New comic-book publisher DSTLRY is beginning to roll out its first round of first issues, beginning with Gone #1 by writer-artist Jock. Launching October 25th, Gone is a science-fiction adventure tale about a young girl named Abi who finds herself trapped on a massive cruise-liner for the uber-rich — along with a crew of militant rebels, too.

While the success of DSTLRY’s experimental publishing model, being so new, is yet to be measured or assessed in any meaningful way, one thing is certain: the new publisher from two former ComiXology executives has attracted a massive roster of talent from across the comics industry. Among the founding creators is Jock, a celebrated artist known for his work on Batman titles and creator-driven projects such as Wytches with Scott Snyder and The Losers with Andy Diggle, among others. Gone is his first creator-owned project as both artist and writer.

Jock sat down with Screen Rant at New York Comic Con 2023, behind his buzzing Artist Alley booth, for a conversation about the “purity” of working solo, the influence of 2000 AD on his work, the massive scope of Gone’s sci-fi setting, and more. Check out the conversation — lightly edited for clarity — as well as some preview pages below.

Screen Rant: Congratulations on a beautiful first issue. Can you tell us a little bit about the conceit of Gone?

Oh, there’s so much I want to ask you, and I want to ask this question first, even though it feels out of order, because you’re talking about the ship and Abi’s experience on the ship. I’m thinking of this fabulous spread in the first issue where she’s crawling through the pipes and seeing all these different spaces. Can you talk a little bit about designing the ship, that space?

Yeah, I really, really loved that page. So you’ve had this really celebrated career for many years now as an artist, and this is your first creator-owned, writer-artist project. How does it feel to be like — you know, soon this will be hitting stands, and you’ll see it in the stores. What’s that like for you?

Sometimes there’s only one word to describe it, yeah! So you already talked a bit about this, but this story about the tensions between the “haves” and the “have-nots,” Abi’s family being of course the have-nots — I’m really struck by that really contemporary issue in sci-fi spaces. I mean, it’s not an uncommon kind of story. But from your perspective, why does that kind of story, that kind of sci-fi story with class consciousness — why does it matter right now?

I think you really feel that in Abi’s character as well. What drives her is her family, right? What do you have to say about Abi? Who is she as a character, what motivates her? What scares her?

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