AiPT: Today I have the pleasure of talking to Michael Moreci. Thanks for taking the time. I enjoyed reading the first volume of Roche Limit and was especially intrigued by the philosophical issues you discussed. I also thought it was interesting how you combined the different genre types of detective fiction, science fiction, and a zombie apocalypse with each other.
MM: Well, let’s get to it.
AiPT: In Roche Limit: Anomalous you used multiple storylines and then brought them all together by the end. What made you decide to go with this style for this particular comic? Do you plan on using this same style for Clandestiny?
MM: A big part of the first volume is multiple investigations that are happening. On the thematic level, you see it in the probing into religion, society, and existence. There’s a lot going on with all of those things. The plot mirrors that in a cool way, which I enjoy. There’s all these investigations happening, with Alex looking for Bekkah, Moscow looking for the Recall recipe, Watkins looking for the soul. Everyone is looking for something, searching, and that’s important to the book (as Langford explains in his monologue and we pick up on in Clandestiny).
AiPT: The process of the soul being separated into pieces by contact with the anomaly is extremely unique, are there any specific influences for this idea?
MM: Thanks! Though it’s probably something I stole off of Dick or Bradbury and don’t even realize it. That piece of the book’s puzzle came in really late and unified everything–I needed something that would tie these characters together, and brings them closer, physically and philosophically.
AiPT: Do you plan on further exploring the soul separation and restoration process? Are there negative effects of having someone else’s soul within you?
MM: Not directly, no. We’re still very much talking about what it means to have a soul, to be a moral, conscious being, though it comes in at a different angle in Clandestiny. Clandestiny is more about reality, and how our souls–our individualism–leads us down one path and not another, and what those pivotal choices mean for ourselves and the people around us.
AiPT: Langford Skaargred played an integral role in Roche Limit Anomalous. Are there any plans to reincorporate him in Clandestiny?
MM: I can’t say for sure, but let’s say there might be a surprise or two along the way…
AiPT: In Anomalous, you talk about free will in contrast with a predetermined fate; how much control do you think we have over own fates?
MM: While I do believe that our universe is a big swirling ball of chaos, there is a balance as well. Whether you call it a higher power, karma, or a fourth dimensional something that keeps the world balanced, I think there is a certain energy at work behind the scenes. But the whole idea of predestination or a fixed fate really counter to my own philosophy of the meaning of our lives.
AiPT: There is a definitive shift in the artistic style between Anomalous and Clandestiny where the latter is a lot grainier, darker, and pays more attention to detail. Does this reflect the story you will be telling in Clandestiny?
MM: Oh yeah, for sure. Clandestiny is a much grittier, down and dirty story. Don’t get me wrong, Anomalous was no Victorian romance, but I think the world allowed for a much more refined approach, which Vic delivered in spades. In Clandestiny, there’s a far greater sense of danger and desolation, and Kyle’s art is absolutely perfect. Add Matt Battaglia’s dream-like coloring, and I think you have a pretty unbeatable combination.
AiPT: If the type of DIY (Do It Yourself) space travel in Anomalous was available to you today, where would you go and why?
MM: I guess it depends on how far you can go. I mean, there’s nowhere really worth going in our system; some planets are incapable of you even stepping foot on. I guess I’d just cruise around, see the solar system, take in the vastness of space. There’s no short of beauty out there, just waiting to be observed and experienced.
AiPT: There has been quite a bit of discussion on the state of the comics industry with Milo Manara and Rafael Albuquerque’s variant covers going unpublished. What is your take on the discussion? Have you ever felt the need to or been asked to tone down a potentially provocative storyline or dialogue? If so, how did you resolve it?
MM: This is such a difficult discussion; it would take me a few pages to do it justice. Briefly: There’s something to be said for creating commercial art for the right context; at the same time, there’s something also to be said about devaluing personal tastes and curtailing certain freedoms. If I don’t like these covers, I can’t say someone who does like them is wrong. That’s a matter of taste, and one of the greatest things about our country is the fact that we permit unpopular taste and opinion to exist. DC has every right in the world to pull the cover, that’s their choice. I just don’t understand the fervor behind demanding them to do so, the insistence on wiping something from existence because it’s perceived as being in bad taste. That’s a dangerous path, one that I don’t want to pursue, whether my tastes are in line with the demands or not. Thankfully, I’ve never had this problem. If I did, I’m not sure how I’d handle it. Depends on the circumstance.
AiPT: Last but not least, comic-cons are a big part of comic culture, what are your favorite locations and what has been the craziest thing you have seen at one?
MM: I really love New York Comic Con and Emerald City and a whole bunch of smaller shows, like Cincinnati and Detroit.
I guess the craziest thing I’ve ever seen was an Iron Fist “commission” I did at c2e2 a few years back. I cannot draw, at all, but this person insisted I do so. Suffice to say, he was not happy. The finished piece looked like the work of a lunatic, I kid you not.
AiPT: Thanks Michael, we can’t wait to check out Clandestiny!
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