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The creator of Skeleton Key and Love Fights, cartoonist Andi Watson has worked in more recent years on his all-ages series Gum Girl and Glister, which are better known in his native United Kingdom than in the United States. However, he’s about to make a big splash with young readers on this side of the Atlantic with Princess Decomposia and Count Spatula, a lighthearted romance with creepy characters to be published in February by First Second.
We asked Watson to talk a bit about the book and where it fits in with the rest of his work.
Brigid Alverson: First of all, can you tell us what Princess Decomposia and Count Spatula is about?
Andi Watson: It’s a spooky-themed romance story about love, responsibility and desserts. Princess Decomposia is princess of the Underworld whose father, the king, has taken sick and demands constant attention. The Princess has to run the Underworld, the palace and take care of her father. It’s all getting too much when the king’s fussy eating habits drive off another chef. Fortunately, Count Spatula gets the job and he helps the princess tackle the Underworld’s problems while they grow closer … only the king’s not too keen on their friendship.
After making a name for himself in the comics community with work like Skeleton Key and Love Fights, cartoonist Andi Watson has been conspicuously absent from comic shelves since the release of the fourth and final Glister issue last year — but no more. Earlier this week Watson announced that he’s doing a new series, Gum Girl, with kids’ book publisher Watson that is set to debut in March with an inaugural volume subtitled Catastrophe Calling. At the same time, Watson recently launched a sequel to his 2008 OGN Princess At Midnight as a webcomic associated with a a line titled “Saturday Morning Webtoons.”
Gum Girl: Catastrophe Calling is outwardly reminiscent of Power Puff Girls, but Watson’s unique storytelling promises a more nuanced approach. According to the publisher’s solicitations, “Gum Girl might be pink, but shes got bite, she’s got bubbles, and she’s not afraid to use them.” The “Catastrophe” in the title is the name of the new town Gum Girl and her father are moving into, and it lives up to its name when it comes to trouble for the budding heroine.
Watson’s a unique figure in comics, and although he’s popped up everywhere from writing Buffy The Vampire Slayer to co-writing Namor with Bill Jemas, he’s kept true to his own work and continues to push it into new areas like this.