This November 14th, Moro Rogers’ first graphic novel, City in the Desert, will be hitting comic store shelves nationwide. We recently sat down with Moro to talk about the book, and her experience creating it. Here is what she had to say.
MORO ROGERS, Creator, writer, and artist of City in the Desert
ARCHAIA: What was it like having your first graphic novel published? Do you have a favorite experience from it?
MORO ROGERS: Extremely cool! I really enjoyed writing the dedication and acknowledgements, and seeing it all put together with spiffy new lettering.
A: Where did the idea for City in the Desert come from?
MR: I had been wanting to do a story with human characters and monsters for a long time but wasn’t sure what the central conflict should be. I read an article by a philosophy professor who was saying that we should use genetic engineering to get rid of all the predatory animals. I thought it sounded like a supervillain’s diabolical plan and got inspired.
A: City in the Desert is an interesting mix of themes. There’s folklore, alchemy, and bounty hunting. Were there other books or stories that influenced you?
MR: Definitely…Watership Down was a huge influence, also Miyazaki. I like the way he explores these big ideas in the context of an action-adventure plot.
A: What is your art background? How did the style for City in the Desert develop?
MR: I come from an animation background so I wanted to draw characters that were simple and expressive. I tend to find characters less relatable if they are drawn in a very detailed “grown-up” style with a lot of lines in the face. My favorite comic artist is Bruce Timm. I feel like he shows you just the right amount of information to tell the story.
A: What is your favorite scene or moment in the book?
MR: In the beginning of the story, Irro and Hari are having a nice campfire, eating some barbecued quail and gazing up at the stars. I guess that was supposed to be a vision of life as it should be. Later on, there is a sick monster who’s all rotten and emaciated. I had a lot of fun drawing him although I’d hate to see something like that in real life. [Laughs]
A: Are you more like Irro, the confident bounty hunter, or Hari, his tough monkey girl assistant?
MR: I think Irro is more what I would like to be, he’s stoic and sensible. I’m more like impulsive Hari, I guess.
A: What is your favorite monster of all time (from books, movies, TV, etc.)?
MR: That’s a tough one. I like King Kong, anything by Harryhausen, all the creatures from The Dark Crystal…I like those giant worms from Tremors as well. I also have a thing for man-eating plants so I really like Audrey 2 from Little Shop of Horrors.
A: What future projects can we expect from you?
MR: I am in the very early stages of a story about dinosaurs.
We want to thank Moro Rogers for taking the time to answers all our questions, and we look forward to her book hitting the shelves later this month!