with Thomas Chou of Da Joint
May 2003 - Action-HQ.com and RTM are proud to bring you a selection of the newest and hottest toy designers coming out of Hong Kong. Want to know who they are and what makes them tick?
INTERVIEW WITH DA JOINT [Translated]
John Wong [Action-HQ.com] > Thomas, can you tell our readers something about your company?
Thomas Chou [Da Joint] > [Thomas Chou is the head of Business Development for Da Joint.] Well, Da Joint is a design studio that produces animated works and motion graphics for networks and TV commercials... and Zero Metal is one of our side projects that really grew out of Yin (Kwok Yung) and Ka Hing's (Chan) unwavering conviction to create an original Hong Kong Sci Fi comic and figure.
John Wong [Action-HQ.com] > I read about the ZDMC and found it very cool. But can you provide our readers who might not know about it with a short summary?
Thomas Chou [Da Joint] > ZMDC stands for "Zero Metal Defense Capsule" and refers to the impenetrable armor worn by characters from Jiu Gang in post-apocalyptic Hong Kong. The comic isn't translated into English, but here's a synopsis of the story:
In the year 2030, a catastrophic shower of iron-based meteors rains down on the Earth. The meteors effectively destroys all major urban areas, wipes out most of the world population and civilization like we know it is gone. Sort of like Mad Max. Years later, some surviving scientists discovers a floating meteor inside the enormous crater on what remains of Hong Kong Island. The scientists discovers that the meteor's anti-gravitational properties were caused by a total realignment of its atomic structure upon atmospheric entry and impact. The scientists quickly names the newly-discovered matter "Zero Metal."
Thirty years later, Hong Kong Island has fully mastered the use of this new technology and has become the unparalleled military power in the region. Renaming the island "Gang Dao", Hong Kong Island declares itself an independent state and develops highly mobilized armor units - ZMDCs - to enforce their sovereignty and security.
Across the remains of Victoria Harbor, the remaining citizens of Kowloon are angry and fearful. The unorganized civilian population of the Kowloon Peninsula attempts to unify and resist the advancing troops of Gang Dao, a belligerent power with superior military might. Meanwhile, the Lunnies-a mysterious band of moon colonists-turned-pirates join the battle against Gang Dao while searching for a vast treasure hidden by one of their former compatriots.
John Wong [Action-HQ.com] > How did you guys come up with the idea, the plot?
Thomas Chou [Da Joint] > It all began with Yin wanting to create the 12" armored figure. Then Ka Hing led the discussions on the world which the armored figure lived in. So it was that type of natural progression. Right now, Ka Hing is working with a writer to flesh out the plot and develop a full script for a comic book series.
John Wong [Action-HQ.com] > So are you planning an English version of your comic?
Thomas Chou [Da Joint] > We are aiming to publish the comic's second issue in July. An English version should be available at the same time. Just a note, the English translation of the first issue should be available on our web site at mid May.
John Wong [Action-HQ.com] > Having one of your figures, I find them amazing. Can you tell me more about the details and how long it take for production?
It took six months from drawing board to actual product in the stores, but Yin had been brooding on the designs for a couple of years before that.
John Wong [Action-HQ.com] > So what is the next figure you guys are coming out with and when should we expect it?
Thomas Chou [Da Joint] > A Kowloon version of the Bai Bing [armored soldier] is in the works right now, hopefully it will be available in the Hong Kong toy show sometime in July.
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Read more interviews:
Tim Tsui of Da Team Bronx
Alex Lau of Covert
Casey Lau of HyperChild
Daniam Chou of Garbage Robots
Alex Chin of Abnormal Toyz
Simon Wong of Posse
Images courtesy of Action-HQ.com.