The Dynamite Report # 2

Welcome to The Dynamite Report, a special feature here at CraveOnline that focuses exclusively on Dynamite Entertainment.

Dynamite is one of the largest comic book companies in America, with titles including Red SonjaFlash GordonVampirellaArmy of DarknessThe Twilight ZoneA Game of ThronesZorroThe Lone RangerLord of the JungleJohn Carter of MarsDejah Thoris and several others.

The company is also well known for its stellar lineup of comic book creators including Gail Simone, Jeff Parker, Nancy Collins, Steve Niles, J. Michael Straczynski, Tim Seeley, Mark Waid, Greg Pak, Marc Andreyko, Joshua Hale Fialkov, Duane Swierczynski, Peter Milligan, Alex Ross, Jae Lee, Gabriel Hardman, Joseph Michael Linsner, Amanda Conner, Francesco Francavilla, Terry Dodson and Emanuela Luppachino.

Joining me for our second column are Dynamite Senior Editor Joseph Rybandt along with Associate Editor Molly Mahan.

CraveOnline: The Dynamite solicits for December have Gail Simone’s run on Red Sonja ending with issue 18. Will a new creative team be coming in with issue 19? Or is Red Sonja getting a relaunch next year?

Joseph Rybandt: We just had Gail as our guest at the Baltimore Comic-Con and this very subject came up a couple of times. Gail has an open invitation to continue Red Sonja, or write her as long as she wishes. That may not be possible after issue #18, as Gail is currently focusing on the “Women of…” cross-over. Odds are good we’ll take a break after issue #18, load up the year with some special projects and then see what our options are for a new #1…

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What’s the latest on Gail’s Women of Dynamite and Red Sonja/Conan crossovers?

Rybandt: Getting the “Women of…” cross-over ready for debut in early 2015. Dark Horse is currently readying their Conan/Red Sonja mini-series and we’ll be releasing our Red Sonja/Conan in early 2015 to follow-up.

Molly Mahan: For the “Women of…” cross-over, we’ve finalized the character list and the large brush strokes of what the story will be. Now we’re polishing the details and ensuring we have the right artist to back Gail up. This is an event we’ve been discussing internally for what feels like ages, so we aren’t going to jump any guns. It’s going to be huge and we have a lot of faith in it. Expect more soon on both projects!

Walter Geovani recently mentioned on Facebook that he’s drawn 50 Red Sonja comics (including Prophecy). I think this may mean that he’s drawn more Red Sonja than anyone. Is that correct?

Rybandt: Walter has been our unsung hero, though his praises are certainly more loudly sung these days as Gail’s run on the book has increased awareness of the character and his work in particular. Sounds like he’s up there with Frank Thorne and Mel Rubi as part of the definitive group of Sonja artists.

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Mahan: I’m not sure how many issues he’s done in comparison to others, but if you look at his pages, there’s certainly a reason why he’s been with the character for so long. I’m always delighted to see Walter’s pages come through. Issue 12 is out on the 24th and it’s quite possibly my favorite Red Sonja story ever—not just of this run. It’s a perfect issue. Credit is owed to Walter and Gail both on that.

You’ve got the John Carter: Warlord of Mars relaunch coming soon. I’m curious, does the new deal with ERB’s estate allow you to use more characters, concepts and backstory from the original stories?

Rybandt: The particulars of the deal are not open for discussion, but the focus of this new series is on new adventures featuring the familiar characters of Carter, Dejah Thoris, Tar Tarkas, etc. There are some new characters that appear as we debut the new series, which will cause no end of headaches for John Carter.

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Is a Lord of The Jungle relaunch also in the works?

Rybandt: Yes, though the character may well appear as part of something else first…

Shifting gears to Battlestar Galactica, you’ve got The Death of Apollo coming up. How did this project come about?

Rybandt: The high concept came from us, as a way to continue to tell more classic stories with Dan (Abnett) and he took that ball and ran away to space with it…

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As I recall, Apollo was dead by the time of Galactica 1980. Is this partially a nod to that show?

Rybandt: No, that continuity is tricky, ours doesn’t account for its existence, and I think fans will be more than fine with that. Nostalgia is tough, as I think I probably loved that show when I was 9 years old, but looking back, it was a failed experiment, though, with a little sprinkling of nostalgia, I could sit and watch it for what it was…

Over in your Chaos books, Lady Demon is getting a relaunch, which surprised me. I was under the impression that Lady Demon started off as an alternate version of Lady Death. How does Lady Demon stand out from her predecessor?

Mahan: No Lady Death backstory for one! Lady Demon from the start is her own entity in our Chaos Universe. She still has that awesome white hair, red skin, and horns, but she’s a demon through-and-through, so possession is her game. For the book, we are giving her a Quantum Leap-style twist. She takes over the bodies of the recently damned to help them exact revenge. In our first outing, she takes over a petite young girl who you wouldn’t expect to be damned to Hell, so that’s part of the fun and mystery as well.

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You’ve recently started a new digital platform for Dynamite comics. What are the benefits of going it on your own for digital comics?

Rybandt: It’s about choice and convenience and keeping up with the platform and technology. Just another place for fans to have access is what it boils down to…

Will Dynamite comics remain on Dark Horse Digital and comiXology?

Rybandt: Yes.

Are there any Dynamite projects that you want to throw a spotlight on before we wrap up this installment?

Rybandt: we have two scripts in from Garth Ennis on a new project that will begin in early 2015… so swing that spotlight on over! It is going to be difficult to shove into any one type of genre, but it features all of the things Garth’s readers and fans love about his work. There’s love, death, bullets and dark, dark humor…

That’s all for this installment of The Dynamite Report here at CraveOnline! But if you want to send us questions for the next Dynamite Report, you can e-mail them to [email protected] or tweet your questions to @BlairMarnell or @CraveOnline!