Omar Mora, creator of the acclaimed comic book series “The Unearthians”, premiered his new venture “Ancient Explorers” at San Diego Comic-Con this week.
Is there any interesting story about how you came up with the initial story for ‘Ancient Explorers’?
Well, I don’t know if this is interesting, but the inspiration came when I went on a trip to the Amazon Jungle in Peru. I was a volunteer doctor for two weeks in the Amazon. It was a humble and at the same time creative experience in relation to the arts. There’s when I found out about the legend of Paititi; The Lost City of Peru.
Your previous graphic novel was born from your love of superhero films and comics. How much was this one inspired by the likes of National Treasure and Indiana Jones-type films?
Completely inspired by Indiana Jones, National Treasures and The Goonies. Those movies fascinate me. I’ve always wanted to tell a treasure hunt story. When I learned about the legend of Paititi is when I decided this is a good opportunity to tell an adventure story. This story has elements of adventure, science fiction and incredible characters. It is definitely a good combination to entertain and intrigue the reader.
Where do you start with a story like this? The art or the plot?
Definitely the plot. The plot is what dictates the tone and the story per se. Once the plot is completed, the art becomes easier in the sense that there is already a structure formed and a plan to follow.
And, like a film script, I imagine it changes a lot along the way?
Yes. The changes don’t stop. Draft after draft after draft, etc, etc, etc. There comes a time when you have to trust that the story is finished and distribute it. Because in cases of art and writing, perfection can be the worst enemy of finishing a story.
What interested you in telling this particular story – within Ancient Explorers?
As I said before, I was inspired by a trip when I went to the Amazon Jungle in Peru. And wanting to tell an adventure story, it was the perfect combination to write Ancient Explorers: The Lost City of Peru. And writing it was an exciting trip.
What kind of research did you do before writing?
I usually do research on everything. From the location, the culture, news articles on the subject, documentaries on the subject or the area where the story takes place. I read anything that gives me information on the topic of interest.
Onto Unearthians. Is It hard to adapt a book into a pilot for TV? What did you have to lose?
Absolutely nothing. I think that for almost all creators of comics stories it would be a dream to see their characters and stories as live action. I mean, who wouldn’t like that.
Seen any actors yet for roles?
We have few in mind and we are working on that.
You’ve covered the Indiana Jones-type story, a comic book adventure… is a horror yarn next?
Definitely. I have two horror stories. One is about monsters from Thailand and the other is about Aliens. I have them written as film scripts and maybe I will adapt them for a graphic novel. Let see.