LRMonline GenreVerse

YouTuber JackSepticEye Teams With Bad Egg To Launch Shared Comic Book Universe

Sean “JackSepticEye” McLoughlin is one of the most successful YouTube content creators active today. With over 30 million subscribers, he has parlayed his video game content on the video platform into other successful endeavors including a coffee company, a clothing line and various philanthropic efforts. Now he is taking his creative energy and directing it towards comics. Using characters he has created for his channel, but never fully fleshed out, JackSepticEye is teaming with comic book publisher Bad Egg to create a new comic book universe, Altrverse.

Launching with two titles, Void Silver, written by Alejandro Arbona with art from Suzi Blake and The Somewhat Incredible Jackie-Boy Man! written by James Ausmus with prologue story art by Connie Daidone and art on the main story by Megan Huang. Both titles are available to purchase directly from Bad Egg HERE Jace got a chance to ask JackSepticEye about bringing the character to a new medium, what challenges he discovered and more.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity

LRM: Jack, for those not familiar with you and this project, can you give the readers an idea of what the Altrverse project is about?

Jacksepticeye: Altrverse is a culmination of about eight years’ worth of character building that started in my [YouTube] community and evolved over time … decided to take it seriously myself, and push the characters further and create an entire universe and a world … give them obstacles to overcome … I’m trying to create an entire connected universe between these characters. Comic books are a really good format to do that in. So that’s where we are now.

As a creative, you’ve been sharing the world of video games. You’ve got creative endeavors, including coffee, clothing line were there any creative challenges with launching a shared comic book universe that we’re surprising to you after doing all those other things?

I think it’s the relinquishing of control, in a good way, that you have the characters in mind already and you have a universe, you have personalities attached to them, then you give it to somebody else to say, “Hey, can you help write this?” Even though I’m creatively involved and I sign off on everything, I think it’s still something that you’re, like, giving over your baby to somebody else to try and work on it. Then seeing what they come back with, you have to give feedback that way. Beecause I don’t write and I’m not an artist, you have to trust other people to take your material and work it into something that the fans will enjoy. So I’ve never really done that to this level before and had something as big as this to come out of it.

It is a big idea to start with, what made the decision to do it as a shared universe with two titles, rather than just launching one title, teasing other characters, and then expanding the universe that way? This is a big way to go into a comic book launch with 2 at once.

I think because it’s fun! I think they’re two characters that I’ve been lacking on any sort of material for, and the fans really craved more from both of these characters and to do it in any sort of action format. It would have taken way longer to get anything done because there’s such spectacular characters and the things they take on are much larger in design, budget style, anything you want [to create]. It’s just really hard to do them justice [in other media] right from the get-go. So, I think doing something in a comic book, and both of them match comic books better than some of the other characters, I think doing their format like this and being able to tell more of the story earlier instead of waiting around forever for me to do it in another type of media [is better]. And comic books are always just something that I’ve really wanted to do anyway, and I think that these two characters fit [the medium] really well and I think the dynamic between both characters is a really fun thing to have side by side. I think they’re not really polar opposites, but they’re definitely not the same. I think seeing both of those characters go along their journeys at the same time, is a really fun thing for the audience to see and evolve with.

You mentioned, you’re working with these other creators. Did you take part in choosing the creators, Did you approach them? Did you have a pitch for Hey, I’m Jacksepticeye, come make my comic book?

Yeah, that’s how I start every conversation. [Laughs} Luckily Bad Egg were really good about picking the right people. After, we had a call with them and [we] talked about the sort of style and the vibe and the tone and everything that we were trying to go for, they were really good at narrowing down the pool of people that would be a good fit for the project. Then it was just a case of seeing their work, chatting to them, seeing who was available and who was really passionate about doing it Then it all coalesced really well. The people we ended up with, match the style of those characters really, really, so I think it was just a matter of matching the sort of tones that we wanted with the artists that understood it without having to overly explain it. And the people that we picked are just … they were bang on from minute one. So I think that we made a really good decision with them

These are your characters. This is your universe but have you given notes on it? When they shared the pages, plots or splash page art? How much input have you had on the process after the initial information dump of … here’s what the universe is, here’s the characters are. And  obviously, you’ve been working with these characters on your channels a lot so it’s not like they don’t exist somewhere where they can look at them.


…but how much have you gotten in the weeds of the comic book process? Or we just kind of stayed back and let them handle it?

No, we got pretty involved. We gave a lot of feedback early on especially because it’s one thing to know the stories and then they put down stuff on paper that logically made sense from the material we gave them, but then, when you see it on paper and you see where it’s going … some stuff is a little too early … some stuff just wasn’t really relevant. So, we just kind of had to pick and choose what parts of the story to tell in this first format versus what stuff was just not necessary. And there’s little tweaking of what bad guys you go up against, there’s a little tweaks about their personalities … and these characters, they have personalities, but it’s not until you put them in scenarios and you put them down on paper and you see how they react to [those scenarios] that then you get a better picture of who they are. So, I think in terms of that, we had to do some changing and moving around, not too much, but just enough to make sure that everything was consistent with what we had in our heads before the comics were ever made. And I think this type of stuff you kind of learn the characters as you’re creating with them because like I said, there’s not that much material for these two characters out there already. And as much as I have them in my head, I’m kind of like discovering things about them … now, that I actually have to, it’s like, what jobs do they do? Where did they live? Do they have family? What’s their middle names and their first names? And it was questions like that that I’d never been asked before. So, it was good to, kind of, think of the broader picture with people who know the format really well. For me I’m [thinking], Yeah, it’s in my head. I know it., but I actually had to say it out loud. I always think about something, like The Simpsons where it’s nothing in the town makes sense in the show and then they made Simpsons Hit and Run on the PS2 and I actually have to map out the city and see where everything is and It actually makes sense of the town, so it was kind of like that.

