Eric Chats With Alex Grecian About Proof Endangered

Welcome to another edition of Proof Positive. If you'll excuse the delay I've been fighting a pretty bad cold for a little over a week which delayed pretty much everything I've been working on. So I'm having this put up on thursday in place of a Why I Love Comics column and things will return to a somewhat normal schedule very soon. This issue the tide of war starts to change as Proof cuts loose, Ginger deals with a scooby villain and Elvis does his best to keep up. So let's jump right into things!

Eric: To start off this edition Alex, what a packed issue. For the price each issue you and Riley sure as hell give the fans content for their money.

Alex: Thanks! We do try. There are lots of other things readers can do with their money and we're insanely grateful when they choose to buy our funnybook.

Eric: Do you find it hard at all juggling all the different plot threads or would you say it's easier having all these balls juggling at the same time if you don't mind the play on words.

Alex: I have a really short attention span. I get bored almost instantly. If I heat something up for a minute in the microwave, I have to go looking for a book to read during that minute. So for me the juggling is what keeps me at the keyboard. I don't let myself get tired of a scene because I'm always jumping around. The minute a sequence starts to overstay its welcome with me, I move on to the next scene.

Eric: Okay so delving into the issue itself if you don't mind me making a pun....Proof Smash! is pretty much an understatement. I like the fact that he's not putting up with any crap right now and showing how able of a field leader/fighter he is.

Alex: Yeah. With the first Proof series, we went out of our way to show just how no-comic-book-hero-ish he was. He didn't hit the bad guy in the first arc, he discussed the situation with her over a cup of poison tea. He was the last guy to rush into any situation without thinking it through and talking to people. So Ginger balanced him well. But now he's been pushed to his limits and has a real horse in this race. Everything happening is keeping him away from the family he's been looking for the last couple of centuries. He's just had enough of all these weirdos and the constant distraction they represent.

Eric: If I was Elvis in this issue (and he really is our everyman-eye-view in the series) I think I'd be just as lost as to what was going on, especially being thrown at someone.

Alex: Elvis is probably the best person in the series. He's just a very nice guy who's in way over his head. He's trying his best to be useful.

Eric: I also like how even at his breaking point Proof is making sure people are safe, sure he throws Elvis at her but knew he'd be safe in the long run.

Alex: I prefer to think that he was throwing Elvis TO her, not AT her. It was the fastest and easiest way to get Elvis out of the path of the worms and where he could do some good.

Eric: I was surprised to see River survive the death worms, if only because half his body was inside one of the worms at the end of last issue. I could be wrong though and that could have been artistic license on Riley's part?

Alex: That wasn't River being eaten last issue. If you look closely, that's one of River's henchmen. Maybe for the trade, we'll re-color that guy's hair so there's no possible confusion.

Eric: Thanks for clarifying, though if I may add to that, does River purposely have his bodyguards dress and look like him? To throw off possible attackers?

Alex: I think Riley purposefully makes River's henchmen look like him to throw off possible readers. Kidding, Riley!

Eric: Am I reading into that first scene too much or is it possible this Cordelia was Proof's first love? Before Julia.

Alex: There's some sexual tension there, probably, but my guess is that it's there because Cordelia's at an age where she's curious and trying out the idea of romance with someone harmless, someone she's thought of as a playmate. Proof's feelings are far more confused at that age and I doubt he'd be seriously interested in a human being when he's still very much interested in meeting more people who look like him. Remember, that was a large part of his attraction to Julia.

I guess I'm saying... no, Cordelia's a flirtation and Julia's a love.

Eric: Pretty safe to say at this point that Marc has lost his mind? Autumn really must have done a number on his mind. Are we going to see what he's been up to since he was recruited?

Alex: We're gonna see a bit of what's been going on with Marc at the very beginning of issue three. I think you'll be surprised.

Eric: Faux-Wayne seems to be slowly acting more and more like the real Wayne, is it more reflex or is there a little of Wayne still in that husk?

Alex: We've seen that the skins these chupacabras wear influence their behavior over time. Wayne's speech patterns are very similar to Leander's though. The main concession to Wayne is the orange sweaters and Riley insisted on that. I think eventually he'll probably start wearing something a little closer to what he wore when he was Leander.

Eric: So the Blue Men of the Minch... are we learning more about these cryptids or would you like to give a little background on the history of these interesting creatures here?

Alex: They're a Scottish cryptid, much like mermaids. I'll have a Cryptoid in one of the last two issues divulging a little more about them. They do have a history with the characters in the book, though the readers have never seen them before. I wrote a backup story a couple of years ago featuring these critters and foreshadowing some of what's eventually happened to Wayne and Ginger, but that story was never drawn. Maybe I'll eventually run the script in the back of a trade.

Eric: Why would the faux government agent reveal its cards so early here? Seems it's flat out telling Faux-Wayne exactly what it is.

Alex: Why not? As you saw in the very first scene of this series, she's not exactly subtle. She wiped out an entire restaurant just to grab a single skin. And since she can smell that Wayne's a chupacabra too, she's suddenly intrigued by what he might be up to.

