Amber Love 11-JULY-2012 Everyone else, including today’s VODKA O’CLOCK guest, is out at Comic Con International in San Diego so since I’m home in New Jersey, I bumped up my interview with THOM ZAHLER.
It’s SDCC week! You can catch Thom on an IDW signing on Thursday at 3:00.
“Mark Waid’s DAREDEVIL is still a master class in comics.” ~TZ
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LOVE AND CAPES is easily segmented into six-issue story arcs friendly to new readers. It’s very PG in content. The focus of this superhero romantic comedy is the relationship between Abby and Mark/The Crusader. Readers follow them on their courtship journey through marriage and in August, begins the pregnancy of their first child.
AL: “How do you sit down and make a big outline of the LNC universe?”
TZ: “I actually did it wrong. My original arc notes were at the end of 6 they get engaged, end of 12 they get married, end of 18 they have a kid. … I wound up breaking that arc in two.”
Thom talks about a Louise Simonson story that influenced how he would address the plot points of a superhero family. How could Lois Lane possibly have Superman’s baby? It’s one of the fanboy arguments in MALLRATS and undoubtedly a question that comes up in every day comic fandom conversation.
“The baby kicked and then she died. Holy crap! I have to deal with that!” ~TZ
Abby and her sister are not superpowered and play important storylines for the women of LNC. This differs from the mighty Amazonia who began almost villain-like in her rival as Mark’s ex-girlfriend. Thom talks about how he saw female characters done so poorly and he did the opposite. This applies to not just female characters but all secondary characters.
“Amazonia was interesting as a character because she was not entirely likable character when she appeared.” ~TZ
Along with influences like Louise Simonson, Thom talks about looking to Darwyn Cooke for style and storytelling. He said people that get well into their careers tend to lack resources for continuing to grow whereas there are a ton of “breaking in” books/lectures. He recommends “Drawn to Life: 20 Golden Years of Disney Master Classes: Volumes 1 & 2: The Walt Stanchfield Lectures.”
Of course since Thom is at SDCC right now we chat about the infiltration of Hollywood and other media into “comic cons” when there are or are not crossovers. Luckily for comic fans, they have product that does cross over into their television viewing like SyFy’s WAREHOUSE 13 or EUREKA comics but where does their non-scifi counterpart USA Network fit in?
Chances are you’ll have an opportunity to meet Thom in person since he travels almost every month toconventions. He’ll have the trades of the previous volumes for sale along with his other products. Usually to get a t-shirt, you have to pay attention to Thom’s blogs and announcements because he takes the amount that are pre-ordered to make the most of packing. You can also order them through his site. If you want to explore mail order comic ordering, check out Comic Fusion where you can set up a pull list or have your one-time purchase like trades mailed right to you.