No announcement yet.

Gail Simone Talks Spearheading A Company-Wide Crossover Event

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Gail Simone Talks Spearheading A Company-Wide Crossover Event

    Writer Gail Simone discusses Swords of Sorrow #3, on sale now. Cover art by Tula Lotay and Emanuela Lupacchino.

    SwordsSorrow03CovALotayBYRON BREWER: Issue #3 of Swords of Sorrow is on sale. Have you been surprised at the fan reaction and critical acclaim this series has garnered thus far?

    GAIL SIMONE: Oh, yeah, surprised in the best way. Iíve been in lots of crossover events, Iíve helped plan some, but Iíve never spearheaded a big company-wide crossover myself, and holy crap, it is a LOT of work and so many things can go wrong!

    My respect for the Geoff Johns/Brian Bendis-types who have done so many of these is off the charts at this point.

    But we went at this with a clear goal, I wanted everyone to have fun. The writers, the artists, the readersÖso many of these things are so dour and dreary, and I figured, if weíre going to have Red Sonja and Dejah Thoris in the same story, I want it to be as fun as possible. I asked the individual writers of the tie-in books (we call ourselves the Shevengers) not to try to match the tone of the main book, but to write the story they would want to read.

    So we got horror from Nancy Collins, fun adventure from Marguerite Bennett, and a Victorian mystery from Leah Moore. We didnít feel bound by a house style or by artificial story beats. We wanted to romp through the various pulp worlds, and make it fun.

    Itís a delight that people have responded so well. We have read over and over again in the reviews that itís the best of the summer event comics. Thatís pretty gratifying!

    BB: We know that you have been busy with the main SoS book as well as guiding everything from behind the scenes. But thus far, if you had to pick out a teaming of heroes or one issue of a tie-in as something you really enjoyed, what would it be?

    GS: Well, this is a little embarrassing, but it was huge fun for me to write Red Sonja fighting Tars Tarkas and Woola, that just made me grin for days. And Iíve got a bit with Vampirella and Purgatori that just feels epically snarky.

    Of the various tie-ins, Iíve been enjoying them all. G. Willow Wilson and Erica Schultz did a really enjoyable Masquerade/Kato one-shot, and thereís something terrific about Dejah Thoris and Irene Adler in the same book. But theyíve each been a blast, so huge thanks to the writers I mentioned already, plus Mairghread Scott, Mikki Kendall, and Emma Beeby. Mixing these pulp eras is huge fun for us all.

    SwordsSorrow03CovBLupacchinBB: What can you tell us about SoS #3 in a non-spoilery manner?

    GS: The first two issues focused on our trinity; Sonja, Vampirella and Dejah. This issue spotlights a lot of the pulpiest of our cast, with fun WWII characters and some surprises. I love writing characters from that era, as you may know from Lady Blackhawk in Birds of Prey.

    The other fun thing is, cities are being smooshed togetherÖyou can be in New York and your neighbor is a Martian from Helium.

    I have more fun than I should be allowed to have, really. I have spoken with so many writers and they are SO JEALOUS that I get to write this event. To them, I say, ďHA!Ē

    BB: I cannot believe you were able, with all you’re doing, to work in Eva, daughter of Dracula, into this adventure!

    GS: Sheís a really fun character! One of the issues of a book like this is, the cast is so big, you canít show everyoneís supporting cast, so you have to wonder, where is Tarzan? What is the Green Hornet doing?

    But with Eve, being the daughter of Dracula fits in beautifully. I read her mini and it tied in very nicelyÖour version of Dracula doesnít like the idea of anyone ELSE screwing with his world, and a rare and unhappy truce is formed.

    Just pick it up, this issue has ads for soap, radio drama, horses indoors, cars driving over people, pyramids, and people undressing in crowds. Itís a good, squalid time, and more fun than one comic should be, frankly.

    BB: Thus far has artist Sergio Davila been delivering what you need?

    GS: That poor guy!

