David Walker, writer of Shaft #3, talks with writer Paul Tobin about KING: Jungle Jim #1, both on sale February 4th.
DAVID WALKER: Jungle Jim is a character that isn't that well remembered these days, and this version seems quite different from the original. Can you give us a brief overview, and then explain how your version differs from the original character?
PAUL TOBIN: Jim used to be a comic strip about an adventurer in southeastern Asia. It branched out into television, movies, radio plays, etc. Jim was a fairly generic "I'm not Tarzan because I use a gun" type, but I never found him all that interesting. So, when I had the chance to unload my brain on him, I did some pretty big changes, including moving him up into space and then making his name a lot more literal. Jim's connection to the jungle is MUCH more dramatic in our series.
DW: What has it been like working with artist Sandy Jarrell?
PT: Sandy has not murdered me, and I look for that in an artist. Also he's pretty good at art-ing. That's nice, too.
DW: How was the decision made to transplant the character from Earth to an alien world?
PT: Editor Nate Cosby and I wanted to link Jim closer to the rest of the King Features world, so it was either move all of them into Asia, or else move Jim himself into their world. And we wanted him linked with Flash Gordon to a certain degree, and there was this whole forest/jungle world of Arboria that was just WAITING to be used. One quick science-fiction explanation later, and Jim was up in space. We still have him as a native of Earth, but … complications arose.
PT: We've used a lot of secondary characters from the Flash Gordon franchise, and Ming himself is always butting in, since the plot revolves around a main character's brother scheduled for his head to be lopped off at the command of the Merciless One. And … yeah… there's room for other King characters. They're so damn much fun.
DW: What other projects do you have looming in the near future?
PT: In addition to my regular work on Bandette, and Colder, and Plants vs. Zombies, I've more Witcher on the way, and an unannounced series from Dark Horse, and then further unannounced books from three other companies. Oh, and another one from Dark Horse I can't talk about. Plus I have a series of middle-readers novels over at Bloomsbury that will start coming out in early 2016. I've probably forgotten some other things. It's a constant brain-balance, and sometimes I topple.
For more on King: Jungle Jim #1, click here.