Dan Shotz & Cody DeMatteis Talk About Jericho Season 3!

Written by

Nov 25 2009 at 12:01am

Posted in General News,Interviews

There’s has been such a huge groundswell of interest in Jericho Season 3: Civil War, the upcoming comics series from Devil’s Due Publishing, that when got a chance to interview part of the creative team, we jumped at the chance! As you may already know, Jericho Season 3: Civil War is the official continuation of the much-loved Jericho CBS television show starring Skeet Ulrich, Lennie James, and Ashley Scott.

From the very beginning, Jericho has had dedicated, active fans–so much so that they convinced CBS to bring the canceled show back for a second season! Now Jericho’s beloved Rangers are back for a third season in comic book form. Read on to learn more! We are here with show writer/producer Dan Shotz and series editor Cody DeMatteis–thanks for taking the time to answer some questions, guys!

Dan Shotz: Our pleasure . . . we are so thrilled that Jericho Season 3: Civil War is finally here. We love seeing the Jericho story continue in comic book form, and we have a feeling the fans will be very pleased with what we’ve put out. The whole Jericho team from the show is involved in the creation of this comic book series and we are having a blast working with Devil’s Due Publishing to give the fans something truly special. Jericho was much loved by fans–so much so that they were able to bring it back to CBS for a second season after cancellation. What made you decide to bring it back as a comic?

DS: This has always been about the fans. They are so passionate and have inspired us to keep the story going. They made history when they brought the show back for a second season and we, the writers and producers of the series, wanted to continue the story for them in different ways. This story is very close to our hearts and we feel like we have so much more to tell. Where does Jericho Season 3 pick up, storywise? Of course, this series has “Civil War” right in the title. Can you tell us about that?

DS: We left Season 2 with a Civil War looming between the East and the West. And now we have the opportunity to show it. The first group of books will deal with the Civil War on the verge of breaking out and the repercussions of living in a potential war zone. Jake and Hawkins will be directly involved with the outcome of the war itself, while the Jericho citizens will be fighting a resistance from within the new Allied States. Dan, what was it like adapting Jericho from television to comics? Were there any particular challenges?

DS: As the writers of the first issue, Robert Levine and I found it very freeing. The comic book form allows us to go big without restrictions. When you are working on a TV series, we are limited by budget and time concerns. When you want a tank to arrive on set, it costs serious money. With a great artist, we can fill a base with a dozen tanks free of charge. Cody, were you a fan of Jericho before you started editing the comics? What things do you keep in mind to make sure the comics have the same “feel” of the series?

Cody DeMatties: I had been a fan of the series, right up until the cancellation. Given that the cliffhanger we were left with I was more than excited to be involved with this project. There are plenty of factors to making sure that the comic retains the same overall feel of the original show, but Dan has been a massive help in guiding the voice of the comic. He’s the one that ensures when fans pick up a copy of Jericho #1, they’re going to be more than satisfied. How well do you think this comic has recreated the characters and world of the TV series? For fans, will this be like getting a “real” Season 3?

CDe: As Dan noted earlier, with the comics, fans are going to be getting a bigger story. The scope of the Jericho world isn’t tied to budget anymore . . . the sky is the limit for where this can go. I feel that people are going to find the same dynamic, character-driven stories they’ve come to expect from Jericho, but with the freedom of the comics medium allowing for the exploration of aspects not possible on screen. How would you describe this comic to readers who’ve never seen the show?

DS: Jericho is a story about a world turned upside down by a coordinated terrorist attack that wiped out 23 American cities. As America is slowly trying to rebuild itself, the country we once knew is now split into different factions and they are each vying for control. But at the heart of the story, Jericho is about the citizens of a small town, who are making a difference on a grand scale. They are fighting back for what is true and right and will risk their lives to save their home. How did you choose the artist, Alejandro Giralbo? In the preview pages I’ve seen, it looks like he’s captured the likenesses of the actors really well.

