Yesterday the creartive team behind the hit Dynamite series Red Sonja took over Reddit to answer questions, provide some insight, and generally have a good time in the name of everyones favorite She-Devil with a sword Red Sonja! The AMA/ Liveblog helped kick-off our two day Red Sonja Half-Price sale which is now in full effect. Those who missed out on the celebration can check out what fully transpired by following this link, but before you go here is a quick sampling of what went down:
Eric: Red Sonja is a female warrior in the Hyborian Kingdoms — the same world that Conan the Barbarian lives in. She was originally introduced — in the most contemporary form — in a Conan The Barbarian comic in the 1970s (inspired by a much different character, Red Sonya of Rogatine, from a story by Conan’s creator, Robert E. Howard).
The Red Sonja we’re discussing here is an accomplished soldier, mercenary, occasional thief, in a sword-and-sorcery setting filled with strange and terrible magic, armies clashing, ancient treasures, and so on. In simplest terms, Red Sonja is an action/adventure comic, with a tough, smart, female protagonist.
Q: Any thoughts on Peter Bretts upcoming Red Sonia: Blue mini, and did you have the opportunity to work with him in it at all or is it all his baby with no influence in the current ongoing?
Luke: I have to approve everything that gets published under our banner so I gave it a gander – but generally speaking when we have a solid writer coming in from the outside I basically let him do his thing. The nice thing about Red Sonja is that she is wanders the earth and gets in adventures, so one offs do not need to tie into continuity
Q: Has anyone ever accused you of peddling smut? Serious question, my local shop guy is sometimes hesistant to carry Sonja/Grimm Fairy Tales because of the backlash from some of his more conservative customers.
Arvid: I’m all for content advisories on covers — people have a right to look before they leap. But! One person’s smut is another’s art, after all. In my opinion there’s no way Sonja could be construed as smut, but how can you draw the line objectively? Retailers are in a really tough spot, because they don’t have the collective bargaining power of the big chain bookstores or the publishers. “Crusading” politicians and religious leaders looove to bully independent shops for that reason. That’s why the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund is such a great organization. http://cbldf.org/ I named a character in a Batman story “Flip Felchensteiner”. I got in trouble for that, but I’m sort of proud.
Eric: Every retailer has to cater to his customers; one of the advantages of the multiple covers available for issues, though, is that some are more conservative than others. I would never classify, say, Walter Geovani’s work as “smut.” My experience has been the opposite. I am the guy who put pants on Vampirella and was called, among other things (and I WISH this was a joke), “a Hitler” for doing so.
Everyone’s mileage is different, and while my own tastes run less toward the cheesecake stuff (though I don’t have a problem with it), it is just that: cheesecake. It’s not porn or “smut.”
Luke: Actually we are doing a crossover with TopCow soon, but I better not say too much If there are other Dynamite characters that make sense for her to interact with I am open, but most of Dynamites titles are in very different worlds.
Arvid: Hah! One of the best things about writing Queen Sonja is getting to expand the world; Sonja’s kingdom and the surrounding powers.
Q: So if you could Travel Back in Time and meet Robert E. Howard, what project of his would you most want to collaborate on?
Arvid: Kull! I think Kull is very underrated. I think Howard wished it had been more successful in his lifetime, that he could have done more with it himself… really, I just wish Howard had lived longer, that he had had more time to collaborate with himself…
Eric: Conan, for sure. Solomon Kane or Kull. Frankly, I’m not too picky. Bran Mac Morn or fightin’ sailor Steve Costigan would be fun, too.
Luke: I imagine he would be a very raw personality – biggest regret is that he didn’t write more. Would have liked to create something original with him.
For the full Q&A session head on over to Reddit. The guys were also nice enough to offer advice about breaking into comics, their own experiences and influences, and a whole lot more! Bummed you missed out on all the fun? Don’t sweat it, just make sure you follow us on twitter and set your bookmarks right here for the latest info in the world of digital comics!
Tagged: Arvid Nelson · Eric Trautmann · Luke Lieberman · red sonja · robert E. Howard
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