The Perhapanauts #6
Because of the substantial and exclusive nature of a reveal made here, I've done something I don't do too often-I've cut and pasted bits of the conversation with Todd Dezago into other parts of the story.
Usually, because of the rhythm that Todd and I have fallen into since we started talking about The Perhapanauts, I can (to some extent) anticipate his answers and where one might lead. Most of the time, the conversations that you see in "What's Perhappenin'?" are almost entirely unedited, and the reason that the topics move pretty seamlessly is that Todd and I have a good working relationship that allows for it. Or maybe it doesn't and I'm just far too attached to my own writing. That's possible, too.
This month, though, Todd has decided to share with Comic Related a nugget of information regarding the future of The Perhapanauts, its erratic and troubled shipping schedule, and its storytelling style. Because of that, I've moved a few quick comments by the writer himself up top. Following a few brief follow-ups on the point of scheduling and logistics, we're back into the normal conversation, with only a little gap (you can look for it) where the artistic gave way to the technical and then was ripped out and thrown up top.
Todd Dezago: I've told you this, Russ, but I think it's cool to officially say it here, we're going to be shifting The Perhapanauts to a miniseries schedule to insure that Craig has time to get them done and to make sure that each issue comes out when we say it's going to come out. Following the Halloween Special, we'll take a month or two before coming out with Perhapanauts no.7, part one of the next 5 issue story arc.
Comic Related: Todd - Just becuase I know what it means, but I want to make sure readers understand it, can you explain the "miniseries schedule" you're moving to? My interpretation is that the comic will still be ongoing, but will take longer periods of time off in between arcs so that there can be shorter, more reliable breaks between single issues in the arc. Is that right?
TD: Oh, yeah...That's it exactly. Because we just haven't been able to reliably come out on a monthly--or even a bi-monthly schedule--we thought that it would be much less frustrating for our Readers if we completed an entire five issue story arc before we actually solicited it. That way we can be absolutely sure that the books come out when we say they will.
CR: That asked, will the series continue the current numbering after #7, or will you get a new #1 at the start of every story?
TD: Unless we're told that we can't, for publishing or distribution reasons, our plan is to continue the numbering accordingly. (So that the next story arc would be issues 7-11. Like that.)
CR: I liked the structure of making all the shorter stories part of a larger whole in this issue. Whose idea was it?
TD: Things have been pretty tight here at the Perhapanauts Complex. With Craig doing so much work for Marvel theses days--as well as being a stay-at-home dad to two of the most wonderful little kids I know--it's really hard for him/us to squeeze in turning out pages for the Perhapanauts. I've said it many times before, if the book were actually making us money, we'd both be thrilled to work on the 'Haps exclusively--we've got a lot of stories mapped out! So in trying to re-plot things (for timing) and schedule and rearrange and then re-schedule and so forth just to try to keep some semblance of momentum, I thought that the "Kyle Baker/Cowboy Wally" format might be faster and a fun thing for us to try. I think it worked...no?
RB: Craig seems to have a lot more "pinup" kind of art in this issue and less traditional comic pages. Was that a timing choice or a style choice?
TD: Really a little bit of both. We wanted to get this issue--which is kind of a transitional issue between story arcs--out soon after the trade, to let people know that we know where things are going. We both like to challenge ourselves so we thought we'd try this style of storytelling.
RB: You talk a little bit about handing over writing chores to Scott Weinstein for Molly's story here, and why it was done-even when you have faith in somebody, though, is it a little hard to give up control of something like the Perhapanauts? I can't imagine anybody but Erik doing Savage Dragon, for example.
TD: It is hard in that, as I said on the letters page, I know where all these characters have been and I know where they're going. There are still a lot of mysteries to be revealed about each of the characters and it is very difficult--and time-consuming--to field plots and stories from other writers when they are in the dark about what is planned. I hate to frustrate them over and over by saying, "You can't do this." or "You can't do that." without telling them why. I have another friend, Nick Tapalansky (writer/co-creator of the Archaia book,Awakening) who has written a two-part story that will show up in issues 9 and 10 and I'm sure that Nick will tell you that it was a nightmare trying to navigate through all the "you can't do that"s I threw at him along the way. He hates me now.
RB: Was it at all odd handing off the most character-driven chapter of the book and taking on the more plot/action-oriented ones for yourself?
TD: Well, I say that no one knows the whole story except me and that's not exactly true. Craig knows. Scott knows. I think I might have told Leanne Hannah too much. We may have to kill her.
