With just about 2 weeks left in the campaign, CBY contributor Cody spoke to CJ Hudson about Bearer of Ages, the complexities of balancing three different storylines, and the benefits to running your own creative studio.
COMIC BOOK YETI: Welcome on into the Yeti Cave, CJ, feel free to pull up a seat!! Thank you so much for stopping by for our Cryptid-Bits segment. It's time to heat things up here with questions about you and Bearer of Ages, which currently has a live campaign going until 2/8! How are you doing today?
CJ Hudson: Excited to be here! I’ve followed the Yeti for a long time, so to be interviewed is pretty wild.
CBY: I had the opportunity to read Bearer of Ages, first and foremost thank you so much for sending me a copy! I was really impressed with the concept and the art behind it felt like a perfect fit. Can you give our readers more insight into what the Bearer of Ages is about and the creative team behind it?
CH: At its core Bearer of Ages is about choice, and how our choices shape the world around us. And with choice comes possibility, specifically the possibility to enact good or evil, and that obviously comes with its own ramifications. With BoA I also really tried to look at how past lives could shape the future. So when we meet our characters they are all in different places in time, at various stages of their journey after having found the sword. Each one has their own mystery and adventure that will unfold through the mini series. Thankfully I had some excellent creative help with Atula Siriwardane who provides some stellar, detailed artwork. My pal Isaac Willbanks (The Sentinel) provided the letters, and really did a fantastic job.
CBY: So three women, one is possibly a warlord in Japan, one a futuristic protector of the Earth, and the last just trying to pass college? This sounds like it was quite the task to balance all three. What was it like working with your artist to bring your story to life?
CH: It was complex. Three characters, all embodying the spirit of one another, in different time periods, trying to play on the notion of a continuous cycle of death and rebirth, it was absolutely one of the more complex stories I’ve written. That’s perfectly fine though, as I wanted it to be a challenge and push myself to try something different from the previous works I’ve done. Thankfully Atula had some excellent ideas, so I gave him free reign if he felt a page would benefit from a different angle, more panels, less panels, etc. I can make the dialogue work, as the story is the same, but the journey might be slightly different from my initial concept.
In the end. I feel a collaborative approach is best though, as the product always comes out better for it.
CBY: Can you give us a bit more of the importance of the sword without spoiling too much? How does it tie together 3 protagonists' stories into one miniseries while each of them is from a different period of time?
CH: The sword is always the same sword, and the bearer is more or less the same bearer, each of them is drawn to the sword, but there is something else that is drawn to the bearer, a sort of ancient evil that has yet to be revealed. More to come on this in subsequent issues for certain.
CBY: On your Kickstarter you mentioned this was a personal project you first started 5 years ago. How does it feel to be joining forces with publisher Epic Fantasy to bring to life the first issues of this mini-series?
CH: Feels like it was meant to be! Devin Arscott is a great dude, and I knew he would be a fantastic publisher to stick this project with. He has a very good vision for the future and how to be successful in comics. Isaac also has projects there, and I know Devin is looking to bring on more creators, so it feels like there is some great energy there right now. A good group of people working hard to make comics.
CBY: The Kickstarter campaign runs until 2/8, can you tell us a bit about some of your favorite rewards and tiers?
CH: I love that Rio Burton cover, and I think Devin made the right call to make it a FantasticCon Exclusive. So there are only a finite number of ways to get that cover, actually all of them, as we won’t be reprinting any of these covers again. Additionally, I am a big Bella Rachlin fan, she produces some amazing art and I’m so happy that cover gets to see the light of day, as it was the first one of the bunch produced over four years ago now.
CBY: Outside of Bearer of Ages, I also noticed you are the co-founder of Warn Everyone! Comics. Can you give us a little bit about your creative studio and what type of content you are producing with it?
CH: My former studio partner and I had a vision of a place to develop original content to find work in any creative fields we could (publishing, film, etc.), and it’s worked out very well to run creative endeavors as a legitimate business as it helped me acquire some great projects in various forms, like Ad Astra Media, whom I write a Webtoon for. I basically use it as my incubator for content, whether it’s work for hire, or my own projects I publish through other channels like Antarctic Press, Band of Bards, etc.
CBY: Are there any social media platforms you would like to shout out to our readers? Where can they find you most active?
CH: I am very active on Twitter and Hive as ceejthehudson and Instagram as warneveryonecomics. Give me a follow!
CBY: Thank you so much for swinging by the Yeti Cave once again and giving us a deep dive into Bearer of Ages and yourself as a creator!! We wish you great success on your campaign and hope to see you back soon!
CH: Thanks so much for allowing me to highlight Bearer of Ages!