AJ Lieberman Speaks on Graveyard Wars from Ablaze

Graveyard Wars, created and written by AJ Lieberman and drawn/colored by Drew Sebastian Kwan, kicked off a new series of graphic novels this September at ABLAZE. The series is set for an adaptation by John Wick director Chad Stahelski. Today, AJ Lieberman, known for Image Comics' Cowboy Ninja Viking, joins Bleeding Cool for a quick chat about what went into Graveyard Wars and what's to come for the future of this graphic novel series.

Graveyard Wars Volume 1 cover. Credit: Ablaze
Graveyard Wars Volume 1 cover. Credit: Ablaze

Theo Dwyer: Graveyard Wars feels, from the concept to the art, like a book steeped in emotion. When approaching the character dynamic here, were you drawing from personal experience, or did you have other inspiration?

AJ Lieberman: Great point. And yes, the initial concept did stem from an emotional point – specifically my brother and lost our father (who was a dentist) early on in our lives. However, my brother still grew up to become a dentist. It was that simple connection that got me started down the path to what GRAVEYARD WARS ultimately became.

That was one part. The other part of [the] inspiration was the fact that I wanted to do something where the skills of our heroes could literally be anything as long as it came from a dead person… but still have that concept be as grounded in real life as possible.

Theo: At over 200 pages with a story meant to continue with another volume, it seems as if you have plans to make Graveyard Wars into an epic. Can you tell us a bit about the shape of things to come for this series?

AJ: There's a lot of story in there, for sure. And yes, the hope is to continue the story of the whole world we've created. One of my specific goals with this was to have a HUGE REVEAL at the end of the book that would change everything a reader just experienced — and spin our characters into the next adventure.

Graveyard Wars is out from ABLAZE now. The solicitation reads:

JUL200938

(W) A. J. Lieberman (CA) A. J. Lieberman (A/CA) Andrew Sebastian Kwan

There are those among us, all of whom have had near death experiences, who now have an ability called a Soul-Skill which allows them access to the skill-sets of the dead; fighter, mechanic, sniper. Anything. This ability connects them in this realm to the soul, and its skill, in the next. Pilot. Hacker. Assassin. Anything. While not everyone who touches death is able to retain this ability those who do have formed two warring guilds: Caretakers and Dark Hearts. The Caretaker's mission? To use the power of the dead to protect the living. Welcome to Graveyard Wars.

All his life Ethan Noble felt he was different; unstable, crazy. How else to explain his ability to master so many different skills only to have them vanish time after time. All her life Carter Noble has tried in vain to help her brother. Raise him, shield him, understand him. An impossible task, even for a twin, because no matter how hard Ethan tried to explain his behavior Carter was never able to understand and any attempt to enlist help from Sebastian, their father, was met with an icy stare and stony silence.

What all three Nobles will soon learn is that in a world where the secrets someone takes to their grave are no longer safe you need family more than ever. The problem? When Ethan and Carter uncover a web of lies that led to their mother's death they're lead straight to their father.

About Theo Dwyer

Theo Dwyer writes about comics, film, and games.