CDe: I connected with Alejandro through Nutopia Agency. We got samples from a variety of artists, but he really nailed the feel we were going for with an added sense of realism. He’s a very talented guy . . . I feel we’ll be seeing more from him in the future. Are there going to be any relationship developments in Jericho Season 3, or is this mostly an action tale?

DS: When the writers of the series got together to break the story, we made sure that the book would feel like the show. While the show had high-quality action set pieces, it also had rich characters with strong emotional beats. We didn’t want to lose that multi-layered texture of the Jericho story. I think we found a good mix of exciting adventure with the deeply personal. Are there any surprises in store for fans that you can reveal?

DS: We have so many juicy pieces of candy in there for the fans. Don’t want to reveal too much. But I will say that all of the Jericho characters, the fan-favorites, make their way into the book. Jericho has such a committed, passionate fanbase–why do you think they relate to the show so strongly?

DS: While the show started with an enormous premise, a post-apocalyptic devastation, it’s connected with audiences because of the individual characters who were forced to realize who they were under the most extreme circumstances. The “what if?” scenario can be very powerful and emotional when you try to see yourself in that position. That concept is where this whole ride began . . . to create a community of citizens that would face adversity on every level and continue to survive. This idea continues to inspire us. After this six-issue miniseries has ended, are more story arcs planned?

CDe: We are in the process of discussing what is up next for DDP & Jericho . . . a few exciting ideas being passed around. We should have details soon. We want to keep telling stories in the Jericho universe as long as the fans will allow! Thanks again for you time–I’m looking forward to reading the comic!

Dan and Cody: Thank you very much.

Jericho Season 3: Civil War premieres today–make sure to pick up issue #1 now and pre-order issues #2-4 right now!

What do you think of the latest comic book adaptations of television series? Which others would you like to see? Post now or forever hold your peace!

  • erika

    Ooooooooh!!! DDP tells me my issue is in the mail. I can’t wait!! Thanks for this interview, nice to hear Cody was a fan, and we all love Dan.

  • Ryan

    Great book! Just read it and loved it – definitely go the feel of the show perfectly and was a natural place to continue the story – right where it left off!

    Jake, Hawkins, Gray Anderson, Stanley & Mimi, Eric, even Mayor Greene – they all made an appearance in one way or another. Can’t wait to see what happens next!

  • jjb

    I can’t wait to get JERICHO in my hot, little hands!!! Thanks Dan & DDP — we luv yas!

  • RobsoRocks

    Great book, read it 4 times last night and I can’t wait to get home and do it again. Thank you for the story, the art which feels so right and the dedication to your fans!

  • GoJericho

    Great story, been waiting for Jericho to continue. Thanks to everyone involved!!!

  • susan-gator

    LOVE ISSUE #1!!!!!!!!!! Great way to continue the Jericho story. Now if only we could get Jake (the ultra-hot Skeet Ulrich) back into a towel…………..

    Susan (Go Gators!)

  • Jim4Jericho

    Loved the continuing storyline and the artwork! Everything was so very Jericho-esque, I can’t wait for the next issue! JJB, hows it going? Hope all’s well in Baltimore!

  • KSpo

    This comic book needs to be turned into a TV series. I love comics but I miss the live action. Please consider the idea!

  • Gina De

    I miss Jerhico..omg i just watched the show 2 seasons worth in one week..i am saddened it didnt make 3..but ill have to buy the books now..darnnn

  • Reality_Check

    Just finished watching the entire series on Netflix.

    I could not believe Season 2 episode 7 was the end if it all.

    I only caught a few of the shows when it was on TV.

    Much better watching it with missing episodes in between, start to finish.

    The Quality of the acting improved over time.  Kind of like Star Trek Next Generation.

  • Liz Lohrke

    I too just finished watching Jericho on Netflix. Wow. Loved it! I remember being interested when it was on TV but never tuned in. Looking forward to reading the graphic novel next! I can’t believe they cancelled such a good show yet crap like Survivor keeps coming back for endless seasons. Give me a break.