The author of Avatar Press / Pulsar’s upcoming Stargate SG-1 comic book series sat down for a virtual chat with GateWorld! James Anthony Kuhoric talks to us about adapting the SG-1 concept to comics, his love of the show, and more.
Ask your local comic book store for the special SG-1 convention special, available in August, 2003. The first mini-series “Stargate SG-1: Prisoners of War” is available this fall. Find out more and preview the comic at AvatarPress.com!
GateWorld: What can you tell us about the Stargate SG-1 comic as an ongoing series?
James Anthony Kuhoric: The Stargate SG-1 comic books are going to be presented in a mini-series format. Most of them will run three to four issues, and will represent a single story arc of the overall comic series. Future installments will take place at varying points in SG-1 continuity to allow for a wide array of enemies and adventures.
Our first mini-series, “Stargate SG-1: Prisoners of War,” takes place during the show’s first season. This first series was specifically designed to appeal to existing fans of the television show, and to introduce new comic book readers to the concept of Stargate SG-1. Fans will see the full background story for the Stargate program and get an introduction to the history of the main cast.
GW: What’s in store for the first story arc, “Prisoners of War?” Will the whole team get to be involved?
JAK: The first series is centered around the core SG-1 team. Well see Jack O’Neill, Sam Carter, Daniel Jackson, and Teal’c interacting with the likes of General Hammond and Major Samuels, as well as Serpent guards and System Lords … and more action than you can shake a zat gun at!
There are some major Season One threads that we get to see up close. Skaara and Sha’re are still missing and possessed by the Goa’uld. The pain that Jack and Daniel feel over their missing friends and loved ones is very real and palpable. We will see the lengths these men would go to if they thought for an instant that there was an opportunity to save them.
GW: How did you get involved with the new series?
JAK: Since 1998, I’ve been writing for licensed science fiction comics. Having enjoyed successful projects with popular properties such as Battlestar Galactica, Lexx, and First Wave, I was looking for a new challenge. When Avatar called asking if I was interested in participating in the new Pulsar Press imprint of MGM licensed books, I knew the right opportunity had arrived! Stargate SG-1 is one of my favorite series as a fan, and when the prospect of writing for it was presented I jumped at the chance to be a part of it.
GW: So you were you a fan of the show before you started writing for the comic?
JAK: Absolutely! My Friday nights are booked solid watching new episodes of Stargate SG-1. The move from Showtime to Sci-Fi has been a great one for Stargate fans, giving access to millions more viewers through the general accessibility of basic cable. Let’s just say that I blocked off 8:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. on Friday, July 13, as “don’t bother Daddy time” at my house, in anticipation of the new season.
GW: What would you say are some of the challenges of writing for established characters?
JAK: When you have a classic show that has as big of a following as Stargate SG-1, there are certain things the fans have a right to expect. If you are going to make a novel, a comic book, or even a movie, you have to respect the wishes of the core fans. They expect you to know the characters inside and out: how they talk, their mannerisms, and their idiosyncrasies need to be right out of the latest episode. If you can’t read the dialogue and hear the characters saying the lines, then you haven’t done your job.
There were scenes in “Stargate SG-1: P.O.W.” that I stopped dialoguing in mid-stream, so I could go back and pour through episodes searching for character reactions and moods that were similar to the events in the story I was writing. Every line had to feel right — like I was watching the show, or I scrapped it! I want the fans to really enjoy this one and be left wanting more comic book adventures.
GW: Are there any benefits that the comic format brings to telling stories in the Stargate universe?
JAK: The major benefit to comic books as an entertainment medium is that you can do things that simply can’t be done on film. You are not hampered by a budget to create the special effects for any scene. If the writer and artist can imagine it, it can happen. We can give every comic book episode the breadth and width of a $100 million movie.
When you read the first series, keep in mind that it’s just the tip of the iceberg. Pulsar Press is going to blow the lid off of conventional licensed comic books — and Stargate SG-1 fans will be some of the first to experience it!