But Scott knows all about just about everybody now and I have absolute trust in him and his abilities as a writer. I think he's a fantastic writer! Yes, were there time--and money--for me to do it all, I'd love to do it. But I think I'm fortunate to have someone like Scott nearby to help tell these tales.
Scott, by the way, has just finished the script to a one-shot out sometime next year that tells our Molly's origins. It'll be drawn by our pal, Jason Copland, who illustrated the Aswang back-up story in Perhapanauts #5.
RB: How swamped are you as compared to Craig? If he's busy doing stuff, will you still be able to try and crank out something like a Monster Five one-shot with another artist?
TD: Ha! At the moment, not as swamped as I'd like to be. Freelancers usually like to make sure that they have work lined up for the next 6 to 9 months at least and, while I thought I had things secured, the bottom suddenly dropped out of one project that has left me scrambling for work.
I am working on at least 8 other back-up stories with several friends/artists and have drawn up an outline for the next story arc so that the next five or six issues are jam-packed with Perhapanaut-y goodness, but also taking into account Craig's limited timeframe.
RB: Given the long turnaround between issues, what number are we going to be on, ballpark, before the team is finally reunited?
TD: Ha! You assume they'll be reunited. That's a big jump, man. Remember; when you assume you make an ass out of you and Uma Thurman...!
RB: Obviously it's reasonable to assume that the Halloween Special will come out on or before Halloween-are you shooting for an October release or earlier (obviously with the ';Haps, there's an element of "It's Halloween every day!")?
TD: There you go, assuming again. Yes, the Halloween Special is actually almost done and it WILL definitely be out for Halloween, on stands in mid-October.
RB: How tough is it, with a character like Choopie, to give him real emotion at losing a friend without losing the fun that's at the core of his character? You certainly don't want to fill him with too much angst!
TD: Good question. Right, unlike all the other characters, Choopie's personality relies on him never really learning his lesson. And he doesn't. We just have him move on, never talking about it again. David Duchovny once said that about Mulder and Scully; that they operate in a closed environment each episode, never really relying on information from previous episodes to help them solve this one. That'll be Choopie. He can't be all angst-y. Where's the fun in that?
RB: In the future, will this interstitial/developing stuff be more what Craig is doing, or do you see it returning to primarily a Todd-n-Craig production?
TD: Again, were the money there, I would live for Craig and I to be able to crank out an issue every month. As it is, I have cut down the page count of the main story in the new arc so that Craig doesn't have this massive weight hanging over his head. We have lots and lots of friends who will be helping out with back-up stories throughout and their tales will have vital information in each of them.
RB: How much of a history/continuity do you have for these guys in your head?! Between the "fake" issues and the Monster Five flashback, there's a LOT to work from!
TD: "Fake" issues?! Which ones were "fake" issues...?
I have the continuity all figured out--how and when each of the secrets will be revealed along the way--and I sometimes get frustrated that I can't just snap my fingers and have it all done! The waiting, for me, is interminable too!
Now that we've (finally) established that the Perhapanauts are the new guardians of the Par-Ha, the nexus of all time and space, the sky's really the limit on stories! The team will be traveling to different dimensions as well as different realities. Wanna see Choopie in the old west? It's comin'! Wanna see Karl truly leading the all-star Justice Brigade? It could happen! Horror stories? Fantasy stories? True-crime detective stories...? No holds barred! Now we can finally put the "perhaps" into the Perhapanauts!!
RB: And on that note, when are you going to let me write a story?!
TD: Well, while I've kinda pulled back on the idea of having other people writing stories for the book (for the reasons I mentioned above and to maintain my own sanity...), Craig and I would love to see more people writing some fun fan-fic for the website. If that paragraph back there inspired anyone in anyway...go to it! With the advent of the Perhaps now in play, the sky really is the limit! Be creative--and have fun!
Take A Look Inside
Russell Burlingame / Comic Related Columnist
Russell Burlingame is a journalist and columnist living and working in New York City. In high school, Russell interviewed Elliot S. Maggin for a review of the Kingdom Come novelization, and since then has worked consistently in and around the comics industry. He interned for Wizard magazine, and has freelanced for Wizard and Newsarama, in addition to a number of non-comics publications, Russell is currently working on a graphic novel based on Cap'n Internet, the comic strip that ran in his college newspaper; and a graphic biography of folk singer Phil Ochs with artist Marion Vitus.
blog comments powered by Disqus