What are your goals in terms of length of the series and possible building out the universe with other titles?

I’m always, kind of aware of stuff that overstays it’s welcome. We see either TV shows or comics or stories or something that kind of drags on a little too long because somebody out there just wants it to keep going or wants to make more money [from it] or something like that. I just want to tell a good story and as long as that takes to do, I think that’s as long as we’ll do it or as long as people have interest. I don’t think it’s worth beating a dead horse when the story is kind of run out of material [and we have to say] Well here’s a new bad guy to take on! I’ve always been a fan of shows, like Gravity Falls. That’s just three seasons. You just get in. You have a story to tell you, get out and that’s kind of it. And you don’t have to keep it going forever, just because people are interested in it. And I think that’s sort of the methodology here, there is a lot to tell … it’s not going to be short and it will go on for a while. But I think whatever format best suits whatever parts of the story we’re trying to tell that’s what we’ll tap into.

Speaking of format, I know you’ve talked about working in other mediums, including potentially a narrative podcast. Do you see the Altrverse being a part of those plans that you have for potential video games, podcasts or other mediums?

Yeah, so there’s two sides of this universe, which is the IRIS side of it, the company behind everything, the company at the center of it and all the things that sort of proliferate out from it, I want to tell that story separate from the main characters. Then have them sort of coalesce and cross over each other here and there. But I don’t want one to kind of pigeonhole the other. So, I think there’s a way of being able to tell both stories at the same time and have them merge across one another And the Iris are like a podcast idea that I want to do because again it’s just a fun format to do when you can play with audio a lot more and I’m a big fan of doing that and trying to spark people’s imaginations. One of my favorite aspects of these characters and this universe is, people coming up their own theories and making up their own universe themselves after they get a tiny piece of it. So, I don’t really want to take that away from people, even though we’re definitely putting official stamps on these parts of the stories now, But that imagination side of it, I want to keep alive. So, a podcast is a fun way of letting people sort of imagine different aspects of it … and I mean I’d love to do a TV show … I’d love to do a movie. I’d love to … just see what parts of the universe slot into different mediums. And then for me as a fan, I feel like it would be fun to read the comic book, watch the TV show, watch the movie, listen to the podcast, and everything reinforces itself and feels a bit more cohesive. And you get a little bits of information here and there and you kind of put it all together. That’s at least how I like to consume my media. So, I’m selfishly just gonna make this for myself. [Laughs}

When in doubt, just make things you want to see.

JSE: Yeah.

I know your followers are very supportive of your endeavors, have they heard a lot about this project yet? I know. It hasn’t really been officially announced, but, you’ve been teasing some of these characters and some of the stuff you’ve been doing. Are people excited about the idea that you’re doing a comic book or you not really gotten much feedback yet?

No, [chuckles] as soon as we announced that we’re doing a comic book, everyone was into it already. Then they found out which characters they were and then they went even crazier! And then as soon as any sliver of artwork came out, everyone was all over it immediately and talking about how cool the characters {looked} And how one of them’s a child and the other ones so attractive [laughs]  [I thought} cool, go with it, whatever you want to do. So, it’s been fun to see that part of the community have a fire lit under them and give them something that they can get their teeth into and really enjoy … and see the characters for the first time in a while, actually do things, and it’s not just me dressed in a onesie in my room playing a video game. He’s an actual character now, and he has feelings and a life.

So obviously it sounds like your fans are excited. Have you thought about the fact that, there’s now a chance that people who don’t know who Jack Septiceye is, who are just comic book fans interested in finding something new will come to the Altrverse and then fall down a rabbit hole of watching videos on YouTube. See what you do with Thankmas (An annual charity event that raised over 10 million dollars for World Central Kitchen last year!) and discover your work for the first time, but through the medium of comic books.

I mean, that would be cool. I don’t think anybody has to get into my content just because of the comic book, but if there’s people out there who find the comic book without knowing anything about me, that’s a huge bar for success on my end because if you make something good and it’s not attached to a predetermined audience already, I think that that’s a really cool thing to have happen. When you see people out the wild who just want the comic book and that universe and are into that, but don’t care about me. That’s great.

Ok, one last question, anything else to share, where we can get this and order it and anything else coming up that you want to talk about?

You can go to Bad Egg to get it. It’s called Altrverse and it’s very fun and I hope people enjoy it and I’m very excited for it and it’s a little scary because I’ve never done comics before. But I think we made something cool and I think there’s a lot of potential in it. So, I think people will like it!

Order both issue directly from Bad Egg HERE

Night Terror Banner   GenreVerse FOR FANBOYS, BY FANBOYS Have you checked out LRM Online’s official podcasts and videos on The Genreverse Podcast Network? Available on YouTube and all your favorite podcast apps, This multimedia empire includes The Daily CoGBreaking Geek Radio: The Podcast, GeekScholars Movie News, Anime-Versal Review Podcast, and our Star Wars dedicated podcast The Cantina. Check it out by listening on all your favorite podcast apps, or watching on YouTube! Subscribe on: Apple PodcastsSpotify |  SoundCloud | Stitcher | Google Play
Share the Post: