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10 Questions with Kieran Murphy (writer, Frozen Wasteland)Edit

Frozen wasteland cover

Frozen Wasteland by Kieran Murphy and José Augusto Cano, cover art by Carlos Valenzuela

Wasteland (as it was then called) was Kieran Murphy’s first published work when it came out in January 2005. Since then, he has had more comics, short stories and even a graphic novel printed in the US, Canada and the UK. Finally, he has achieved his dream of getting a book into Previews with the Frozen Wasteland graphic novel, more information on which can be found at

1. First off give us a quick rundown on what Frozen Wasteland is about.

Kieran: Frozen Wasteland is actually 4 separate stories clumped together in one book. There are 4 main characters and each one of them takes the lead in a story. It is mainly a study of how people react when their world is destroyed by the onset of a new Ice Age. I deliberately chose settings (Dallas, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Miami) that almost never see snow just for the shock value of seeing a familiar sight covered in a thick white blanket!

2. What brought about the inspiration to wrote Frozen Wasteland?

Kieran: That’s a tough one! I’m not sure I can provide a specific answer but I’ve always been intrigued by dramatic changes wrought by nature upon our world which have been explored in sci fi films such as The Day After Tomorrow or the Mad Max trilogy. I’m not one for the big dramatic change of the event actually occurring though. I’m much more interested in what effects it has on individual ordinary people and so I decided I wanted to explore that. When Ronin Studios said they’d provide me with an artist if I came up with a story, Frozen Wasteland was born!

3. Frozen Wasteland was originally put out through Comixpress! But has now moved to Arcana Studios a much bigger player. How has the transition changed for better or worse?

Kieran: Well, only one of the four Frozen Wasteland stories was put out through Comixpress under the Ronin Studios banner. Arcana rightly don’t submit any books to Previews until they are completed finished so Jose and I had to put together three more stories. That certainly took a long time, but I feel it has most definitely been a rewarding experience. Being with a bigger player also meant we were able to secure a big name artist for the cover in Carlos Valenzuela that we probably wouldn’t have been able to get with a smaller comic company.

4. Did the story have to change or evolve in anyway since you first published it with Comixpress!?

Kieran: Three more stories were added on so that was a big change! However, we were given a lot of freedom by Sean O Reilly, head honcho at Arcana so we could do the story we wanted to do which was great.

5. You teamed up with J. Augusto Cano your artist quite some time ago since Frozen Wasteland was completed. Have you two teamed up for anything else and kept in touch?

Kieran: Frozen Wasteland was only fully completed earlier this year so Jose and I have been in constant touch since we were first put together about 3 years ago. We’ve also worked on a number of other projects together, he was inker on Prey which was also put out by Ronin Studios, and we did a short story together for British anthology Futurequake (issue 7). Recently, we’ve been working on a series Jose created called Psychics which has a great future in store for it I think. It’s been wonderful working with Jose, who is a fantastically gifted artist, and I really hope our comic collaborations continue for many years to come!

6. Were you a comic fan before Frozen Wasteland came about? Do you collect or read any certain comics?

Kieran: I certainly was. I was a huge fan of the famous British sci-fi comic 2000AD and I have literally hundreds of issues stacked up in my parent’s attic (I keep promising I’ll move them to my place but…). I still pick up copies occasionally.

7. Who is you favorite writer inside and outside of comics?

Kieran: Pat Mills without a shadow of a doubt. His First World War series Charley’s War is one of my all time favorite comic stories. Outside of comics I tend to read a lot of pretty trashy stuff like Stephen King and Terry Pratchett, I’m afraid to say!

8. Who would be your dream artist to work with?

Kieran: Franky Quitely. ‘Nuff said!

9. What is next or what else do you have coming up in the world of comics?

Kieran: I have two short stories that will be published in upcoming Futurequake Press anthologies, one in their flagship anthology, the other is the cover story for their Something Wicked horror anthology series. I’m also working on a sci-fi spoof series called Troy Spaceman with ex-Dark Horse artist Dario Carrasco. Of course, I’ll continue the search for a home for Psychics too.

10. What bit of advice to you have for others aspiring to make it in the world of comics?

Kieran: It may seem obvious but have fun! If you go into this industry with the sole purpose of becoming a full time professional comic book writer, you’re probably going to be disappointed, as there aren’t too many of them! I don’t expect to make a living doing this stuff, but I don’t care because I enjoy writing comics so much. That should be the primary goal of any writer, get your books out there, and enjoy yourself creating them, whatever else happens.

Thanks so much for doing this interview here at The Comic Avalanche and I know you will be around awhile. I always love it when I meet someone just breaking in and see them go from small publisher and begin working their way up the ladder. Now everyone remember to buy your copy from the details below and enjoy another great story from another dynamic team.
Series Synopsis: The series is broken up into four stories, each centered on one of the four main characters and all set in locations that it would be hard to imagine covered in snow. Major Jonathon Carson seeks out his lost son in the icy tundra of Las Vegas, Ricky Di Santos finds himself meeting an old flame in the battlefield of a snow covered Los Angeles, Jed Giffin catches up with his self-centered sister in a freezing Dallas and Sinead O Brien takes to the frozen seas off Miami with a friend from her former life. Each story looks at the suffering caused in these very different settings and examines how people cope in an environment where each day is a struggle for survival. However, there is also plenty of action as the marines deal with those who would attempt to profit from this new world in which America finds itself.

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