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If you look at the number of talented creators that worked on writer Jen Van Meter‘s Hopeless Savages (Oni Press), it’s an amazing collection of people. To mark Oni’s release in late 2010 of Hopeless Savages Greatest Hits: 2000-2010 (which collects all of the Hopeless Savages material released as of 2010) as well as the fact that the series will return with new material in 2011, I was able to compile an email roundtable discussion with many of Van Meter’s collaborators. Thanks to an immense amount of help from Van Meter and Oni’s Cory Casoni, I garnered insight from editor Jamie S. Rich (with his trademark wit), as well as several of the artists involved, namely Ross Campbell, Christine Norrie and Bryan Lee O’Malley. Did I mention there’s going to be new Hopeless Savages stories in 2011? I just wanted to make sure I did–and, to also note, the artist for the new stories, Meredith McClaren, was also kind enough to participate in this roundtable.
Tim O’Shea: As evidenced by this 2002 interview, Hopeless Savages was fortunate to have a great many talented artists work on the book, but sometimes those artists got busy elsewhere. As you said back in 2002: “With Christine Norrie embroiled in her own miniseries, we kind of are back to square one …. Sort of like how Chynna drew the first short story, but then BLUE MONDAY prevented her from doing the miniseries. But, we’ve found an amazing artist to take over. Bryan O’Malley is new to most people, but he’s really got a handle on the medium. His work really captures the innocence and insecurity of adolescence.” What do you remember most about this confluence at talent (and juggling the variety of creative talent involved in the project)?
Jamie S. Rich: Well, at the time, it wasn’t like we knew that this Irish kid O’Malley (who isn’t really Irish) would end up being the creator of Scott Pilgrim, so it didn’t feel all that monumental. It just felt like the most natural choice to be making. James had been showing Joe Nozemack and I Bryan’s webcomics, but none of the stories had quite clicked with us yet, but the style he was showing us was right in line with everything else we had been doing on the series. Who knew what that would get started?