Q: How would you explain Hybrid Earth to a first time reader?
RUSTIN: I would explain Hybrid Earth as a fast-paced action comic set in a futuristic sci-fi world where humans have been merged with machines thanks to a new weapon called the nano-bomb (a bomb that combines both nuclear and nano technology). It was accidentally set off, sending irradiated nanobots into the atmosphere. When they came back down, they caused a global event where they merged humans with whatever machine or metal they were touching at the time. The story’s main character is Hybrid Enforcement Officer Xander Hastings and it follows him as he battles the awesome abilities of these newly created Hybrids, even though he’s an ordinary human. It’s a great story with some very entertaining characters.
Q: How did you start working on the Hybrid Earth series with artist Fredrick? How does he help you co-write?
RUSTIN: I have always had a love of science-fiction stories and comics. I love classic sci-fi, but I also love the whole superhero genre. I wanted to create a world where they were both mixed in. The comic first started as a shorty story that I submitted to a literary digest which was later published in their quarterly digest. They initially wanted to turn Hybrid Earth into a comic book themselves, but when Fred wanted to draw for the comic, I turned them down. Creating a comic book with one of my best friend’s was too awesome to pass up. Fred has a great, creative mind and is always coming up with ideas and concepts for Hybrid Earth. It was only natural that he help with the writing too. We bounce ideas off each other and come up with new characters, plot lins, story arc ideas, and more. We definitely have some huge plans for Hybrid Earth.
Q: What inspired you to write this story?
RUSTIN: Actually, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. The idea came after I watched the movie (with my kids, yeah we’ll go with that) and I saw Hermione as a half-human/half-cat hybrid creature. It sparked something and I spent several months after that refining my idea. When I first thought up the story, I was planning on calling the hybrids Polytechs, but opted for Hybrids in the end becaus it was simpler and fit better.
Q: What do you like about working on the Hybrid Earth comic?
RUSTIN: I have to say, the best thing about working on Hybrid Earth is getting to create it with Fred. We’ve been thinking up comic book ideas, stories, and characters, practically since we met and to actually have a real, printed comic out there in the world with our names on it is beyond amazing.
Q: Any hints on what you have in store for the readers in issue #2?
RUSTIN: I may love to read spoilers but I don’t really like to give them out. I try to surprise my readers as much as I can because that’s something I really enjoy in books, TV, and in movies myself. I like the twist endings (the ones I never see coming) the most and would not want to rob my audience of that. But, I will say that there is a lot more action. The pace picks up dramatically from where it left off in Issue 1. We also get to see a brand new Hybrid, who merged with a TV, named Virgil Ivan Drovick. I’m especially proud to showcase this one, because he was actually thought up by my son (who is a big fan of all my books and comic books according to him, even though he can’t read yet…lol).
Q: Who is your favorite character from the Hybrid Earth series?
RUSTIN: Hybrid Earth is so new still that I don’t really favor one character over the other much. Xander is definitely a badass who takes on these powerful people that could literally rip him apart like it’s nothing. I like Link because he is such a versatile little tool and has his own, quirky sense of humor. I would say that, so far, Ira is the most physically impressive Hybrid we’ve met so far. When I first got to see him all sketched out, I was taken aback by how awesome he looked. I definitely have some plans for him in the future. And I am always thinking of new characters, new hybrids, and new plots and arcs.
Q: If you had to pick a character you most identify with, who would it be?
- RUSTIN: I would probably have to go with Xander. The guy never quits. He just keeps going until he accomplishes his goals. He’s a little single-minded that way. I’m a lot like that, or atleast I try to be whenever I can. It’s a great trait to have.
- Q: Are there any hidden meanings or statements you are trying to make with the story?
RUSTIN: Hybrid Earth is mostly about how, even if you’re back’s against a wall and you’re going up against impossible odds, don’t give up. That is a message that carries a lot of weight with me. It’s also about how well humans can adapt to new situations. Even though humanity has been drastically altered in the Hybrid Earth universe, life goes on. The Hybrids survive and some even thrive. They create new sub-cultures and societies. The nano-bomb may have created this new world, but the humans in it are what kept it going. Humans can be amazing.
Q: What is your long term plan for this series?
RUSTIN: I see a long future for Hybrid Earth because there are tons of possibilities with it. I am hoping to see Hybrid Earth hit it big too. I think it’s a great story and one that a lot of people would enjoy. It’s got super-heros/villains, powers, abilities, backstabbing, betrayals, action, and the list goes on and on.
Q: What made you and Fredrick decide to bring your comic series to Scattered Comics?
RUSTIN: Fred actually made the suggestion, but after careful research, I agreed. Scattered Comics breaks their backs to get the word out about their comics and I’m glad to have them on my team. They have some really amazing titles with talented artists and writers. It really was a no-brainer.
Q: Are there any titles in the Scattered collective that you might want to take a stab at writing?
RUSTIN: I definitely want a crack at Shadow Hunters. That kind of world is right up my alley. I’ve always loved stories about witches, vamps, and werewolves. It would be really cool to write for it too. Blinth is another one that I would love to write for. The story is really interesting and I love the artwork.
Q: Any last words, comment, worries, shout outs, sage advice?
RUSTIN: I would like to direct everyone to Like our page at: facebook.com/xanderandthehybrids. We have exclusive content, a free Hybrid Earth web-series, information, and occasionally contests too. I would also like to tell everyone a bit about my novels. I currently have the Histories of Purga series with Book One: Dragon and Book Two: Roc currently available for purchase at Amazon.com, Smashwords.com, iTunes, Barnesandnoble.com, and more. It’s a scienc-fiction/fantasy epic adventure about two warring races, the Rooks and the Terraqouis. But when a bigger threat invades, can they set their differences aside? The second series is the Bane Pack novels with Blood Ties: The First currently available for purchase, also at Amazon.com, Smashwords.com, iTunes, Barnesandnoble.com, and more. This series is a supernatural thriller featuring werewolves, knights, mages, and monsters. It follows a woman named Kendra as she learns her families’ secrets and comes to grips with what she is. I am currently working on Blood Ties: The Second but a release date has not been set yet. You can stay tuned by following me on Twitter and Instagram! @RustinPetraeAGD (Twitter) @rustinpetraeagd (Instagram) You can also check out my website at rustin-petrae.webs.com for freebies, info, and my blog!
Be sure to watch for “HYBRID EARTH#2″ due out in September 2014.