11/06/13 @ 3:41 pm EST
In another peer to peer interview from Dynamite Entertainment, Nancy Collins chats with Devin Grayson and Gail Simone about taking on Red Sonja as part of the new Legends Of Red Sonja series being released during the characters 40th anniversary.
First Devin Grayson:
NANCY COLLINS: What inspired you to give your Red Sonja story in LEGENDS OF RED SONJA #1 a nautical spin?
DEVIN GRAYSON: I haven’t played with magic much in my comics writing, but it’s been factoring heavily into some prose work I’m doing now–a YA novel series about a young ghost hunter and her friends, one of whom is a mage. So the chance to work with an artist who could bring some of those themes to life was irresistible. Magic in Sonja’s world—as shown so beautifully in your story– is dark, powerful, raw and dangerous…essentially a force of nature in and of itself. So I wanted something that would echo that visually, a setup in my story that would lead to people being visibly out of control of their environment, such as fire at sea. And the moment I seized on that, a whole mood and tone and antagonist for the story fell into place.
Or maybe I just watched that Science Friday “Where’s the Octopus?” video on YouTube too many times.
NC: Did you have an interest/background in heroic fantasy prior to being brought on the Legends of Red Sonja project?
DG: Not in my reading or writing life, but I’m an avid RPGer, and when you’re gaming—whether online or in traditional pencil and dice campaigns—you’re going to end up submerged in heroic fantasy. Most relevant to this project was the online game Age of Conan. I never actually played it, but before the game officially launched, the role playing crowd took over one of the Beta message boards to use for Conan-themed round robin story-telling. I was very active there, playing an Aquilonian guard, so Sonja’s world felt like a place I’d already lived.
NC: You’ve worked in the video game industry in the past. How does writing for games compare to writing comics?
DG: There are a lot of similarities. Both start as blank pages but grow up to be primarily visual media, both have a commitment to inviting the audience to identify with the characters in as immediate a way as possible and both are shaped by external story limitations—continuity in the case of comics and game mechanics in the case of video games. Both are also unusually social experiences for a writer. Unless you’re working with a partner, writing is usually a pretty solitary exercise. Being alone with a story is one of my favorite parts of the writing experience. But with both comics and video game scripts, you’re just a cog in the wheel, working as part of a team and relying on those other team members to bring your vision to life. I love finishing a manuscript and eventually getting to hold an actual book in my hands, but it’s a whole different kind of thrill to finish a script and eventually get to see the characters acting out the dialog.
NC: Do you have anything on deck for 2014 that your fans should keep an eye out for?
DG: In addition to the YA novel series I briefly mentioned –which won’t make its debut in 2014–I’m currently working on a radio play, which will, and a few other projects it’s too early to talk about. I’m really enjoying being back in comics though and, who knows, there may even be some more work with Dynamite in my future.
And now over to Gail Simone:
NC: What inspired you to propose an All-Woman jam to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Red Sonja?
GAIL SIMONE: I have to give a lot of credit for this to Dynamite and to Nick Barrucci. They are just fantastically open to ideas, and consequently, you don’t feel like the doors are all shut and locked before you even try to open them.
I had what I thought was a fun idea, to have all the covers of my run on the ongoing RED SONJA title be drawn by women, all my favorites, and it’s just worked out amazingly well…they all turned out beautiful. And it made this nifty little side statement, as well, that some of the very best artists in the business are female, AND could draw this sword and sorcery stuff beautifully.
It was such a success, it made me think of how fun it would be to invite a bunch of my writing heroes to try the same thing, women who had provided inspiration to me with the quality of their work.
It turned out to be one of the most fun and rewarding things I’ve ever been a part of, we were all collaborating immediately. And we brought back people like Devin Grayson, Tamora Pierce and yourself, Nancy, to comics, who have been gone for too long. And we got Mercedes Lackey’s and Meljean Brook’s first comics stories, and a-list artist Nicola Scott’s first scripting credit…it just makes me happy. I am proud to be in this company, even if I cheated and put myself in!
NC: Did you have an interest in heroic fantasy prior to landing the monthly RED SONJA gig?
