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Talking ‘Jake Ellis’ With Nathan Edmondson

Jake Ellis has become quite the success for Image Comics and for Nathan Edmonson. With the recent extension of Jake Ellis I had the chance to interview writer Nathan Edmonson about Jake Ellis and what's to come with the title and how it came to be.

PA) This past week with the release of Who Is Jake Ellis #3 it was announced that the series would be extending from five issues to fifteen. What are your feelings on the success of the series?

NE) I'm simply happy to be in the same boat as the insanely talented Tonci Zonjic.  The success is only there to remind us to work harder, because there are folks who want to read what we're creating.

PA) Before the additional issues where added, was there a plan to do second mini-series or was the series originally going to wrap up in five issues?
NE) There has always been a plan for additional story.  We made a decision when coming into it, though, to focus on one "bite" first, and now we're thrilled that the sales and reception warrant--even demand--that we move into the next installments immediately.

photo credit: Eric Becker/ We Are Shouting                                             Photo credit: Eric Becker/ We Are Shouting

PA) Now that you have ten more issues to tell the story of Jake and Jon, what are your plans for them (without giving too much away)? Will the mystery continue all the way until the end or will it have resolution sooner and then work into another storyline?

NE) That's a tricky question.  There will be some significant resolution in issue 5, but the reader will find out quickly that opening one door only leads to more doors.   We might learn something about Jake (or will we only think that we do?), but what is the Facility, exactly, and how important will it--and Jake--soon become?  These sorts of questions will start popping and exploding in future issues, and the relationship between Jon and Jake has a long ways to go before finding its end.

PA) Obviously the book is doing really well, do you feel that it’s been due to the support from Image Comics? Is this your first partnership with Image?

NE) Image has certainly thrown their weight behind this title, from setting up the tour to promoting the book online.  Retailers notice that.  The fact that many image books exploding on to the scene and selling out right now helps us, too, because the spotlight seems to be turning increasingly upon Image Comics.

Who Is Jake Ellis 3 CoverPA) How did you end up working with the talented Tonci Zonjic?

NE) By bringing him an idea that he wanted to bring to life.  I found him through a post of his artwork on CBRs ROBOT 6, and sought him out after that.

PA) What part do you play in the cover designs?

NE) Not too much.  For the most part Tonci shows me sketches and occasionally I might have a comment or two but the font, the -10 degree style, and the artwork are all his. I think I suggested an idea for one cover, which he of course improved upon, and I do remember he was thinking of going a different direction with #2, but after he showed me the sketch I loved it enough I told him to keep with it. But of course it was his sketch and his art and his idea.  Tonci has an eye for presentation, layout, and design like few people I've ever encountered.  He's just brilliant.

PA) What are the influences behind Jake Ellis? Is it a variety of spy novels/movies or was it a desire to do them better?

NE) I'm not sure, really.  I've said before that I was reading a number of books about spycraft, special ops, military history, intelligence gathering, things like that.  So those made up the fertile soil in which the seed sprouted.  Then a street sign--JAKE ELLIS LN--gave me my title, and the final idea was just lightening in the bottle.

PA) How is Jake Ellis different from the rest of your body of works?

NE) It's obviously a new genre, but I think more than anything it's the most intensely so far I've gone into a character (or characters), and the setups have forced me to think more "cleverly" than I have before with anything I've written.

Who Is Jake Ellis 4 CoverPA) Is there any plans for Jake Ellis to move into other mediums, be it TV or movies?

NE) Unfortunately, 'mum's the word' on this. But...there are some things going on. 

PA) The big question now becomes: What or who is after Jake Ellis?

NE) You've hit the nail on the head, and then 'What's Jake Ellis Going To Do About It?' 

PA) And the last question: Who would win in a fight? Stan Lee in his prime or Jack Kirby in his prime?

NE) Oh, I'm not sure I can answer a loaded question like this.  I think what I'd really like to see is both of them is both of them, in the early 90s, hooked into HEAVY METAL like mechanized boxing units, controlling them from the sidelines.  Maybe the robots are modeled after their characters.

Thanks for taking the time to do the interview and I look forward to the next twelve issues of Who Is Jake Ellis. Now we have a very special treat which is an extend preview of Who Is Jake Ellis #3, which is out now. Hopefully we'll also have a first look of the first volume trade paper back cover as well. In the meantime enjoy this extended preview.

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For more Jake Ellis check out the following links:
1st Issue Review
2nd Issue Review
3rd Issue Review


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