Back during WARS 10th Anniversary, we held back some interviews we had due to the publication of the final Battle of Phobos Novellas seeming imminent, that didn't happen and we weren't sure what to do with them then. Now, however, with the 15th Anniversary, it seems an appropriate time to dust them off!
This interview is with Sean E. Williams, author of WARS: The Great Journey, as well as comings like Wonder Woman and Fairest! He was a real joy to talk to, and we're happy to share it with you finally.
You can find more about Sean at:
And his Company Comicker Digital at:
I'm Sean E. Williams, best known for my comics work on SENSATION COMICS FEATURING WONDER WOMAN, THE VAMPIRE DIARIES, and FAIREST at DC and Vertigo, and my creator-owned series ARTFUL DAGGERS at Monkeybrain Comics and IDW Publishing. I also wrote the Gongen-centric "The Great Journey" novella in the WARS: THE BATTLE OF PHOBOS Volume 1.
How did you get involved in WARS? (I know you've answered this a million times before)
The short version is that I was a huge fan of Decipher, Inc.'s card games since their STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION launched. By the time WARS came out, I was buying all of their stuff. A few years later, I was writing and producing films and television series, and I approached them about developing WARS into an animated series. Shockingly, they agreed. A little while later, Grail Quest Books approached Decipher about doing more WARS stuff in print, and Decipher got the two of us in touch.
What is your favorite WARS faction?
Gongen, obviously. It's our world in transition. Plus, I don't want to see the corporate Earther future that we're heading toward currently. I'd much rather live in the Gongen world of honor, frontiersmanship, and balance.
What is your favorite thing about writing in the WARS Universe?
That it's a pre-established universe. Michael Stackpole and the other writers of the original stories, as well as the development team at Decipher, did an AMAZING job of fleshing out a sandbox to play in. From FAIREST to SENSATION COMICS, I've always loved playing in pre-existing worlds, and WARS fit that mold perfectly as well.
Is there anything about the setting you don't like?
Like I said, I don't like thinking about our future as the corporate-ified one that the Earther faction represents, but I think that's the way we're headed, unfortunately.
Your first WARS Novella saw the development of the Shocho Artificial Intelligence on Gongen. Do you think such an invention could be trusted to run society the way Shocho does?
I think we'd be a lot safer in Shocho's hands than the way things are going currently.
Would you live on Gongen if given the chance?
Absolutely. I've had this fight with my wife more than once (she'd never leave Earth).
Do you think life under Shocho in anyway mirrors our more monitored and electronic world?
Not at all. Shocho is benevolent, and programmed to make everything function in balance. Our current world is built to empower a few, which is pretty much the opposite of Shocho's design. I'd like to think that having a thermostat that monitors when you're coming home is a step in the Shocho direction, but it's far more likely that the NSA is monitoring it to see where you're going. Now, could we get to a Shocho existence? Possibly. But not with the way things are going worldwide currently.
Your first novella also features the earliest scenes we've seen in the WARS Universe, showing the creation of Shocho long before the events of the setting we think of, as well as the Exodus to Mars. What inspired the back and forth nature of the book's timeframe, and what was it like to write the prehistory of WARS?
I felt like a lot of the Battle of Phobos-era material had been covered in the cards and the pre-existing stories pretty well, but there were hints of the time before Gongen was colonized that I wanted to explore. There were enough dots in the lore on the cards and the stories hinting at "The Great Journey" that it seemed like a great opportunity to connect them in a meaningful way that then tied into the Battle of Phobos. Knowing that two other novellas were being written simultaneously that were going to be contemporary with mine made me want to break away as much as possible as well, considering any changes to their books would affect mine. By writing about the prehistory of WARS, I was able to stake my own claim, and explore some ideas I wouldn't have been able to explore otherwise.
You were involved in work on a WARS animated series and comic book at one point. Are those projects still kicking around, and is there any chance they will resurface in the future?
Now that I'm focusing on comics and prose, the animated series is pretty much dead, but I'd love to see it happen. Animation is pretty much the only place where you'd be able to do WARS justice. And I'd love to revisit a comic, but it'd require the right combination of circumstances.
Is there anything you'd like to say we didn't ask you about?
I'm just grateful that Warren Holland and Cindy Thornburg of Decipher, Inc. let me play in their sandbox as much as they did! They certainly didn't have to take a chance on me and Grail Quest Books, but it's a gross understatement to say that their doing so changed my life, and for that, I'll be forever in their debt.
Is there anything you'd like to say to fans on this 10th Anniversary of WARS?
I honestly can't believe it's been ten years. There's only a handful of properties that have had as much of an affect on my life as WARS, and I'm sure that's the case for some of the other the fans out there as well. That's why we've stayed fans for so long, right? I'm grateful for everyone who's checked out the novellas, and I hope we can all see some more of WARS in the future!
Thank you so much to Sean for taking the time to talk to us!