Joseph Mallozzi is most widely known for his work on all three Stargate series (SG-1, Atlantis, and Universe). Since Stargate was put on an “indefinite hiatus,” Mallozzi has turned to comics with his highly anticipated debut of Dark Matter. Issue #1 opens on a blank note – all of the main characters wake up with no memories of who they are or why they are on a giant spacecraft! That question alone is enough to keep you interested, but there are definitely more inquiries raised as the issue continues. Mallozzi gives us the scoop on Dark Matter, and what he’s got planned for the future! Read on for the skinny…
JM: No planned references to tie in the two as they’re completely different entities. Of course, that’s not to say I’ll be able to resist a future in-joke or two. In terms of similarities between Stargate and Dark Matter, I think there are definite parallels in tone (specifically an undercurrent of humor that will be present throughout) and certain thematic touchstones like exploration, discovery, and camaraderie.
KtMc: I’ve heard in a previous interview that Dark Matter was originally written for television, and that you still have tentative plans to adapt it for the small screen. Did making Dark Matter a comic cause any major plot changes?
JM: Not at all. It was actually quite easy to transfer the story to the comic book page. The plot and general narrative remained unchanged. Only the dialogue was tightened up in order to fit the 22-page structure.
KtMc: In the first issue of Dark Matter, the six core characters awaken from stasis on a large, elaborate ship. Does the series take place predominately on this ship? Are we going to see other ships, or even planets? I mean, ships have to land sometime, right?
JM: Yes, more ships, more planets, more people and, eventually, more life forms. Dark Matter is essentially a ship-based adventure series but, as you said, ships have to land sometime – or orbit a space station or planet to resupply and investigate. Plenty of rival vessels, space ports, and mysterious worlds to come!
JM: As the series progresses, dangerous situations will be encountered, revelations revealed, and alliances will form within the crew – friendships will be made and rivalries will grow. Not everyone will get along but all will realize they’ll need to depend on each other in order to survive.
KtMc: Garry Brown did a fantastic job on the art! Did you have an idea of what you wanted the art of the comic to look like? Can you explain a little of the artistic process?
JM: I had a very general sense of what I wanted the book to look like and sent my editor at Dark Horse, Patrick Thorpe, some artwork from other comic books that I thought could serve as a good starting point. A couple of weeks later, he pitched artist Garry Brown. I was familiar with Garry’s work and thought he’d be perfect for Dark Matter. And, it turns out, he is. Coupled with Ryan Hill’s colors, I think that Garry’s work delivers a whole other layer to the story.
After writing the first issue, Garry got back to me with some character and ship designs. Patrick and I discussed them, suggested a few changes and, once we were all on board, we moved on to costume and prop designs and, eventually, the first issue. I was sent layouts, pencils, inks, colors and, finally, placements via Patrick, and offered my input on each stage of the book’s visual development. To be fair, however, they weren’t copious notes. I trusted Garry to do his thing and he delivered in a big way.
JM: Without a doubt, my favorite part of the process was seeing the story come alive through the evolution of those visuals – from layouts to pencils to inks to colors. It was amazing. I felt like I did when I watched my very first Stargate episode being produced. Very cool.
KtMc: Are there going to be any cool creatures?
JM: Eventually, yes. For now, however, there are more immediate areas of concern for our crew aboard the ship.
KtMc: Did you ever get a tangible copy of the finished Issue #1? (regarding a previous interview)
JM: Not yet. I’m still waiting. Don’t tell me what happens though. I don’t want you to spoil it for me.
We’d like to sincerely thank Mr. Mallozzi from taking the time to answer our questions. Watch out for more from him in comics and television (wink, wink) in the future. Also, be sure to check out more from Mallozzi in the second issue of Dark Matter, which drops February 8th! To find out even more about Dark Matter, check out darkhorse.com