Interview: Tolkien Would Hate ‘Quested’…But You’ll Love It!
Interview by Troy-Jeffrey Allen
From Michael Calero (Alpha Betas) and Kit Wallis (Good Boy) comes Quested, a blatantly off-kilter adventure that simultaneously pays homage to the fantasy genre while making J.R.R. Tolkien cringe in the afterlife. If you like your RPGs with a little disrespect then…welcome to the clan!
PREVIEWSworld talked with writer Michael Calero to find out more.
Troy-Jeffrey Allen: Catch us up to speed. What is Quested about?
Michael Calero: Quested drops readers into a world inspired by RPG games and fantasy tropes and follows the staff of a questing Pawn shop that moonlight as adventurers (or maybe its the other way around). We meet the group as they are pulled into a really unexpected quest that forces them to risk their lives for a cause they may or may not believe in.
TJA: Can you talk about Jinx? Why do we follow him through the story?
Michael Calero: Jinx is the proprietor of the Pawn Shop and also the son of the world’s most legendary adventurer. With that comes a reputation that he finds himself having to really bend the questing rules to live up to. I liken him to Link from Legend of Zelda meets Hellboy, but with a much weaker moral compass.
TJA: This definitely pulls from video game mechanics a bit, right? How did gaming influence the story?
Michael Calero: Without the fantasy adventure games of my youth this book wouldn’t exist. This was a character that I made up when playing classic Nintendo JRPG titles and the character evolved and changed as the types of games I played evolved. Legend of Zelda, as I mentioned earlier, was a big influence and I really love the idea of creating something that calls back to some of those RPG tropes while also taking the occasional shot at how ridiculous the genre can be.
TJA: The artist on the project is Kit Wallis of Good Boy fame. What made Kit the right artist for the job?
Michael Calero: I fell in love with Kit’s work when I was at Starburns Industries Press and he was working on a book for us called Hellicious. I knew I wanted to make Quested happen but didn’t really know what it should look like since it really didn’t feel like a traditional comic. I wanted someone whose art is unexpected and could capture the humor of the story… Kit nailed it immediately. He has a bright and vibrant style while also being able to capture really dark and gritty details that this book absolutely needed.
TJA: In terms of audience, who is this book for?
Michael Calero: I think this book is for readers who want an action-packed story that grows with them as readers. We have sooo much character development planned for the main cast but we didn’t want to make it too obvious where it was going. We want to make something that you can keep coming back to for years and really feel invested in the character’s arc like you would with a great Anime or genre show. Readers who take his journey with us are going to be in for a treat.
Quested is available to preorder now with PREVIEWSworld Pullbox! It hits comic shops on December 7, 2022 from WhatNot Publishing!
Troy-Jeffrey Allen is the producer and co-host of PREVIEWSworld Weekly. His comics work includes MF DOOM: All Caps, Public Enemy’s Apocalpyse ’91, Fight of the Century, the Harvey Award-nominated District Comics, and the Ringo Awards-nominated Magic Bullet.