    Heís such a brilliant, caring artist, and we have over two dozen regular cast members, and he just nails them all, they donít all look alike, they have different body language. He wrote me this beautiful letter that I treasure, English is not his first language, and itís about how much sheer fun heís having. I keep asking if I need to tone it down, and no, he LOVES the challenge.

    Dynamite has really done right by me with artists, I am hoping this isnít the last time I get to work with Sergio. But I hope he gets a break after our last issue and goes to lie on the beach somewhere!

    For more on Swords of Sorrow #3, click here.

  • #2
    This should have been a fun comic but it was so BORING. I had ordered all the series but midway told my comic shop to cancel. It's like Gail Simone wants to ruin superheroines. But fault lies more with the artists. You get Frank Cho drawing this the way he wants, it would improve Gail Simone's writing or at least make her writing tolerable.


    • #3
      Different tastes *shrug*


      • #4
        Originally posted by Comic2read View Post
        This should have been a fun comic but it was so BORING. I had ordered all the series but midway told my comic shop to cancel. It's like Gail Simone wants to ruin superheroines. But fault lies more with the artists. You get Frank Cho drawing this the way he wants, it would improve Gail Simone's writing or at least make her writing tolerable.
        She's a mediocre writer. Boring comes with the territory. A cast of everyone making the characters disappear into a faceless meandering muddle is about all one can expect. The assorted extra minis do little to nothing to add to the main story which was a fault of Legends of Red Sonja as well. The side tales have no connection to each other and provide no great informative impact to the overarching main story. Swords of Sorrow is simply a bloated version of that Legends of Red Sonja inchoate mess.


        • #5
          Originally posted by Ajax View Post
          She's a mediocre writer.
          Not really, no, but again, different tastes.


          • #6
            i didn't see how you could possibly make a sensible, believable story out of mashing up characters from all radically different timelines/universes etc, and the results have proved me right. i don't know why dynamite has suddenly decided on doing oodles of stupid crossover concepts, probably because the individual sales are so crap they're just trying to get all audiences to buy a title and make it look like it's doing well. it's usually pointless enough when there's big crossovers between major characters in a given universe (eg lady death and purgatori) as nine times out of ten nothing ever gets definitively resolved, but trying to crossover Edgar Rice, Conan Doyle, Chaos, Howard and even fairy tales into a sensible believable plot is ludicrous.


            • #7
              True, there's no reason for such disparate characters to come together and co-operate apart from the plot saying they do. The radically different takes on life, technology, culture, and individual beliefs would make for a welter of confusion far beyond simple language translation. In the short space of issues so far, there is no meaningful characterization to any of the characters so, unless one is familiar with the heroine in question, they all come off as interchangeable. Sonja and Dejah, are fantasy characters, Kato, Miss Fury, and others are detectives and so on. In every category, you can interchange every one without noticing a difference. It is a set of bland cut and paste tropes flung into a meandering manque of a story.


              • #8
                I think it's hard to pull off the whole "many different characters from different worlds, times, and genres" thing without it being a little weaker than any one character's story will be, and that applies to almost much every line-wide crossover storyline from every company I've ever seen, or even between companies. Part of the appeal is the novelty of those characters meeting each other when they normally wouldn't, but it will still not usually be as good as a solid storyline starring any one of them. To use almost the archetypal example of this, one could make many of the same complaints about the original Crisis on Infinite Earths. That said, thus far I've found this enjoyable, as I did Crisis. (And in this case, the multiverse won't end at the conclusion, so it's a win-win!) As I said before, different tastes.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by ChastMastr View Post
                  Different tastes *shrug*
                  What's so good about it?


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by themightyflip View Post
                    What's so good about it?
                    Thus far it's been an enjoyable adventure involving characters I like, at least for me. Again, different tastes. Someone can say they hate asparagus/chocolate/strawberry, but explaining "what's so good about X" to someone who doesn't like it isn't really going to be easy. It's the asparagus-ness, chocolate-ness, or strawberry-ness they like.