The first volume of "BubbleGun" reached its conclusion this week with the release of "BubbleGun" #5 this past Wednesday. The series was launched as part of Aspen Comics' Tenth Anniversary Celebration, the "10 for 10," in 2013. The series starred Molli and her high-tech band of thieves in what was a high action, fast paced, heist story and definitely one of the best new books from Aspen.
“BubbleGun” was created by Mark Roslan and featured stunning artwork by Mike Bowden. Together the two introduced a highly stylized and dynamic future that sparks the imagination while taking the reader on an intense thrill ride.
To celebrate the five issues of excitement, the Hollywood Comic Books Examiner caught up with the series’ creator and writer Mark Roslan to talk about this sci-fi heist story and its hero.
Hollywood Comic Books Examiner: How did the original concept for “BubbleGun” come about? What came first the bright, neon fueled setting or the adrenaline driven, thrill seeking characters?
Mark Roslan: The characters came first! Whenever I work on a story, I focus on the characters and how they change as the story progresses. The first incarnation of "BubbleGun" was set in modern day, as a crazy heist story, but I felt it wasn’t special enough. One fateful night, I decided to throw these characters into a sci-fi pop future backdrop after watching Akira for the umpteenth time. The more I thought about the sci-fi fun, the more excited I was to tell this story. Things changed for the better. The ideas just flooded in. One great thing about writing comic books is there’s no budget in terms of sets or special effects. Mike Bowden, David Curiel, Erick Arciniega and I really got to cut loose on these pages, and I’d like to think other creators are inspired by the pages we’ve put together!
Examiner: The technology in the series defines the cyber punk tone, but some of the tech, most notably the actual BubbleGun, gave the series a larger than life feel. What piece of tech in the series was your favorite to come up with?
Roslan: Molli’s “bubble gun” was easily a favorite. It’s a non-lethal gun that shoots large paintball bullets of goo. In essence, it’s Spider-man’s web shooter—in gun form. These characters are mercenary thieves that break into high security buildings, but they don’t mean to physically harm any people, only harm their bank accounts or reputations. Another favorite would have to be the energy highways and what I call, light bikes. That was a must have scene in the story, and it really stands out as a great comic book chase sequence. Can you imagine in the future, having to expand the roads into the skies with Tron-like light bikes!?
Examiner: Often times the collaboration with an artist has a dramatic impact on the final story than what is originally written. How much did the artwork of Mike Bowden influence the tone and the pace of the story from what you originally created, if at all?
Roslan: I was ecstatic that Mike Bowden agreed to work on the mini-series. I knew I wanted someone that brought a style that had some bounce and dare I say, over the top flavor since the story’s fruition. Mike’s art is larger than life and this story really needed that. He brought a lot of his own excitement to the table that only fueled my fire further. The bike scene in issue two couldn’t have come out better and issue five’s epic robot battle royale is something I specifically designed for Mike once he jumped on board. The chaos and dynamic movement he brings to the pages is something truly special.
Examiner: What is it about Molli that interests you in writing her?
Roslan: I feel like everyone has a bit of Molli in him or her at one point in their life. She basically feels invincible and the world is in the palm of her hands, but then life throws Molli a curveball and she has to grow up fast. When I was a teenager I felt like that, and it carried into my twenties, but then reality and responsibility seeped in. Luckily for me, it wasn’t as drastic! She’s definitely fun to write with her cocky and energetic attitude. I’m still a smartass, but don’t always exercise it. Molli lets me cut loose!
Examiner: When the series starts out Molli is the reckless member of the crew, her attitude changes over the course of the series as she begins to accept a greater role on her team. Where do you see Molli going now that she has accepted some responsibility? Is she still the wild and reckless girl we saw at the beginning or does she behave more like her sister Devyn taking a greater role as a leader of their crew?
Roslan: While Molli matures and becomes more cautious, she still maintains that smart alec sensibility. I don’t think she’ll ever be like her sister Devyn, and that’s fine. One underlying theme of "BubbleGun" is to find yourself and be okay with who you are. We can’t all be one way. Life would be very boring if we all shared the same personality. While Devyn might want her sister to be less reckless, she doesn’t want to completely change her. But Molli won’t be leading the team. She still has a lot to learn from her older sister.
Examiner: Was there a particular scene or sequence of events in the series that you feel defined what “BubbleGun” was all about?
Roslan: This is a tough question to answer. The story is very fast-paced and it is filled with some great moments. I love how the series begins with the first few pages of issue one. It really captures the atmosphere of the environment and the fun tone the story carries throughout the series. I rewrote it a few times just to get it right. I also particularly like the end of issue three where everything falls apart. It’s a change in mood as Kyo’s ship explodes in the night sky and both Devyn and Asher are taken. Molli fears she’s lost everything but her friends are there for her. Despite her actions and faults, her best friends are by her side and ready to pick her up and face the next challenge.
Examiner: The groundwork is there to explore this world in greater detail. Molli’s crew is much stronger than they were at the start of the series thanks to some additions. Are there future plans for the cast and crew of “BubbleGun?”
Roslan: There is definitely more story to tell. While this mini-series is over, I still think of Molli, Devyn, Kyo and the rest of the characters and where they may go from here, and I quickly jot it down in my notebook. Issue four opened with a two-page scene that basically hints where Molli and the crew end up next. I’d like to revisit them soon and have the framework of their next adventure in mind but there is no announcement to make just yet. Hopefully fans loved the first volume and will share it with their friends, and once the collected trade is in stores, there will be a second volume issue #1 displayed right next to it!
Thank you to Mark Roslan for taking the time to answer these questions.
You can read the entire “BubbleGun” digital collection instantly through ComiXology.com. Or visit the Aspen Comics Store and take your pick of the amazing covers done by some of today’s hottest artists in comics.