BYRON BREWER: Ben, you have got to be loving the reception this book is getting, from regular comics fans to sci-fi nerds!
BEN FISHER: Weâre continuously amazed and grateful for all the support we get from readers. This is a very personal work for both us and we couldnât be happier with the response.
BB: In January, with #5, you have reached the penultimate issue of the bookâs current run. How are things going for you and Adam, and how are things going for Paul and Maria?
BF: Things are going great for us! Adam still hasnât blocked my number, which is all I can ask of anyone stuck working with me. Issue #5 contains some pretty big moments for the characters and for the mysteries of the Divide itself. Itâs fair to say that Paul and Maria are forever changed by this oneâ¦
BB: I will not ask how, in Januaryâs issue, the discovery of the Divideâs origin (at last!) affects Paul and Maria. But can you (in a larger, non-spoilery sense) tell us how this knowledge may affect our climax in #6?
BF: Iâve never had more fun writing a comic than I did with #6. I strongly adhere to Chekhovâs principle that if you show a rifle in the first act, it better go off by the third. So I got to tie a lot of threads together in those last 25 pages that result in a pretty wild sequence of events.
BB: The Great Divide has been nothing if not a vehicle in which to observe human behavior under its most stressful, unimaginable circumstances. What subtext might readers observe as the origin of the Divide is revealed?
BF: I certainly donât want to spoil anything, but youâre right that a subtextual throughline has permeated the entire book, and it culminates in many ways with the reveal of the Divideâs origin. The things that change our lives the most can come from the most unexpected sources.
BB: I know we are running on high octane in the coming January issue, what with the Divideâs secret finally becoming known (presumably to our protagonists as well as to us readers) but will there be any more new characters possibly entering this saga, or perhaps old characters seen in new ways (as was the case with Victoria Sallaska)?
BF: The end of #4 introduced a rather odd new character to the group, and we get to see a lot more of her in #5 â including her strange connection to the Divide. Weâll also learn a bit more about Eliâs troubling past and Mariaâs hidden motivations. Time may be running out, but everyoneâs got secrets â¦
BB: Since we are close to the climactic issue #6 in January, I wonât ask about what is in store for Paul and Maria (unless youâd like to tell us, lol). But will there be enough threads and/or folks we care about left to possibly fuel a sequel should that be demanded by readers?
BF: There is absolutely more story to tell. Issue #6 wraps up the first arc cleanly and readers wonât feel cheated by any unresolved plot points. But solving a mystery as big as the Divide can have some unforeseen (and rather unfortunate) consequences for everyone â¦
BB: And as usual, each issue of The Great Divide comes with unique (like the series) additional digital content. Whatâs in store for readers of issue #5, Ben?
BF: As weâve discussed before, The Great Divide is largely a metaphor for intimacy and the baggage of oneâs previous relationships and encounters. We wanted to see those universal concepts explored through the lens of people with very different backgrounds and experiences than our own. So issue #5 will include a collection of short stories by incredibly talented women and minority writers set in the post-Divide world. I think readers are going to be blown away by the level of creativity and emotion on display. We canât wait to share it.