After years of attending the San Diego Comic-Con as a fan and budding comic writer, Andrew Constant will spend the 2011 show on the other side of the table, selling his debut graphic novel, Torn. Constant teamed with artists Joh James and Nicola Scott to tell a werewolf tale with a bit of a twist, catching the eyes of Greg Rucka, who called it “a wonderfully subtle story from a decidedly deft hand” and Gail Simone, who said “it reads like it’s written on the side of a silver bullet.”
The book is published by Gestalt Comics, an Australian publisher exhibiting at the show this week in booth #4500-4501 (you can find their signing schedule here). Constant took the time to answer some of my questions about the book both before and after his transcontinental flight from Australia.
JK: Torn is your debut graphic novel, correct? How did the project come together?
Andrew: Torn is my debut graphic novel. It came about due to my love of the werewolf and my boredom at their current interpretations as seen across a variety of mediums. This is not to say I’m a genius writer (far from it, actually), I just thought that there was room for a different type of story, one which may challenge the reader, rather than play to preconceived notions of what a werewolf story should be.
Nicola has been a friend for ages, and she had some time many moons ago (moons, get it? sigh…), so drew the prologue for me. From there, I shopped the concept around. There were many expressions of interest, but it wasn’t until I came across Gestalt Comics that I found the best publishing home for the work.
JK: What is Torn about?
Andrew: The big picture concept is that it is the story of a wolf who is transformed into a man, in a brutal and tragic fashion. We then follow his difficult and violent journey as he tries to come to terms with his new identity in the alien landscape of a harsh and unforgiving city.
Although it seems like DC’s big relaunch announcement came out an eternity ago, it actually took the publisher less than two weeks to roll out the 52 titles and their creative teams for the big relaunch/reboot/overhaul coming in September. Now that the cats are out of their respective bags, I thought I’d see where various creators and characters will land after the reboot.
So I went back through DC’s August solicitations to see who was writing or drawing what, and tried to map everyone to their post-relaunch project — if they had one. However, looking at DC’s August solicitations, there seem to be several fill-in issues, so where appropriate I tried to map the most recent ongoing creative teams to their new projects (for instance, I consider Gail Simone and Jesus Saiz the regular creative team for Birds of Prey, even if they aren’t doing the last two issues before September hits). Keep in mind that I just went through the ongoing series and skipped over all the miniseries … of which there are a lot, what with Flashpoint winding up in August.
It’s also worth noting that although several creators didn’t appear in the “big 52″ announcements, that doesn’t mean their tenure with DC is necessarily over — some, like Frazer Irving, have said they have future projects that haven’t been announced. So I tried to note where creators have talked publicly about their post-relaunch plans with DC (or lack thereof, as the case may be). The same could probably be said for some of DC’s characters as well. Or, as Gail Simone said on Twitter: “Again, September is NOT THE END. There’s still plans for characters that we haven’t seen yet.”
So let’s get to it ….
For longtime comic readers like myself, there’s nothing quite like when a team book introduces a new character to the mix. This Wednesday, artist Nicola Scott gets to bring Solstice, a character she designed, into the Teen Titans mix with the release of Teen Titans 93. In addition to discussing Solstice, Scott notes the shift in tone/sense of fun that series writer J.T. Krul has brought to the series; how she considers herself a character-driven artist; as well as the lessons learned from collaborating with the likes of writer Gail Simone/dealing in subtext (among other topics). At the end of the interview, she invites fans to suggest characters we’d like to see her draw in the future–be sure to chime in with your ideas in the comments section.
Tim O’Shea: Over at the Source, you expressed part of what appealed to working with J.T. Krul on Teen Titans. ” Character, tone, direction. He has blown me away.” What is it about Krul’s approach to character and tone that appealed to you?
Nicola Scott: Over the last couple of years the tone of the book seemed to have become quite dark, and seemed to be missing youthful energy and a sense of fun. The characters weren’t quite connecting in the way DC hoped for them to. Straight off the bat JT had them feel exactly like their regular selves. The comradery had returned too and that’s such an important ingredient with the Teen Titans. The script for the first issue was fun, a great recap of the characters and who they are to each other. There were some gags and some drama and it felt like young people with huge responsibility. Another ingredient that I think was important, was bringing it back to the core members. A couple of new additions is fine but when most of the cast is unrecognizable to outside readers, it’s hard to grow the audience.
Morrison, Finch, Cornell, Paquette, Snyder, Daniel, Tomasi, Gleason, Scott…Larroca?: A Batman news round-up
Not since Bane broke all the lunatics out of Arkham Asylum has Batman had this eventful a week. Perhaps to avoid the avalanche of news coming out of San Diego next week, DC has spent the past few days announcing a slew of new Batman projects and creative teams. And heck, even Marvel got in on the act, sorta…