"Body Bags," the popular series of minis featuring the murderous mercenary father/daughter duo of Mack and Panda, is a berserk hyper head trip of a comic, so it's only right that an interview with creator Jason Pearson be just as er…interesting.
Set in a near future alternate version of Atlanta known as Terminus, the series follows the adventures of Clownface and his teenage partner Panda as bodybaggers; semi-legal bounty hunters and assassins.
The most recent installment is the oft delayed but finally here "3 The Hard Way," giving fans one brand new story as well as two other hard to find short stories. We talked to Pearson (after twenty four hours at the drawing broad) about Mack, Panda, the future, and world domination by way of comics.
Pearson's power mad quest for unlimited power was spawned, as were so many other would be dictators, by Adam West's Batman.
"In the seventies I fell in love with the Spider-Man cartoon and the Batman TV show. I was equally amazed that the convenience store down the block supplied these little picture magazines (with silly stories and bad art) of the same characters. I stuck with the silly little picture magazines (comic books!) because they came out on a pretty regular basis," said Pearson, "After a couple of months I felt that -- at the age of five -- I could draw better than these Ross Andru and Jim Aparo guys. Maybe Neal Adams was in my league, but barely. Fourteen years later, I decided to make my presence known at the San Diego Con. The editors said I wasn't ready yet, but I knew it was a lie to mask their jealousy. The following year (1990) was the birth of my world domination. Sixteen years later, I've yet to convince the world of my superiority -- one day you fools will smarten up!"
After a few years on the road to power, Pearson, almost by sheer drunken chance, came up with the concept that would give him his foothold, the hulking Mack and the hyper Panda.
"Late one night at my art studio, with a pencil in one hand and bottle of whiskey in the other, I created Mack. He was supposed to be a serial killer disguised as a hero. The next day, he became a hero disguised as a serial killer," Pearson explained, "Eventually, he was just a killer who did nice things every now and then. I have no clue of how I came up with Panda. One morning there was a drawing of her, by me, sitting on my art table."
Of course, every quest to rule the world needs refinement, and "Body Bags" was no exception, as the duo evolved and changed over the years, mostly to stop readers from losing their fragile grasp on sanity.
"I've simplified the look so that the average reader can withstand the full power of my abilities without passing out from the euphoria -- or it can be said I got rid of all the tiny inky rendering because I'm too damn lazy," said Pearson.
The most recent installment of "Body Bags" has been a long time coming, and there's a good reason it's called "3 The Hard Way."
"The book has three stories that were, for some goddamn reason, hard to write, draw and ink-- hence the title. One of the stories, a brand new 24 pager, was an incredible pain in the ass. But a little suffering is good for world domination, yeah?" said Pearson. "Ultimately, the book is really good, wholesome entertainment for the entire family to enjoy -- especially around the holidays when you're contemplating a little mass murder spree at the office."
The next installment, a one shot simply called "One Shot," was originally supposed to have come out recently, but, not surprisingly, has been pushed back by the time necessary to produce the staggering genius of "3 The Hard Way."
"The plans are to have it done around late April to early May. Delays on '3 the Hard Way' screwed up my entire schedule. At this point, I figure that nobody waited ten years for me to do a suck-ass book, right? So I might as well take the extra time to make everything super tight on this forty-eight pager." said Pearson. "After 'One Shot,' I will contemplate a better strategy for taking over the industry. Then let the games begin. No more teasing you bastards with false release dates. Next time, I will stun and shock the world with a mini-series that'll actually come out when Previews says it's coming out. I must remain always-- unpredictable."
And after that? Well, we'll leave the final word on Jason Pearson's future to the man himself.
"Listen, you don't jump straight from Kool-Aid right into cocaine, and you don't read 'Body Bags' expecting more afterwards. You appreciate one thing at a time!"
"3 The Hard Way" is available now from comic shops and petty criminals everywhere. You should buy it, unless you want Pearson coming round to your house.
(Article originally appeared at Comic Book Resources in 2006)