Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: Congratulations on the recent launch of the Kickstarter campaign for The Boys: This Is Going to Hurt! What can you tell us about the premise of this new tabletop game?
Jon Levin: Homelander is one of the sickest and most powerful characters (relative to his world) I’ve ever encountered. I couldn’t think of anything more exciting than pretending to befriend any character from the books except him, and trying to kick his ass. There were a few characters that we didn’t feel great about doing that with, but it made more sense to assume everybody is against the kind of despotic threat he becomes. It’s also very much the way the narrative could have happened, had Homelander been pushed a little bit.
BD: What can you tell us about your shared creative process in collaborating with designers Josh Stilts and Nick Accardi to bring this concept to life?.
JL: We were bogged with Covid complications. That’s the most impactful force on our process. Josh being from Seattle, Nick and I from Chicago, we did not have an easy time collaborating once things shut down. But… Josh is very intellectual. Nick is somewhat curious but very excitable. And I’m wild eyed. It was a nice balance. I made most of the initial changes, and they would corroborate approvals and such. It felt like strategizing for something more important than a board game.
BD: This will mark the debut release of 1First Games, an imprint of 1First Publishing. What made 1First Games the perfect home for this new game?
JL: Well, we are a sister company to 1First Comics, and they are a brilliant publisher that never sacrificed quality for profit and has always produced stories with breadth and depth. I love 1First Comics; they are one of the “good” ones, you know? And I knew they wouldn’t let me, a first-time official game designer, put something out there that wasn’t up to their standards.
BD: In light of the current crowdfunding campaign, what are some of the fun backer rewards that are available to those who contribute to your campaign?
JL: We have a free comic with an alternate cover that is so cool. It’s an awesome image by Darick Robertson who, in my opinion, couldn’t draw enough stuff. If you join our deluxe (stretch goal) tier, there are more miniatures on the way and some high-quality upgrades to our main assets, including an exclusive cover variant by Darick.
BD: At Fanbase Press this year, our #StoriesMatter initiative endeavors to highlight the impact that stories can have on audiences of various mediums. How do you feel that This Is Going to Hurt’s concept will connect with and impact players, and why do you feel that this project was important for you to bring to life?
JL: It’s so relevant still, The Boys comics. The military industrial complex, where governments prioritize power over life, with lies and deception to get their way. All of the planet becomes an illusion driven by insane power and people who want to have that. Every single Supe is a victim of that; we didn’t want to ignore that and say all The Boys are good guys and all the Supes are bad guys. Also, Homelander is psychotic, like as bad as it gets. He might not have eaten babies, but he could have, you know? And he would definitely if given the inclination threaten the planet with all of life if they didn’t bow to him. And that’s still scary on this planet, and there’s no reason we can’t defeat it, even if it’s powerful.
BD: Are there any other projects that you’re working on that you’re able to share with our readers?
JL: We’ve got a few, including expansions to this game. But currently, we want to focus on this game and not look ahead to what else we think is fun to play.
BD: Lastly, what is the best way for our readers to find out more about This Is Going to Hurt and its Kickstarter campaign?
JL: The Kickstarter campaign itself, for now, will contain the most detailed information and updates from us.