The worlds of Fantasy and Science Fiction phenomena, Farscape and Game of Thrones, are grandiose feats of storytelling and television. Both are rich enough to warrant adaptations in multiple mediums. Tommy Patterson was tasked with adapting these works into comic pages and succeeded immensely. He then went on to work with writer Sam Humphries on Citizen Jack, a politically heated comic starring a demonically-influenced politician seeking the office of President. Rings a bell. I got to chat with Tommy about all of his works as well as how relevant Citizen Jack is becoming in today’s political landscape.
BiC: First and foremost, what attracted you most to both the Citizen Jack concept, and working with Sam?
Tommy: I had been wanting to do creator owned for a while. I had a burning desire to control my own destiny. I met Sam through mutual friends and I love politics so the subject matter didn’t scare me. I drew some sample pages and we both liked the results. It was off to the races.
BiC: Did you feel any desire to maintain any sort of political correctness in the comic?
Tommy: In the comic yes. With such a small market you don’t want to alienate any readers. In real life not as much. I’m speaking for me personally. I’m not a fan of censorship or language control of any sort.
BiC: Were there any artists who you took influence from specifically for Citizen Jack?
Tommy: Yes! Open line art like Moebius and Frank Quitely were the two biggest. My friend Nick Pitarra also draws in that style and we hung out for a week as I changed over from a more traditional style.
BiC: How is working on a creator-owned, versus your previous work with already established art styles?
Tommy: Creator-owned is where it’s at. There is no alienation in the labor to use a Marxist term. I was able to try a few things without the worry of being fired!
BiC: What inspired you to get into comic books?
Tommy: I’ve always had an “I can do that” personality. I picked up drawing and I liked the response of those around me. Other kids were amazed. My parents supported me because I wasn’t in trouble like my other siblings. The only negative feedback I got was from the guidance counselor Mr. Carter. He scoffed at me. That only stoked my fire. In high school comics were huge at the time so there was competition with others. I love that sort of thing. I’m very competitive.
BiC: What do you think readers should take away from the story of Jack Northworthy?
Tommy: Humans will corrupt anything they get their hands on. You are brought up to respect authority but government doesn’t give you special powers to be fair and reasonable. People are people.
BiC: How relevant do you think he is to this year’s presidential election?
Tommy: The easy answer is how over the top Trump is but recent revelations show it’s both sides. It’s sad to see people talking themselves into believing they have our best interests in mind. FEELING CYNICAL TODAY! LOL!
BiC: Lastly, what are you currently reading?
Tommy: East of West and Southern Bastards.
Thanks again to Tommy for taking the time to speak with us, and another thanks to Briah Skelly and Image Comics for settings this all up. Tommy and Sam’s Citizen Jack is on sale now!