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Interview: Tolkien Would Hate 'Quested'...But You'll Love It!

Interview by Troy-Jeffrey Allen

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From Michael Calero (Alpha Betas) and Kit Wallis (Good Boy) comes Quested, a blatantly off-kilter adventure that simultaneously pays homage to the fantasy genre while making J.R.R. Tolkien cringe in the afterlife. If you like your RPGs with a little disrespect then...welcome to the clan! 

PREVIEWSworld talked with writer Michael Calero to find out more.

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Troy-Jeffrey Allen: Catch us up to speed. What is Quested about?

Michael CaleroQuested drops readers into a world inspired by RPG games and fantasy tropes and follows the staff of a questing Pawn shop that moonlight as adventurers (or maybe its the other way around). We meet the group as they are pulled into a really unexpected quest that forces them to risk their lives for a cause they may or may not believe in.

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TJA: Can you talk about Jinx? Why do we follow him through the story?

Michael Calero: Jinx is the proprietor of the Pawn Shop and also the son of the world’s most legendary adventurer. With that comes a reputation that he finds himself having to really bend the questing rules to live up to. I liken him to Link from Legend of Zelda meets Hellboy, but with a much weaker moral compass.

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TJAThis definitely pulls from video game mechanics a bit, right? How did gaming influence the story?

Michael Calero: Without the fantasy adventure games of my youth this book wouldn’t exist. This was a character that I made up when playing classic Nintendo JRPG titles and the character evolved and changed as the types of games I played evolved. Legend of Zelda, as I mentioned earlier, was a big influence and I really love the idea of creating something that calls back to some of those RPG tropes while also taking the occasional shot at how ridiculous the genre can be.

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TJAThe artist on the project is Kit Wallis of Good Boy fame. What made Kit the right artist for the job?

Michael Calero: I fell in love with Kit’s work when I was at Starburns Industries Press and he was working on a book for us called Hellicious. I knew I wanted to make Quested happen but didn’t really know what it should look like since it really didn’t feel like a traditional comic. I wanted someone whose art is unexpected and could capture the humor of the story… Kit nailed it immediately. He has a bright and vibrant style while also being able to capture really dark and gritty details that this book absolutely needed.

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TJAIn terms of audience, who is this book for?

Michael Calero: I think this book is for readers who want an action-packed story that grows with them as readers. We have sooo much character development planned for the main cast but we didn’t want to make it too obvious where it was going. We want to make something that you can keep coming back to for years and really feel invested in the character's arc like you would with a great Anime or genre show. Readers who take his journey with us are going to be in for a treat.

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Quested is available to preorder now with PREVIEWSworld Pullbox! It hits comic shops on December 7, 2022 from WhatNot Publishing! 

Keep an eye on PREVIEWSworld.com's TwitterFacebookYouTube, or Instagram for more artist spotlights!

WHATNOT PUBLISHING
QUESTED #1 CVR A JACINTO
(W) Michael Calero, Thomas Parson (A) Kit Wallis (CA) Kim Jacinto
Rising star at Marvel (Spider-Man 2099) and DC Comics, Kim Jacinto, provides an iconic debut cover, with art by Kit Wallis, the artist behind the hit series Good Boy.

Quested fuses the attitude of Hellboy and the fantasy-adventure spirit of Legend of Zelda as it follows the questing misadventures of pawn shop owner and morally ambiguous hero-for-hire, Jinx, through a world filled with lizard henchmen, dungeon-bosses, and unicorn burgers!

"Episode 1: Faux Highness"
When a plan to take advantage of a desperate king trying to protect his daughter goes wrong, Jinx and his two accomplices (I mean guild members!) find themselves actually having to save the princess.
In Shops: Dec 07, 2022
SRP: $3.99
PREVIEWS Page #388

WHATNOT PUBLISHING
QUESTED #1 CVR B WALLIS CONNECTING CVR BIG BAD
(W) Michael Calero, Thomas Parson (A/CA) Kit Wallis
Cover by series artist Kit Wallis (Good Boy), this variant is the first in a series of three connecting covers.

Quested fuses the attitude of Hellboy and the fantasy-adventure spirit of Legend of Zelda as it follows the questing misadventures of pawn shop owner and morally ambiguous hero-for-hire, Jinx, through a world filled with lizard henchmen, dungeon-bosses, and unicorn burgers!

"Episode 1: Faux Highness"
When a plan to take advantage of a desperate king trying to protect his daughter goes wrong, Jinx and his two accomplices (I mean guild members!) find themselves actually having to save the princess.
In Shops: Dec 07, 2022
SRP: $3.99
PREVIEWS Page #389

WHATNOT PUBLISHING
QUESTED #1 CVR C WALLIS CONNECTING CVR HAMO & LITHIA
(W) Michael Calero, Thomas Parson (A/CA) Kit Wallis
Cover by series artist Kit Wallis (Good Boy), this variant is the second in a series of three connecting covers.

