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A Writer’s Commentary: AMY CHU on RED SONJA #4, on sale NOW!

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  • A Writer’s Commentary: AMY CHU on RED SONJA #4, on sale NOW!

    A Writer’s Commentary: AMY CHU on RED SONJA #4, on sale WEDNESDAY from Dynamite!

    Oh, how time flies! Here we are at issue #4 already. It’s a bit strange for me to be looking at this now, as I’m in between issues 6-7. I’m also doing my taxes as we speak so if this seems rushed, it is … sorry! On the bright side, in 2016 I earned enough from writing comics to actually make this my full time job, whereas three years ago I was peddling my self-published Girls Night Out comics on the weekends. Thanks to all of you for making an honest woman out of me!

    Also, huge thanks to all who stopped by my table at WonderCon and FanExpo to let me know their stores were sold out of Red Sonja. One retailer told me he went from 1 Red Sonja to 26 on his pull lists. This is spectacular and I am deeply honored.

    So let’s talk about issue #4 itself. Look at all those covers! I love the variety and diversity. I ordered a dozen of the Funko variant for myself. And as for the main McKone cover -- brilliant take on the Killing Joke cover, She-Devil style. Thanks, Mike! It gives me something to talk about on my panel Kickass Characters at C2E2 on Sunday!


    Hmmm… three generations of guys who look awfully similar...

    The Brooklyn Daily Eagle -- completely made up. Fake news. Stock market crash -- real news. There’s nothing new about financial dynasties. I did some research which helped me come up with the idea that maybe Kulan Gath had a hand in it, or at the very least profited handsomely from others misfortunes. How about that big ass Gordon Gecko ‘80s phone?!

    Also, did I mention Hank Gault is an anagram?


    SPLASH page just in case you didn’t know, Hank Gault is actually KULAN GATH hence the anagram (but you knew that already, didn’t you, from issue #1?)


    My favorite image in this issue. Carlos really nails the She-Devil look right here! Dynamite, can we get some shirts made, pretty please?!


    Doh! That guy’s a lot tougher than he looks...The truth about Sonja is she’s a fierce fighter, but also very much reactive and instinctive -- she’s not a planner or strategist.

    One of the things about writing Red Sonja in modern day is getting to use an intersection of magic and technology. To Sonja and Kulan Gath, and maybe to some of us, they are one and the same. I hope to exploit this more in the next arc.


    Let’s hear it for technology! Or Jay wouldn’t be able to find her fellow officer Max at the museum!

    That’s true, Max doesn’t exactly look like your average Cimmerian. I think Gath was maybe expecting Conan?

    Oh the plot thickens; maybe Max is more than a kid from Brooklyn.


    Flashback: here we have the Kulan Gath we’re familiar with, his goofy old hat and robes.

    And here we go, the reveal you suspected all along….! (If you didn’t, go back to issues 0-3…)


    Now this shouldn’t come as a huge shocker to you if you’ve been paying attention. Finally, it’s nice to really let Max loose here. I had a few fans come up to me at shows last month to ask what’s up with this Max guy? Now you know...

    And no one could be more excited about this than Holly. Now we know, not only is Science Real, but Magic is Real too! (cue They Might Be Giants song…)


    Here Kulan Gath explains his Theory of Relativity: a) time travel is not precise (but we knew that from the Terminator movies) and b) perception of time is relative.


    Going back to our email thread, I know Carlos decided to try a different looser style for this one page flashback -- no panel borders, different page coloring.

    Max is an orphaned refugee of war… and where do orphan refugees of war who can magically travel in time and space go to? New York! I was actually, sadly, thinking of Syria when I was writing this. A little over seven years ago I spent a wonderful week in Damascus visiting the ruins and parts of the old city before the $#!+ hit the fan. I had the opportunity to go to Aleppo. I had heard the food there was fantastic, but didn’t go. I should have.



    This is the exact kind of page that artists are known to hate writers for. I just want you to know, I SWEAR I didn’t ask Carlos to draw all this. I didn’t really have a good vision for this page so wasn't really quite sure how this page would turn out. Carlos did 99.9% of the work here. I basically said, “maybe Max is levitating some stuff?"

    Please nominate Carlos for some kind of award. PLEASE.


    This is one of the pages that when I got the artwork back, I changed quite a bit to fit the expressions better. In the past Kulan Gath has become such a two dimensional villain, I wanted to bring something more to the character. And I just knew the time was ripe for this old man to make a millennial joke…


    And here comes the Beast! I do believe Carlos really enjoyed drawing this page….


    Ack, Gath is such a cad. I can’t wait to bring him down. Yes, as a writer I do get emotionally involved with my characters, and I’m really channeling all my loathing and hostility from current events into this character. And Oscar, his right hand man… what a toady. Okay, back to the story...


    Well, Max has some tricks up his sleeve...

    "To the death?” Yes, I have watched The Princess Bride a bajillion times and suddenly I have an image of Shawn Wallace grinning…. okay back the story again.


    Have you been collecting all the cosplayed variants? From here on out, I hope people remember Red Sonja as the Protector of Cosplayers!


    If you’ve never been to the Met Museum, this is one of the best rooms. And incredibly convenient for someone like Red Sonja to stage a fight in.


    Now’s a good time for a double page spread! ….especially when she loses her sword. I usually only see the black and white lettered without the colors so this is the first time I’m seeing it colored, and holy moly there’s a lot of green demon blood!


    There’s Jay again. We may be needing her in the next issue...


    Now before you go around accusing me of being anti-New York and anti-culture, I LOVE NY and I love the Met Museum. But this is comics and if I get a chance to destroy a landmark without a huge CGI budget I’m going to do it. Kill your darlings, as they say....

    I did play around with this ending quite a bit. You and I know, we’re not so dumb to think that Sonja and Max are DEAD, unless I suppose this was an undead kind of story which it’s not. I could still try to trick you into thinking so, but what’s the point of that? More important, I think, is where are Max and Sonja, and how did they get there? Stay tuned to find out!

    Questions? I’ll be at Chicago C2E2 this weekend and Calgary Expo the weekend after that. Come by my table to say hi, get your books signed, and ask me non-spoilery questions!

    Also, thanks to Tom Napolitano who pitched in to letter for Simon Bowland, whose dear mum passed away. Please keep the Bowland family in your thoughts.

  • #2
    Amy and Carlos are doing a pretty good job, and Gath is a hoot of a villain. I don't know why he's calling her Sonjita, though. I guess it's another holdover from Simone? I can do without references to a run that had Sonja buying sex slaves, being unable to function without booze, and not able to get through a story without being saved from death by guest characters. So far, Amy has done a decent job, I hope she keeps it up. I liked the anagram, it never occurred to me, nice surprise, there.

    Saw the solicits for 7. When is Sonja ever going to get back to Hyboria?