Spotlight on WinterWorld

 

The Premise of the brutal future for the denizens of Winterworld:

"The earth is entirely frozen over. It's hundreds of years in the future, and present day civilization is all but forgotten. Scully, the main character, is a trade rider. He travels from one little pocket of civilization to the next, trading goods that he finds in the shopping centers and malls under the ice."

 

WINTERWORLD is a three issue mini-series done by myself and Jorge Zaffino. It featured a future planet Earth frozen over from pole to pole and the desperate struggles of Scully, an amoral adventurer and a young orphan girl named Wynn.

The story was bleak and the action ruthless.

It didn't break any sales records but helped my reputation within the comics business. A lot of pros, young and old, still ask me about it.

A sequel was written and Drawn by Jorge and I for Epic. It was called WINTERSEA. It told the story of Scully and Wynn traveling across an ice covered Caribbean in search of Wynn's homeland. If anything the story was even bleaker with a tribe of cannibalistic pirates sailing the ice floes on a giant schooner. The two part mini was never published. I'm sure hoping Marvel still has the original art. I've been asking for it back for a couple of years now. The rights to both stories belong to Jorge and I. It's been extensively collected and re-printed in Europe. But no collection has ever been published here. When I get the art back from Marvel I may approach a few willing publishers to see if they care to collect the whole thing in one volume. Who knows? I may get enough interest to do WINTERWAR the concluding part.

 


Author's Word
Article originally published in WINTERWORLD #3 (March 1988)
 

I first saw the work of Jorge Zaffino a little over a year ago. I only saw a couple of portfolio pieces and a handful of pages from an Argentine comic story, but their effect on me was immediate.

I wanted to work with this guy.

I had to work with this guy.

My introduction to Jorge's work came through Ricardo Villegran. Ricardo and I had been working together on Evangeline for various companies for a while, and I was aware that he had a studio in Argentina that was full of extremely talented artists (including Ricardo's brothers, Enrique and Carlos) who were seeking work in North America and Europe. I looked through samples of all the artists he worked with and was impressed with the level of professionalism and draughtsmanship I saw there. These guys has grown up wanting to emulate the best artists comics has to offer, artists like Raymond, Foster, Salinas, Caniff, and Toth. Their work had a classic look to it that was perfect for adventure comics. As I looked at each artist's sample I cataloged in my mind the type of story he would be best for, the kind of story I would write for him if I were given the opportunity.

Then I saw Jorge's work.

He combined all the strengths of the other Argentines, but brought a darker feel to his work. There is a strength and passion and malevolence to his work that is rare in comics from any country. Joe Kubert has it. Tim Truman has it. Rich Corben has it.

Zaffino can draw guys you don't want to meet. Ever. His work has an element of danger to it. His characters have an animal vitality and ruthlessness about them that makes them live on the printed page.

So what could I write for this guy?

Winterworld came to me a few days after seeing Jorge's drawings. Oh, not all at once, but little by little I thought about a future world that was frozen over and lightly populated with all kinds of desperate characters. The relationship between Scully and Wynn grew out of this bare bones idea and became the core of the story. I wanted to do a story atypical of the average American sci-fi comic. No flashy spaceships and monsters and dudes in tights wielding alien-spawned super powers, just a bunch of gun-toting paranoids fighting it out over ruins of a dead civilization. This wasn't going to be a story about heroes battling to save the universe. This was going to be about folks who weren't sure where, or when, their next meals was going to be and who they'd have to kill to get it.

I felt that the story line was suited for Jorge's talents and , upon receipt of the first issue's script, Jorge agreed. He was very enthusiastic about the story and sent me two drawings of the characters. So, with the sample drawings and a simply worded proposal, I shopped the mini-series around until it found home as part of the 4Winds line for Eclipse.

If you've read the entire Winterworld saga, you already know what a tremendous job Zaffino has done. I hope we'll be seeing more work from him in the future. He and I plan a sequel to Winterworld so, if you want to see it, let us know.

For now, we reluctantly leave Scully, Wynn, and faithful Rah Rah to their uncertain future in the world of perpetual winter...

Chuck Dixon
March 1988

WINTER WORLD #1-3 was a full-color monthly mini-series by Chuck Dixon and Jorge Zaffino
Originally published by Eclipse Comics 1987
copyright Chuck Dixon and Jorge Zaffino

WINTERWORLD DRAWINGS BY JORGE ZAFFINO

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2004 by Chuck Dixon. All Rights Reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced without permission.

 

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