First Edition, Kevin Mahadeo Interview

We’re entering the final few days of July (summer is flying by!) which means we’re approaching the end of the Life Finds A Way creator interview series. Don’t worry though, there’s still a few more to go!

This week, we’re talking “First Edition” with its writer Kevin Mahadeo.

This post is a part of a series of articles about Cloudscape’s Life Finds A Way anthology. Visit the landing page for more information on the project.

First Edition sample 01

What’s your name?

Kevin Mahadeo

What’s your artistic background?

I was mainly an entertainment journalist for a number of years, but recently, I finally started to publish my own creative work—and I could not be more excited about it! I’ve always loved storytelling and I am beyond thrilled to share my stories with people.

What comics/comic creators inspired you to make comics?

Oh gosh. There are so many comics and characters I read and watched growing up that influenced my love of the genre. Superman is probably my favorite character but I also love the Shazam family, the X-Men, which doesn’t even touch on creators. Probably my most recent favorite creators include Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Neil Gaiman, and especially Brian K. Vaughan. But I cannot stress enough the impact on my love of storytelling by Paul Dini and Dwayne McDuffie.

First Edition sample 02

What about Life Finds a Way caught your imagination enough to submit a story?

I loved the idea of hope after an apocalypse type event. There’s a lot out there about the world ending or surviving after the apocalypse, but not as much about rebuilding. I also liked coming up with unique apocalypse scenarios.

On our theme of hope, what did you find fun about creating stories within this framework? Furthermore were there any unexpected challenges?

I think stories often need to be a mirror of the times. Right now, I feel like escapist fiction needs to have that element of hope. We need less grim and gritty and a little more fun and hopeful. So, it was nice to be able to tackle a story like that, in a setting like this. The biggest challenge was actually coming up with what the actual story ended up being! Haha.

Part of the fun of Post-Apocalypse is the worldbuilding, how do you deal with the limitations of the short story format with that in mind?

It was difficult for sure, but I enjoyed the challenge of finding that right balance, giving the audience enough information that they can figure out the broad strokes without over explaining or going to far into building the world that you lose the crux of the story and characters.

What’s your favorite post-apocalypse media, and why? (Games, Movies, Books, etc.)

I’ve read a few post-apocalypse novels (one of the best is Station Eleven!) but I kind of gravitate toward comics and movies. Post-apocalypse settings are so visually driven and while books can certainly spur the imagination, seeing those landscapes can be a whole other experience. Mad Max: Fury Road is a great example of this.

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Clichés, our editors outlined some that we did not want in our stories in our narrative guide. What elements about post-apocalypse media do you think are over-done?

“Humanity is the real monster.” I’m sort of really over that. Not even because I don’t believe it (there’s sadly too much truth in that theory) but I’d like to see more stories that show humanity at its best rather than constantly turning toward its worst.

Post-apocalyptic fiction can often be a reflection of anxieties that occur in contemporary society, does your piece reflect any societal anxiety that you can identify?

Boy does it. Haha. I have to admit that when I first wrote this story, I didn’t intend for it to reflect certain anxieties as much as it did. But at this particular moment, the idea of truth is so important. I don’t want to get too far into it, but this story ended up being way more personal than I originally thought it was going to be.

Do you think you could survive a week in the wild with a knife, a poncho, and a fishing hook?

Hahahahahahahahahahaha. Not even a little bit.

Where do you look to find hope for humanity’s future?

That’s a shockingly tough question to answer. I have hope in the young.

Do you have any projects you’d like to plug?

Along with “Life Finds A Way,” I have a story in “Kayfabe: A Wrestling Anthology Vol. 3” (available now!) and stories coming up in “Monster Mash-Up” and in “Lilies Vol. 8.” Feel free to follow me on Twitter @kevmahadeo for the latest on all my projects!

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