Q&A: “ROCHE LIMIT” writer Michael MoreciMovies/TV,News Svetlana Fedotov
Since FANGORIA last talked to Michael Moreci, he has not only been non-stop creating, but has been making history after recently hooking up with Heavy Metal magazine. While perhaps not as well-known as some of his other horror contemporaries, if his work is any indication, he’s not far from being a recognizable name. From the deep space exploration of ROCHE LIMIT to the horrors of monsters and war that is BURNING FIELDS, he has been unafraid to push the boundaries of comics, refusing to be limited to one genre while shoving together as many as he can. After a year and a half, Moreci has once again sat down with FANGORIA and dished on his latest works.
FANGORIA: It’s been announced that HOAX HUNTERS will be moving from Image Comics to Heavy Metal magazine. What’s the story behind that?
MICHAEL MORECI: It was sort of a weird, natural transition because the guy who bought Heavy Metal earlier last year also owns the film option for HOAX HUNTERS and he wanted to bring everything under one roof. So we made the transition from Image Comics to Heavy Metal. Heavy Metal is going to do the comic, the movie, t-shirts; one big HOAX HUNTERS thing.
FANGORIA: This is going to be an actual comic book, not a segment in the magazine, correct?
MORECI: Yeah! You know, when I was first brought in, I thought “They’ve done this before right? They’ve put out single issues before?” and they haven’t. HOAX HUNTERS was the very first one; it’s the first time they had ever done a single issue, so I was a bit freaked out by that. I grew up reading Heavy Metal so it’s awesome.
FANGORIA: Is this going to be a whole running series or just mini-series?
MORECI: This will be a whole running series. We actually already have four, full done issues already. It’ll be the same thing that Image does. Maybe take a month off, leave the trade, and come back after that.
FANGORIA: Your current work, ROCHE LIMIT, focuses more on sci-fi than horror. Why the transition?
MORECI: I grew up on both; I grew up on genre fiction. I love sci-fi and [Ray] Bradbury, Phillip K. Dick and that’s always been an important part of my life. One of my favorite movies is BLADE RUNNER and ROCHE LIMIT is very BLADE RUNNER.
When it came down to the idea, the initial idea was started by Steve Seeley. He talked about this idea of a colony on the edge of a black hole and the ROCHE LIMIT science and I thought it was super rad. I couldn’t get it out of my mind and I kept developing it. Eventually I asked him if I could run with it and he said sure which is why he’s a credited co-creator on the book. I started to build off of that. I added aliens and some elements of horror mixed with sci-fi and noir into one weird mix.
FANGORIA: Why did you choose to have the story arcs separated? There are no connecting characters despite existing in the same universe.
MORECI: Glutton for punishment, I guess? It was definitely a creative decision. I wanted to tell a very specific story that will tie into unified story. I think once it’s done, it’ll be a lot clearer but it’s becoming clear after volume one is all wrapped up. It’s a little bit of a heady book but it’ll continue in the second volume and wrap up in the third in terms of what it is the book is trying to say.
Also, it’s a cool opportunity to do something unique. We’re doing three distinct volumes tied together not by character, but by place and theme. It’s a bit of an experiment to do something different and new and it’s exciting for me to try to figure that out.
FANGORIA: Your other work, BURNING FIELDS, is billed as military horror. When writing, were you going for a balance of the two genres or were you planning to have one overpower the other?
MORECI: Definitely a balance of the two. I think what really drives the comic is my disgust at private militaries at how they operate and what they are there for. But I also wanted to balance that out with actual horror tropes and horror themes that really amplified everything. It’s like THE THING. The close quarters, the mystery, it’s pretty scary but when it starts making that turn at the end of the second act, you really get what’s happening and then it becomes this big, scary horror thing. I wanted that balance. We’re talking about these important, global geo-political issues such as war, what’s happening in Iraq, and private militaries but also big monsters.
FANGORIA: Is it hard to balance the traumas of war and still work in a horror mythos?
MORECI: There is a lot of things in that book I had to be really careful about. I wanted it to be very true to Iraqi culture, I wanted to show what war is, what it means and what it does, at least from my perspective. I went and did a lot of research and brought a friend in who is very big on political activism. He’s a pacifist and had been to Iraq a number of times, so I got his perspective.
I really wanted it to be authentic even if it’s a horror book. The monster is scary but what it represents is even scarier. I think it helps show that authentic side of military and war and doing it well and doing it right was hard.
FANGORIA: Was there a particular mythology you were working from when creating the monster?
MORECI: It’s very specific Mesopotamian mythology that I’m basing the monster off. It was a lot of fun to do that, they have some great mythology. Their mythology is close to ours and its pretty rad, the monsters were awesome.
FANGORIA: Any upcoming work you can tell us about?
MORECI: Well, the new ROCHE book comes out in May and I have a Black Mask Studios book called TRANSFERENCE which is kind of a sci-fi/spy book. I’m doing the book with an artist named Ron Salas who I think is immensely talented. It’s going to be a fun book.