What if you could relive your whole life... And change it? It's a question that's been posed time and again, but never as uniquely as in writer/artist Peter Bagge's upcoming Dark Horse series Reset. The book - which hits stands on April 18th - shows what happens when failed stand-up comic Guy Krause gets a chance to sit in a Reset machine, re-starting his life at a key point in High School, and reliving the moments again, and again, and again.
Will he learn something from the experience? Or be stuck in a loop forever? We chatted with Bagge about all of this, in advance of the books release, and why the book is a huge "boner killer:"
MTV Geek: I’m going to dance around spoilers as much as I can here, but there’s certainly been a lot of fiction about being able to revisit your high school years, through various means… Why do you think this is such a draw for writers, and what makes the approach in Reset different?
Peter Bagge: It isn't! Well, I use that cliche of a slight suffered in HS that one never gets over. It seemed like an obvious starting point for the main character to start re-living past events in his life.
Geek: Guy Krause seems so specific as a character, yet in a weird way very general as well. Was there any one – or couple of comedians, or actors you based him on? Or, you know, cartoonists?
PB: Besides myself, you mean? Ha ha. No, I tried very hard to make him NOT seem to be based on anyone in particular. I never show him doing his stand up routine, so the reader never gets a sense of what kind of comic he was. I didn't want that to be known, since it wasn't relavent and would have been a distraction.
Geek: In a certain way it almost seems like you, the writer, are avoiding the central premise as much as possible in the first issue, like Krause. Which, by the way, I kind of loved, so this ain’t a criticism. I’m curious, though, is that something you were aware of as you were writing? And if so, why approach the story this way?
PB: Everyone fantasizes about living their life over again, as does Guy. The problem for him is other people are in the room watching him and creating and controlling the context he's allowed to fantasize in. This is a huge "boner killer," needless to say, and something he has to get used to and work with.
Geek: How much of Krause’s life do YOU have planned out, before sitting him in the virtual reality simulator? How much back-story do you need to do? Or is it improvisation to a certain degree?
PB: I show just enough back story to move the story along. The reader learns everything they need to know. I hope!
Geek: I love the style you employ for the “flashbacks…” What was the idea in coming at them that way?
PB: I simply tried to envision what something like that could plausibly look like. The people he's working with aren't exactly geniuses with cutting edge equipment (for reasons that will be made clear later), so I wanted it to look somewhat rudimentary.
Geek: What about where it’s going in the long run? Are we going to see more people sitting down in the Reset machine?
PB: You're asking me to give too much away, Alex! But I will say that that Reset machine is tailor made for Guy.
Geek: I’m guessing we’ll see this answered one way or another by the end of the series, but do you think it’s possible for people to change? And does it take something like a virtual reality simulator of your past to force that change, if so?
PB: No one can COMPLETELY change, but circumstances and necessity can certainly cause them to change -- or at least make huge behavioral adjustments. The woman working with Guy certainly hopes the simulator will give him a new outlook on life -- a healthier outlook on life, if you will.
Geek: If you could take back doing this interview, would you?
PB: I could always re-type it!
Geek: To wrap up, for anyone on the fence about Reset, why pick up the first issue?
PB: It will completely change them, and give them a healthier outlook on life. That's my guarantee!
Reset #1 hits comic book stands from Dark Horse Comics on April 18th.