Written by: Brandon Pascall
Pictures by: Brett Pascall
Jeff McKibben joined Mr Robot in season 2 with former credits on AMC’s The Walking Dead. Jeff was a fan of season 1 and called Mr. Robot a dream show and job and is very thankful and grateful for the fans of the show.
The Mr. Robot is such a layered universe and Jeff talks about the hidden Easter eggs and ARG that the show has introduced across platforms and how Sam (Esmail) has tried to make the show accessible.
When the opportunity came up to work on the comic Jeff jumped on, his history of comics was in the 90’s, he credits the Knightfall storyline as his favriote story, the skill set for writing comics was greater than just storytelling, condensing the story a comic format was liberating for Jeff.
Jeff says the average beats per episode is 15 and for Jeff, it was a learning curve because he overstuffed the comic plots, figuring out to tell a cohesive story, he summed it down to 6-8 beats per issue. Jeff wants to stay true to the nature of Mr.Robot and make sure the comic has a distinct and emotional character driven side.
For the hacking side doesn’t come from wanting to show off cool hacks but to portray important story moments and he is working with a consultant to make sure they don’t fudge the details so the comic is held to the same standard to the show. Jeff talks about how Sam had so much story for Mr.Robot even before the pilot and always thought the comic would be a great way to show that story.
The biggest concern to Jeff was making sure the cannon was followed, people know the trajectory to the story so he wants to answer what was their “yesterday” before the pilot. He wants to look for a left turn and make sure the in-between of the story is interesting and that the character moments will add up but surprise the reader and gain a fuller knowledge of certain characters going into the pilot.
The TV show follows 2015 and the show has to play catch up on the real world, the entire hacking and political aspect is just as important as the social aspect. Elliot is a very relatable character because everyone now is interacting with people from a screen.
From a character and emotional standpoint the secret sauce is how people can see themselves in the characters.
The prequel takes place in 2014 a year before February 2015 when the pilot starts. He wants to explore the “nostalgia” and credits the way back machine for 2014 to make events in that year takes place and stays true.
Jeff wants to write a honest point of view for the characters of the show so we see what they are going through in their own filter and headspace he claims that this is the hardest part when writing the characters. He also used The Walking Dead comics as helpful reminders on how comics should be formatted and how he used multiple issues of the series to help him write the show by studying panel layouts and beats of the story.
Q/A starts now
The questionee asks about how rewatching the show he has noticed a lot of little details you wouldn’t have noticed before so will that translate over to the comic?
Jeff: He hopes, there is a gray space that needs to be covered so he hopes that it will go that way.
Questionee: How does the comic “start”?
Jeff: The story will get us to a place to were Mr. Robot first introduces himself to Elliot, he jokes about how the dark army is watching for spoilers.
Questionee: Dealing with a world that has already been established what was the most difficult thing about writing the show?
Jeff: Season 2 was the hardest season and that they had such a high bar to fill, he knew the direction that he wanted to take and that coming up with ideas that would be interesting. “An inherent challenge of what now?” The creative process for Mr Robot is ready to accept that challenge.
Questionee: Can you talk about how USA and Black Mask came together?
Matteo: Haven’t done anything like this before and going from creator owned to USA was easy because it was still Sam’s vision and not about franchising the show it was about telling a story.
Jeff also says some locations will appear that watchers of the show will recognize.
The mini-series will be 6 issues and if it does well it will expanded to new and different stories. Matteo said that Black Mask will be publishing the story at the end of the year.