Through The Narrow Pass, Jonathon Dalton Interview


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Here we are once again! Another week, another Life Finds A Way creator interview!

As of this posting, there are 17 days left in the campaign with just under $9,000 raised! While we still have a ways to go, the amount you’ve all helped us raise means we’re on track to fund!

In case you haven’t seen, we recently posted an update to the campaign revealing the beautiful sticker designs by Lisa LaRose.

Available to backers at the Artist Edition tier and above

We’re continuing to interview creative teams for the duration of the Kickstarter. Today we’re featuring Jonathon Dalton as he discusses his Life Finds A Way story: Through The Narrow Pass.


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.


What’s your name?

Jonathon Dalton

What’s your artistic background?

I’ve been making comics since the early days of webcomics. I’ve got two graphic novels done, and I’ve done lots of short stories. I’m currently working on a webcomic called Phobos and Deimos.

What comics/comic creators inspired you to make comics?

There are so many cartoonists I admire. If I had to pick a favourite, both because of her art and writing style but also because of her subject matter, I’d have to say Carla Speed McNeil. Finder is an amazing comics series. I’m also a big fan of Naoki Urasawa. Both of them write science fiction that’s character driven and socially relevant.

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

Science fiction is always something I’m interested in, and I’m so tired of sci-fi that’s afraid of the future. People have recovered from apocalypses before, and I refuse to believe we can’t do it again.

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

World-building is always fun. I got to invent future fashions and giant monsters. I think the biggest challenge I found was making the hope in my story evident on the page. It’s not a story with a happy ending. But part of fixing the mistakes of the present, I think, is finding better ways to solve problems, and that’s what my story is about— a very different way of dealing with crime, war, and violence.

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?

World-building for a short story is actually easier than for a long one. I only have to give you pieces of the world, and I don’t have to fully flesh it out or make sure it all makes sense. How exactly did giant titans destroy the world? The details are left up to your imagination. All I need to show you is the aftermath of their battle.

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

My favourite example is a book where you’re not sure it’s post-apocalyptic until well into the story, so for spoilers’ sake, I won’t tell you. But I also like Ursula LeGuin’s City of Illusion, which is about a strange and surreal journey through a post-apocalyptic North America.

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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?

Anything where the plot hinges on violent in-fighting after a disaster. When most disasters happen, the looting-and-violence stage tends to be very short before regular people start organizing and helping each other survive as best they can.

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?

Definitely. While I was writing it I was thinking about the ways that war, authoritarianism, and violent crime intersect each other on the micro and macro scale.

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

Definitely not! I am a soft cartoonist with no survival skills.

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

I really think kids today are going to have a lot of things figured out compared to my generation. They’ll probably make their own mistakes too, but if they can stop making the same mistakes, I’ll take that as a win.

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

You can see what I’m up to at www.phobos-comic.com

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Check out the Life Finds A Way Kickstarter, live until September 27th, 2019

Click here for more updates and behind the scenes content for the Life Finds A Way anthology.


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