Welcome to my "Owlgirls" interview. By this point, you may be asking yourselves "What is "Owlgirls"? That is not a question with a simple answer. I could call it a 1940's detective comic about 3 sisters... but that isn't entirely right. I would have to add that these sisters have owl heads. That's right, owl heads! There's more to it, but. I believe that covers the hardest bit to explain. Today I interview part of the team behind the comic, Dave Ryan of Red Anvil Comics. Check the project out HERE
Shall we begin?
ME: I'm going to admit right off the bat, this concept seems a little odd. Where did the idea for "Owlgirls" come from?
DAVE: About a year ago I became friends with Rachele Aragno. She had a picture folder with some sketches of the Owlgirls in their early form. Her style and the concept intrigued me so we began discussing it.
ME: The team for this book seems to be slightly international. How did you all come together to work on this book?
DAVE: At first Rachele was heavily influenced by Mignola, but I saw an underlying style in her non comic work which spoke to me.
I began training the Mignola out of her until I was satisfied we could start on the first issue. At this point I contacted Robert Sodaro, an old friend and incredible writer to bring Owlgirls to life.
ME: Help sell me on your work. Where else may I have seen other works of yours? (art, writing, etc)
DAVE: I've done various amount of freelance work over the years, and in comics, more recently, I've been working on War of the Independents and before that Penance. I worked on Xeyna for Sanctuary Press and Forty-Five for Comix. I'm also inking Unbearables for Crucial Comics, the home of Rat Bastard. I've been working with Rat Bastard's creator, Cliff Galbraith as he's built Asbury Park Comic Con into an incredible convention.
ME: Placing this in the 1940's gives it an interesting aesthetic. Is there a specific reason you chose to set it back then as opposed to setting it in the modern day?
DAVE: I think everyone is a bit nostalgic when they think of the 1940's. It has an age of crime, success in war, the private detective was a popular subject and I love the Jazz and fashion.
ME: Continuing on that same line. I've written period pieces like this before. What special lengths are you going to avoid anachronistic phrases, objects, and actions?
DAVE: I can assure you there will be no time traveling men with cell phones in the background. lol Seriously though, a tougher challenge is not only being aware of anachronistic phrases, objects, and actions but keep in mind the integrity of the Italian heritage of our characters. Rachele helps out a lot with the Italian, since she lives there. I have a pretty good amount of visual material and Robert and I work quite well together. Other than a few tweaks (mostly Italian translation) we've stuck to his script verbatim.
ME: I notice that this is issue 1. How long do you think this story will go?
DAVE: The first story arch will last five issues.
ME: Lots of interesting things happened in the 40's. Are there any particular pieces of folklore or history that you are looking forward to including?
DAVE: Ah yes, but I wouldn't want to give anything away at this point.
ME: Comic book adaptations have been flooding the theaters lately. Would you ever like to see Owlgirls adapted into another medium?
DAVE: Oh, I'd love to see it. Owlgirls has a special mix of soap opera and mystical adventure. Researching the clothing worn and the fashions is a ton of fun. I also try to place storefronts where they belong. It's a blast.
ME: Is there any specific influences that inspire you when you are working on this comic (Artists, comics, movies, etc)?
DAVE: I can't really pin down an influence on this project except for the Mignola undertone that still resonants in Rachele's work.
ME: Advice for anyone trying to break into the business?
DAVE: Have a plan B, C and D.
Never turn down work. Even if you can't do it. Learn it.
It's a small industry so make friends and don't screw anybody over.