Interview with Pathfinder Comic writer Jim Zubkavich

Hello Jim!  Thank you for contacting us (and Erik Mona for the referral).  We’re honored to have you join us for an exclusive interview about the new Paizo Pathfinder Comic!

 

Please tell us a little about yourself and how you got started in comics.

My background is in art and animation. After working at a couple traditional (hand drawn) animation studios I could see the writing on the wall as freelance work became harder and harder to track down. That summer, killing time before I went back to school to learn computer animation, my friend Omar Dogan (artist on Street Fighter and Robotech comics) recommended me for a summer job working at the UDON studio on some freelance illustration projects. I never did end up going back to school for 3D animation and now, 9 years later, I can confidently say it’s been the longest and best “summer” job of my life as I continue to work in comics, illustration and design.

 

What are your all-time favorite comics?

Growing up I was a big Marvel fan, focused heavily on Spider-Man, Dr. Strange and the X-Men. I’d eventually transition into more mature fare with Sandman and the Invisibles, then over to manga including Blade of the Immortal and Appleseed.

 

What comics or graphic novels have you read (and enjoyed) recently?

I’m really enjoying Atomic Robo, Chew, Locke & Key and The Sixth Gun.

 

Please tell us about your relationship with Paizo. How did you get involved in the Pathfinder Comic project?

I’ve known Erik Mona, and I worked together back when he was editor-in-chief on both Dragon and Dungeon magazine. I was a Project Manager at UDON, helping schedule artists to create artwork they needed month-to-month. As Paizo was forced to move away from Dungeons & Dragons and they decided to strike out on their own with Pathfinder, I kept close track of their progress and was really impressed with how they transitioned their loyal fan base to the new title, keeping the aspects that people loved while evolving the game system and world forward.

Erik and I have stayed in touch and, when the Pathfinder comic became a reality, he asked if I’d like to throw my hat in the ring and pitch on writing the series. I put together a proposal that I thought would engage both fans of the game along with new readers and, thankfully, Dynamite and Paizo signed on.

 

Are you an RPGamer yourself?

I’ve been a diehard tabletop/board gamer since I was 8 years old playing D&D with my older brother and cousins. From elementary school all the way through college I gamed like crazy, going through phases of TSR, Palladium, Steve Jackson, White Wolf, Chaosium and FASA games. If you name an RPG, I’ve probably played it and one point or another. I don’t get a chance to play as much now, but I still love the games and keep up on them as best I can.

 

 

What can you tell us about the upcoming comic? The overarching plot or theme? The characters?

Paizo asked me to use four core iconic characters and then I chose two more to give us a solid group of six to work with in this first story arc. The group may grow and change over time, but these six are my focus right now.

Valeros is a mercenary fighter who has disobeyed orders so many times he’s not quite sure how to be loyal to anything or anyone. His courage and temper make him a formidable and dangerous warrior.

Seoni is a mysterious sorcerer whose tattooed body and mystical dreams make those who first meet her wary of her power. Strangers may call her a barbarian based on appearance, but her keen strategic mind gives her a distinctive edge in battle.

Merisiel is an elven rogue whose glib banter and flashing smile lead people to assume that she’s unintelligent and shallow. Her fears and long-lived life drive her in ways few will ever understand.

Ezren is a middle-aged man who came to wizardry quite late in life. The march of time mixed with his desire for knowledge keeps him pushing himself to new limits.

Harsk is a quiet and contemplative dwarven ranger with deeply-sown seeds of vengeance and anger buried under the surface.

Kyra is a battle-hardened cleric of Sarenrae who will stop at nothing to destroy evil, constantly testing her faith and will against those around her.

The goblin clans of Varisia, Pathfinder fan favorite antagonists, are being controlled by a strange evil force that’s motivating and organizing them. The adventurers are drawn in thinking they’re dealing with a regular goblin raiding band, but quickly realize something much larger is at stake. The mystic forces being called upon by the cult at the heart of this dark plan are creating something much more dangerous, a horrifying creature that will threaten the whole region if it’s not stopped.

 

Do you like bananas?

Sure. Good on their own or topping a bowl of cereal.

Sorry, we always ask that question in interviews… ever since Bill Reny ran into Wil Wheaton at PAX and not knowing who he was asked him “Do you like bananas?”  Which threw Wil for a loop.  It actually originated from a NERD TREK reader who wanted us to ask the core staff of Bethesda if there were going to be bananas in Skyrim prior to the release.  Yes, we asked Matt Carofano, and NO there were to be no bananas in Skyrim.

 

Will NERD TREK see you at GEN CON 2012 and PAX Prime 2012 this year?

I’ll be at both Gen Con Indy and PAX Prime, yes.

At Gen Con I’ll be sharing booth space with Tracy Hickman (Dragonlance) and Howard Tayler (Shclock Mercenary), selling copies of Skullkickers, my sarcastic sword & sorcery action series.

At PAX I’ll be at the UDON booth signing Street Fighter comics and sketching video game character commissions.

Folks can keep up with my newest projects on my blog at www.jimzub.com or follow my ramblings on twitter at @jimzub

 

Here’s a link for those of you who need more info on the PATHFINDER comic.

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About Jonathan G. Nelson

Jonathan G. Nelson is the editor-in-chief and owner of NERD TREK. He is also owner/publisher at AAW Games / AdventureAWeek.com, a tabletop gaming company based in Snoqualmie, WA. Connect with Jonathan via Facebook.