“Digital allows us to publish our comic on our own terms” Biowars artist Lucius Cross gives us a health check
There is a war waging inside our bodies – or at least that’s what the creators of web comic Biowars would have us believe! Inside the body of NYC student Alex Hawking the BioWarriors are battling a genetically engineered virus that is set to destroy their world and Alex’s too. To find out more about the wild and crazy world of the Biowars we contacted artist Lucius Cross to find out more about the Biowars and to give us a health check.
Give us a quick summary of Biowars, the characters the world and the overall story?
LC: The story of Biowars takes place in the real world and within the body of the main character, Alex Hawking, where the various facets of his immune system (re-imagined as anthropomorphic superheroes) have to battle a genetically engineered virus that Alex has been infected with, all the while our protagonist tries to take down the clandestine organization that created the virus in the first place.
How did the Biowars team get together and what are your respective backgrounds in comics?
LC: Ever seen the Power Rangers? Same exact origin story… minus the martial arts, giant mechs, disembodied heads, shape shifting monsters, evil space witches, effeminate robots and tight spandex costumes. Everything else is EXACTLY the same though. As for my background, I primarily worked in video games before joining the Biowars team. But I did dabble in manga before that, having had my work published in Tokyopop’s Rising Stars of Manga anthology in ’07.
Where did the idea for the series come from? And how much has it developed from the initial idea to get you to this point? Any major inspirations for the book?
LC: The idea came from the mind of the series creator, Gabriel Shaoolian, who originally came up with the concept many, many years ago while studying biology. The series went trough a few iterations before our team was established, when it became what it is today.
You’re releasing pages digitally as well as developing an app, how important has the rise of digital been to helping realise this project and how have you made the most of digital publishing to get Biowars done?
LC: The beauty of digital is that it allows us to publish our comic on the web on our own terms, being able to reach a large audience without having to jump through a series of hoops like with print comics. That’s not to say that we aren’t considering bringing Biowars to your local comic book shop, because we are. Digital distribution is just the first step, and the best way to get your foot in the door.
You have amazing production values with lush digital colours, how important was creating a professional quality product for you to stand out?
LC: Well, this is embarrassing. Our goal was to literally make the worst-looking comic book ever made. I see now that we failed in making that dream a reality… Boy, this news is going to be hard on the rest of the team… You know, I told them! I told them we needed to go with crayons and stick figures otherwise this is exactly what would happen! But noooo! “Let’s just use Photoshop but draw with our eyes closed,” they said! Well, look at how that turned out! Blast it all to heck! Heck, I say! Heck!
What’s next from the Biowars team and where can we get your comics from?
LC: You can read all of the issues completely free of charge at biowars.com! We also have a game coming out called Biowars: Blastor’s Saga. Look for that on iOS, Android and Windows within the next few months! You can also follow us at facebook.com/biowars and twitter.com/biowars, and you can find me selling loose cigarettes outside of Starbucks every other Saturday.