Wednesday, July 30, 2014

xavierjones said: thinking about comics, specifically, how do you write characters who have significantly un-charmed lives because of some social or racial bias without having experienced these things yourself? From pictures you are obviously not a biracial teenage girl from london, or a kree skrull hybrid who is gay. however, when you write these "other-ed" characters, they seem to come off as authentic and not pandering. how does that work?

This is very kind. There’s people who’d say the opposite.

You try. You also know you’ll fail, which doesn’t mean it’s not a reason to try. 

Listen a lot, online and off. Research. Empathy. Expanding your social group - which is one reason why writers can get better with age, just due to a breadth of experience. Finding what’s the same to emotionally ground you to the different elements (e.g. Idie in Generation Hope’s life is as far as way as mine that’s possible, but I recognise her relationship with self-hate and Catholicism). Probably most importantly, not just writing them so that any part of  their identity is all there is, but still making it inform it.

Not wanting to fuck it up is the biggest thing. Go in not taking it with the proper seriousness and you increase the chance of doing that.

Put it like this - the part of Teddy that required much serious thought to write wasn’t the “Kree Skrull Hybrid” but the “Gay NYC kid.” No Kree Skrull hybrid is going to feel bad at what I’ve written, y’know?

Generally speaking, when thinking about characters of background of my own, I keep on coming back to this Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie quote… 

The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story.

Anonymous said: Why is "Royals" in the playlist? I mean, it's a song about not really having the crazy lifestyle the gods seem to have.

Think how Laura feels in her down moments.

kayla-bird said: at some point will we have the opportunity to buy an enormous WicDiv art book with glossy pages, character designs, closeups on details, and behind-the-scenes facts? because I would totally shell out for one.

You never know. I think it’s more likely we’ll do that in an omnibus.

That said, with the alt-covers we’re having, an art book does strike me as having a certain appeal. It’d certainly tickle Jamie’s ego.

Anonymous said: I'm not sure your chronology works. 2013, 1923, 1833, 1743. Shelley died in 1822, Byron in 1824...

You are correct.

It’s also true that neither became living incarnations of gods on Earth as young people and died within two years.

I’d say the take-away message should be “this world is different.”

iseekum said: Would you ever consider doing an OGN, like Avengers: Endless Wartime? A month always feels like too long a wait.

I’d love to. I’m surprised I’ve never tried to do an OGN in an Indie form. There’s certain ideas I have that would only really work in that format.

i.e. No interesting single-issue structures. The main one I’ve wanted to do basically has AUDITION’s structure, in that the first 3/4 is incredibly deliberately tedious and that’s a hard sell in singles. Of course, it’s all about the slow tension towards that final quarter. That works better as an OGN.

Problem being the idea is so depressing I’ve never had the will to submit myself and everyone else around me to the emotional hole I’d have to crawl to write the fucker.

Generally speaking, if it’s something I haven’t done before, I’d be up for trying it.

Anonymous said: You've written a lot of truly epic romances: some tragically doomed (ex: Leah/Loki, Emma Frost/Namor, Marquis/The Girl), some rewarded for their toils with happy endings (ex: Wiccan/Hulkling, Penny/K-W-KLEAVEMEALONETHEYTOTALLYGOTMARRIEDANDHADFIVEBABIES), and all of them powerful. Which one are you most proud of?

Firstly, wishing that on Penny is cruel! She’s nice. What did she ever do to deserve that horror?

Hmm. Yeah, I have written a lot of Romance for a genre which doesn’t normally have much of it in. The one I most wish I got to finish was BEAST/ABIGAIL BRAND. It would have just been a lot more complicated, just as it was at the core of the book. The first volume was them being “right” and then we’d have seen their own problems creeping in more. Beast’s neediness and Brand’s unavailableness were played for mostly comedy in the first arc, but that’s really foreshadowing.

Of the ones I’ve finished? I think Loki/Leah is the most interesting. I still feel sad for Leah now.

And thank you. 

rec-rewind said: Ok, but the real question is: will there be an archetypal five-gods band?

Good question.

fyccb said: Mr Gillon, thanks to your tumblr and the photos from Scotland therein, I have finally seen a picture of the fabled IRN BRU. I've read probably 15 Rebus novels and never knew what the hell Rankin was talking about. Thank you from America and cheers, fyccb

There was a pile of IRN BRU 2-litre bottles in a supermarket, on sale for a quid a shot, and I came close to getting a selfie of me with them.

From your mail, I now think that IRN BRU is the TWINKIES of Scotland.

ramblingmoose said: Due to the recent announcements (and congrats on both books!) I have two important questions. The first is that looking at your Spotify, you sure are listening to a lot of Mastodon. Is this due to the Lord of the Sith or the Assassin of Asgard? And second: do you prefer Darth Kieron or Darth Gillen? Or will you be taking on an entirely new Sith moniker?

Mastodon are working really well for both, actually. Also another short project that I’m working on. It’s a very hard rock summer.

Darth Gillen, surely? 

lauffeysons said: Who is your favorite w icdiv character? Just curious.

At the moment? Luci.

(Though Laura allows me to hit other things which are… interesting.) 

They all have their moments. Some I’m really looking forward to writing, and know it won’t be for a while. The spotlight issues for some of the Gods are going to be telling.