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September 1, 2019

Shade the Changing Girls Team Are Ready to Take Her on Some

first_imgStay on target DC’s ‘Batman Experience’ Pop-Up Exhibition Is Coming to SDCC’Krypton’ Series Season 2 Sneak Peek: Superman’s Home Planet Is at Stake DC’s Young Animal imprint curated by Gerard Way has seen a return to the strange and transgressive comics of the early Vertigo days. One of if not the standout title of the line has been Shade, the Changing Girl by Cecil Castellucci and Marley Zarcone. I got the chance to chat with them the other day about the release of Shade, the Changing Girl Volume 2 and the lead up to the start of the next volume, Shade, the Changing Woman. So the first arch deals a lot with finding yourself and dealing with how people perceive you versus how you perceive yourself. While that element is still there in volume two, it shifts more towards nostalgia and reflection. I wanted to hear from both of you on how you both came up with shifting the focus to nostalgia.Cecil: So you know I knew that what I really liked about the analogy of the first volume, and Marley and I have talked about this, is you feel like an alien when you’re a teenager. We thought it’d be kind of nice to have her in high school and have that first part have Shade adjusting to her new body, and it felt right to be in that arena. I did have more ideas on how to keep up with that. There were a lot of stories in that high school about that swim team and all that stuff that I was interested in, but in talking with our editor Jamie Rich, we decided that it’d be good to open it up. Loma, her whole mission was to wander to leave, to be a tourist on earth and feel these emotions. And it felt that the high school setting was too claustrophobic. Seemed kinda obvious to have her go on and search for Honey, her favorite character from a show she liked, Life With Honey, broadcast from us to outer space. So it made sense to go into nostalgia because that’s the reason that brought her to earth.Marley: And I also think that the first stage of the book is about adjusting to a human body, getting comfortable in a human body. And when she is in the second phase, she’s in a new stage of development. She’s thinking about what she’s idealized that this perfect image of Honey and earth are related. She’s trying to find her place in this world, and she’s exploring and seeing what’s real. Is this real? And sometimes that can be a knockback.Cecil: Yeah, it’s about how she’s matured. You know like when you mature you suddenly have the wool taken off your eyes and see things as they are. Earth is suddenly being revealed to her in it’s true, raw form.That’s great! Since you mentioned Life With Honey, I gotta know more about how you all came up with that. What shows like that influenced both of you when coming up with this amalgamation? And the character of Honey and how she’s not the same person now?Cecil: For me, Life With Honey is based on a very specific show, I Love Lucy, and it’s because I Love Lucy, the way that it was broadcast the waves of it actually bounced off the earth and went out into outer space. So if you were an alien and you were receiving messages from earth, I Love Lucy would be one of the first things you’d see. It’s still traveling. I don’t remember precisely how many light years away it is at this point. It just struck me as funny that you know maybe aliens would be watching I Love Lucy and that’s what they would think earth is like. I wanted to make it because we are dealing with madness and there is the acronym M.A.D., mutually assured destruction, from the Cold War in terms of the arms race that it would be a good thing to bring into the fray. So thinking something about M.A.D. And making Honey the fun, but seemingly dim-witted housewife of a brilliant nuclear physicist and her wacky hyjinx she gets into there. The idea was to have every issue to have a short story of Life With Honey to parallel emotionally with a lesson that Loma is going through. I always suggest to people to always read Life With Honey and not skip over that because it always enhances the story.Marley: With Honey, it’s not what the aliens are seeing, it’s what’s real. Well, I did draw her first.Cecil: Yeah, you did.Marley: Yeah I drew her first in issue 3. Then I didn’t draw her again til after the backup stories. The reality and age point, exploring what it’s like to be an aging star and drawing that. Definitely a different flavor to it.Cecil: I think it’s important because Honey has always been her (Loma’s) mentor/guru of earth. That’s who Loma turns to, so it’s nice to have her actually be that person. And to still have her be that confident and tour guide, but in a much different way than she expected.Great! A little more specific on the art since we have Marley here. How was it designing madness and how madness looks in the book versus reality?Marley: You mean how I approached it? Hmmm. It was different for volume two than it was for volume one. Volume one you see tongues, you see eyeballs because she’s getting used to her form and she’s manifesting what she’s experiencing in a new body, so it’s kind of coming out in weird places through physical manifestations. Now she’s just drifting, so she’s grabbing it from other people’s feelings. I’m kind of drawing on an exaggeration of other things around her because she’s focusing outwardly as she’s exploring around the United States. It changes depending on whatever the scenario is. I have some things that are consistent to show that the madness is happening, but I try to streamline it so people can still follow. It can be really fun, and hopefully grounded somewhere in there, but this is generally my approach.For sure. One other thing I noticed about the book in general and it’s really prominent in Volume Two is that the antagonists aren’t really driven by evil which is common in big two comics. The motivation of these characters is love and prioritizing someone else’s love over your own or prioritizing your own love over someone else’s. That seems to be the source of most of the conflict. So how did you come about structuring the story in this way that’s unique to big two comics?Cecil: Well, I think that when you’re dealing with madness, it’s such a strange thing and I wanted to do something a bit different than the Vertigo run that happened over twenty years ago. There was a lot of violence in it; a lot of cruelty and stuff. I wanted to stake a claim in a new area, so love was sort of a natural place to go. I think it’s ever hopeful, so you can have as much despair as you want. Doesn’t mean we don’t have evil in there. Doesn’t mean we won’t have evil in there. But I think love is a good North Star to sail by and I feel like Loma has so much to learn. It’s about Loma becoming a being, not a human being, but a whole being. Love is a powerful thing. And love can also be used as a weapon. Love can sometimes be turned on you. It’s a wonderful thing, but there are scary parts of it too.I know we’re running short on time.Cecil: We still have time for one more question!Okay! So with everything set up here, it can go anywhere you want the story to go now. Do you want to give readers any hints on the direction things might go or what we might see in the next arch?Marley: I think there is definitely a tone shift. We are getting further into what it means to be a whole person. Sometimes that’s embracing different aspects, even negative aspects and it’s different. I don’t want to give anything away though!Cecil: I don’t want to give anything away either! I’m like afraid because how do you say things without saying anything!You know, I will say that it is a few years later. So Shade, she’s got this new body that’s her, and she’s sort of exploring the world in a much more deep way that is both pleasurable and painful. The world is also moving on and things are happening in the world that she’s going to have to face.I’m really excited for it! You’re both doing really great stuff.Cecil: Thank you! Marley: We’re a great team and we like this book a lot.Anything else you want to add before we wrap up.Cecil: In Shade, the Changing Woman we have wonderful backup stories that are illustrated by Jamie Coe. I just want to emphasize that they really are a part of the story and I want to encourage readers of Shade to definitely not skip the backups because they’re extra peaks to the whole of the story. Marley: And if you skip them you miss out on Jamie Coe’s art. He’s frickin’ awesome!Thank you both so much! This was really great. Can’t wait for the next volume.Shade, the Changing Woman #1 is available everywhere March 7thlast_img read more

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