What if you had 12 chances at life? Would you eventually get it right?
Adam 12 is an independently-produced comic that asks just that question. Written by Gigio Longo and drawn by Nick Suders and Christine Larsen, Adam 12 is the story of a man named Adam living in America, after it was financially bailed-out by China. He works at an unfulfilling government job, daydreaming of ancient heroes living lives he’d rather have. When a mysterious (and possibly insane) man name Vergil arrives calling Adam a messiah and katana-wielding female assassins come to kill him, however, his life isn’t so dull and his daydreams may not be so fictional after all.
Adam 12 is a fantasy adventure set in a grounded, plausible future that mixes high-speed action with side-splitting comedy. The art style is very smooth and moves freely, which matches its break-neck writing. Every scene in this comic is filled with details and developments, but never drags on or says anything we don’t need to hear. The end result is a comic book that reads as quickly as a comic strip and pulls you in as much as a novel. You can get the whole low-down from the comic’s trailer. That’s right, this comic has a trailer!
Longo: Adam 12 is a passion project that we’ve been working on for a couple years. I came up with the main concept over 10 years ago but didn’t sit down till a couple years back and write up the script. I would say the main inspiration comes from a wide array of pop culture from comics, books, TV shows & movies and my time living in Philadelphia and Italy. From the comic world, some of the best inspiration came from the writings of Brian K. Vaugn, Ed Brubaker, Frank Miller and Kevin Smith. Frank Miller and Kevin Smith both have a very different writing style, but what I liked about Smith’s writing is his ability to balance a dire situation but keep the mood in the book always fun and moving. I’m a big fan of his Daredevil run Guardian Devil which is in a way a remake of Frank Millers DD run Born Again. Both are stories of a hero’s redemption; hitting the bottom of life’s ugly barrel, but getting up and proving that you have what it take to kick ass in life. Comparable to our own mythological home town hero, Rocky.
Q: What do you think readers will like most about Adam 12?
Longo:I think what readers will like most about the story is the character development of the main protagonist. He’s a regular guy, with regular problems that people can relate to, especially when he’s day dreaming of other lives during working hours.
Q: What do you think Adam 12 brings to the table no other comics are bringing right now?
Longo:I believe one of the things that we’re bringing different to the table is that our story isn’t a “super hero” story, it’s more about the journey of a special individual with some fantastical things happening and interesting characters around him that propel the story forward.
Q: What was your favorite part or moment of production?
Longo:During production, just getting sketches and working out the panels with Nick was great. But he really didn’t need that much direction, he got the story right away. I would say my other favorite moment is post-production, when we get responses via email or in person about how much people loved the book. It’s a great feeling when somebody enjoys something that you’ve worked passionately on for years.
Q: As an independent and self-published writer, what was the process of creating your book and getting it in stores?
Longo:As an Indie writer/publisher, it’s tough because we have to beat the street ourselves to promote the book. We have to go from store to store & convention to convention in person to sell the books.
Q: Parents never like to say they have a “favorite kid,” but do you have a favorite character?
Longo:My favorite character is Vergil. He’s based on the Roman Poet Vergil, from 2000 years ago, that wrote the epic poem The Aeneid. As well as being a Augustus’s main poet during the Roman Empire, he was said to have been a great sorcerer and the legend of “the egg” isn’t something I made up; it’s a famous Neapolitan myth. Also, Dante used Vergil as his guide through Hell and Purgatory in The Divine Comedy, so I thought he would make for a fun character to riff off of and use as my own guide to help direct Adam though his own journeys.
Q: Locals to Philadelphia are going to appreciate all the little homages you made to our town, so it’s no secret that you’re a Philly Phanatic. That said, what do you think of Philly’s current portrayal in popular media?
Longo:I would say yes, I am definitely a Philly Phanatic. I love our great city and I think that it does get a bad rap in the media. I think that a negative stigma from 20-30 years ago has been held over the city and it’s not till people with this negative outlook actually come to Philly do they realize that it’s an amazing city with a lot to offer.