BioWars ArtNow would you believe me if I told you that the workings of your own body is more adventurous than any comic book you've read? You wouldn't. Would you? You'd think I was some sort of a nut. But I'm not a nut, you know. No way. You just ask my great mate Gabriel, and he'd tell you that I was more of a banana than a nut. A banana that will urge you to now read what Gabriel told me about the human body. Wink-Wink!

1) What are your own origins, Gabriel? Plus what path did you take in life prior to getting to where you are today?   I grew up on the North Shore of Long Island, NY. After high school, I attended New York University, located in Greenwich Village, and  majored in pre-med. However, I was always better at math and chemistry rather than biology. I was not very good at memorization. My strengths were in visual designs and numbers. So I struggled with my major.

I loved science and being able to understand how everything worked in nature as well as in the human body, but I really struggled to remember all the scientific terms and processes. To make matters more challenging, the professors I had in biology were -- to be blunt and to the point -- boring. I think biology is a fascinating subject, yet some teachers can take the life out of it. That’s a pity. However, that experience changed in my last year of college when I took an endocrinology course.

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2) How did ‘Biowars’ come about? It’s ‘secret origin’ so to speak.   Biowars is focused on the epic story of survival and as a result it tells the tale of the bio-warriors of our immune system. However, it wasn't an immunology course that inspired the idea. Rather it was an endocrinology class. That was the first time I experienced a great biology class, taught by Dr. Scott. He was engaging and really knew how to get people’s interest in the incredible workings of the human body.

It’s amazing how every cell in the body can communicate. The body is like a cosmos onto itself. Our conscious minds are unaware to how the trillions of cells in our body work. We are oblivious to what goes on as we go through our day. Millions of our white blood cells sacrifice their life for the greater good of the body as they fight to protect us against foreign invading life forms such as bacteria and viruses.

After endocrinology, I went on to learn more about immunology on my own and I was fascinated to find out that our immune systems have levels of protection and various task forces just like we do. They have their own version of the CIA, FBI, Marines, and such. They have informatory agents that detect and send out special forces.

This all sparked an idea; what if there was a story told that would show what is going on in our bodies in a more human form so people can relate to it and actually learn from it? That is where I got the idea for Biowars. I took the cells of the immune system, gave them human forms, but they kept their real life biological powers. That is what makes Biowars different.

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3) In your own words how would you describe this story?   Biowars is the story that takes place on two levels. The first is in our own world -- the human world -- where we have a young hero by the name of Alexander Hawking (by the way, in Latin, Alex-anders literally means ‘man who wards of disease’) fight against an elite, well trained rogue group by the name of the Combine. While Alex fights off the Combine and their microbe on the outside world, we zoom into his body to witness how the biowarriors of his immune system fight off the Combine’s infectious forces. These heroic cells are lead by Blastor, a B-Cell.

4) What song would you say best represents this project and why?   I would choose 'Beethoven symphony no. 5' because the struggle for survival is a dramatic one and that is what this story is about.

Richard Branson
5) If you could get a celebrity – either living or dead – to promote your wares, who would you choose, and why would you want to choose this particular person?   I am a big fan of Richard Branson. Not just because he creates cool companies that are super successful, but he goes to heroic lengths in achieving great goals -- such as setting records for hot air balloon expeditions as well as trying to cross the Atlantic in a small one man boat. I recommend reading his biography, its quite impressive and motivating.

6) What have you learnt about yourself through this endeavor? And were their any unforeseen obstacles you had to contend with along the way?   What did I learn? A LOT! I learned that if you want to do something, first you need patience. Then you need to find the right team. Not all endeavors take off right away like Facebook. Most you need to work hard at, and finding the right team is everything. 

I’m thankful to be working with Mark, Lucius, Goncalo and Joana. They are great people and very talented. Took a long time to find that team and it was darn worth it!

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7) During your time in this field, what is the one thing that has kept you in good stead?   Seeing progress. We had a slow start. Getting the right design, look and feel, characters, story-line, took months and months and sometimes it felt like we weren't making progress fast enough. But setting the ground work is everything. We've just started and we’ll be building this up by launching a game app, a more interactive, engaging site with gamification features and a lot more!

8) If ‘Biowars’ had a motto, what would it be?   We are all one species and the greatest threat to our survival is a long term nemesis that has been with us since the dawn of our existence -- pathogens. We have and will continue fighting them for the right to survive till the very end. These pathogens have all evolved over the millennia, and as we have come out with new antibiotics and ways to fight them, they evolve and the race for the survival continues. Only through unity, investment in science and education, will we be able to thrive as a species.

Wow! Wasn't that a great way to end an interview, folks? So when you have the time please check out Gabriel's webcomic, BioWars, as well as visit his facebook, gplus, and twitter pages. Go on. Give it a click or twenty. Cause you won't be sorry that you did.