LA Times Interviews Max Brooks on Shadow Walk
Max Brooks, co-creator of Shadow Walk, recently caught up with Entertainment Weekly to discuss his collaboration on Shadow Walk, what he loved about working on a book with Legendary Comics, and the future of the property. The full interview is available onLA Times, but we have highlighted our favorite snippets from the exchange below. Shadow Walk will be in stores this Wednesday, November 27.
On bringing the world to life:
Max Brooks: A lot of homework. You have to start with logic, answering some of your own questions. So, it’s a real place – where would it be? You look around and you say, “Well, yeah, Mesopotamia or Iraq.” Then you have to go through the history of it and say, “Who has been through this country? Who used to own it? Who used to fight over it?” Then you just study the histories of these peoples and that gives you the idea of how to build a world around it. So, Mesopotamia. Before it was Muslim it was a Roman protectorate, then the Muslims became Islamicized. Oh, and it was part of the Turkish empire, then the European powers came in and took it away from the Turks. Then it became independent and fought a war with Iran. That’s fertile ground for doing world-building.
On how grounded the story is in reality:
Max Brooks: There’s one specific compass needle, and I think this drives Thomas a lot. He loves looking at myths and legends and the actual root of the myth. Where did this come from? Like … We go back to the story of the Cyclops. The Greeks would dig up woolly mammoth skulls. They didn’t know what they were. All they saw was this giant skull with what looked like one eye. They didn’t know that there was cartilage separating them. If you didn’t know anything about science and you dig up this giant skull with one eye, you can see how that can morph into the legend of the Cyclops. I thought there was one thing that Mark Waid did that was so brilliant. If you take nothing away from it – there was once subtle piece of a realization – one of the characters said, “You gotta realize that in an era before science, everything was supernatural. So what would shock us as a miracle back then is no more of a miracle than lightning.” I thought, oh my God, what a great insight into the psychology of a pre-science people.
Read the full interview here and also check out their exclusive preview of several interior pages.