Questions for Anthony Volpe regarding the F.U.B.A.R. Saga

 

Q: Why did you choose 3797 A.D. as the time when the Teff Comet would hit the Earth?
A: Nostradamus predicted the world would end that year. Sounded as good a year as any.

 

Q: What was your inspiration for Gryphon?
A: Gryphon is based on another character named G-Man, who was created by Mike Elliott in the early 1990's. The name "G-Man" itself was a basketball nickname of some sort. The G-Man character was Elliott's homage to The Flash.

As G-Man "evolved" into Gryphon, he became bigger, much more powerful, and much less goofy, and I created the time-traveler story to give him some seriousness. He lost a lot of his humor, but he gained a lot of mystery and a lot of dimension.

 

Q: Your female characters seem to kick a lot more ass than most females in movies and comic books. Why is that?
A: Part of me sees males and females on equal ground, so it didn't bother me in the least to have assertive female characters instead of helpless waifs tied to a set of train tracks. Part of it stems from seeing video-game females such as Chun-Li who were on equal ground with her male counterparts.

 

Q: Do you hate guys?
A: Not in general. However, men do have a history of keeping women quiet, subservient, and unconfident. Certain characters like Shades, MaryJane and Nemesis were meant to break that mold. As the saga unfolds, even more female characters will arrive that will make men even more nervous than Shades and Nemesis will – namely the Remover.

 

Q: Are any of the characters in F.U.B.A.R. based on you?
A: Devastator, obviously. He's a short, vain, crass, anxiety-stricken, and overzealous dago just like me. Many of the characters in one way or another are extensions of myself as far as personailty… even Pigman. However some characters like Lufus, Jockman, and Rumpeval have nothing to do with me whatsoever and are based on other people I know.

 

Q: How far will you go with your novels as far as sex and violence?
A: I am extremely uncomfortable about writing about graphic sex. You'll know about what happened based on what went on beforehand and afterward, but I don't see myself ever describing any explicit sexual acts in detail in any of my books. Yes, MaryJane is 6'1", bisexual, has a 40DD chest, wears S&M gear, and should appeal to the one-dimensional male T&A-hungry demographic. But don't expect me to write a play-by-play, ten-page-long 69 scene with her and Dena Plumlyn. These novels weren’t meant to appear in Penthouse Letters.

The violence in the book is unavoidable in certain instances. Tycho and Gryphon are two of the most powerful beings who ever existed on Earth. In order to prove that, they needed to kick some ass. I do regret having Gryphon wallop the Shoesburg Rebels like he did in F.U.B.A.R., but sometimes he doesn't know his own strength (besides, they were about to kill Jockman). Regardless, I have a thing for putting some kickass action sequences in my books and comics… I guess that's what happens when you grow up watching the WWF.

Kilroy Was Here will take the subject of college rape and tackle it head on, and out of all five books, this one will end up being the darkest and most jaw-dropping as far as its subject matter. There's absolutely no way to tone down what the main antagonist in this book, The Remover, will do to her victims, and quite frankly, I don't want to.

 

Q: Does Tycho suffer from Evil Overlord Syndrome?
A: I guess. It's hard to sympathise with someone who wants to destroy a planet, regardless of the fact that Althea's father blasted his heart out of his chest.

When I don't have a human being in real life to base a character on, I have to invent him from scratch. Tycho had no basis on any human being or celebrity, and the results ended up cold compared to Judy Kilroy and Pigman. but as The Gryphon Chronicle is re-drafted, Tycho will become more interesting, more motivated, and possibly even more pitiable.

 

Q: Are Devastator and Oblivion the same person?
A: You can find out for yourself onceI get the books out. There's only one person other than me who knows that information and she ain't talking either.

 

Q: Who is the most evil character in the series? Pigman, Judy Kilroy, or Tycho?
A: Tycho. Regardless of him being picked on as a child and nearly shot to death after impregnating Althea, there is absolutely no justification whatsoever for destroying an entire planet and 10 billion people on it. Tycho is a sociopath whose agenda is one that only someone he could believe.

Judy Kilroy comes a very close second only because she's nowhere near as much of a sociopath as Tycho. Murder isn't out of her agenda if it means keeping Duncan University a money-generating enterprise. Revenge isn't out of her agenda either, especially in regards to Shades and Devastator. However, planet-wide genocide isn't conducive to her and the school making a profit.

Pigman is more of a victim than a villain. His attitude toward women is one thing he can certainly be faulted for, but at least he doesn't want to kill them. Think of it… MaryJane called him "Tony" the first time he had sex and he let her live!

The final books in the series will feature a handful of new bad guys (Svetlana Kornychkova and Yamin in particular) that could very well rival Tycho and Judy as far as how evil they are.

 

Q: The 38th century in The Gryphon Chronicle seems way too much like the 20th. Shouldn't technology have progressed a little more?
A: In the events leading up to the 38th century depicted in The Gryphon Chronicle, World War III will have created a nuclear holocaust so devastating that it would take 400 years for humanity to recover. It would take another 500 for the human race to go through another Renaissance to bring it up to speed. After that, a more malevolent society would end up being created whose agenda is more peace driven and less technology-driven and profit-driven.

Authors have been trying to predict the future since they could write. They haven't been 100% correct, and neither will I. According to the movies and cartoons in the 60’s, we're supposed to be in flying cars and going to Jupiter to look for monoliths. Here we are in 2003 and we can’t even feed the homeless much less colonize Mars.

Regardless of the time period the story occurs in and the obvious chronological advances that will take place, it isn't going to make for much of an entertaining story if it can't be placed in the mindset of English-speaking 21st century America. We think, act, and live vastly different than people did in 200 A.D., and the 38th century's people will live, communicate, and think in ways we will not be able to comprehend or imagine in our wildest dreams. To write an "accurate depiction of the 38th century" is impossible; there is nothing to base such “accuracy” on and there will not be until 1,700 years from now.

 

Q: Do you have plans to resurrect the comic book?
A: Not anytime this decade. The books and web comic are all I have time for and there are monetary issues involved. I have no problem doing two 4-frame comic strips a week for free. However for me to turn EACH NOVEL INTO A COMIC would require me to pencil, ink, and color four 32-page installments. I don't have the time, money, means, or dedication to publish these things myself, so I had to decide against it. It's going to be enough of a headache trying to get the books published, and with recent movies such as Hellboy and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen getting such bad press, The F.U.B.A.R. Saga will be a hard-sell, especially as a book.