How ‘Join the Future’ by HVE Client Zack Kaplan Puts Sci-Fi Twist on Western Genre

By Graeme McMillan

According to writer Zack Kaplan, the series “captures the classic spirit of the Western, gunslinging excitement and grandiose adventure but with a sci-fi, futuristic twist, as technologically advanced cities reigning supreme in the dying whispers of the all-American small town. I’m excited because it’s more than a story of the city versus the country; it’s a story about the ever changing landscape of America.”

He continued, “At the heart of the series is a girl, strong-willed and hopeful, on a coming-of-age journey to defend her values and define herself against power, technology, corruption and the future itself. How should you or any of us define ourselves in the future, you ask? Well, we invite you to abandon your small-town values, embrace a tomorrow of constant engagement and accept the care of complete technological immersion. Come with us!”

That girl, Clementine Libbey, Kaplan said, is “dynamic, mature, engaging and unrelenting — Mattie Ross from True Grit meets Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games. She’s the best of all of us, and her story is harsh and dramatic and moving. And I hope readers will be inspired by her, because some ideals are worth fighting for.”

Kaplan joins the art team of Piotr Kowalski, Brad Simpson and letterer Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou for the book.

“When you create an epic Western in the future, simultaneously grounded and grand, that explores futuristic designs and classic Western vistas and atmospheres, you need the perfect team,” Kaplan said, noting that Kowalski and Simpson “have become a powerful duo in the comics industry, working on titles such as Sex, Bloodbourne and The Witcher, known for imaginative world building, impeccably detailed landscapes and inspiring vivid colors. The artwork is majestic, heartfelt and jaw-droppingly gorgeous.”

Readers will have a chance to see for themselves when Join the Future launches March 4 digitally and in comic book stores.