The Doorman, Heavy Metal’s next standalone comic book series (it’ll be our fourth ever) is coming—soon! How soon? Well, if you’re the type of comics fan who preorders from your local shop, today is your LAST DAY to get that preorder in. We have some lowdown from The Doorman‘s creators below—writers Eliot Rahal and Daniel Kibblesmith, and artist Kendall Goode. If you like the sound of this comedic/noir sci-fi story, hustle down to the shop and tell them to order you one!
First things first—what’s the premise of The Doorman?
Eliot Rahal: The Doorman takes place in a universe where every civilized planet has a “Door”—essentially stargates that can transport you from world to world, but only if they’re operated by a Doorman.
Daniel Kibblesmith: And like actual doormen theirs is an old-timey profession that’s almost totally extinct—especially on retirement day for the Doorman to Earth, when an assassin mysteriously shows up to take him out.
Eliot: So the mystery is, why would anyone try to kill such a seemingly unimportant figure—and now that he’s off the sidelines, what will he do about it?
Kendall Goode has cited Hitchhiker’s Guide, Doctor Who and Stargate as context/influences for this series. Can you shed some light on those comparisons, or add any others?
Eliot: I’d also add Futurama. I’ve been watching a lot of Futurama. But yeah, definitely. It’s a mash up of a lot of weird awesome stuff. I see the Hitchhiker’s Guide thing for sure… I mean, this book deals with some serious themes of “regaining dignity” and “making your life count for something”, but it also blatantly embraces for the absurd. I mean… There is a giant Praying Mantis alien named, “Dave.” I love that. And Stargate was a huge inspiration. I loved the movie and the series growing up.
Daniel: Futurama for sure, Rick and Morty, Red Dwarf—there’s this awesome tradition of sci-fi comedy that can get super gonzo because literally anything is possible, but also aim for the same pathos as those shows, which all have these huge, existential themes. I haven’t seen Stargate because I’m not a huge nerd like Eliot.
Kendall Goode: Yeah, on my end, even without mentioning it previously, Futurama and Rick and Morty are huge influences of mine. I would definitely say the whole concept Eliot and Daniel came up with manages to capture the best of so many different sci-fi stories.
How did Daniel Kibblesmith get on board? Did you all know each other before this collaboration? He is one hilarious guy, who writes for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert—that’s a pretty intense day job.
Eliot: Dan and I have been working together in comics for over a year. We met in Chicago doing comedy. I did/do stand up. He did videos & sketch. It was a match made in heaven?
Daniel: Yeah, basically. I remember years ago a comedian friend of ours introduced Eliot onto the stage by saying, “This next comic wanted me to tell you that he writes comic books for some reason.” I went to film school before I started writing, but always loved comics, ended up interning for comics people and working on comics in my spare time as much as I did comedy. It’s a dream come true to get to do both.
Tell us a bit about the art—readers may not be familiar with Kendall Goode. What does he bring to the table?
Eliot: Literally everything. Kendall is the colors, the design, and the ink. I mean… we give him a little direction. But a lot of this is his weird brain vomiting beautiful nonsense. I love it. I love him. I’d take a bullet in a non-vital organ for him.
Daniel: Kendall will be extremely famous in a matter of months and Eliot and I will be completely screwed. We talked about the richness of Futurama and Rick and Morty earlier, Kendall is like a one-man Rick and Morty.
Kendall: Don’t worry, guys, I’ll keep my coattails long enough for you to hold onto. But I honestly couldn’t do it without the direction from Daniel and Eliot. Their scripts are full of some pretty insane stuff that immediately makes me laugh out loud or have some pretty serious feelings about these really great characters in our story.
The Doorman is a limited series—do you feel that there might be more stories to tell in this universe? Would you come back for round 2, or have any interest in turning it into an ongoing series?
Eliot: Yup, it’s a short miniseries. But this is just the introduction… The first “hello!”
Daniel: We have a pretty big universe to play around in, and the stuff Kendall is designing is too good to only use once. The mini tells a complete psychedelic outer space noir story, but there’s still a lot of unanswered questions about who built the ancient Doors, or why. There’s a lot of story left to be told.
Kendall: If it comes down to it, I’ll make sure these guys write it all just so I can know what happens next!
Any final words of advice before we venture into the world of The Doorman? Anything we should be on the lookout for?
Eliot: Buy it! Also, thanks for buying it. Also, thanks for the support. Also… The comic book community has been incredible with their support of our book. We can’t stress how amazing everyone has been, especially with all of the great books out there.
Daniel: The Doorman’s Code is “Never Leave Your Post.” Our Doorman leaves his post in the first issue. So, I’d say, our advice is never listen to advice.
Kendall: But maybe be on the lookout for hired alien hitmen trying to kill you and all your fellow employees. You know, just in case.