A mystery. Missing memories. Bright and interesting flora and fauna. A sci-fi tale that pops off the page. That’s what you get with the comic Two Suns from the creative minds of Carlos Giffoni and Juan Doe. Two Suns follows the scientist Giovanni, who has no idea how he arrived on an alien world, navigating his new surroundings and turning over the stones that will reveal the secrets behind his predicament. The pair recently launched a Kickstarter, in partnership with Rocketship Entertainment, to bring the book to the four-colored world of comics.

We spoke with Carlos Giffoni and Juan Doe recently about the idea behind the Two Suns comic, the narrative and visual influences of the book, the Kickstarter itself, and what Two Suns means to them.



FreakSugar: For folks considering pledging to the Kickstarter, what can you tell us about the conceit of Two Suns

Carlos Giffoni: Two Suns is a science fiction graphic novel that follows Giovanni, a scientist who wakes up on a vast and colorful island on an alien planet with no recollection of how he got there and only his trusty AI SILVIO to help him survive and discover the events that led him there.

It’s beautifully illustrated by Juan Doe and is full of mind-bending locations and creatures that will transport you to another universe. It will be in an oversized hardcover format so that you can really appreciate the art.

Juan Doe: I’m a big lover of sci-fi stories and like our first collaboration together, Strayed, this story took place in space and on another world and those are the kinds of stories that really move the needle for me, imagining and bringing forth other worlds and planets.

In this case, the story of Gio and his predicament really resonated on a personal level. It’s a tight character study and brings forth a lot of introspection about the decisions we make in our lives and how we deal with those consequences.



FS: Two Suns is firmly planted in science fiction, but also is a mystery. What made you want to blend the genres?

CG: That is probably because I love science fiction and also tend to like any story (book, film, TV show) that does a good job of keeping me guessing with a good mystery that pays off before it concludes. Probably started when I read Caves of Steel from Isaac Asimov when I was a teenager.

I didn’t set off to make it any sort of genre when I started writing it, I just had this idea of exploring the effects of isolation in a sci-fi setting. Then the pieces just started coming together, and it was obvious that there was a lot more I wanted to say with this story.

JD: The mystery aspect is definitely a major driver of the story, a scientist waking up on a strange world is enough of a hook to keep one engaged, throw in some amnesia and we have a great combo of sci-fi and the unknown to play with.



FS: From the outset, it seems like we’re going to have a rich cast. What kind of characters will we meet in the book?

CG: When it comes to human characters, for the most part, there is only really one physically present throughout the book, though there are a couple more cast members we get to know from memories and dreams. And there is SILVIO (Gio’s AI), which hopefully you will get to love as much as I do by the time you get to the end of the book.

There is, however, a great cast of strange creatures with their own role to play in the story and the alien island itself becomes a sort of character as well, with it’s evolving landscapes as time passes. The island is full of life and constantly evolving.

JD: Like Carlos mentioned, the island and creatures play an important role in the story. These characters collectively help to shape and shift the narrative and gives Gio a roadmap on his journey to discovering how he ended up there and how he can survive. Plus they were a blast to design!



FS: The Kickstarter page for the campaign highlights amazing flora and fauna on this alien world. What was the process deciding what the book should look like?

CG: This was all designed by Juan, I provided some initial references and we discussed a lot of ideas, but I’ve worked with Juan before and I know that once he has the tone right the best I can do beyond trying to as clear as possible explaining what should happen in each scene/ page is to tell him “Go crazy with the art on this one.”

JD: Working with Carlos is always great for my imagination, he gives me great guidance and sets me up to do what I do best. In this case, it was just pure fun, designing and coloring what this environment could look like. It’s a planet that has two suns so it gives me a great opportunity to play with the lighting and color schemes and that always makes for interesting visuals and we have a ton of them over the course of almost 100 pages. In the case of making the fauna, I wanted everything to look like it was alive and moving so it wasn’t just background fodder, everything is alive on this planet.



FS: On that same note, the word I keep coming back to in considering the world and the cast is robust. It seems so fully formed. What influences have shaped how you approach this book?

CG: I think part of the reason it feels that way it’s probably because I have been writing and rewriting this book for over four years now. I’ve tried to carefully construct the characters and plot so that it feels real and I have had time to change things when they didn’t sit well for me after a few days.

That is probably the biggest advantage of working on something without no initial deadline and just spending the time needed to really craft the story right.

Growing up I also read a good amount of science fiction and I guess you can learn how to instinctively tell a story where the world feels real, despite being an alien setting.

And of course, Juan’s experience and artistic ability is a big reason that everything works, it is a graphic novel after all.

JD: In general, as fans of sci-fi we have plenty of visual history to draw from, it’s part of the reason I love sequential storytelling so much, it gives us the opportunity to direct our own little films on paper without massive budgets that would otherwise make it prohibitive. So with that there’s a visual language that’s already present, as an artist it gives me a chance to synthesize all those influences to help create something that’s uniquely our own. In this case, it was an unfettered playground and I was a kid with boundless energy tasked to create and imagine this world that Carlos came up with and I believe we were able to manifest that environment in a very awesome way because when I’m drawing this stuff, I’m literally there.



