UPCOMING PRODUCT
EVERYTHING STAN LEE!
INCENTIVES
THIS JUST IN!
COMIC BOOKS
TRADE PAPERBACKS
HARDCOVERS
3D SCULPTURES
CGC GRADED COMICS
LITHOGRAPHS AND POSTERS
TRADING CARDS
PRODUCT ARCHIVE
DF DAILY SPECIAL
CONTEST
The All-New Comicon.com! from comicon.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GREG PAK
SEND THIS TO A FRIEND!

 
 

DF Interview: Greg Pak introduces a world where lies turn folks into monsters in ‘Lawful’

 

By Byron Brewer

 

Magical meets modern in a walled city with strangely familiar architecture, where two small children with a sense of adventure get a grim reminder of reality.…

 

Because every mistake one makes in this world will cause them to transform into a monster, bit by bit, and, in the eyes of society, there's no distinction between the rules and what's right.

 

Imperfection breeds monstrous consequences in Lawful, an urban fantasy adventure with deep social commentary from writer Greg Pak (Mech Cadets, Darth Vader, Planet Hulk) and artist Diego Galindo (Stranger Things: The Voyage). I sat down with my buddy, Greg, to discuss the coming series.

 

Byron Brewer: Greg, your new limited series Lawful seems to be a tale of moral imperfection and literally monstrous ramifications while being, as you have said, “simultaneously one of the most personal and fantastical stories I’ve ever written.” Expound on this a bit, if you would.

 

Greg Pak: The big premise of this world is that any time you break a rule, you turn a little more into a monster. So we’re looking at a society that’s organized itself in reaction to that curse and how that’s affected the lives of two very different young heroes.

 

I’ve called this deeply personal because at the core of this emotional story is the price of moral perfectionism. We’re talking in May, which is both Asian Pacific American History Month and Mental Health Awareness Month, so I guess this is all really timely. At the risk of sharing too much, I’ve absolutely struggled with anxiety in ways that I think are connected to growing up as an Asian American kid in the 1970s and 1980s, cursed with the only semi-conscious belief that I needed to be as perfect as possible in order to ensure my success and safety. Eventually it felt like time to explore that in a story, and the rules of Lawful felt like the most extreme way to explore and challenge those ideas.

 

Byron: Before readers enter the walled city with issue #1, what can you tell us about the canvas you and artist Diego Galindo have built that will be where a true morality play will be going down? And what is meant by the city having “strangely familiar architecture”?

 

Greg Pak: So imagine a chunk of a big city ripped from Earth some time in the 1980s and transported to the wilderness of a magical, alien world and hit with this curse of monstrousness for rule breakers. Our story picks up seventy five years later. So you’ve bits of a city from the 1980s of apartments, municipal buildings, and crumbling skyscrapers along with newer, more rustic shops and stores and homes and medieval style towers. The technology remains at the 1980s level, largely pre-digital, with a return to swords and bows and arrows alongside aging flak jackets and plastic riot shields. I love the whole look and feel of the world -- it’s weird fantasy combined with the deeply familiar, and Diego’s making it sing.

 

Byron: Introduce us to your protagonists, Sung and Eris. I see by Diego’s character designs that this story embraces both their childhoods and later years. And that the reality of this world – where every mistake or misdeed one makes causes them to transform bit by bit into a monster – is far more telling on Eris than on Sung. Who are they and what is their relationship?

 

Greg Pak: Sung is the son of a doctor and the city’s former Champion and has grown up under tremendous pressure to obey every rule to the letter to avoid disgracing and exposing himself and his family. On the surface, that’s worked out pretty well for him -- he’s on the verge of winning a role as a clerk in the Office of the Champion. But he’s about to crack from the impossible, inhumane mandate to be perfect at all times. So he may look pretty normal as our story begins, but we’ll see how long that lasts…

 

Meanwhile, Eris is Sung’s wild childhood friend, a trickster and troublemaker who’s cheerfully accepted a bit of monstrousness in exchange for freedom and fun. But in a city as brutally punitive as this, she may be in for great trouble.

 

Byron: I am breaking form here a little, but I want to emphasize its importance. This is a world where, in the eyes of its society, there is no distinction between “being lawful” and “doing the right thing”. How does this play into this story’s importance to you personally, how is that reflected in Sung and Eris?

 

Greg Pak: That’s the key right there, isn’t it? Because every world is full of shades of gray, and the rules pushed by those in power may or may not actually be just. But this curse doesn’t seem interested in those nuances; it turns you into a monster for breaking the rules, no matter what. So the real story and the real test lies in what characters do when they start to recognize those shade of gray.

