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Finger Guns #1
Story by Justin Richards
Art by Val Halvorson
Two troubled teenagers discover they can manipulate emotions by firing finger guns. There will be laughs. There will be tears. There will be uncomfortable teen feelings and angst.
Oh yeah… and chaos.
So much chaos.
Diamond Code: DEC191972
FOC due February 3rd, 2020
In stores on February 26th, 2020
Why It’s Cool:
“Finger Guns is one of those stories that starts out with such a simple premise: what if you had the power to alter people’s moods by just shooting your finger at them? It’s a simple and iconic gesture that pretty much everyone, everywhere understands. The heart of the book though are the kids we meet who have these strange powers, Sadie and Wes. As the first issue goes on and we get to learn more about these two as people, and a little more about the powers they have, the book grows in its emotional depth and complexity. Just as the concept of “finger guns” is universal, so are the feelings and situations these kids are experiencing. We can all relate to feeling sad or lonely sometimes, of being thirteen and trying to grapple with the tough realities of the world, but then imagine throwing super powers into the mix! That’s Finger Guns.”
Q&A with Justin Richards & Val Halvorson:
Tell us a little bit about Finger Guns. How did everything come together?
Justin Richards – This project was something I dreamed up (literally) about 3 years ago. It took a lot of patience and help along the way, but it finally came together into something I’m really happy to share with the world. It’s about knowing that you’re not alone when you think you are and learning to accept help when you need it. As far as how it came together: a lot of hard work from many people and some luck to be honest. I met the Vault team when they started out 3 years ago and made friends with them through reviewing their amazing books with my friends. Eventually I was able to pitch Finger Guns to Tim Daniel and Adrian Wassel and luckily they saw what I see in this book and wanted to help me bring it to life. Val (and our entire team for that matter) were all easy choices that we could just tell were going to be perfect and it’s been nothing but magic with all of them! I’m very proud of the work they’ve done on this story and it couldn’t be in a better place than at home with Vault.
Val Halvorson – Justin and I have worked together before, on a project called A Silent Night, where I colored the short. Later, he came to me asking if I would like to come on board to Finger Guns, and of course I said yes! I love getting to draw complex emotional beats, and this has them in spades.
What are you reading/watching/listening to as inspiration for this work?
JR – I’ve listened to a LOT of different music while writing this. The best has been digging into the artists that Val and I decided our characters would listen to when we made a playlist for Wes. If I feel like I’m listening to what the kids are blasting in their living rooms or headphones then it just feels like I can step in their shoes better and really walk WITH them through this journey we’ve put them on. As for what to watch along side this book, I’ve started relating to Bojack Horseman quite a bit, the more I write these sad kids. My biggest well of inspiration to tap into though has just been my own experiences from when I was their age. I think of both Wes and Sadie as extensions of myself and the kids I grew up with, so they’re based a lot on me and my childhood.
VH – Justin and I made a playlist of songs that our characters would listen to and I’ve been putting on those artists while I work. Music plays an important role in the story and it’s a great way to get into the zone.
When you started this project who did you have in mind as an audience for this, and did it change by the time you finished?
JR – When it started I thought this might be an all ages book. As it’s gone on it definitely took some darker turns that make harder to put in kids’ hands, so I thought of it as a book for me and my age group to reflect upon. However, it’s been morphing again lately as I think about it more and more. I really think some older kids (15+ at least) could really benefit from this book. If one teen out there were to read this book and be able to relate to it and realize they’re not alone; that I was exactly the same at their age and made it out okay, then I will consider this book a smashing success.
VH – When I started Finger Guns, I saw it as more of a story for adults looking back at their own teenage years. Now, I’d say that teens themselves could pick up the book. It has some heavier subject matter, but I think people don’t give teens enough credit for what they can and can’t handle.
Of course, this is coming from someone who read things like Preacher and Watchmen in class when they were 14 so maybe take that with a grain of salt 😉
Can you give us an idea of what readers can look forward to in this series, maybe a little down the line?
JR – Readers can look forward to a lot of emotional swings. There will be lots of laughs, good tunes and friendship, but also tests on that friendship and plenty of tears to accompany it all. I apologize in advance if your tissue costs go up during your read-through of our story.
VH – Readers can look forward to lots of high stakes emotional drama, more powers, and kids just being kids.
What’s great in comics right now that you’re currently reading?
JR – There’s always great things in comics!! I love indie books to my core so that’s most of my regular rotation, but I’ve been loving Stjepan Sejic’s Harleen lately. Donny Cates and Tradd Moore’s Silver Surfer Black is the best thing Marvel has put out in years in my opinion. Daniel Warren Johnson’s Murder Falcon was one of my favorite books in a long time (I even got a tattoo of the title character). Last but not least, I’d love to shout out my good friend Michael Moreci, who is just putting out showstoppers left and right with The Plot (also by Tim Daniel with Joshua Hixon on art) and Wasted Space (Hayden Sherman on art), among other fantastic titles like Mall and his work on Star Wars books.
VH – Right now I’ve been reading Die, I love the painterly style and Kieron Gillen is always great.
What are your goals as a storyteller?
JR – What an excellent question! I honestly hope to become what I call a reader’s writer. I hope that my stories always bring a charm with them. I like books that make me think or question anything and everything. I hope that people come to expect odd, but fun things from my stories and concepts.
What other projects do you have?
VH – What an excellent question! I honestly hope to become what I call a reader’s writer. I hope that my stories always bring a charm with them. I like books that make me think or question anything and everything. I hope that people come to expect odd, but fun things from my stories and concepts.