Ask Shiga: Deleted Scenes, Dualism and Demon's Final Page Count
by Jason Shiga | 2015-03-17 19:04:40
Q: Are there any interesting ‘cutting room floor’ ideas you can share with us about Demon? Characters who would have been in the comic already, but didn’t make the cut?
A: Chapter 11 was originally about 25% longer. Most of it featured Hunter and his lab tech demonstrating the one way to kill a demon. Of course this entailed about 8 extra pages of rats being smushed and running around mazes. Real exciting stuff, right? Personally, my favorite part of any hard sci-fi story is when they take a break from the narrative and explain how some engine works for 15 pages. But for Demon, I realize chapter 11 had too much exposition as it was and readers probably want to get to get on with the story already.
Q: Do you have any thoughts on dualism and monism? I think that’s an interesting subtext to Demon, especially in light of recent pages – applying an analytic approach to dualism’s psuedo-supernatural ‘soul,’ and I’ve been really fascinated with how pervasive the idea of an external ethereal self is to even non-religious pop culture writing (the so-called ‘hard problem of consciousness,’ which generally strikes me as the last vestige of spirituality in this age of reason, but is used to great results in Demon).
A: This is a tough one for me. The thought of some array of matter arranged in such a way as to produce consciousness, free will or much less the memory of how my Kindergarten class smelled seems really silly. But it’s hard to imagine any alternate explanation being satisfying either. I’ve seen folks trying to tie it together using quantum mechanics or Godel’s theorem but that seems kinda silly too. If you talked to an actual neurologist it’s not like quantum electro dynamics plays an integral part in how neurons function. It doesn’t seem like humanity has made any progress on this one in the past couple thousand years so it’s tempting to just throw up my hands and say, one of life’s mysteries. But that strikes me as anti-intellectual and rubs me the wrong way too.
All that said, I thought the idea of a “flastical” would be a funny way to combine both viewpoints although I wouldn’t take it too seriously as a philosophical proposition.
Q: By the percentage bar on the comic, do you already have a layout/storyboard of how many pages is it going to be or how is that determined?
A: At this point, I’ve penciled out the entire story and am inking, coloring and printing as I go along. My aim was originally 673 pages so that it would be one page longer than Habibi. But every time I ink a chapter I keep thinking of ways to add more pages. At the current rate I’m slipping in content, the story will end up totaling about 750 pages by the end!
August 30-31, 2014
SF Zine Fest | San Francisco, CA
August 9, 2014
Dr. Comics and Mr. Games | Oakland, CA
The kind folks at Dr. Comics and Mr. Games in Oakland will be hosting my first and only in store signing for Demon. If you want your own personalized copy, now’s your chance! Or just stop by and ask me any question about the series or life in general. Contact the store for more details.
October 4-5, 2014
Alternative Press Expo | San Francisco, CA
If you’re in the Bay Area, please feel free to come by and say hello to me at the Alternative Press Expo. I don’t have too many details yet. But I will be tabling, signing books and giving out comics to whomever can solve my impossible brainteasers. See you there!