What Have You Learned: More than anything it’s the nuts and bolts of working in comics, working with an editor, doing promotion, etc. I’ve been making my own, with artists and letterers and what have you, so that side was very familiar to me. But working with an editor, the incomparable Ms. Fulton, was new and really wonderful, being asked for interviews and getting on ‘anticipated’ lists and seeing reviews and what not – that was new, time consuming, exhuasting, and really gratifying.
Was It Easier/Harder: Writing the story came easier than I thought; it was easy for me to slip on that glove, perhaps because I loved the original, perhaps because I love that kind of character. Likewise, Rachael did all the hard work of coordination, and Pracheta did all the hard work of illustrating, so that part was easy as pie! Harder was definitely everything that came after, the publicity and all mentioned before. It’s very different, but also cool.
What Advice for 2017: Generally, pour your heart into it. Don’t try to guess what anyone wants – write what YOU want, with those characters. Something that means something to you, reflects something about you.
More specifically, do your best to really analyze and figure out what made the initial story work, what were Mark and his collaborators trying to do or say there. Service that, build your story on that foundation, but make sure you’re servicing that in a new and unique way. Try to add something to the universe. And perhaps most crucial, and the most unifying thread, hit some strong emotional beat or beats.
It may seem hard, but it’s just a matter of sitting down and going for it.
What to Avoid: Going too far away from the original story, or staying too close to it. There’s a sweet spot with properties when you’re continuing with them, and the key is to hit them. Also, recognize the limitations of your space. If you can’t execute it well in the space you’re given, then toss the idea aside. This is an execution, rather than conceptual, game. Mark and his collaborators already did the ‘idea’ thing. It’s your execution that is going to stand out.