BYRON BREWER: Rik, how excited are you to be working with author Pierce Brown in bringing his Red Rising Trilogy universe to comics?
RIK HOSKIN: It’s an amazing opportunity, not just playing in the Red Rising universe but working closely with Pierce to make it official. The books have a huge following, so I’m honored to be chosen to envisage this universe for a visual medium. We get to show things like “The Iron Rain”, which will be familiar to readers of the books — but it’s all clearly presented for newcomers too.
BB: What can you tell us about the storyline of the comic, Red Rising: Sons of Ares, and how it relates to Pierce’s previous works?
RH: Our story is set before the Red Rising Trilogy and explores the origins and motivations of a covert rebel group called the Sons of Ares, who will already be familiar to readers of the books. However, without giving too much away, not everything in the books was accurate — we’re witnessing actual events here that were previously only related by unreliable narrators. Expect some surprises, and a lot of bloodshed.
BB: Who are your protagonists? What can you tell us about them?
RH: Our protagonists are the nascent Sons of Ares, who are just beginning to stand up against the inflexible regime that runs the Solar System. They’re either freedom fighters or terrorists depending on your point of view and your role in that regime, but their methods are brutal and unforgiving.
BB: Can you tell us a little about how your collaboration with Pierce will be working, the process?
RH: Sons of Ares is Pierce’s story, it’s his plot. I break that down into comic book scenes, figure out the pages and the pace, and provide a draft script with full visual descriptions and dialogue. Pierce then does some magic to the script where he feels it’s needed. There’s a lot of back and forth, we all get along well.
BB: What has it been like to work with artist Eli Powell? What does he bring to this unique table?
RH: Eli’s work is all atmosphere and mood, and it’s perfect for our story. He makes all the shadowy, nasty stuff seem shadowy and nasty but also absolutely crystal clear — what more could a comic book writer ask for?
Our colorist, Jordan Boyd, should also get a mention here. I’ve only seen a few pages but the colors have added another layer of brilliance to Eli’s great visuals. This is a world where color is crucial and defines everything, so it’s a very important aspect of the book.
BB: Rik, aside from this great Dynamite book, what other projects are you involved in present and near-future that you can tell us about?
RH: For Dynamite, I’ve been working with fantasy author Brandon Sanderson on White Sand Volume 2, which comes out this summer. I also have a 150-page graphic novel called Karna, Victory in Death out in June from Campfire, which is an interpretation of a classic character’s story from ancient Indian literature, and features breathtaking artwork from Sachin Nagar. I regularly write Doctor Who comics for the UK, and various other projects, including some animated “motion comics” for BBC television among others.
I also write books, most recently a trilogy of Hercules, the Legendary Journeys novels for HarperCollins, the first of which — Storming Paradise — is available as an eBook.