Review Fix chats with writer Ram V, who lets us know all about the newest arc of Paradiso, from Image Comics. Futuristic and sexy, it’s something fans of Tron will totally eat up.
Review Fix: What was the inspiration for this arc?
Ram V: I don’t know if there’s an inspiration for this particular arc, as such. The story progresses from where we left off in Arc 1. Thematically we touch on the idea of symbiosis in the metropolitan eco-system. How a city needs its people and vice versa. So, we set that against an interesting backdrop. One that is probably heavily influenced, at least visually, by things like TRON and Space Vampires.
Review Fix: What did you learn from the previous volumes in the series?
Ram V: That Paradiso is a patient story with scope and scale and needs its breathing space to be told. That its okay to drop readers into the deep end and expect them to swim. That it is almost exhilarating when pursing the little clues and snippets pays off in the story and characters above all else make a story interesting– be they human, cyborg or metropolitan.
Review Fix: What do you think makes it special?
Ram V: I suppose that is for the readers to decide and interpret. For me the joy is in the unfolding of the story. The threads and seeming tangents converging in mysterious ways to form this tapestry that on begins to make sense when you step back and see the bigger picture forming. I love stories like that.
Review Fix: Without giving anything away, what is the crux of the story?
Ram V: If the things we build today– our houses, our cities, our art, our literature. If they could look upon us from a far future, what would they say about how we lived? Beyond concrete walls and words and ink on paper. What is our legacy to this world, beyond our own lifetimes?
Review Fix: Did any comics you read as a kid play a role in this one?
Ram V: I suppose they all did to an extent. I borrow heavily from Moore and Gaiman, I borrow just as heavily from Otomo and Urasawa. Metal Hurlant probably has a huge influence on Paradiso and so does reading outside of comics. Dune, Solaris, Foundation – they’ve all informed my writing.
Review Fix: What type of comic book fans will enjoy this the most?
Ram V: Anyone who’s into sci-fi, weird fiction, futurism and epic adventure narratives will enjoy Paradiso.
Review Fix: What is special about the art here?
Ram V: Dev’s work speaks for itself really. It is striking, textured and captures mood and atmosphere in a way that is difficult to convey to an artist. They either get it or they don’t. Dev definitely gets Paradiso. His art is gritty and dark when needed or magical and delicate at times. And with each arc, we slightly change our approach to the art. It’s been a trip watching Dev adapt his style to suit the narrative.
Alba’s colours and Aditya’s letters continue to weave in perfectly with Dev’s work while adding flourishes to the experience of reading the story with their own perspectives.
Review Fix: What’s next?
Ram V: For me? I continue to work on Paradiso, of course. I’ve also got the trade for my fantasy/sword & sorcery story, RUIN OF THIEVES coming out shortly. I’m launching GRAFITYS WALL with artist Anand Radhakrishnan at Thoughtbubble 2018. I’ve also got a miniseries THESE SAVAGE SHORES out with Vault later this year in October. And I’ve got a short story in BATMAN SECRET FILES, that’s also out in October this year.