Zenescope: There’s no shortage of post-apocalyptic stories being told right now. What makes The Courier: From the Ashes stand out from the pack?
Ralph Tedesco: There are definitely a good amount of post-apocalyptic stories out there but we really worked at building what I think is a unique world. One big difference is the event that wipes out much of the world’s population occurs over 20 years from now but we don’t begin our story for another few generations after that event happens. So we get to play with the idea that technology had already advanced to a certain point before things went to hell and we get to see how some of that technology is used in a future where humanity has become an endangered species and must contend with a new race of beings. The bottom line is while there are certainly going to be homages paid to the films or comics that came before it, The Courier this is going to feel like a different story and a different world than say Mad Max or The Walking Dead and so on.
Z: Eve Harper is the story’s protagonist. What are her similarities and differences to other Zenescope female leads?
RT: I think she’s similar in that she’s headstrong, smart, self-sufficient and extremely tough. But when we meet Eve, she’s a loner who only really needs to look out for herself, so she’s also more selfish than most of Zenescope’s other protagonists. Eve isn’t very interested in attachments to people. She doesn’t want to have to worry about anyone else in this world. But she’ll be faced with some tough decisions in this series when she’s asked to stick her neck out for someone else, so we’ll get to see what type of person she really is.
Z: Tell us a bit more about the setting of The Courier. There seems to be a huge divide between the rich and the poor, and to add to those troubles are pirates, gangs, and the mutated.
RT: You’ll see two very different sides of this world. There’s life within the strongholds and there’s life outside of them. The strongholds are highly guarded walled cities where the rich, powerful and able-bodied reside. Life inside is as good as it gets. Everyone who is privileged enough to live in a stronghold has everything they need: food, clean water, safety, even recreation. But outside of those walled cities roam the gangs, the scavengers, the outcasts, the pirates, and the new race of humans called “Primals.” The poor, elderly, and the sick are forced to fend for themselves in less protected communes outside the strongholds as the governing bodies of each city maintain strict population cutoffs in order to keep to their accustomed way of life.
That’s where couriers come in. They’re in high demand because nobody else wants to navigate the world between strongholds. But these cities need goods from other places and couriers are crucial to a stronghold citizen’s way of life. But the dangers of the job are extreme and a courier’s life expectancy is not very long. But they also get paid extremely well for their service. Eve’s the best of the best and has survived dozens of runs, but she also knows that each job she takes could easily be her last.
Z: What inspired you most during the writing process of The Courier?
RT: I’ve been a huge fan of Mad Max for a long time and movies like Children of Men and even The Matrix which are both post-apocalyptic tales told in completely different ways. But I always was interested in the idea that humanity can seem bleak at times-especially now with how tempers are flaring over this recent Presidential election -and humans can be awful to one another, but there’s always some hope even if it comes in unexpected forms. I think Courier has a bit of that message weaved into it…along with tons of ass-kicking action and suspense.
The Courier: From The Ashes #3 is set to release 6/14. Catch up on the series here.
Ralph will be hosting an in-store signing event at Comic City in West Bloomfield, MI on Thursday, May 18th. You can RSVP here.