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  • DAVID AVALLONE talks BETTIE PAGE #2, on sale in AUGUST!

    DAVID AVALLONE talks BETTIE PAGE #2, on sale in AUGUST from Dynamite!

    BYRON BREWER: David, I must say I love the way you are handling this book. It fits your writing style like a glove. What has been the greatest challenge (pleasure?) in putting out such an odd comic?

    DAVID AVALLONE: Thanks! I appreciate the kind words. The initial challenge, of course, is that Bettie Page is a model… which is a job not without challenges and drama, but Joe Rybandt and I wanted to do something a little more fanciful and fun… a mystery/adventure featuring Bettie in a starring role. I decided to put her in the middle of a wild adventure that would touch on a lot of the stuff about America (and particularly Los Angeles) in 1951 that I find interesting and funny.

    BB: Your historical research gene must be on overload with this series! Anything you can tell us about background for August’s #2?

    DA: The specific background of this issue is the dawn of the low budget 1950s sci-fi movie. In the real world, these movies were often inspired by Cold War fears and dealt with those fears allegorically or metaphorically. In our world, those subtleties are out the window and the film Bettie stars in is literally titled INVASION OF THE SPACE COMMIES. I thought it would be funny to just come out and say it: the subtext of INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS turned directly into text.

    BB: What is the Sky Science cult?

    DA: It’s a new “religion”, begun in the early fifties in Los Angeles by a scientist named Elroy Benway and it has absolutely no relation to any Los Angeles based “religion” begun in the early fifties in the real world. Not even a little bit. Nope. Totally something I invented in my head and not inspired by anything at all.

    BB: How fun was it (I assume you did) to research an awesome place like the Griffith Park Observatory? Even in the series time period?

    DA: This is the first comic I’ve written that takes place in LA. The Pantages theater, the Shakespeare Bridge and the Griffith Park Observatory all show up, and I was able to just go there and take some fresh photo references for Colton Worley to look at. The Observatory has been fixed up and remodeled but the outside looks very much as it did in 1951. I will confess that I partially included the Observatory because it appeared in the film version of THE ROCKETEER, and is connected to Bettie’s legacy through that.

    BB: We are only on issue #2 as of August and we are dealing with the “story” of a real-world person, but David, have you had to fictionalize anything of the history of the period thus far to tell the saga?

    DA: Obviously, the “Secret Diary” is not real (and if it was, I sure wouldn’t tell…) but all the characters aside from Bettie are fictional so I’m not rewriting any “real” history. There was no Sky Science cult, Pasadena AeroSpace Technologies or movie called INVASION OF THE SPACE COMMIES. Anyone interested in what inspired me — aside from Bettie — could Google the name John “Jack” Parsons and enjoy a truly fascinating real-world story.

    BB: How is it working with Colton Worley? The artist certainly knocks #1 out of the park, from what I have seen.

    DA: Colton’s work is endlessly surprising and getting the fresh pages is a thrill. I’ve said this before: his work looks like nothing else out there, and I try to give him beautiful and interesting things to paint. He never disappoints.

    BB: David, what else is going on with you as far as projects go?

    DA: I’ll be announcing a secret project sometime soon: by our next interview I should be able to talk about it. Til then…