Interview: Jordan Gunderson on Aspen’s Dissension: War Eternal

Dissension: War Eternal #1 Jordan Gunderson cover

Dissension: War Eternal #1 Jordan Gunderson cover


Artist Jordan Gunderson is known for his work on Aspen Universe: Revelations, Four Points, No World, and more. Now he brings you his first creator-owned project with Aspen’s Dissension: War Eternal, the story of a band of renegade angels and their epic battle with humanity. Gunderson recently spoke with Westfield’s Roger Ash and revealed more about this thrilling new comic.

Dissension: War Eternal premiered in Free Comic Book Day's Worlds of Aspen 2018

Dissension: War Eternal premiered in Free Comic Book Day’s Worlds of Aspen 2018


Westfield: Dissension: War Eternal debuted this past weekend in FCBD’s Worlds of Aspen 2018. This story takes place in the past while the series is set in the future. Why the time jump?

Jordan Gunderson: So telling the initial story of when the band of renegade angels comes to Earth was always in the back of my mind when crafting the series storyline. We really wanted to start off the book with a bang and show the reader just how epic in scope the story stretches back. Dropping the reader into the very beginnings of our tale seemed to make the most sense for our prequel story and allows us to showcase the very real threat these renegade angels posed to the human race if left unchecked. When the series debuts, we will dip back and forth through time, explaining how the events of the past have shaped what has become our future.

Westfield: What can readers look forward to in the series and who are some of the characters they’ll meet?

Gunderson: The series has a very grand scale to it, whether it be the snow-capped mountains of the Alaska, a withered alien moon or the ruins of a war torn Las Vegas, the settings for the book set the stage for an epic action adventure. The characters are no exception, as we delve into the storylines of renegade angels, clairvoyant freedom-fighters, military generals and lots more that will be revealed in time. Though the story centers on our main character, Isabel “Delphi” Vasquez, we will weave the storyline through a host of other characters and peel back the layers on who they are and how they fit into the Dissension universe.

With angels like this, things look bad for humanity

With angels like this, things look bad for humanity


Westfield: How did you come to collaborate with writer Christopher Fielder?

Gunderson: Chris and I began to communicate online for awhile when he was in development of one of his projects that he needed an artist on. Since we were both in the Midwest and frequent attendees of Chicago comic conventions, our paths would cross fairly regularly. I really liked his writing style and I decided to see if he would be interested in pairing with me on writing Dissension. Eventually, I sent him over a lot of my storylines and notes as well as character bios and a loose synopsis for the story. We began to communicate back and forth, picking and choosing things that worked and didn’t work for the series.

Dissension: War Eternal #1 Francis Manapul cover

Dissension: War Eternal #1 Francis Manapul cover


Westfield: You’ve said you’ve been working on Dissension: War Eternal for a while. How long has it been in development?

Gunderson: Well, really broad and loose concepts of this project definitely had their start while I was finishing High School and beginning my college career. Since then, the story has been adapted and updated numerous times, all to stay relevant and fresh in an ever-changing comic landscape. The influences I have had over the years are too numerous to count; movies, comics, books, and concept albums, all played a part in the initial building blocks of what was to become the Dissension: War Eternal storyline.

Saravati by Jordan Gunderson

Saravati by Jordan Gunderson


Westfield: For those who may be curious, what all is involved in the creation of a title like this?

Gunderson: Quite a lot, actually! You can really think about it as different pieces to a puzzle, all interlocking together and forming a cohesive picture in the end. I started with the main storyline and a synopsis for what I envisioned the series to be. I created character design sheets with biographies for each character and the motivations that drive them. I would concept and design places in the world that the characters would interact with, even going so far as to 3D model an environment I knew would be a key feature in the story. Once a foundation was built, work shifted into breaking the story into segments that would work as issues of a comic book and translate to the 20 page format.

Westfield: Where did the idea for the story come from?

Gunderson: I have always loved science fiction and fantasy genres over the years and I suppose a number of them have had a direct impact on shaping the storyline for Dissension: War Eternal. Mainly, my goal was to craft a story utilizing the mythology of angels in a way that hadn’t really been done before and breaking the mold of the Heaven vs. Hell archetype.

Dissension: War Eternal #1 Elias Chatzoudis cover

Dissension: War Eternal #1 Elias Chatzoudis cover


Westfield: Any closing comments?

Gunderson: I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who came out on Free Comic Book Day, whether it was to the two Westfield Comics locations I was in attendance at or one of the many participating comic book retailers across the country to pick up their copy of Dissension: War Eternal. I hope you are all ready for a wild ride when issue #1 hits shelves on July 25th and I urge everyone who can to go out and support independent comics and the artists that create them.

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