This week on ComicsAlliance's official podcast, we're pleased to welcome the phenomenal Ming Doyle back to the show! She talks to us about the end of her webcomic with Kevin Church, The Loneliest Astronauts, teases the launch of Boldly Gone, and tells us what it was like to draw a story in this week's Fantastic Four #600! And you can listen to the whole show, right here at ComicsAlliance!
War Rocket Ajax v.2, #22: Bombastic, Circumspect, Driven and Drunk with Ming Doyle
(WARNING: Contains NSFW language)
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Chris and Matt have both returned from North Carolina, though they were both there at different times. Matt was scouting locations for his upcoming wedding, while Chris returns with a tale of the first comic book convention he has ever been to that also involved casting out the Devil. Plus, we delve into the nature of comedy in the return of everyone's favorite segment: Big Ups To All My Haters!
When Ming joins us, we start off by discussing the end of her webcomic, The Loneliest Astronatus, with writer Kevin Church:
I think Kevin said something pretty funny: "It turns out that all you have to do to get people interested in your webcomic is stop making it." Boom. Drop the mic. But we really had a lot of fun on it, and it was really heartening to see people's reactions at the end, telling us how much they enjoyed our weird, cynical space-hatred relationship.
When we started, it was definitely under the kind of umbrella intention that it was just a good way to work together and that we'd continue it as long as we wanted. I think we both definitely still really enjoyed working on it, but it just came down to a matter of scheduling for me. It was my fault, I'll put it like that, because as we all know, Kevin can write approximately 25 comic scripts a day, but I am a little bit slower when it comes to drawing. And my professional engagements just got to the point where I had to really just set more time aside for that, because it was taking me a full day to do each Loneliest Astronauts strip.
So a few months ago I gave Kevin a heads-up that I was probably going to be too busy towards the end of this year to keep doing it, so if he could maybe think about wrapping the story up... Like I said, this is like three or four months ago. This is a while ago. He said "Oh, sure," so he starts this arc called "Forever Voyaging." He'll probably deny this, but when he first pitched it to me, he was like "Yeah, it's just going to be like this eight-page arc and then it'll be over."
It ended up being 26 parts, or something like that. But I did enjoy it. That was actually one of our only main, overarching stories that had repercussions and tied the main characters together, so it was nice to go out on such a concentrated note.
She also reflects on her favorite strip from the series:
The first strip is a favorite of mine. It's just so pure. It's just so simple: There's two guys, one of the guys is a fool, the other guy is cranky, and the phrase "suck it, gravity" is in there. To me, that encapsulates all of the joy.
She also tells us about her part in drawing Fantastic Four #600:
[Girl Comics] was the only other thing I've done for Marvel so far. That was fun, I did a seven-page story about Nightcrawler, written by G. Willow Wilson of Butterfly Mosque fame. That was definitely fun, but I got approached this time around actually by Jonathan Hickman himself, which almost caused me to keel over.
I think it was a HeroesCon this last year, he just came over to my table and said "Hey Ming, you ever want to work together possibly?" and I was like "Phthup uhhhh yeah, like you just say the word." And I thought that was very nice of Jonathan Hickman to come by my table, to seek me out and say something nice like that to me, and it gave me a lot of hope to continue in the industry, and he's a nice guy, but I didn't really expect anything to come of it. Because, like, a lot of times things like that happen, like "someday in the future, let's work together," "yeah, totally!"
But then a month or two later, he was like "Okay, so are you still interested in doing this thing? Here's the script."
That was definitely awesome, and he even asked me what I wanted to draw. He scripted the whole #600 issue even though it's kind of an interesting anthology take, because it's got multiple artists doing it. If you've been reading Fantastic Four, it's fleshing out a lot of ideas and it's focusing on a lot of small tangents that you may not have necessarily preoccupied all your waking thoughts, but are really interesting character takes and stuff like that. So he gave me a choice between two stories. He was like "Would you like to do something with the Richards kids, or with Black Bolt and the Inhumans?" I was like "Whenever I try to draw a child, it comes out looking like a stunted anime mutation, so I would prefer..."
Plus, we talk about the majesty and wonder of late-'90s sci-fi merchandise catalogs.
15 Love: "This thing is a delight... It is the sort of thing that Marvel does not publish often, and with the recent news that they were canceling stuff like the young Victor Von Doom series and Destroyers and all the other stuff that they seem to be giving the axe to these days, I'm worried that this is the kind of thing that Marvel won't be producing for a while."
Batman #3: "Of the three issues of this comic so far -- and Scott Snyder has not been slacking on those first two, they were both quite good -- this issue kicks things into high gear for me. This is the best of the three so far." "It's got everything you want out of a Batman comics. It's got really awesome fight stuff, it's got really awesome detective stuff, it's got really awesome creepy stuff."
Justice League #3: "Everybody in this book is a jerk." "Except for Wonder Woman." "I've read every issue of Justice League and I feel like I have read one issue of Justice League. All I get its 'oh, some Parademons are doing some stuff let's go stop 'em' 'Who's that guy?' 'I'm a jerk!' like every issue. Go back and read it. That's exactly what happens, every issue has the exact same format."
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