Written By Neymar Jr Comics on Oct 09, 2019, Posted in Neymar Jr. Comics
In the latest series from Neymar Jr. Comics, “Red Card,” our hero Junior enters a post-apocalyptic world that begins after a mission into space goes horribly wrong, with alien spores released into the atmosphere.
After the majority of humans transform into zombie-like creatures, it’s up to Junior to liberate a camp of survivors, calling on his football skills to win barbaric matches for survival.
For a further look into the world of “Red Card,” we sat down for an interview with writer Jason M. Burns.
Question: First off, we’d like to ask you about any inspirations you might’ve had from the world of post-apocalyptic horror, whether those are from film, TV, novels, etc.?
Jason M. Burns: I’ve been a fan of the horror genre since I was a kid. Even in grade school, my walls were plastered with posters of Freddy Krueger, The Crypt Keeper and covers from my favorite magazine at the time, Fangoria. (That’s right, I’m old and grew up on PRINT magazines!)
As a sub-genre, the post-apocalyptic world always appealed to me. I saw the television adaptation of Stephen King’s “The Stand” way back in 1994 and was hooked from there. So, I think there’s definitely some apocalyptic influences ingrained in me that have squirmed their way out of the ruins of humanity when writing this one.
Q: With regards to inspiration, how do you think our current universal anxieties play into “Red Card?” Was that something you tried to tap into?
Burns: I don’t think so, at least not surface level, but, I’m a pretty anxious person in general, so my own grappling with the world is probably explored on some Freudian sub-floor of my conscious self.
Q: We’ve talked about inspiration, but how do you think “Red Card” differentiates itself from what we’ve come to expect from the genre?
Burns: Well, a lot of post-apocalyptic films and books start with civilization crumbling and show you how no one really knows how to deal with any of it. I always love that stuff, but then the genre, in my opinion, always starts to feel a bit of the same when they move onto the post part of the post-apocalypse.
With “Red Card,” we jump right in after everything is already in shambles and we meet our characters in the midst of their new-world survival. Aside from a few flashbacks, we don’t actually see the poop hit the fan, only what’s left of the fan after, and for our characters, it’s not a pretty sight.
Not only do they have to deal with Shuttle Dusters — these monstrous insect-like creatures who were once their friends and loved ones — but also the poopiest (see the previously-mentioned fan) parts of humanity. So, in a lot of ways, this becomes less about a story of survival and more of a character journey about who we want to be as people when our backs are up against the wall.
Q: What Neymar Jr. qualities best served as inspiration for the actions and decisions of Junior within the “Red Card” universe?
Burns: Dropping a character based on Neymar Jr.’s likeness into a world that involves an epic game of do-or-literally-die soccer, ... it’s a gift. It helps to suspend disbelief. Yes, we’re in a crazy fictionalized world, but the protagonist who is great at soccer and can do amazing things on the pitch gives it a layer of truth when the reader sees that person as Neymar Jr.
Q: What was the most exciting part about beginning this series? What are you most proud of and excited for others to encounter?
Burns: Getting to work on any ongoing series is exciting because the narrative isn’t limited in size or scope. As I was planning out the first story arc, I realized I didn’t need to cram everything into a set page count, and instead, could have an ending that was really just part of the beginning. That, to me, is really exciting because the characters you’re creating can grow as time goes on, much like a television series.
Q: Things have taken a darker turn in “Red Card” — there are some pretty epic panels with children turning into dusters and attacking their parents and all the other joys of the apocalypse. Could you talk about the creative direction you took in establishing this desolate land and crafting the appropriate tone for it all?
Burns: I think we wanted to go with two things. A realistic look, which again, would help to suspend disbelief in our over-the-top world, and the second was to create a monster that was forever evolving. The Shuttle Dusters, which are introduced in the first “Red Card” series, go through a couple of mutations throughout the course of the story arc, and what we liked about that was that it always forces the survivors of this world to stay on their toes.
There’s only so much they can do to prepare for the enemy because the next time that they see the enemy, the Shuttle Dusters could be completely different and far more deadly. That makes the future almost as terrifying as the past that they all survived through.
Q: Everyone has their own zombie survival plan, right? What’s yours?
Burns: If I were to tell you, and you were to become a zombie — and in reality zombies retained some kind of level of intelligence and POSSIBLY, had really great memories — then you would not only know my plan, but, know how to counter it. So, with all due post-apocalyptic respect, I can’t take that risk!
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