Mad Cave Studios’ marketing manager, Maya Lopez, sat down with Eliot Rahal, author of Mad Cave Studios’ newest cyber-cult thriller, Under the Influence. Read on to find out about Eliot’s inspiration, his creative process, and more!
Q: What is your biggest inspiration when it comes to writing comics?
Eliot: Yikes. Not sure I have one. Just doing something good, I guess. Making something good. Trying my best and matching the labor my colleagues bring to the table. Learning. Connecting. Really being purposeful.
Q: What was your biggest inspiration in writing Under the Influence?
Eliot: This big blue marble we call Earth.
Q: In Under the Influence, we follow Paul Kozac and Cara Cole as they both navigate very different roles in a deadly cyber-cult. Was there any special research that went into making this series?
Eliot: I did a ton of research on cult psychology, internet cults, and branding. Diving into the way people make money, too, on the internet. I feel like I did a lot. Although everything is a blur.
Q: How do you connect with the characters in Under the Influence?
Eliot: Part of me always wanted to be a preacher and part of me feels gas lit by reality and another part of me just wants everything to be easy and to find my place in the world. And another part of me just wants to understand. I have many parts. At least four or five. Lol. All of those connect with certain aspects of almost every character.
Q: What do you hope for people to take away from Under the Influence?
Eliot: God, I don’t know. Just that it was good? That it wasn’t bullshit? And maybe to think about things more. To look at the world we are in and say, “Hey, what if we didn’t do this?” I think America would be in a lot better of a place if we had a more robust language of solidarity.
Q: Can you please tell us a little bit about your writing process?
Eliot: BAAAAAARRRRRFFFFFF––I mean… I don’t know. I just really want to do a good job, but I’m also stretched paper thin. So those things are obvious contrasts. All I want is to be forgiven for my many sins and do good in the world. I like to tell stories about people like that, I think.
Q: Who/what are your biggest influences as a creator?
Eliot: Lemiere. Been getting more into Jason Aaron. Sam Raimi. I don’t know. I mean I have my north stars, but I am always looking for something new to make old in brain.
Q: What are your favorite stories/artists/genres?
Eliot: Character stories. Doesn’t matter the genre.
Q: We have to ask: What are your go-to hot dog toppings?
Eliot: Like… At home? I am mustard boy. On the street? Chicago Style.
Q: Any upcoming projects we should know about?
Eliot: Madam Satan Hell on Earth from Archie Comics! Plus something from Mad Cave!
Q: Any cons you’ll be attending in the near future?
Eliot: New York Comic Con. Gem City Comic Con in Dayton. SiouxperCon.
Q: Anything else you’d like to share?
Eliot: Everyone did great and I’m proud to have worked with so many people who care so much about paper and ink
ABOUT ELIOT RAHAL
Eliot Rahal (W)
Eliot Rahal (Hot Lunch Special, Bleed Them Dry, Madam Satan) is a New York Times-acclaimed writer best known for his work in comics and his collaborations with Last Podcast on the Left, Machine Gun Kelly, and Emily Hampshire.
Nothing is as it seems in the hot dog party. We’ve got a look at our freshly-cooked trailer for Under the Influence! Check it out below!
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