Quested fuses the attitude of Hellboy and the fantasy-adventure spirit of Legend of Zelda as it follows the questing misadventures of pawn shop owner and morally ambiguous hero-for-hire, Jinx, through a world filled with lizard henchmen, dungeon-bosses, and unicorn burgers!

"Episode 1: Faux Highness"
When a plan to take advantage of a desperate king trying to protect his daughter goes wrong, Jinx and his two accomplices (I mean guild members!) find themselves actually having to save the princess.
In Shops: Dec 07, 2022
SRP: $3.99
PREVIEWS Page #389

WHATNOT PUBLISHING
QUESTED #1 CVR D WALLIS CONNECTING CVR JINX
(W) Michael Calero, Thomas Parson (A/CA) Kit Wallis
Cover by series artist Kit Wallis (Good Boy), this variant is the third in a series of three connecting covers.

Quested fuses the attitude of Hellboy and the fantasy-adventure spirit of Legend of Zelda as it follows the questing misadventures of pawn shop owner and morally ambiguous hero-for-hire, Jinx, through a world filled with lizard henchmen, dungeon-bosses, and unicorn burgers!

"Episode 1: Faux Highness"
When a plan to take advantage of a desperate king trying to protect his daughter goes wrong, Jinx and his two accomplices (I mean guild members!) find themselves actually having to save the princess.
In Shops: Dec 07, 2022
SRP: $3.99
PREVIEWS Page #389

WHATNOT PUBLISHING
QUESTED #1 CVR E CALERO
(W) Michael Calero, Thomas Parson (A) Kit Wallis (CA) Michael Calero
Cover by series writer and creator Michael Calero, with art by Kit Wallis, the artist behind the hit series Good Boy.

Quested fuses the attitude of Hellboy and the fantasy-adventure spirit of Legend of Zelda as it follows the questing misadventures of pawn shop owner and morally ambiguous hero-for-hire, Jinx, through a world filled with lizard henchmen, dungeon-bosses, and unicorn burgers!

"Episode 1: Faux Highness"
When a plan to take advantage of a desperate king trying to protect his daughter goes wrong, Jinx and his two accomplices (I mean guild members!) find themselves actually having to save the princess.
In Shops: Dec 07, 2022
SRP: $3.99
PREVIEWS Page #389

WHATNOT PUBLISHING
QUESTED #1 CVR F MAHFOOD LAUNCH VAR
(W) Michael Calero, Thomas Parson (A) Kit Wallis (CA) Jim Mahfood
Fan-favorite illustrator Jim Mahfood (Grrl Scouts, Fortnite) continues his series of cross-title variant covers commemorating the launch of Whatnot Publishing!

Quested fuses the attitude of Hellboy and the fantasy-adventure spirit of Legend of Zelda as it follows the questing misadventures of pawn shop owner and morally ambiguous hero-for-hire, Jinx, through a world filled with lizard henchmen, dungeon-bosses, and unicorn burgers!

"Episode 1: Faux Highness"
When a plan to take advantage of a desperate king trying to protect his daughter goes wrong, Jinx and his two accomplices (I mean guild members!) find themselves actually having to save the princess.
In Shops: Dec 07, 2022
SRP: $4.99
PREVIEWS Page #389

WHATNOT PUBLISHING
QUESTED #1 CVR G VILLALOBOS
(W) Michael Calero, Thomas Parson (A) Kit Wallis (CA) Ramon Villalobos
Cover by popular Marvel and DC artist Ramon Villalobos with art by Kit Wallis, the artist behind the hit series Good Boy.

Quested fuses the attitude of Hellboy and the fantasy-adventure spirit of Legend of Zelda as it follows the questing misadventures of pawn shop owner and morally ambiguous hero-for-hire, Jinx, through a world filled with lizard henchmen, dungeon-bosses, and unicorn burgers!

"Episode 1: Faux Highness"
When a plan to take advantage of a desperate king trying to protect his daughter goes wrong, Jinx and his two accomplices (I mean guild members!) find themselves actually having to save the princess.
In Shops: Dec 07, 2022
SRP: $3.99
PREVIEWS Page #390

ABLAZE PUBLISHING
TRAVELING TO MARS #1 CVR C LAVINA (MR)
(W) Mark Russell (A) Roberto Meli (CA) Zulema Lavina
From two-time Eisner and Harvey Award nominee Mark Russell and hot new talent Roberto Meli comes a compelling new sci-fi series...
Traveling to Mars tells the story of former pet store manager Roy Livingston, the first human to ever set foot on Mars. Roy was chosen for this unlikely mission for one simple reason: he is terminally ill and therefore has no expectation of returning. Roy is joined on his mission to Mars by Leopold and Albert, two Mars rovers equipped with artificial intelligence, who look upon the dying pet store manager as a sort of god. Against the backdrop of not only his waning days but those of human civilization as well, Roy has ample time to think about where things went wrong for both of them and what it means to be a dying god.
A riveting story of planetary exploration and of finding meaning in your final days.
In Shops: Nov 09, 2022
SRP: $3.99
PREVIEWS Page #238

