Short People Got Nobody In Ricardo Mo and Alberto Muriel's Colossi
May 19, 2017
by Vince Brusio
There are many worlds underneath the surface of your peripheral vision, and Ricardo Mo and Alberto Muriel's Colossi (FEB172080) is one of them. A new series that hails from Vault Comics, Colossi was first listed in the February issue of PREVIEWS and the trade paperback of the first story arc is slated to be listed in the upcoming July catalog. In this PREVIEWSworld Exclusive interview, writer Ricardo Mo gets into the details of his unique twist on Gulliver’s Travels. He reflects on the plight of the little people you’ll find in the story, and how their cooperation and mutual respect for one another in a strange world may be the only thing that keeps them from being devoured as cute colourful appetizers.
Vince Brusio: So a bunch of kids embark on a magical mystery tour, only to find out that they’re now the people that time forgot. Their time. Another time. Does that description due justice to the initial plot for Colossi #1 (FEB172080)? If not, set the record straight for us. How does this story unravel for those aboard Trans Atmos Shuttle 34?
Ricardo Mo: We’re all familiar with All-Star Superman, right? So our All-Star intro would go something like… Strangers. Bus. Wormhole. Freefall down the food chain.
Now, the freefall bit comes from being transported to a parallel world twelve times bigger than home. Suddenly our disparate band of ordinary everyday people are no larger than action figures, and an unfortunate early encounter with some giant wildlife lets them know this is no interdimensional joyride. Their new environment is as hostile as you can imagine, and their lives are very much on the line here. Also, without giving too much away, their arrival on Earth-Colossal sets off a series of events that’ll be bad for everyone, regardless of height.
Vince Brusio: Tell us about the personalities of the pioneers on Shuttle 34. What stereotypes will we recognize? Who gets assigned to be character actors? Who’s neurotic? Who’s Fred or Thelma from the Scooby gang?
Ricardo Mo: If you’re recognizing stereotypes then I’ve done an awful job, and I deserve to be sent back to the cupboard under the stairs where I do my scripting. The aim is always for multi-faceted characters who are responding to each other and to their situation in the same, real way you or I might.
What we have in Colossi is a nice mix of people from different backgrounds and of differing ages, so that everyone brings their own unique viewpoint and baggage. That’s where the drama comes from. That, and the constant threat of being eaten or stepped on.
If you’re looking for specifics, I can warn you that Randall is the one guy every other character will have the hardest time getting on with. There will definitely be some conflict around him, and that’s not because he’s an evil dude. No, a few decades ago Randall could very well have been the de facto leader of the group. But the world has moved on and he’s stood still, and that can lead to frustration.
Vince Brusio: Being stranded in a parallel universe cannot be something that’s easy on the head. If a story takes place in another universe, that means the writer has to wrap his head around more than just what’s on the other side of a wormhole. For those new to Colossi, what can you tell us about the topography for this parallel Earth? How are things different? Or are they the same, except there’s bigger roaches?
Ricardo Mo: Relatively speaking, the roaches aren’t any bigger, and the inhabitants of Earth-Colossal aren’t effortlessly striding across canyons or anything. Earth-Colossal looks the same to its native inhabitants as the Shuttle 34 Earth does to the passengers and pilot of that vessel. It’s only when you take a group from one Earth and drop them into the other that the difference in scale becomes apparent.
Vince Brusio: So these survivors basically learn throughout this comic series that they’re just as much a threat to each other as those outside of their group, correct? Do you think that’s a universal conundrum for our species? That we’re destined to always turn on one another in the end, even though we need each other to survive? Does Colossi expand on that theme as the series progresses?
Ricardo Mo: This isn’t a Walking Dead-style “the real monsters are the living” situation. No, the clear and present danger to our tiny travellers are the creatures who grossly outweigh them. As much as Randall can be a pain sometimes, he’s unlikely to scoop up one of his fellow passengers and feed them to his young.
In terms of human interaction, I would say we explore an opposing theory to yours, which is that kindness is the universal constant capable of bringing together people of any size.
That’s not to say there’s no human-on-human violence, however. Something else is at work in the background, literally stripping away people’s humanity. Now that is something which expands as the series progresses.
Vince Brusio: So what does the series hold for us past the upcoming trade paperback? Where does the story go from here? What can you tease? And will you be attending any shows in the future as convention season is around the corner?
Ricardo Mo: Well, the trade will collect the entirety of our group’s misadventures in Tolerance, the small town close to their crash site. While there’s a degree of closure at the end of issue four, the Colossi creative team have certainly left an opening for the larger story to be continued, should there be sufficient demand for that. If we’re allowed to keep going, we promise to break hearts and provide shocks aplenty.
I’m based in the UK, so I’m hoping to visit a handful of local conventions and meet some of my peers and heroes. Fingers crossed I might also make it to a big US show before the end of the year. It would be a good opportunity to put some faces to the stores that have been so supportive. I owe many retailers many beers.
Vince Brusio writes about comics, and writes comics. He is the long-serving Editor of PREVIEWSworld.com, the creator of PUSSYCATS, and encourages everyone to keep the faith...and keep reading comics.