Many of us love a good revenge romp. It taps into that visceral part of the psyche that wants to protect our people and dispensing justice if they’re done wrong. It’s no wonder, then, that films like John Wick and the Kill Bill volumes are so wildly popular, and it’s why the new series Klik Klik Boom from Image Comics is such a wild, engaging ride. From the creative team of writer Doug Wagner, artist Doug Dabbs, colorist Matt Wilson, and letterer Ed Dukeshire, Klik Klik Boom follows Sprout, a mute assassin who communicates only in Polaroid pictures and who sets off on a road of vengeance against a shadowy organization that killed her doomsday-prepper grandfather. Read that sentence again. What more do you need?
Mr. Wagner spoke with me recently about the conceit of Klik Klik Boom, researching doomsday preppers for the series, working with the creative team, and how Sprout being a fish-out-of-water informs the series. Klik Klik Boom is off to an explosive start and it’s a fun ride for anyone who digs fast-paced stories of heroes taking on the world alone.
FreakSugar: For folks reading this, what is the concept of Klik Klik Boom?
Doug Wagner: It’s a hair-on-fire revenge, action piece starring a mute assassin trying to avenge the murder of the only person she’s ever known, her grandfather, against what is the equivalent of the illuminati.
FS: The story centers on the mute assassin Sprout. What can you tell us about her and the cast we’ll meet?
DW: Sprout’s one of my favorite characters I’ve created to date. I love this idea of someone who has never experienced anything outside the wilderness of Idaho being tossed into glitz and glam of New York City and LOVING every second of it. Here she is trying to take down this monolith while at the same time trying to experience everything New York City has to offer. She’s just too much fun.
Along the way, she rescues Serena Biggs, an investigative podcaster that’s figured out just enough to anger the wrong people. She’s brash, highly intelligent, way too talkative, and way in over her head.
There’s also Beatrix… just the cutest bunny EVER!!
FS: Sprout’s upbringing involves doomsday-prepping. What kind of research did you delve into in preparing (no pun intended) your tale?
DW: As I suspect all creatives are prone to do, I spent weeks spiraling down the research hole that is the internet, watching every documentary I could find, and visiting a few prepping stores in the Utah area. It’s a truly interesting community to engage with. Honestly, not that different than us comic nerds. They just happen to obsess over drinking water, breathable air, and hunting versus super soldier serums, how Superman can fly, and whether Thanos was right or not.
FS: Following up on that, what do you think is our fascination with doomsday-prepping? Did you have any interest in researching it before this book?
DW: I’m from the generation that obsessed about the first Red Dawn movie, so YEAH, I’ve always loved fantasizing about doomsday-prepping. I think our fascination for it isn’t any different than our fascination with the zombie apocalypse. There’s a large group of us weirdos that love to romanticize about how we’d survive it all if society crumbled instantly. I’ll fully admit it’s just bizarre to even spend any time on it. I know I wouldn’t really want to be around if it really happened. For God’s sake, I know I don’t want to be around without showers, a bed, and Taco Bell.
FS: You’re reuniting with Doug Dabbs on this comic. What’s the collaboration like with you and the creative team?
DW: It’s been amazing! Doug is a blast to work with. He’s far more intelligent and talented than I am, so I know he’s going to make me look like I know what I’m doing. We spend hours on the phone just talking storytelling, how to pull off different scenes, and what we can do to make Matt Wilson’s life more miserable. Just so you know, Matt was completely unfazed by our antics. I don’t think he even noticed we were trying to be difficult. I’ve been blessed to know Matt for years now, and I’m so excited we finally get to work together. He’s blown me away with the coloring on this book. And I was expecting amazing to begin with. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Ed Dukeshire and Erika Schnatz. I’ve been working with both of them for years now, and I keep doing so because they’re brilliant, they’re easy to work with, and they both make me laugh on a regular basis.
FS: Sprout uses Polaroids to communicate. Why did you use Polaroids as a plot point?
DW: Well, that all came from the catalyst for the story itself. I saw this photo of this woman lying on a bed in a sleezy hotel room surrounded by hundreds of Polaroid pictures. The basis for the entire story sprung from the questions that singular picture shot into my brain. I was simply lucky that Polaroids were always going to be an integral part of the idea.
FS: Sprout is going to be a fish-out-of-water in New York. What kind of narrative choices does that allow you that you’re excited to explore?
DW: I touched on this earlier, but I fell in love with a character that wasn’t ruled by fear and had such a strong zest for life that it made her bold enough to try anything and everything that a city like New York has to offer. I’ve met a few people like that in my life and always wondered what life would be like if I too could embrace that perspective. I guess I’m getting to live a bit of that fantasy through Sprout.
FS: If you had one last pitch for the book, what would it be?
DW: Do you like John Wick? What about The Fifth Element? Well, then you’re going to love Klik Klik Boom. And if you don’t like BOTH of those movies, we can’t be friends. [laughs]
Klik Klik Boom #1 is on sale now from Image Comics. Issue #2 debuts Wednesday, July 26th.
From the official description of issue #1:
Meet Sprout a mute assassin who communicates exclusively through polaroid pictures.
Being raised by her doomsday-prepping grandfather in the rolling hills of Idaho Sprout has never been around other people watched TV or seen clothes outside of Army fatigues. Now she’s headed to the big lights of New York City to avenge her grandfather’s murder but will the city’s mesmerizing glitz and glam help her succeed-or be the death of her?
And the official description of issue #2:
Assassins overrun Sprout and Serena’s flophouse hotel only to find Sprout has turned the building into a booby-trapped kill box of dirty bed sheets and polaroids. Surrounded by chaos Serena discovers Sprout hasn’t come to New York City just to play dress-up…but to murder a man.