Hello. Our names are Chris Miskiewicz & Palle Schmidt, and we’re the creative team behind Thomas Alsop published through BOOM! Studios.
A bit about ourselves: Chris Miskiewicz is a writer, actor and comic book creator living in Brooklyn, New York. And Palle Schmidt is a writer and artist based in Copenhagen, Denmark. He blogs at palleschmidt.com and teaches comics at comicsforbeginners.com.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with our book, Thomas Alsop is the current Hand of the Island, a modern mage and supernatural protector of Manhattan. Thomas comes from a long line of Hand’s stemming back to 1699 when Richard Alsop was cursed by an Indian Priest, imbuing him with supernatural powers, and locking him in service to the spirit of the island. Since then, the power jumps from Alsop to Alsop throughout the various eras until the present when we meet media sensation Thomas Alsop, host of the popular reality ghost hunter show, “Thomas Alsop – Supernatural Detective.”
In “The 3000” we find that both Richard & Thomas are working the same case 300 hundred years apart involving a cursed slave ship named The London Rose, which was scuttled in downtown Manhattan on the site that would one day become The World Trade Center. Thomas soon uncovers that the souls of the people who died there on 9/11 are still trapped due to several conflicting situations that have happened throughout Manhattan’s long history.
Thomas then goes on national television to announce his findings and his intention to free the trapped souls by conducting a televised mass exorcism at Ground Zero on the 10-year anniversary ceremony for 9/11.
We’ll be talking about the opening scene to Thomas Alsop #8, which is the conclusion to “The 3000” storyline where a lot of plotlines are tied up for our hero, and we leave our fans with the biggest question of the series dangling at the end.
Chris: The first page opens with an image of September 11th, 2001. The entire story has been moving to this moment since the reveal at the last page of issue #2. I originally intended to open with a black page and the voice over captions, nothing more. However, I think going for such an iconic image really cements where we are in the story.
The second image takes us a decade later to the 10-year memorial service for 9/11, which Thomas has promised to attend, despite the threat of being arrested. I took our Mayor’s dialogue directly from what Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in his opening paragraph at the 10-year memorial service.
Palle: Looking for reference pictures for this issue was actually the first time I ever saw footage from 9/11. I’ve seen a few pictures, of course, but always avoided digging deeper. It was heartbreaking and deeply disturbing to look at these images, even so many years later.
Chris: This double-page spread is one of my favorite moments in the entire series. This was the first time we used a double-page spread, always with the idea of how many “payoffs” would be coming in this issue for our readers. It was something I intentionally held off.
As far as what’s going on here, Thomas sums up everything he’s doing, why he’s doing it, and how he’s pretty much “conning” the entire world through mass media to give him the fuel he’ll need to make his exorcism spell work. I was pleased how the dichotomy of what he’s saying and what he’s really thinking turned out. Also, we finally debuted his awesome “I-Am-a-Reality-TV-Star-Magician-Celebrity Flame Coat”! 🙂 I love the Flame Coat. I want a Flame Coat…
Palle: The double-page spread is hardly ever used in European comics and I think this is only my second attempt at it. It’s such an iconic thing for US comics and was fun to do. I had this image in my mind for maybe two years since I read the script. It was great to finally do it! And every artist loves to draw crowd scenes, right?
Chris: This page turned out really well. It’s a good television sequence where we see the cast for the last time before the season ends. The TV crew is in the thick of it, and everyone else gets a good beat before Thomas jumps. Also, I love that Emma Caldwell, our British witch, somehow managed to find a bar that would serve her at 9 a.m.
Palle: The bar is Lucy’s, a real location we also used in issues #4 and #5. Chris took me on a tour of a lot of these places one time when I was in New York. We snapped a bunch of pics for reference but you only ever end up using one or two key images and make up the rest anyway.
Chris: Of course, the plan goes bust. But I enjoyed the spirit of Thomas and how he goes forward, knowing it wouldn’t completely work. And yet, as you turn the page, there’s the con man completely trying to convince himself and Team Alsop that the plan is foolproof. I just love the back and forth honesty that’s the core of his character.
Palle: I did a lot of research of the WTC site, looking online and trying to understand how the whole thing worked. Part of the area was already built and was used for the ceremony but apparently there was still a lot of construction going on. But again, hardly any of my research ended up on the page; I had to sort of understand it before I could make it up, if that makes sense.
Chris: The gathering of Team Alsop! This quick flashback sequence is our Buffy the Vampire Slayer library moment, when everyone who’s been separately helping Thomas through this ends up banding together exactly like you secretly hoped would happen all along.
I loved how Kal’s “actor” arc comes full circle here, just as much as how you see each character shine. And of course, Thomas’ thank you and goodbye in the last panel are as much a goodbye to his gang as it is to the reader.
Palle: I’ve never watched Buffy, so I can’t really say that was a reference for me, ha ha! I gave Thomas a bandage on his nose because he got beat up pretty badly in the last issue. Maybe I should have let him wear it the entire issue but I figured he’d be too vain to go on TV with that thing.
Chris: I feel like we wrapped this volume up nicely, while also breaking everyone’s hearts at the end of the issue. It’s a good ending that adds to the already vast history of the Alsop Family that we’ve only begun to tell.
I’m pretty excited for the first Thomas Alsop trade coming out on May 27th collecting the first four issues. I think fans are going to devour it when it’s all bound together and they can read “The 3000” as one concise story.
Palle: With the first of the trades coming out, my hope is that people who maybe missed the monthly books will have a chance to jump on. I have a feeling that after reading the first two issues, you can’t not read the rest. Go ahead and prove me wrong!