essentially fostered him through life.

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There is also so much to wonder about when we were younger, so writing our protagonist as one of the youngest characters in our cast just made sense to me.

HC: Also something not often seen in comics is a Canadian setting. Why Vancouver?

JH: When I first looked into the process of creating a comic book, I was told early on that you should always “write what you know.” Growing up in Seattle, WA, Vancouver always felt like a Canadian cousin, geographically. You have a city near the water, surrounded by evergreen and mountains filling the background.

I also just really dug that town and the people I met when visiting. Vancouver deserves to be put in the spotlight, so I went with it.

HC: Webb looks like he’s been living off the grid for a while now. Has he ever been hooked up to A.T.O.M.?

JH: I love this question as well, but unfortunately, I can’t answer this one either, my friend.

What I can say is that Webb shows signs of being a Luddite in sequential issues.

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HC: The custodians seem like a rather creepy group of people. Are they there to keep everyone in line? They seem like a Warriors-esque gang at first sight.

JH: Okay, I guess I can’t be “too” tight-lipped about everybody in our story, but I just don’t want to give too much away! It ruins the magic of our story as well as the message behind it.

I’ll tell you this about the Custodians: They are a religious group that established themselves in the wake of A.T.O.M going online.

That, and their design originally had no smiles. Ellis threw them in when we were working through our concept art when we first were getting started. When I say it, it just so creepy that I had to write in a reason as to why they have them in our world. Fortunately, I found an awesome one that just made sense to those characters.

HC: What’s your ultimate goal with No Wonder? Are you looking at publishers or just taking the reins on this project yourself?

JH: Right now, my focus is on our Kickstarter and actually funding the book. I’ve worked so hard to make this thing happen and it pretty much all comes down to the Kickstarter.

If our book is funded and we garner a bit of a following, I’ll definitely look into other publishers to help print/distribute more issues. It also helps, in my opinion, to have a finished product in your hand when introducing yourself to publishers. Hopefully Kickstarter will help make that a reality.

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HC: Do you think as a society we’re too plugged in? No Wonder looks like it’s going to be a strong commentary on our digital existence.

JH: Absolutely; we have such a bizarre relationship to our electronic devices and the information consumed from them. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a guy who loves technology, its growth, and the gadgets that derive from it. But when those gadgets stifle healthy social behavior, or distract you from an intimate moment you can only have outside of the screens we carry around, it’s definitely a bad habit most people need to kick. No Wonder will amplify that obsession we have with staying-up-to-date, and hopefully tell an entertaining story that people can relate to by doing so.

HC: Your Kickstarter starts November 5th. What are your plans if it’s not successful the first time around?

JH: I’m not sure what will happen with No Wonder if we don’t meet our goal – I just don’t have that mentality right now. I’m probably blinded by the unbelievable support my family and friends have given me through this experience, but I think an optimistic outlook, blinded or not, is the best thing to have when taking on something like this. So for now, let’s just see what happens and hope for the best!

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Exclusive! Here is a preview of some of the goodies you can get your hands on for pledging to the Kickstarter:


No Wonder is sure to make us turn a mirror to ourselves when it comes to our attachment to the digital age. With a younger protagonist I personally think this would be a great new book for a younger crowd, hopefully to inspire some to put down the phone and look at the world around them. No Wonder hits Kickstarter on November 5th. It only makes sense to get this one in paper form. You can check out their website, nowondercomic.com, or their Twitter page for all new updates. Check back for a link to their Kickstarter page once it goes live!

Creator-Owned Spotlight: 8:15 Comics [EXCLUSIVE]

Denver-based comic book creator Ryan Wise is bringing the zombie apocalypse right to our own back doors with 8:15. The zombie outbreak is global, happening simultaneously around the world. 8:15 focuses on the outbreak in Denver which is not a usual setting for most comics. As Ryan or any good writer will tell you, you have to write what you know. With a good cast of characters leading 8:15, Ryan is looking to make a big splash in a genre that sometimes seems overrun. I had a chance to ask him some questions about 8:15 recently.

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Hush Comics: So the zombie apocalypse comes to Denver? Why did you choose to focus your story in Denver? 
Ryan Wise: One of the key points in 8:15 is the fact that the zombie event occurs around the entire globe at the same time: 8:15pm GMT. This is the the “outbreak getting out of control” scenario we have all become used to. Since the z-day event is global, we had the freedom to choose to set our story pretty much anywhere in the world. It became a matter of writing what you know and loving where you are. We try to source as much of our production process locally and that include the story and setting.

HC: We’ve seen an up-tick in horror comics recently. Why did you want to go with zombies?
RW: I, too, have noticed the increase in horror comic releases, but I do not think it is a bad thing. In fact, I feel like it reflects an increase in the amount of interest and demand for products like that, and that makes me very optimistic for 8:15. I knew that when we decided to write a zombie story we were entering a crowded genre. We felt like we would be able to cut through the noise and create something that zombie fans can really enjoy. With the release of Part 2, we can finally give people a glimpse of how thought-out and deep our zombie scenario is. Zombies provide a perfect medium for complex story telling like that.

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HC: You have a pretty good size cast of characters. Was it always the plan to have a larger group? Why not do a smaller cast?
RW: When 8:15 was first conceptualized, it had a pretty small cast consisting of only the characters necessary to drive the main plot forward. As the idea was developed, more and more characters had to be added in order to allow us to highlight themes. Those newly conceived characters, developed well into the writing process, have ranged from mere zombie fodder to one character, Jordan, that has become a major force in the 8:15 universe.

HC: How difficult was it to get 8:15 up and running? What was it like going from concept to product?
RW: The most difficult part of getting 8:15 up and running was not the logistics or product development; those things can be easily overcome with persistence and effort. The hardest part was learning how to change the way I think and plan. Producing 8:15 was a process that requires many people and months to complete. By the time Part 1 was released on April 17th, 2015, I had learned that planning months and years into the future is something I needed to do to ensure the future and what 8:15 Comics wants to do, tell stories.

HC: It looks like a took a couple of tries to be successfully kickstarted; did you ever get discouraged?
RW: I did have a hard time initially getting funded on Kickstater.com, but I never got discouraged. I knew that in order to be successful anywhere, including Kickstarter.com, you need to have supporters and you need to have a strategy. It took me a few tries to develop both. Plus the experience I gained from those failed attempts was critical to my future success. It taught me to market and reach out to my audience in more effective ways.

Hush Comics' EXCLUSIVE look at how 8:15's Tacocat Plush will look
Hush Comics’ EXCLUSIVE look at how 8:15 Comic’s Tacocat Plush (loosely based off Book 2) will look

HC: How far to plan on taking 8:15? Do you have a stopping point planned out?
RW: I am asked all the time, “Do you have the whole story written out?,” and I absolutely love this question!! Growing up in the 90’s, I was inundated with incomplete stories and season by season writing. Even contemporary programming falls into this trap. 8:15 is written out and an ending is planned! This was always a key principal while developing the story.

HC: What’s your ultimate goal with 8:15?
RW: The ultimate goal of 8:15 is to contribute to the overall success of 8:15 Comics and to help the company develop a fan base to help in the future success of our many forthcoming series and projects.


With zombie and horror books really becoming a mass market thanks to the success of The Walking Dead it’s sometimes hard for anything new to make any headway. 8:15 is a different feel than most zombie stories. With its strong cast of characters and very unique art style 8:15 should be a power voice on a crowded stage. You can check out their website, 815comics.com, or their Facebook page for all new updates including new Kickstarter campaigns as new issues are ready to come out.