“The Unearthians” is a new comic book by Arecibo-born filmmaker Omar Mora that crosses mediums. Set for release this July, ‘’The Unearthians’’ is a series that Omar was happy to discuss via an exclusive interview.
Meagan Meehan (MM): Omar, tell us about your beginnings. I believe you grew up in Puerto Rico?
OM: Yeah. I grew up in Puerto Rico. That was the best thing ever… to be born in Arecibo, Puerto Rico. That beautiful island gave me all the tools necessary to be strong mentally and physically to succeed in life. I grew up playing a lot of sports (baseball, Basketball, Volleyball and table tennis) and I had a strong education on the island, especially on high school and college. One of the things that I liked the most was been surrounded by nature. I lived close to the beach. So being so close to the water gave me that contact with mother earth, it gave me perspective of life…in the sense of been part of it. And always been connected of what surrounds me. Sometimes big cities don’t allow that. Puerto Rico was a peaceful and nurtured place to grew up.
MM: And you originally intended on being a doctor?
OM: Yeah. I always wanted to be a Physical Medicine and Pain doctor and to work with athletes (Sports Medicine). I did some great sports rotations in New York during my medical residency. I worked with one of the doctors that worked with the New York Knicks and also worked on the ING New York Marathon. I loved it. I have my private practice here in Los Angeles and I keep working with athletes. I’m doing more Regenerative Medicine (Stem Cells and Exosomes) and combining it with conventional medicine as well.
MM: How did you make the transition into writing?
OM: When I was in New York doing my medical residency, I started taking acting class at The New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts. I love storytelling, always have and acting (that I love a lot) is one tool to do that, to tell stories. But I also wanted to tell my own stories. So when I moved to Los Angeles in 2007 I decided to tell my stories; stories that I’m passionate about it. I love sci-fi, adventure and action stories. I love superhero stories. So, I decided to write them. In 2012 I wrote my first novel that I self-published through Amazon called Ancient Explorers: The Lost City of Peru. I wrote multiple short films and the first one I did under my production company Moras Productions, Inc., called A Busy Mind was distributed by PBS. Then in 2016 my first feature film I wrote called 30 Days with My Brother was distributed by AMC Theatres through the AMC Independent program. I love to write. I want to create different IPs (intellectual properties), because you can tell your stories in different mediums. That’s why I wrote The Unearthians. I started with the comic book series, but I also want to create a TV series and also a film. Every medium of storytelling has its unique and artistic beauty. And I love that. I’m very passionate about this story. As for now I have written seven feature films screenplays and I’m developing a Latino superhero story call Kaon. I wrote the script for the film and I’m developing a graphic novel for it. Can’t wait to share that with all of you.
MM: Was it always about writing films for you or has creating your own comic series always been the goal?
OM: It’s about telling the stories for different mediums. It’s been able to read the comic book and enjoy that format and also see and feel the story in the big screen and the small screen (TV). So when I write I think of both mediums comics and films. Every medium has it’s charm and it’s awesome to experience those stories in all of them. I love Superman for example. I love to read Superman comics (BTW Bendis series from DC Comics is amazing), but I also love to see the films. The experiences are totally different, but both are very gratifying.
MM: How different is it writing a comic book to a film script?
OM: Totally different, but at the same time it’s not. When you write a comic book, you need to follow a format, that’s totally different than the screenplay format. You need to describe the panels, the captions, dialogue, if there’re SFX, etc. Then the artist does their job following that format. And sometimes you write the script and the artist do what’s best without following literally the script. Or just give him the plot and he/she will do the art work based on the plot and then you fill it with dialogue, captions, etc. I do prefer to write the panels descriptions, captions dialogue and SFX. But at the end it’s a team work.
In the film script you write your story and again the format is different as the comic book script. Also, once the director takes it, it’s his story. Of course, you collaborate with him/her, but at the end of the day it’s the director story.
And why they’re not that different. Because you need to follow the rules of storytelling (Although the reality is that story telling is an art, if you don’t want to follow any rules, then don’t and tell the story you want to tell) but going back to “rules” in both medium you follow the rules of setting up, the opportunities and new situations, the turning points, the point of no returns, the climax and what happen after (the aftermath). Most stories or kind of all of them have those key points and structure.
One thing that comic book stories make you is to use your imagination more than the films. And that’s one aspect I love about comics. You let your imagination running based on the images on the paper. does. Yes, you have illustration and you convey
MM: Tell us where the inspiration for the new comic came from?
OM: I’ve been thing about this story for a while, the story of The Unearthians. I don’t want to tell too much because of possible spoilers. But it’s a story that it’s cool and very interesting. I mixed alien, supernatural and superheroes aspects on the same story. It’s a mix of adventure, action and thriller. I go back and forth between the past and the present, at least in the first four issues. And I mixed elements and folklore that I always loved to read and now I’m giving it a bit of a twist. So, the inspiration came on mixing few genres I’m passionate about.
MM: And have any of the current sci-fi or superhero movies inspired it? Anything in particular?
OM: Yeah. They are, but if I say the names, I feel it could spoil, at least the surprise and twist of the first issue. But definitely I have inspiration of current and past comic books.
MM: How many issues will the series consist of?
OM: We will have 12 issues.
MM: Can you tell us where we’ll be able to find the comics?
OM: The comic will be available through Comixology, Online orders (print format) at TheUnearthiansComics.com and in local comic book store in Los Angeles like Golden Apple Comics and Legacy Comics. For more information they can email us at [email protected] or visit our website at TheUnearthiansComics.com