INTERVIEW: Hanging Out in the Dirtbag Rapture

A woman with blue and purple hair wearing a gray top, pink pants, and a jeans jacket sits in front of a hotel. She is smoking drugs and is clearly high

Writer Christopher Sebela thought he was finished with telling stories about ghosts, but, as we learn with Dirtbag Rapture, his new mini-series from Oni Press, he clearly is not done at all. Joined by artist Kendall Goode, colorist Gab Contreras, and letterer Jim Campbell, Sebela’s latest ghost story is a little bit “The Transporter meets The Frighteners.” And somewhere in between is Kat. Think of this main character as an irascible Charon who is none too pleased to have woken up from a near-death experience and found herself with the role of transporting the dead to their final destinations.

Rocking a strong chaotic neutral vibe, Kat isn’t about this seeing and delivering dead people life if there’s nothing in it for her. Part of the story’s cynical charm is the many intriguing ways Kat finagles payment out of her passengers, which she typically uses to pay rent, feed her wandering cat, and score her next high.

But of course, there’s a catch. Or two. Kat meets a ghost named Hannah who says she wants to go to Paris for her drop off, but there’s more to her story — and to Kat’s as, it turns out, she’s been an unwitting minion for the bad guys and now the good guys are after her and both sides are demanding she choose a one and determine the fate of the world.

A rundown of Dirtbag Rapture's story concept

Secondly, Kat has a number of ghosts whom she hasn’t been able to move on. They spend their time in her “mindscape,” a quaint hotel in the woods of Kat’s mind that is intended to be a stop-over but instead has become their home. So, what if the Dirtbag Rapture creative team, joined by editor Jasmine Amiri, found themselves hanging out with Kat one day…?

If you were a regular in Kat’s mindscape, what would you be up to on a typical day?

Contreras: I would probably be in my room watching TV or in the living room, reading some books. I would like to chat with the roomies too! I’m pretty sure they’ll have cool life stories to tell.

Amiri: I’d be hanging out in the hot tub with Todd. Or hiking and exploring the forests that surrounds the Garcia Arms ghost hotel. OR MAYBE playing The Sims so I can live a lovely little Sim life now that I’m dead. Although, I very much doubt she has The Sims in there.

Goode: I’d definitely take a lot of walks through the woods.

​​Sebela: In the beginning, I’d likely be exploring how far the place extends out, trying to find the edges of it, looking for cool things no one has found before in the woods. But then after a while, I’d probably get bored and hang out in the lounge to bum cigarettes off the other ghosts before inviting myself to join whatever they’re up to on their typical days.

Do you think Kat’s mindscape would have everything you need or would you have to give her a shopping list? If so, what would be on your list?

Sebela: My whole idea for what’s available in Kat’s mindscape is it only has stuff that Kat has read or watched or listened to. But I feel like our tastes don’t align so well, so I’d be the most annoying ghost in there, constantly giving her long lists of comics, novels, horror movies, and episodes of Succession she needs to consume so I can too. And Kat being Kat, she’d probably not do any of it.

Contreras: First thing I could think of is “food”, but ghosts don’t eat (sad), so I think I’ll be okay if I have a cozy room to stay in and a TV. Can I get wi-fi there?

Amiri: The Sims, I guess!

Goode: If we’re going purely recreational, a basketball and hoop. Hopefully, I can draw while I’m in there, so some art supplies would be nice. And I’d probably ask her to take some time to watch some (all) of Star Trek.

If you were in Kat’s position, how well would you manage the job of ghost transporter?

Contreras: I would be the worst. I love to be at home so I would probably tell the ghosts to find another person because I’m too lazy to travel around and help them. Sorry, ghosts.

Amiri: I do enjoy traveling…but it’s very expensive. I bet we could work out a deal where we make casino pit stops and cheat poker tables.

Goode: I don’t think I could handle flying as much as she does. Maybe if it was just driving around the United States I’d be into it.

Sebela: The actual transportation stuff I’d probably be okay with, though I would try to limit it to the continental United States because I’m not a huge fan of flying. It’s the whole getting paid part I would be terrible at. I mean, I can barely invoice people on time for legitimate work, shaking down strangers for money is definitely outside my comfort wheelhouse.

Catch Kat in her travels with the first two issues of Dirtbag Rapture available now and the third issue out in December.

Wendy Browne

Wendy Browne

Publisher, mother, geek, executive assistant sith, gamer, writer, lazy succubus, blogger, bibliophile. Not necessarily in that order.

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