GS: Oh, yeah, absolutely. I often see people who object to the blood or flesh in this genre, particularly in the Robert E. Howard-inspired stuff, but really, I like it. It feels very primal, very ill-mannered. It’s not like the Tolkien stuff that I also love, it’s sweatier and lustier. But you can tell very sophisticated stories with the genre, heartbreaking and heart-soaring stuff. I love it.
C: How does it feel being the first woman to write for Red Sonja in the 21st century?
GS: Is that actually true? I believe one of my other heroes, the great Jen Van Meter, did a Sonja one-shot just a couple years back.
But as ONE of the first, what can I say, it’s one of those joyful things that happen that could never be predicted. I always loved Sonja, now I get to do ferocious things with her.
NC: What up-coming comics and special appearances can your fans look forward to in 2014?
GS: A lot, and some things I can’t mention yet, but the hugely successful Kickstarter graphic novel I did with co-creator and artist Jim Calafiore, LEAVING MEGALOPOLIS, is finally out to backers, and I am thrilled about that. I’m writing the TOMB RAIDER comic for Dark Horse, which has all the good history and travel stuff I love so much. I’m writing BATGIRL and THE MOVEMENT for DC Comics, both very close to my heart.
And of course the LEGENDS OF RED SONJA anthology and the ongoing Sonja monthly title for Dynamite. There may be a few surprises, as well, it’s been a year of big changes for me.
As for appearances, yikes, my convention calendar is mostly filled up until 2015, but very few have been announced yet, so I have to keep mum about that.
Legends Of Red Sonja #1 goes on sale November 6th and features a cover by Jay Anacleto and interior art by Jack Jadson, Noah Salonga and Carla “Speed” McNeil.
Nancy A. Collins is the author of numerous novels, short stories, and comic books, including DC Comics’ Swamp Thing. A recipient of the Horror Writers Association’s Bram Stoker Award, The British Fantasy Society’s Icarus Award, as well as a nominee for the International Horror Guild, John W. Campbell, James Tiptree, Eisner & World Fantasy Awards, her works include Sunglasses After Dark, Lynch: A Gothik Western, and Knuckles And Tales. Legends of Red Sonja #1 marks her return to comics, and her newest novel is Magic And Loss, the 3rd book in the Golgotham series, scheduled to be released November 5th.
07/03/20 @ 3:33 pm EST
07/03/20 @ 3:25 pm EST
Coming up soon, just as everyone celebrates other fun stuff - we're going to celebrate the underrated skills and talent of cosplayers. In this crazy time with no conventions to get together, enjoy the hobby and experience cosplay in person, we want to tip our hats to the ones we've worked with on our exciting cosplay covers.
Featuring all your favorites like Jacqueline Goehner, Karrigan Taylor, Anastasya Zelenova, Ireland Reid, Ashley Du, Joanie Brosas, and many more! More details coming soon...Sign Up Here for Updates!
07/02/20 @ 12:54 pm EST
This September's Red Sonja #19 kicks off a new arc in writer Mark Russell's critically acclaimed treatise on leadership, war, and sword & sorcery action.
Hot new artist Alessandro Miracolo (Zorro) joins for this next stage of the run, as pieces fall into place and everything connects back around. Fans will want to track down his limited Independence Day variant cover for the preceding Red Sonja #18 in anticipation and to complete their collections. His exciting style follows in the footsteps of other great artists who have contributed to this volume, lead by Mirko Colak and Bob Q. Colorist Dearbhla Kelly and letterer Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou will continue on the title with their expert craft. While superstars Jae Lee and Joseph Michael Linsner continue their runs on covers, joined now by Miracolo and other exciting talents like Erica Henderson (Assassin Nation).
"Red Sonja returns to Shadizar in hope of ending the wars that have destroyed every kingdom they've touched," said Mark Russell. "But the end of one war is the cause of the next and how can she find the way out when every dead foe has someone to avenge them? This is the answer that the previous eighteen issues have been building up to."
