David Penner has attended countless Kansas City Planet Comicon events over the years, but the 2001 Truman High School experienced something totally new this past weekend at Bartle Hall.
“This is the first time I have been sitting on this side of the table,” said Penner, who was joined by BioTech co-creator Kyle Stephan and cover artist Mark Szymanski as they visited with fans and sold the first two issues of their new comic creation, BioTech.
“And it was surreal. When we sold our first issue, to a total stranger, Kyle and I waited until he walked around the corner and then we totally geeked out – high fiving, fist bumping – I’ll never forget that moment as long as I live.”
BioTech is set in the year 2149 A.D., and is the story of Dr. Juanita Mae Cruz, a scientist who changes the world by making it easier for humans to augment their bodies with technology, making their day-to-day lives easier.
But there is an unwanted side effect: The technology has taken over every aspect of humanity. People are able to directly access the digital world via biological interface without having to use an external device. These devices lead to a complete societal revolution, causing humanity to act as one collective hive mind, and people lose their individuality.
“This is the culmination of a dream I’ve had since I was a child,” Penner said. “And to share this experience with friends like Kyle and Mark make it even better.”
The first two issues are now available for sale, and the third is nearly complete. There will be a 12-issue run.
Penner said he is trying to grow his character’s moral compass without taking away from the frenetic pace of the action sequences and overall story that are portrayed throughout the book by Stephan’s digital art work.
“This isn’t a preachy book that is trying to shove religious tropes down the public’s throat,” Penner said. “This is a story about struggle, overcoming that struggle and trying to bring humanity back to a society that has lost it, while also adding heavy doses of sci-fi, action, mystery and political intrigue.”
When asked about the three-day Comicon event, Penner chuckled.
“When I got home Sunday night, I just hugged my kids and collapsed,” Penner said. “It was a weekend none of us will ever forget.”
For more information about BioTech and its creative team, plus updates about the book and creative process, follow the process on Facebook at facebook.com/biotechcomic1, and on Instagram and Twitter @biotechcomic.