FS: This is the second time you two are working together. What is your partnership like? What makes you two work together well? 

CG: We became really good friends while making Strayed, our first book together, we have a lot of things in common like our Latino heritage and have similar taste in entertainment, and are both very much always in desperate need to create things we are proud of and put them out there in the world. Ideally, strange and beautiful things.

I think one of the things that have worked the best is that we are not afraid to text and call each other on the phone when we have a doubt, need advice, or just to catch up if we haven’t talked in a while even living at opposite ends of the world. It feels like I am working with a family member, one of the ones I like, lol.

JD: Yeah, Carlos is a brother and I genuinely love and respect him so much. He believes in himself and invests in his ideas. When he shared his pitch for Strayed with me I was immediately on board even though he was still relatively unknown as a writer at that time. I thought the story was that good and he proved it with the success of Strayed and has gone on to earn all kinds of respect in this industry. He is a ridiculously talented creator and it is a privilege to work with him and his stories. We’re great friends now and have a lot in common and I look forward to continuing our collaborations in the future, we have plenty more stories to create and share with the world.

FS: On to the Kickstarter itself, what can you tell us about the campaign?

CG: It was funded in less than 4 hours. But we have been adding cool stretch goals and unique things for add-ons like a set of travel agency posters, and pins and stickers featuring the creatures from the book.

Some of the higher tiers include the option to get drawn in the book and get an original commission from Juan.

JD: Rocketship Entertainment has done an exceptional job with organizing the campaign and it being my first experience with a Kickstarter project I can say that it has been nothing short of exceptional. There are some really cool tiers and hopefully we can get the word out to enough people to get all those cool unlockables into people’s hands.



What kind of rewards can backers expect from the Kickstarter? 

CG: Lots of fun stuff! The book is going to be an oversized hard cover even at the lower tier, and we have some cool stretch goals rewards like vinyl stickers with the creatures, and add ons like pins and a really cool set of posters that look like travel agency advertisements for the Two Suns Island.

JD: Full disclosure, I backed my own project just to get that sweet slipcase cover tier, lol. I love books and being able to get something premium with our work is a must have for me so I’m very excited about all the rewards we can offer all the backers that support our project.

FS: Rocketship has worked to bring several books to the printed page the past few years. What made you choose to work with the company?

CG: I’ve known Tom for almost 20 years now. We went to the same grad school and both worked for the same giant corporation years ago.

I reconnected with him at cons once I started doing comics a handful of years ago and have always chatted about doing something together, we just needed the right project. We had a few drinks at NYCC last year and I pitched him what this project was about and he approved it after looking at the art and reading the script.

Tom and the rest of people at Rocketship really love comics, they are big fans of the books they release and I think it shows on the product they are planning to deliver with our book and others. It’s been a great experience working with them.

JD: I just have to agree with Carlos, it’s obvious that Rocketship really understands the quality on the books that they produce. Two Suns had a few options on how it could be published, whether as a traditional monthly floppy and eventually collected into a trade or to just go direct with a premium, oversized hardcover and I think we made the best choice to go with that option. Rocketship provided the expertise and experience in that regard and I think they’ve done a wonderful job in bringing this project to life. I cannot wait to see this book in person.

FS: Are there any other projects coming down the road that you want to discuss?

CG: Well, I have a new record that will be announced next month. It’s going to be on one of my all-time favorite record labels. It will be very abstract and alien-sounding music composed with analog and digital synths at my home studio.

I am also currently writing a short story for one of my favorite properties that I loved as kid, but I can’t talk about it yet.

And someday we have to finish Strayed part 2, which will also work as a standalone story, but nothing to announce there yet. Follow us on our social media accounts to get the latest as it develops!

JD: After Two Suns I’ll be working on my next creator owned book and am also excited to work with Carlos again on Strayed vol. 2 which I know will be another success because, well, we have an astral projecting cat and who doesn’t love that?

FS: It’s clear you’ve poured so much into Two Suns. What does working on the project mean to you?

CG: I have been working on it for so long that I am just really happy we are so close to finishing it, and this campaign is really just helping us get to the finish line. It means the world to me to be that close to getting this beautiful book with the best story I have ever written in the hands of readers. I hope you get to experience the thrills and emotional journey Gio already took us on.

JD: At this moment, it means everything, I’ve been working on this book for over a year and for Carlos it’s been even longer and once it’s complete, sharing it with the world will be the most satisfying feeling ever.

FS: If you had one final pitch for the book, what would it be?

CG: It’s as if castaway happened on an alien planet and it was full of the heady twists usually found on a Black Mirror episode. The art is as unique and beautiful as it gets, and the quality of the printing and packaging will be top-notch.

At the same time, it might be the most emotionally redeeming read you have had in years.

How’s that?

JD: Alien planet, wonderful creatures, engaging story and a beautiful, hardcover book, everything you want in a graphic novel.

The Kickstarter for Two Suns has already met its funding target more than three times over, with seven days left in the campaign and one stretch goal unlocked. Make sure to check out the campaign here and dive into an alien tale that will take you on an emotional journey of the senses!