"I am very happy to join this fantastic team and be welcomed to the Hyborian Age," said artist Alessandro Miracolo. "I grew up with the characters and stories of Robert E. Howard, so for me, this is a dream. And to follow the work of great artists like Mirko [Colak] and Bob Q, as well as collaborate on a book with one of my favorites in Jae Lee, it's hard to believe this ...
06/30/20 @ 3:01 pm EST
No delay - so CLICK RIGHT HERE to join in! If you miss out, don't worry, you can always catch up later.
Billy Tucci and Maria Laura Sanapo join Dan "Couchdoodles" Fraga for a livestream discussion about Miss Fury and comic book history. Haul out those Comics Journals, Comics Interviews and more, as Fraga is bringing the insightful, historically minded questions as he discusses the innovative and boundary-busting backstory of Miss Fury and her creator June Tarpé Mills.
And be on the lookout for even more updates, as we are breaking down our next fun stretch goal soon!
Get Your Copy of Miss Fury: Joy Division Here!
06/29/20 @ 9:31 pm EST
You get a stretch goal! You get a stretch goal! Billy Tucci and Maria Laura Sanapo's Miss Fury campaign
has been such a rousing success that we've been trying to keep up with all the support. Today we're talking about multiple
You may be aware of the first and second stretch goals we unveiled, and that were quickly unlocked. Off the bat, we decided to add 10 extra pages to the book. Then everyone wanted to see the cool "nose art" design in a cool way, so we launched the first promo trading card.
For the third stretch goal - which is already unlocked! -
anyone who picks up the trading card set add-on will now have 6 cards instead of 5. A representation of Maria's alternate cover is now added.
And now on to the fourth stretch goal! Which, guess what...? Has already been unlocked too! With the campaign passing $55,000 now every physical backer will receive a special promo trading card of Marla Drake's glamorous entrance into the story, as we've all seen through Maria's gorgeous art and Ceci de la Cruz's masterful coloring. This is separate from the trading card set, but go for it all!
So with that all said... stay tuned for the next one!Get your copy and all the great extras here!
06/29/20 @ 9:55 pm EST
Thank you to the fans! Mindy Wheeler's spectacular new Vampirella variant was funded on Indiegogo in just a couple hours! Let's see how high we can take it in the next couple days! Make sure to share the campaign with your collecting friends and fellow fans.
Were you able to join her for the launch party livestream? She discusses all the background on the piece and how exciting it is to see the support from fans. You can catch up after the fact here.
We also want to spotlight some of the alternate options on the cover. In addition to the traditional version you would expect, we're also offering with Mindy the options to get a "virgin" edition. This one does not feature the logo and "trade dress," allowing for a more pristine way to appreciate the art and coloring. On the other hand, the black and white line art edition really emphasizes Mindy's precise abilities as an artist. You can pick up either, or all three with the regular version in a package. Also take a look at the options for signed copies and CGC grading!
Get Mindy's Cover Right Now!
06/26/20 @ 11:34 am EST
Dynamite announces a jaw-dropping new exclusive variant cover by artist Mindy Wheeler, live right now on Indiegogo!
"I'm so excited to be working with Dynamite on this 50th anniversary cover! It's especially an honor to be creating a Vampirella piece at this time when she has reached such an important milestone (50 years!)," said Mindy Wheeler. "Fans are the best and to be able to see their response in real-time through crowdfunding is a unique experience for any creator. It really connects an artist with their fan base and offers them perks they can't get elsewhere."
This spectacular piece of art inspired by the likes of Michael Turner and José "Pepe" González will be available in many ways, through the perks of crowdfunding, as noted by Wheeler. The default edition includes the iconic Vampirella logo and the trade dress to match the record-breaking first issue underneath the cover written by Christopher Priest and drawn by Ergün Gündüz. A "virgin" alteration without the logos allows another way for fans to experience the art untouched. Another maintains the intricate pencil work of Wheeler. Special reward tier packages are available with the covers signed by Mindy, as well as graded by CGC to preserve their limited edition value. Awesome add-ons include a tee-shirt featuring the art and a huge 11 by 17-inch high-quality lithograph print - also available signed. Just one lucky collector can also add the original piece of pencil art at full size to their collection!
