For fans of Call of Duty, Ghost in the Shell, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six, and 24, Terminus Veil might be the series for you. Recently, Jack Harris, the creator of the action/ sci-fi comic book series, took a moment to talk with BlackSci-Fi.com about his recently launched Kickstarter campaign. From the series website, “Step into the action and follow the Guardians International Security Group on an epic sci-fi quest. Billowing explosions, shadowed figures, high stakes, and close calls – the Terminus Veil comic gives you an adrenaline rush with gripping, immersive artwork. You can find out more about the Terminus Veil Kickstarter campaign here.
BlackSci-Fi.com: Give our readers a quick rundown of what Terminus Veil is about.
Jack Harris: Terminus Veil is an action mystery comic series about a private security team named Guardians International. While they are transporting a new invention, they get attacked by armed assailants in a helicopter. The Guardians are trying to figure out why they were attacked which ultimately leads into a bigger conspiracy.
BSF: What made you want to write this story?
JH: So I originally came up with the idea of this story while I was rapping back in 2009. I can’t remember what triggered it exactly but over the years I’ve been just worldbuilding and adding on to the plot. By 2020, I decided it was time to start producing the book and share it with the world. Overall I love action, sci-fi and suspense so I was going to write stories in those genres.
BSF: Though it’s fictional, Terminus Veil reflects things from our real world, including drone warfare and covert ops strike groups. How do you balance telling a fantastical action story and bringing in elements from our real world?
JH: Before I started writing the script for issue 1, I took some time to read some non fiction stories about spies, snipers and private security groups. I wanted to make sure that I would stay grounded to an extent. I knew the fantastical side of things would come naturally. From a technology standpoint I try to look for weapons and drones that are on the cutting edge. There’s a panel in issue 1 where Max shoots a PhasR gun that blinds the helicopter pilot. That gun really exists but I doubt someone could make such a fantastical shot with it.
BSF: One of the things that I love about your series is the diversity of the characters involved. In stories like this, you’ll often have just one token POC. Talk about why you built a cast more reflective of our world.
JH: I always remember being a black kid in the 90s and just never really seeing a lot of comic books, video games or cartoons with black characters. That stuck with me and I knew I didn’t want to contribute to creating media that wasn’t inclusive. I also feel like by having a diverse cast, I can have more fun with settings and putting characters in different situations where they can experience culture shock.
BSF: Let’s say you’re giving your elevator pitch. What other popular properties might provide a frame of reference for the person you’re pitching to? Maybe from the worlds of video games, TV/ Film, comics, etc.
JH: I have to start with Ghost in the Shell. It’s one of my major influences when I first started writing this story. I like to think that the twist I bring to this is the characters are a bit more diverse and a lot of the settings will be in urban cities like Atlanta and Memphis. I do think it has some of the elements as far as team interaction you would see in something like X-Men or Wildcats.
BSF: Talk to us briefly about your creative team on the book. Gush as much as you want here. 🙂
JH: So we’ve had quite a few really good artists contribute to Terminus Veil. Our first issue was penciled by Jordan Gunderson who is an absolute pro. His lines were inked by Bee Rohlfs and colored by Yuliia Shestova. I love the whole feel of Issue 1. They really nailed it! Currently we are working with Illustrabox Studios, which is composed of Delio Diaz(Lines) and Frank Alpizar(Colors). They are phenomenal. I can’t wait to show off all the stunning work they did on issue 4. We’ve also worked with some great artists for the variant covers of Terminus Veil Volume 1 including Marcus Williams, Gian Carlo Bernal, Xong Bros, Asiah Fulmore and Chahine Ladjouze.
BSF: As a writer, what would you say you enjoy the most about the process of creating? Is it plotting our your story, building solid relatable characters, or maybe something to do with the production side of things?
JH: I love action sequences and the process of visualizing how things play out. That’s probably the funnest thing. I also like to write snarky dialogue. Whenever I get the chance to write some dialogue where characters are chumping each other off, I feel like I’m in my element. From the production side, I love reviewing artwork as it comes in and just being blown away by how stunning the page is.
BSF: Tell us what potential backers can expect from your Kickstarter campaign?
JH: So our Kickstarter is to help print, distribute and advertise our first trade paperback, Terminus Veil Volume 1. This book includes issues 1 through 4 of Terminus Veil as well as character biographies, background story details and concept artwork. We’ve got a total of 6 Variant Covers we will also be offering and most of them will have a limited print run. Of Course, we’ve got some T-Shirts and prints as well and a lot of different bundles to choose from! We have both digital and physical rewards as well. We expect to be fulfilling our Kickstarter in mid October.
BSF: Besides Kickstarter, what else does the future spell for you and Terminus Veil?
JH: After the Kickstarter, we’ll be focused on issue 5. We know we are going to at least issue 10 but if things go well we expect to go well beyond that. I could see the story ending around issue 50 but that’s almost too far out to even speculate. In the winter, we will work to get the book in more stores, especially in the southeast. We do have a long term plan to work on a Beat’em Up Video game but right now that’s on the backburner until we get the book where we want it.
BSF: Any advice you’d like to offer to any creators trying to break into the world of comic book creation?
JH: I feel like I’m still too much of a rookie to be giving advice but I think a big part of creating is understanding the challenges you are going to face. There are tons of people in the indie comic community who are willing to help you out if you have a question so ask away. I made sure that I didn’t just try to take from the community so I try to support as many indie creators as I can. I think that has helped break some ice and made it easier for me to connect with other creators.
For more information on the series and the Kickstarter campaign, head here.
Robert Jeffrey II is a professional writer (comic books, tabletop gaming, prose fiction, and video games) with over 18 years of experience. He has worked for such clients as DC Comics, the Centers for Disease Control, Son of Oak Gaming, 133Art Publishing, RAE Comics, SUBSUME Media, and Nitto Tires. He currently works as a video game writer for developer Blowfish Studios.