Eric: I guess it's a good thing she didn't murder him but where did Bella put Ginger's gun? Is she suddenly a pacifist? Mind you I don't mean to sound like a continuity nerd or anything, just curious as if it's a character trait not shown before.

Alex: You mean, why didn't Bella shoot the Oni, instead of hitting him on the head? I guess I probably would have done the same thing she did and I don't think that makes me a pacifist (though I am one). Shooting somebody's a fairly scary thing for both parties to go through. Bella's a psychologist. We saw her fire a flare gun once, but I don't think she's spent a lot of time on the firing range doing anything besides talking to Ginger. If she doesn't absolutely have to shoot somebody, she's not gonna shoot somebody.

That said, she still has Ginger's gun, as you'll see next issue.

Eric: Is there more to Mr. Lee than meets the eye? And is it just my imagination or is that Riley's shout out to the Chew guys as he looks a lot like Tony to me.

Alex: I don't think it's a shout-out. He was described as a Japanese retailer in the script. We are, after all, in Little Tokyo here. Other than being proud of his store and keeping it stocked with a bizarre mishmash of items, Mr. Lee seems like a pretty typical Americanized dude from Japan to me.

Eric: It was interesting to get the reveal of the Oni in the issue. Was it always the plan to have it be Marc or was there a chance of it at one point being an actual cryptid? And was it always supposed to be something connected to Ginger? Also is that you having fun with the lettering or are we supposed to be thinking that something else has happened to Marc? And yeah I know, I'm still heavily assuming it's Marc which you haven't confirmed. lol

Alex: Well, you'll have the definitive answer about who's under that mask next issue, but I will say there was a lot of waffling about who that was gonna be. The "Foreshadowing" story back in the original third issue was carefully scripted, but the Oni image was Riley's contribution. He wanted to draw that creature and I liked the visual too. So we threw it in there and figured we'd deal with that one later. As the rules of the series solidified over time, it became pretty obvious that it couldn't be a "real" Oni and had to be someone in a costume. Once we knew that, there was really only one possibility that made sense. So an earlier plan was kind of folded into this and the Oni costume made it into Endangered.

Eric: The Colonel and his men are not only free but they have weapons, which is in part thanks to Nadine's interfering. Without spoiling, obviously, and knowing what we know in issue #25, does the Colonel have an end-game in mind and are we to assume he may not neccasarilly be on the bad side of the fence in the upcoming war?

Alex: Hmm. With some of the issues in this book, I have a little trouble narrowing things down to a "good side" and a "bad side." Dachshund and Mi-Chen-Po are idealistic opposites. One holds cryptids in contempt and the other is anti-human. They're both extremists and I'm not fond of any kind of extremism. So for this series (and the next) they balance each other well. The nice thing about Dachshund, though, is that if people are in trouble, he'll be on their side. I guess he's kind of Punisher-like in that regard: not always good or bad.

Eric: That last page is classic comic book cliffhanger, must have been a lot of fun to see Riley's finished artwork on that?

Alex: Yeah, he and Frank did an incredible job with that cryptid. It's supposed to be Ningen, by the way. Don't know if you'll recall, but you were the one who told me about Ningens during a previous interview. Thanks for that! I've waited for a chance to use these things. Riley's version is quite a bit different from other artists' renderings, but since it's a cryptid, I think we're in safe territory and it looks cool as hell.

Eric: Before he rips it off himself it seems as of the fake hand the Oni has is working, is that just artistic license on Riley's part or is it some sort of robotic piece?

Alex: Oh, I don't know about that. Looking back at the issue, I don't see that he ever uses that hand. But, no, I don't think it's a robotic device of any sort. That seems a little science fictiony and we try to steer away from sci-fi elements that are too glaring.

Eric: I am slightly obsessing over the oni costume, I blame the Scooby Doo joke. Is it safe to say for the rest of this arc this is going to play heavily into Ginger's life and complicate things for her?

Alex: In a much bigger way than you might think. You'll find out exactly how much in issue three. I really can't say more.

Eric: With that Alex is there anything else you'd like to discuss about this months issue? Maybe some cool behind the scenes insight into scripting/research?

Alex: The Cordelia character at the beginning of the book was actually Thomas Jefferson's granddaughter and she would have been approximately the age she's depicted at here in 1814. In real life she spent a fair amount of time at Poplar Forest, which was Jefferson's retreat. This is where we're saying Jefferson kept Proof out of the public eye, so she would have been a huge influence on him. At some point we'd like to do a Proof OGN that explores that time in Proof's life.

Eric: To end of course, what can readers expect from the next issue?

Alex: Next issue someone dies.

Take A Look Inside Proof Endangered #2

Join us next issue as we mourn the death of someone in the proofverse!

Have a question for Alex? E-mail Eric and let him know.
Learn more about Alex's work at

Eric Ratcliffe is a young writer/pop culture journalist/interviewer currently working on pitching a project named the Hunter chronicles. When not reading his weekly stack Eric can be found watching dvd's, playing on his 360 (gamertag: Zack Hunter) or just surfing online trying to find a scoop or two. Brand new to the Comic Related family, Eric is a fun new voice.

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