WHATNOT PUBLISHING
QUESTED #1 CVR K JACINTO VIRGIN VAR
(W) Michael Calero, Thomas Parsons (A) Kit Wallis (CA) Kim Jacinto
Kim Jacinto, rising star at Marvel and DC, delivered an iconic debut cover now available
as a virgin variant.
Quested fuses the attitude of Hellboy and the fantasy-adventure spirit of Legend of Zelda
as it follows the questing misadventures of pawn shop owner and morally ambiguous
hero-for-hire, Jinx, through a world filled with lizard henchmen, dungeon-bosses, and
unicorn burgers!
"Episode 1: Faux Highness"
When a plan to take advantage of a desperate king trying to protect his daughter goes
wrong, Jinx and his two accomplices (I mean guild members!) find themselves actually
having to save the princess.
In Shops: Dec 07, 2022
SRP: $9.99

WHATNOT PUBLISHING
QUESTED #1 CVR M RIEGEL ARMY OF DARKNESS HOMAGE VAR
(W) Michael Calero, Thomas Parsons (A) Kit Wallis (CA) Alex Riegel
In Shops: Dec 07, 2022
SRP: $3.99

WHATNOT PUBLISHING
QUESTED #2 CVR A JACINTO
(W) Michael Calero, Thomas Parson (A) Kit Wallis (CA) Kim Jacinto
Cover art by Kim Jacinto (Marvel's Spider-Man 2099) with interior art by Kit Wallis (Good Boy).

In a tale that would make Tolkien cringe, Jinx and the gang are invited to join some of the world's most infamous adventurers on a quest to destroy a legendary cursed object - a 20-sided die that gives good or bad luck to whoever rolls it. What should be a simple journey for this who's who of A-List Questers quickly goes off the rails when Jinx's greed gets the best of him and he lands on the bad side of the greatest adventurer of them all, Man-Darr The Bravest.

Oh also...the gang adopts its newest member, Speye, a seemingly innocuous furry mascot with a penchant for eating treasure. What could go wrong?
In Shops: Jan 11, 2023
SRP: $3.99
PREVIEWS Page #403

WHATNOT PUBLISHING
QUESTED #2 CVR B WALLIS
(W) Michael Calero, Thomas Parson (A/CA) Kit Wallis
Our team comes together for the first time in this cover by series artist Kit Wallis (Good Boy).

In a tale that would make Tolkien cringe, Jinx and the gang are invited to join some of the world's most infamous adventurers on a quest to destroy a legendary cursed object - a 20-sided die that gives good or bad luck to whoever rolls it. What should be a simple journey for this who's who of A-List Questers quickly goes off the rails when Jinx's greed gets the best of him and he lands on the bad side of the greatest adventurer of them all, Man-Darr The Bravest.

Oh also...the gang adopts its newest member, Speye, a seemingly innocuous furry mascot with a penchant for eating treasure. What could go wrong?
In Shops: Jan 11, 2023
SRP: $3.99
PREVIEWS Page #404

WHATNOT PUBLISHING
QUESTED #2 CVR C ZULLO
(W) Michael Calero, Thomas Parson (A) Kit Wallis (CA) Chrissie Zullo
Fan-favorite cover artist Chrissie Zullo (Marvel, DC), brings her signature style to the world of Quested.

In a tale that would make Tolkien cringe, Jinx and the gang are invited to join some of the world's most infamous adventurers on a quest to destroy a legendary cursed object - a 20-sided die that gives good or bad luck to whoever rolls it. What should be a simple journey for this who's who of A-List Questers quickly goes off the rails when Jinx's greed gets the best of him and he lands on the bad side of the greatest adventurer of them all, Man-Darr The Bravest.

Oh also...the gang adopts its newest member, Speye, a seemingly innocuous furry mascot with a penchant for eating treasure. What could go wrong?
In Shops: Jan 11, 2023
SRP: $3.99
PREVIEWS Page #404

WHATNOT PUBLISHING
QUESTED #2 CVR D CALERO AKIRA TORIYAMA HOMAGE
(W) Michael Calero, Thomas Parson (A) Kit Wallis (CA) Michael Calero
Cover by series creator Michael Calero, with interior art by Kit Wallis, the artist behind the hit series Good Boy.

