ComicBuzz Chats With James Babineau

With the launch of his new comic, The Lost Gardens #1, next month from  Rabbit Hole Studios, we got a chance to sit down and chat with writer James Babineau. 


Hi James, it’s so wonderful to have you here with us.

Thanks for having me chat with you on Comicbuzz!


Could you please tell us a bit about yourself?

Born and raised on Prince Edward Island, the smallest province in Canada. I am currently living in Newfoundland working and keeping the lights on as everyone else is. I am quite new to the industry in terms of work, but have been an avid reader for years shopping weekly at my local shop.


Can you tell us about the origins of The Lost Gardens?

The origin story to The Lost Gardens lies with the head of Rabbit Hole, Scott Humes. It was originally developed as a video game property and most recently began to be developed into a comic series that ties into the video game.


How did Caius Schereiner, Michael Woods and John Hunt join the team?

Scott was the Nick Fury of this Avengers team, bringing in all of us together to form the creative team that worked on issue #1 of The Lost Gardens. I was brought into the overall project as well by a very good friend of mine Andrew, who sent me a message and asked if I was interested in possibly writing for this project. We chatted, and had quite a few conversations developing the story and world and from there you have the world of The Lost Gardens coming to life.


How would you describe The Lost Gardens?

The Lost Gardens is best described as a Sci-Fi Fantasy. It blends two very different and often kept apart genres. From the first setting of Hub City, a technologically advanced utopia that operates under the guise of augmented reality; to the next setting of Charlotte, a technologically absent township in the heart of a bogland filled with creatures both friend and foe. It is a story about facing your fears and striving to overcome them, but will the protagonists of this story do so, ultimately I can not say.


When you were writing The Lost Gardens, did you write a full script?

Yes. My approach to creating a story begins at the outline level, then onto a rough page layout then onto writing the full script. From there it goes off to the wonderful creative team and they make absolute magic. I’m always blown away by what they do, as sometimes I pitch some very abstract ideas or panel layouts and the expert skill that goes into this project brings it to life.


What can you tell us about Shawn Myers?

Shawn Myers is an average guy who works a fairly mediocre job at the Ministry for Parts. He isn’t special, he doesn’t have extraordinary powers, and he isn’t an undercover spy. Until he experiences a severe glitch with the augmented reality technology implanted in every citizen of Hub City goes astray. It leads to some heavy consequences for his personal life, and all he truly desires is to experience “Something real”. All I can say is that he most certainly will.


How long have you been working on The Lost Gardens?

The Lost Gardens started up in the summer of 2020 just as the Covid-19 pandemic was taking root in Canada. We never had any face-to-face meetings, as it was all virtual due to some of the restrictions that were in place at the time. I have been working on it ever since and still do to this day, and I cannot wait to see this journey begin to unfold.


How important is word of mouth for any indie project?

Immensely. I feel it is the most important aspect of pushing an indie comic that isn’t part of the major labels. You want to reach as many audiences as you can, and to help that is to craft a tale that is eye-catching and well crafted to get the attention of the market. When I go to the comic store every week, I always go out of my way to look for interesting and new titles that I may not look at everyday. A huge aspect of this was also fostered by the store I shopped at for years when I lived in PEI, The Comic Hunter Charlottetown, really pushed indie comics and really opened up a huge world that I may not have experienced when I was just first getting into comics.


How did Rabbit Hole Studios get involved with The Lost Gardens?

Rabbit Hole Studios and The Lost Gardens go hand-in-hand. Scott would be more equipped to share the wonderful history of the studio as he founded it with the The Lost Gardens property before I was involved.


With the release of The Lost Gardens #1 on September 7th. How do you feel?

I’m excited. We’ve been working on this project for a few years, selling to stores purely by word of mouth and advertising. Now we have gotten into Diamond Comics and it’s a very exciting time for Rabbit Hole Studios. We are able to spread the word farther and faster than we previously could, so it’s a very awesome time for the team.


How can our readers get a copy of The Lost Gardens #1?

Any comic store or reader can find The Lost Gardens #1 in their Diamond Previews or online at rabbitholestudios.ca where you can find more information about us and the current and upcoming projects we are working on!


Any message for the ComicBuzz readers?

Firstly, I would like to thank you for your time and greatly appreciate everyone reading here today and I really hope you enjoy this story. This is a story that rewards readers for their time and I look forward to seeing their reactions as it pays off over time. Thank you again, and support your local shops for they make the comic world keep spinning round and round.

A big thank you to James for chatting with us; we wish him and the rest of the team, the best of luck with The Lost Gardens.


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