FORGET THE ZOMBIE APOCOLYPSE
THE DRAGON APOCOLYPSE ARRIVES THIS JUNE!
An interview with Ralf Singh, the creator of ZINNOBER
SCOUT COMICS: For comic readers who might be considering picking up the book, what can you tell us about the concept of Zinnober?
RALF SINGH: ZINNOBER is set after a dragon apocalypse in a world parallel to ours. The survivors have accepted the dragons’ dominion over the planet. However, they do it in very different ways. While most people try to stay in the few safe zones to rebuild civiliZation, there are those who try to stay as close to the dragons as possible to worship them as their gods.
The story of ZINNOBER follows Claire, whose entire family was killed by the dragons. This is the reason for the intense hatred for them that drives her. Still, she, as well as the whole of humanity, has accepted that the dragons cannot be defeated –until one day she meets Andrew.
Andrew has some wild theories about how the dragons can be defeated, so Claire follows him on a path that is quite dangerous for her and those close to her. ZINNOBER explores how far is Claire willing to go to revenge the death of her family?
SCOUT COMICS: Blending our world with fantasy and dragons in a post-apocalyptic landscape seems as though it will open up many storytelling opportunities. How long have you had the idea for Zinnober?
RALF SINGH: Well, apart from having dragons in the comic I try to stay away from fantasy stuff as far as I can. I don’t want magic to be the solution for about every problem there is. The people in ZINNOBER could be people from our own world.
Starting probably five years ago my first draft of ZINNOBER was more of a mix of Orwell’s 1984 and Blade Runner. It was more like a dystopian science fiction comic. But then I realized that the questions and themes I wanted to explore would be even more fitting for a world similar to our own. So, I totally dropped that dystopian sci fi idea and started from scratch.
SCOUT COMICS: Following up on that, why did you choose to include dragons in your tale of a post-apocalyptic world? What was it about incorporating those creatures that clicked with you?
RALF SINGH: First of all, it was an artist’s decision. I wanted to draw something that I’d never done before. And while dragons grew to be an increasingly integral part of the story it could also work with zombies or giants.
The reason why I chose to use dragons instead is because of their destructive and majestic nature. Dragons surely are among the most impressive creatures in fiction. And then, one day I saw a picture of a tiger underwater. I was instantly fascinated by how beautiful tigers are when they seem to be flying. Also, the mix of the beauty and savage power of dragons is what totally fits with my idea of nature taking back the earth from us humans, which is a thing I try to drop on the pages of ZINNOBER once in a while.
SCOUT COMICS: The title ZINNOBER refers to the color of blood and something that is worthless. Thematically, how do those ideas fit into war and the post-apocalyptic world of the series?
RALF SINGH: It kind of goes back to the idea how our modern world treats human life. I mean, we always say human life is a top priority, but that often changes very quickly when it comes to personal, political or financial conflicts. Claire kind of reflects that. While she is a good person, her desire to fight the dragons puts many people in great danger. I want to show how far that can go and in the end I want the reader to decide if this was the right thing to do or not.
SCOUT COMICS: What can you tell us about the main character of ZINNOBER and her motivations in moving through the world of the story?
RALF SINGH: Claire is driven by revenge. She has this tattoo that reminds her of her mother, who died in the first dragon attacks. And there is also her foster father, James, who found her as a child and raised her as one of his own.
On the one hand, James gave her the skill to survive in this new world, but he also gave her love. They have a very strong bond and in many ways, James is the only person Claire really cares for in the whole world.
On the other hand, he is a broken veteran of the war against dragons. He has done terrible things. And not just against the dragons. Finding and raising Claire did not just save her, it also saved him.
SCOUT COMICS: The conceit of ZINNOBER centers on a post-apocalyptic world filled with dragons. What are some fantasy or apocalyptic tales that have influenced you as you approach Zinnober?
RALF SINGH: So, one thing that influence ZINNOBER is the TV show The Last Ship. It’s not that obvious in the first issues, but in the second arc (beginning with issue #4) you’ll start to see a lot of battleships. Another TV show that inspired ZINNOBER is Fallings Skies. It’s about human survivors fighting against the undefeatable new alien rulers of the world.
SCOUT COMICS: Is there else anything you’d like to tease about what we can expect from the title?
RALF SINGH: Well, I can promise a lot action with even more action to come in future issues. And of course, there’ll be even more and even bigger dragons, obviously.
The Diamond order code for Cover A by Ralf Singh is APR181740 and for Cover B by Nic Klein is APR181741. The Diamond order code for issue 2 is MAY181971. ZINNOBER by Ralf Singh, Thorsten Brochhaus, Cristian Docolomansky, Ilaria Fella, and Taylor Esposito is published monthly by Scout Comics.
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