 

There’s a political angle to all of this. In an age of rising bigotry and authoritarianism, what does it mean to follow every rule? And on a personal level, we’re grappling with the curse of moral perfectionism, in which people punish themselves brutally for every mistake. But we’re all human, which means we’re all imperfect, so we all make mistakes, by definition. But that could also be an excuse for forgiving yourself for doing terrible things. So the story becomes a way for every character to struggle with all of these questions and challenges as they make their way through this very complicated world.

 

Byron: Back to the apparent punishment for doing what may be perceived as wrong, how does the “monsterization” of this world’s inhabitants occur? Is there a ruling body that achieves this by science or magic, or is it a force all its own?

 

Greg Pak: You’ll have to read the comics to find out, ha ha! But we give some of the answers in the first few pages of the first issue -- and reveal much deeper nuances as the story progresses. Dontcha dare miss it!

 

Byron: Can you give readers any clues as to how our heroes battle against this moral injustice? Is there a foe, a machine, a spell to be conquered?

 

Greg Pak: Much will be revealed! I don’t want to spoil things, but I’m writing on a key issue even as we speak with a huge revelation related to just this.

 

But I’ll also say that a huge part of the story and the battle happens within each character, and between our young heroes. You bet we’ve got big action and genre thrills on the way, but the core of this emotional story lies in the struggles of our characters.

 

Byron: Talk about your amazing collaboration in Lawful with Diego Galindo and what his art brings to the book and you as its scribe.

 

Greg Pak: Diego and I worked together on Stranger Things: Tomb of Ybwen, one of my favorite projects of the last few years, and I’m so happy the stars finally lined up for us to collaborate again. Diego’s got an amazing ability to draw immersive, believable worlds that you can lose yourself in and deeply compelling characters whose very real proportions and body language and rendering make the fantastical elements of the story so much more believable. And Irma Kniivila’s water color style coloring and Simon Bowland’s fantastic lettering take everything to the next level. It’s a dream team, led by our awesome editor Shantel LaRocque, and I’m so thrilled.

 

Byron: Greg, what other projects in which you are involved, inside or outside comics, can you tell readers about?

 

Greg Pak: I’m finally finishing my analog photography how-to book, 35mm Love Letter! I’ve got high hopes of wrapping it up in the next couple of months. If you’ve ever been interested in film photography, you’re gonna want this.

 

And of course I’m writing Lilo & Stitch for Dynamite and Darth Vader for Marvel, which I love and hope you check out!

 

Dynamic Forces would like to thank Greg Pak for taking time out of his busy schedule to answer our questions. Lawful #1 from BOOM! Studios is slated to be on sale June 12!

 




NEW! 1. 06/13/2024 - CHIP ZDARSKY

2. 06/10/2024 - DAN WATTERS

3. 06/06/2024 - KURT BUSIEK & FABIAN NICIEZA

4. 06/03/2024 - CLIFF RATHBURN

5. 05/29/2024 - ZACK KAPLAN

Show All

Latest News
Updated: 06/18/24 @ 3:44 pm

1. VAULT COMICS ANNOUNCES HORROR-COMEDY SERIES 'GOOBERS'

2. CHRIS ROCK, TERRY CREWS, TICHINA ARNOLD REPRISE ROLES IN ‘EVERYBODY STILL HATES CHRIS’ ANIMATED REVIVAL

3. ‘SMILE 2’ TRAILER: NAOMI SCOTT’S POP STAR TERRORIZED BY SMILING FACES

4. WRITER DANIEL WARREN JOHNSON TEAMS WITH ARTIST RILEY ROSSMO FOR 'THE MOON IS FOLLOWING US'

5. ‘STREET FIGHTER’ MOVIE LOSES ‘TALK TO ME’ FILMMAKERS DANNY & MICHAEL PHILIPPOU



DF Interviews
CHIP ZDARSKY



CNI Podcast
EPISODE 1058 - CNI-PIERCER!

Reviews: Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Willow #1, Empyre #0: Avengers, Empyre #0: Fantastic Four, Snowpiercer season finale, The Old Guard film 


Newsletter Sign-up


Dynamic Forces & The Dynamic Forces logo ® and © Dynamic Forces, Inc.
All other books, titles, characters, character names, slogans, logos and related indicia are ™ and © their respective creators.
Privacy Policy