Josh Howard is a talented person, and writes and draws, along with creates his own universes for his stories. I've been onboard with his work since the beginning and he was kind enough to invite me to participate in one of his non-Dead@17 works. So I definitely am a fan. And a friend. And a fan.
From his website:
"Earlier this year, a live-action adaptation of DEAD@17 went before cameras as an official short film production from POPBOOM, a new YouTube channel launching in 2016 that will be home to both narrative and docu-style productions destined to feed the fanboy and fangirl appetite.
So now, without further ado, I am proud to debut the teaser trailer for DEAD@17: REBIRTH!"
Q1) For the readers who have not been aboard for the whole ride, could you give us all a thumbnail view of the series, now that it has ended, without spoilers?
A1) This has always been a very difficult question for me to answer, unfortunately. What Dead@17 started as is not how it ended up. If you were asking about what it was initially, the idea was basically taking the horror trope of the female victim and turning her into the hero. In a nutshell - a teenage girl is murdered, then resurrected, and is caught between two opposing forces battling over her soul. What starts as a pretty straightforward horror tale evolves over the course of 7 series to encompass faith, religion, political intrigue, and ultimately, the end of the world.
Q2) What has the response been to your work, in general, as it has been a long epic tale, but it has also been a moral tale at the same time, in a world of heroics, but rarely moral discussions?
A2) The response over the years has varied between two camps - those that simply enjoy it for characters and the adventure, and those that get something from it on a deeper level - and it's those I find most satisfying. I put A LOT of work and thought into this series. So much consideration was given to the themes, theology, and what it is I wanted to say and how I wanted to say it. But I never designed the series to present big moral discussions. Instead, my M.O. from day one was to present things "the way they are" - with Christianity and its theology & tenets as a given. Nara never converts to Christianity. She just is. My whole life I've observed how much of secular entertainment just presents its worldview "as is" with little no consideration given to an opposing view - or at least, an honest one. When Hollywood or any media isn't dogging Christianity, it's pretending it doesn't exist. And that sends a powerful message. So that's where I'm coming from - wanting to present a counter balance to that, but in an as honest and truthful way as I can.
Q3) Do you hope for any sort of works to add to the reader and critic perception of you as a writer and artist of deeper tales, or if you will, moral tales?
A3) I have many more stories to tell. And they'll probably all be better than Dead in every way - technically, narratively, structurally, etc. I learned a lot during the 12 years I worked on it. But I don't think that will necessarily make them "deeper" or "moral." And honestly, I don't care either way. All I care about is telling a good, engaging story while hopefully illuminating the truth in some way.
Q4) When ending a tale, as this work has finally found its rightful and logical place of end, do you feel sorrow at its termination, or is it a relief?
A4) I'm not sure either emotion is wholly accurate. I mean, finishing that last 7 issue arc was a relief for sure - I've never done that many issues in a row - and they all came out on time, except for the last one which was a month late because it ran twice as long. So yeah, I was relieved to have pulled that off without killing myself. But on a whole, I feel a tremendous sense of accomplishment. Dead@17 was never part of the long term plan when I got started in this business. I planned to do a couple and then move on to other stories. But as people fell in love with the characters, and as they and the world grew in my mind, I never quite got away from it. So I dug in and made it a goal to fully tell this story to its completion. And despite numerous obstacles and setbacks, I did just that. Sure, there are plenty of things I wish I could change or do differently, but I'm still very proud at how the whole thing turned out.