Bryan Q. Miller and Kelley Jones introduceSpace Mountain, their new graphic novel based on the Disney attraction of the same name.
Bryan, tell us a little bit about Disney Comics’Space Mountain:
BQM: In the future, two students (Tommy and Stella) travel to Space Mountain--a deep space institution dedicated to using a black hole to travel through time to learn about the past. Things go wonderfully awry and they find themselves taken on an adventure across time and space with a daring space ace (Captain Cole) and his robot sidekick (A.R.T.I.E.) as they try to save all of existence from a shadowy foe from beyond time.
Kelley, how did you approach the art?
KJ: A lot of the fun was combining the designs from Disney’s Imagineers with my own. The Imagineering designs are classic, and fit very easily into what I was trying to achieve in the finished art. I love classic science fiction films and wanted to capture that spirit of adventure in this book.
For you both, what's the appeal to working on a book based on a Disney attraction? And who is this book for?
KJ: One of the big attractions was to be able to work with something as iconic as Disney. Space Mountain is as much of a part of Americana as Batman was for me. When working on this comic, it was very cool to work where such Disney greats such as Ollie Johnston, Ward Kimball, and Eyvind Earle worked.
And this book is really for me, which means that it’s for anyone from grade school on up. I read comics at that age, and still enjoy those same comics to this day. I wanted to do a book that kids and adults could equally enjoy. It's troubling that I don't see kids enjoying comics the way they did not too long ago, so this was an opportunity to do something fun and worthwhile.
BQM: The attraction of this specific attraction is that it brings together elements from all of Tomorrowland into one narrative--none of which had narratives of their own. It’s a whole section of the parks dedicated to imagination and potential and the future. Space Mountain and all the surrounding rides and attractions really lend themselves to being a clean slate for storytelling in the very best way.
The book, just like the ride, is for anyone over 48 inches! It’s for any reader of any age who enjoys adventure, friendship, and derring-do.
Do you guys have a favorite character or scene?
KJ: I love Queen Paradox. I think she is a great, scary character, and seems to take over the page whenever I draw her! But that’s her nature, right? I also love A.R.T.I.E., who is a flying saucer robot is as cool as they come. A.R.T.I.E. is always a little out of step, and that’s good characterization for a character without a face. And without giving anything away, my favorite scene is a terrific escape sequence that builds into a strategy at the same time. It was great stuff to draw!
BQM: I do have a favorite scene, but to talk about why it’s my favorite would spoil the fun. It’s Tommy and Stella trying to rescue a friend late in the book, and the lengths they go to. It wasn’t in the outline, and was a spur of the moment scene while I was writing. A wonderful surprise that Kelley nailed on art!