Jump!: An Interview With Patrick Mulholland

Patrick Mulholland has new limited series being released bi-monthly by Alterna Comics. I ask him how the book came about and what readers should expect from the series.
How did this project come about?
The project basically started with me going to the Thought Bubble festival in 2016. I entered the comic art competition where you submit a single page story. So I took that as a chance to create my own character for the first time. I was finishing another project a few months later and when that was done I decided to expand that one page story into 5 or 6 pages. Once that was done I was thinking what a whole issue would be and then what 3 or 4 issues could be. So it sort of went from one page to four issues over time. I named it  Zero Jumper and submitted it Alterna Comics through their submission page on their website and it went pretty quick from there.
How would you describe the book to people who haven’t picked it up?
I would describe it as an action adventure series. It is set out in space and on other planets but it’s not a hard sci-fi story. It’s more science fantasy really.
What the inspiration behind creating this kind of book?
I think the main inspirations are Samurai Jack and Avatar The Last Airbender. I like the model of having characters going on a journey with an ultimate goal but you can tell interesting side stories along the way. I tried to put a little of that into Zero Jumper. With 4 issues its hard to do that since you sort of need to ramp up to the end pretty quickly. And I love stories about time travel or having the day repeat like Groundhog Day.
You are both writer and artist on this book, do you work from a full script?
I don’t have a script at all really. I have a story outline written down that I submitted to Alterna. But since this is the first time I’m really writing something I needed to be able to change the moment to moment story as I went, since with more time I had better ideas for what to do. From the beginning I knew the first and last page of each issue, but I would change how we get there if I had a better idea. I have a giant list of notes on my phone but other than that no script. For dialogue I’ll draw each panel knowing a character is going to say this or that but I decide on the specifics when I come to lettering the pages. This might be the worst way to do it, but I’m just revising the story as it goes but keeping the destination the same. For instance Juno’s little robot friend iO (that’s a reference to the moon of Jupiter, not an Apple product incase anyone was wondering) he was only there so I could have someone for Juno to talk to, so that the reader would know more about her. But as I went on iO has a pretty important role in the story.
After reading issue one, I’d happily give it to a younger reader to read. Did you have that in mind when you were creating the book?
I didn’t do that purposefully from the beginning but it sort of turned out that way. It didn’t feel like a gritty adult story so I didn’t want to put in graphic violence etc.
There is a place for that, but it never came up as I was going through the story.
What can we expect in upcoming issues?
Issue 01 sort of hits the ground running without a lot of set up initially. So in the next issues there will be more characters introduced and more info on how Juno ended up where she is. And what happened to the Earth, and who are the bad guys, what are the crystals, whats up with Juno’s robot arm etc etc etc. So I hope people will read it and enjoy it!
Zero Jumper Issue One hit stores on April 4th. Patrick Mulholland’s art can also be seen in the 2018 Power Ranger Annual which is out April 25th.