Todd Dezago and Craig Rousseau's brilliant The Perhapanauts has been a little late this time around-but it was back on the shelves last week, and Todd is back in the What's Perhappenin' hot seat this week, fresh from the Baltimore Comic-Con where he and Craig were promoting the book.
Comic Related: Some questions for you, my friend! First, though, great issue...!
Todd Dezago: Hey--thanks! Really glad ya dug it! --Now I just hope you're not too upset by what happens next issue...?
CR: A business question before we get too into that: How are you feeling about Image's promotion of the book? I've had issues with FINDING the title in smaller stores, but I don't know how much of that goes to Image and how much of that goes to the retailers themselves lacking courage with new titles or what-have-you. I also don't know how the sales have been so far, and what you need to keep making a profit.
TD: Well, just to be absolutely clear here, The Perhapanauts has made us no money (so far). Zero dollars. Sales need to be up around 6000 to have us actually make something and we're still hovering around at 3800...? something like that. We're really hoping (that's both us and Image...) that the trade will sell well and bring in more Readers, because we really can't go on forever like this, doing a (mostly) monthly book with no income on the back end. Sadly, this is all about business in the end and while many of my favorite books, too, have gone the way of low sales over the years--Impulse being the hardest one to take--I now understand that it just doesn't work that way.
As for Image's promotion of the book, we really couldn't be happier! Image has been incredibly supportive and we're thrilled that they have so much faith in us and the book! As for the book not being in stores, yes, that's the Retailers decision, but I wouldn't use the word "courage" there. Every single one of them is courageous just having a store open these days. It's tough times in the comics business and the retail business all over. As for them taking a chance and picking up an extra copy or two of any title, that would be great, but it doesn't make financial sense--they've been burned doing that with too many other books before. I totally understand their hesitation to order more--it's tough.
CR: Arisa is starting to look much softer, and prettier....Was that intentional?
TD: Well, that is definitely "the other side" of Arisa and this was definitely a softer, prettier scene...so, yeah.
CR: If they were going to overhaul the whole place, did MG's assignment basically become busy work or is he going to be the one retooling the whole system?
TD: MG IS the one who's redesigned the new security system and needed to verify a few last things before the new elements were to be put in place. So, no--not busy work, just a few small last minute checks.
CR: Had they not thought of having 'Ris scan Karl's thoughts? It seems like he's being pretty obvious in his mutterings!
TD: Arisa and Joanne (though I can't speak for anyone else with telepathy in the facility...) hie to that code of not intruding on anyone's personal thoughts/privacy with their abilities. I guess that that could seem somewhat strict in a case like this, but first you let THIS be the exception and then what--"eavesdropping" on MG to uncover more of his mysterious past for "security purposes"?...delving into each BEDLAM employees mind to test their individual loyalties?..."listen in" on what Choopie really thinks of Jessica Simpson? There have to be some boundaries...
CR: Maybe the logic you applied to 'Ris and Joanne's telepathy should be applied to Federal wiretaps...?
TD: Don't get me started...
CR: Is the Chief dead? It's hard to tell...and I'd always suspected that we'd see some kind of power come out of him before he went anywhere!
TD: Whaddaya think EVERYONE in that place has powers?! That'd be crazy, man! No, he doesn't have powers. But also, no he's not dead.
CR: Nobody's wearing red shirts! Was that comment completely metaphorical, or did Rico just not get that dialog in time?
TD: Yeah, that was actually a mistake. Jason did everything in that story aside from the actual writing and, though I know he knew it earlier, he probably had too much going on to remember that little line.
CR: I forget--did we know before that the Harpy can turn into a dog? That's how I missed the reference in the previous issue.
TD: It's in the Aswang's origin story back in Perhapanauts first series (First Blood from Dark Horse) #4.
CR: First of all, isn't "Aswang" about the coolest name for anything in the book? I just think the word is cool.
TD: Yeah. "Aswang." Cool. "Aswang." "Aswang."
CR: I really liked how they caught the harpy, by the way--first time in a while I've seen taht "teleport them to two places at once" thing, and it didn't end horribly bloody and fatal!...Speaking of which, this book is probably suitable for kids more often than not, in spite of some mature themes. Is that intentional?
TD: While there are some moments that include blood and horror elements, we'd like to think that this is a family book. I have a few friends who read it with their kids and no one's had any real objections. We've skirted the edge a couple of times and will continue to do so, but I don't think it'll be anything TOO graphic or "adult" in nature...
CR: While the longtime readers will be glad to see him again, do you worry about the Lex Luthor Syndrome with the Chimaera? Folks who bought the original trades right before this series started, might feel like, "Jeez, this guy just shows up in every story."
TD: Well, that's kinda like watching a whole season of something on DVD. I just watched all of Grey's Anatomy over the past couple of months and thought, Wow, Derek and Meredith just go back and forth and back and forth--which they do--but that was over the course of four years, so it wasn't really as often as it seems. Like, for example, I haven't written a Chimaera story since 2003--that's five years ago. Get it?
CR: Love the "red folder" layout of the first page of the backup story. Whose idea was that?
TD: That was all Jason Armstrong!! He is incredibly cool with all the layouts and action and thinking things through to make them the super-coolest!
CR: Will we see the Hammerskold/Arisa/MG thing develop in the near future?
CR: Will we see Choopie really coming into his own next issue? Even though he's the most lovable, he doesn't seem to have done a lot to make himself useful yet.
TD: This is one of those stories that just took off on me and I gotta tell ya, when I first wrote the plot to no. 4, I had no idea how Choopie was going to stand up against something a powerful--and resilient--as the Chimaera! I still don't. I hope he wins.
CR: The Gremlins - if they've got "extradimensional" housing, shouldn't that mean that they can be near Choopie whether he's in Australia or not? I mean, kind of like Mr. Mxyzptlk being able to just pop up wherever he wants?
TD: Dude, you read a lot into things! Where does it say extradimensional housing? Oh, wait--yeah, it does say that, doesn't it...? Um, yeah, I guess your postulation must be true then. I wonder what'll happen...
CR: ...Still, I do read a lot into things! That's why the column is "analysis," too, instead of just review. Now, why were they so upset? Was that just about [truncated]
TD: You didn't finish this question. I assume you were going to say, "And why were they so upset? Was that just about...the time that their unique physinogomies were about to undergo a rapid and violent reaction as a result of staying in our own unique environment too long and become like unto a pack of rabid dogs tearing at the flesh of the Perhapanauts and destroying the team--and any chance of continuation for the title--in a foaming sea of blood and bone chips?!?!"
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