In a tale that would make Tolkien cringe, Jinx and the gang are invited to join some of the world's most infamous adventurers on a quest to destroy a legendary cursed object - a 20-sided die that gives good or bad luck to whoever rolls it. What should be a simple journey for this who's who of A-List Questers quickly goes off the rails when Jinx's greed gets the best of him and he lands on the bad side of the greatest adventurer of them all, Man-Darr The Bravest.

Oh also...the gang adopts its newest member, Speye, a seemingly innocuous furry mascot with a penchant for eating treasure. What could go wrong?
In Shops: Jan 11, 2023
SRP: $3.99
PREVIEWS Page #404

WHATNOT PUBLISHING
QUESTED #3 CVR A JACINTO
(W) Michael Calero, Thomas Parson (A) Kit Wallis (CA) Kim Jacinto
Cover art by Kim Jacinto (Marvel's Spider-Man 2099) with interior art by Kit Wallis
(series artist).
Wake Up. Put on shirt and tie. Receive your oar and hood. Ferry souls to their final
destination. Rinse and repeat...
A peak behind the glitz and glamour of the afterlife allows us to see that the afterlife
reveals that the task of transporting souls through the Underbraun has become
monotonous for the once noble race of the Ferryman. In this issue, we follow one
Ferryman's descent to his breaking point when he crosses paths with an enigmatic
passenger who knows too much.
The backstory of the mysterious Ferryman is revealed (and thankfully so is the plot of the
series...sort of) in this look into the events that lead up to Jinx's clash with the big bad in
issue one.
In Shops: Feb 08, 2023
SRP: $3.99
PREVIEWS Page #437

WHATNOT PUBLISHING
QUESTED #3 CVR B WALLIS
(W) Michael Calero, Thomas Parson (A/CA) Kit Wallis
Series artist Kit Wallis gets up close and personal with the big bad of this adventure.
Wake Up. Put on shirt and tie. Receive your oar and hood. Ferry souls to their final
destination. Rinse and repeat...
A peak behind the glitz and glamour of the afterlife allows us to see that the afterlife
reveals that the task of transporting souls through the Underbraun has become
monotonous for the once noble race of the Ferryman. In this issue, we follow one
Ferryman's descent to his breaking point when he crosses paths with an enigmatic
passenger who knows too much.
The backstory of the mysterious Ferryman is revealed (and thankfully so is the plot of the
series...sort of) in this look into the events that lead up to Jinx's clash with the big bad in
issue one.
In Shops: Feb 08, 2023
SRP: $3.99
PREVIEWS Page #438

WHATNOT PUBLISHING
QUESTED #3 CVR C RICHARDSON VIDEO GAME HOMAGE
(W) Michael Calero, Thomas Parson (A) Kit Wallis (CA) Trevor Richardson
Trevor Richardson highlights Quested's classic video game influences with
this homage to Legend of Zelda.
Wake Up. Put on shirt and tie. Receive your oar and hood. Ferry souls to their final
destination. Rinse and repeat...
A peak behind the glitz and glamour of the afterlife allows us to see that the afterlife
reveals that the task of transporting souls through the Underbraun has become
monotonous for the once noble race of the Ferryman. In this issue, we follow one
Ferryman's descent to his breaking point when he crosses paths with an enigmatic
passenger who knows too much.
The backstory of the mysterious Ferryman is revealed (and thankfully so is the plot of the
series...sort of) in this look into the events that lead up to Jinx's clash with the big bad in
issue one.
In Shops: Feb 08, 2023
SRP: $3.99
PREVIEWS Page #438

WHATNOT PUBLISHING
QUESTED #3 CVR D CANNON
(W) Michael Calero, Thomas Parson (A) Kit Wallis (CA) Rob Cannon
Freak Snow artist Rob Cannon puts a visceral spin on Quested in his first variant cover
for Whatnot Publishing.
Wake Up. Put on shirt and tie. Receive your oar and hood. Ferry souls to their final
destination. Rinse and repeat...
A peak behind the glitz and glamour of the afterlife allows us to see that the afterlife
reveals that the task of transporting souls through the Underbraun has become
monotonous for the once noble race of the Ferryman. In this issue, we follow one
Ferryman's descent to his breaking point when he crosses paths with an enigmatic
passenger who knows too much.
The backstory of the mysterious Ferryman is revealed (and thankfully so is the plot of the
series...sort of) in this look into the events that lead up to Jinx's clash with the big bad in
issue one.
In Shops: Feb 08, 2023
SRP: $3.99
PREVIEWS Page #438

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 Troy-Jeffrey Allen is the producer and co-host of PREVIEWSworld Weekly. His comics work includes MF DOOM: All Caps, Public Enemy's Apocalpyse '91, Fight of the Century, the Harvey Award-nominated District Comics, and the Ringo Awards-nominated Magic Bullet.

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