Mindy Wheeler is a rising artist with work published through IDW, Zenescope, others - and now Dynamite! Entering the industry in 2014 as both a penciler and colorist, she's worked on Grimm Fairy Tales, ROM, and Divinica. She's collaborated with Dawn McTeigue, Sabine Rich, Eric Basaldua, Jamie Tyndall, Jason Metcalf, ...
06/25/20 @ 8:13 pm EST
The weekend is just around the corner, and that's precisely why we want to give you a head's up that this spectacular sale is closing out tonight. In just a couple hours it'll disappear. So don't miss out on this epic deal for almost 75 comic books, 4000+ pages and $320 worth, for just a dozen bucks! Or starting at just a buck! Stock up on great reading for this weekend and those to come!
There are a ton of gems in the bundle. The entirety of Max Bemis and Eoin Marron's unexpected masterpiece take on the classic Centipede arcade game is included. Check out the first full volume of Bettie Page's declassified adventures. Also included are meticulously remastered early adventures of Vampirella and Red Sonja. Also the critically acclaimed adaptation of Casino Royale by Van Jensen and Dennis Calero. In addition to some of the newest hits from Dynamite!
Grab the Dynamite Action Bundle on Fanatical here!
06/25/20 @ 3:16 pm EST
In a can't-miss standalone tale coming this September, just in time for Halloween, Vampirella meets the newest member of her spine-tingling rogues' gallery! Multiple Eisner Award-winning writer Bill Willingham (Fables, Robin) writes the Daughter of Drakulon for the first time ever in Trial of the Soul. Willingham is joined by artist Giuseppe Cafaro (Catwoman, Suicide Squad), colorist Andrew Dalhouse, and letterer Carlos Mangual. The blood-filled cherry on top is the haunting cover by Bart Sears (Justice League, Blade).
This extra-length special tale asks the question, "Does Vampirella have a soul?" New character Prester John has made it his mission to determine this and enact judgment on her. If she passes the test, she will be spared. If not, he must destroy her. No matter how charming he finds her...
"I always found Vampirella so intriguing and I've always had a crush on vampires so this one-shot for me will be definitely a great chance to test my skills with this classic character," said artist Giuseppe Cafaro. "Plus, with Bill at the script, I'm sure that this will be an amazing journey! I always loved what he did with Fables and the Sandman Universe! Can't wait to show fans what we are doing!"
Based on the legend of the medieval Christian leader of a lost wealthy African kingdom, the Prester John of the Vampirella universe represents a force that our heroine has occasionally found herself contending with. Based on a design by Willingham, John is portrayed as a handsome young man, though he's lived well over 1,000 years. When not hiding among man, he dons an ornate armor made in the forges of Heaven. It pairs with his sword, which is actually on loan from Saint Michael ...
06/25/20 @ 3:11 pm EST
This October Dynamite and artist Brent Peeples show respect to one of the industry's most influential figures with a 5-piece set of variant covers homaging Rob Liefeld's famous covers!
Artist Brent Peeples (James Bond, Titans) brings maximum effort to these covers that mirror some of the most recognizable covers of all time. Brent and Rob have worked together on the smash-hit Major X and other projects together, so there is respect and admiration in these pieces.
All six of these covers grace Dynamite's top titles. The Princess of Mars has green martians in her sights, as Dejah Thoris #8 calls back to New Mutants #87, Rob's second issue on the title. Arguably even more iconic is the 98th issue of that series, which Killing Red Sonja #5's cast stepping in for a merc with a mouth. Bettie Page #3 reenacts the pivotal next issue that moved toward a huge shift in Liefeld's career and the industry as a whole. Vampirella/Red Sonja #11 places those two Women of Dynamite into the iconic image of X-Force #1. The blockbuster second and third issues of that record-breaking series are spotlighted with Red Sonja #19 and Vampirella #14.
“Man! What a kick getting to recreate these iconic Rob Liefeld covers for Dynamite!," said artist Brent Peeples. "Rob‘s work was and still is such an influence on me, and being involved in this cover series, recreating some of his most classic and iconic work, is such an honor. I’ve always loved his energy on AND off the page. I just hope I did them justice and did Rob proud."
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