Today we have an interview with Erica Schultz, one of the talent writers working on Dynamite's all-female written and lead summer event Swords of Sorrow. Byron Brewer talked to Schultz about tackling the one-shot special focusing on Lady Zorro and Black Sparrow.
ERICA SCHULTZ: It's difficult to put into words how excited I am to be part of this crossover series. I'm a big fan of many of the other writers involved, so to be working with them is truly amazing. Gail put together such a fantastic group of talented ladies that it's really tough to beat this lineup.
I'd love to see more female protagonists in comics. We're starting to see more in film with the Divergent and Hunger Games series, as well as movies like Lucy, and a few years ago, Salt. For many years, I think there was this fallacy that a female lead story (be it in film or comics) wouldn't be marketable, but we're (happily) finding that's completely untrue.
BB: Tell us how this assignment came about for you.
ES: I've been a fan of Gail Simone's since her run on Birds of Prey for DC Comics. What I hadn't known was that Gail knew I existed. We were both exhibiting at Boston Comic Con last year (2014), but I wasn't able to get to her table to introduce myself. Then Gail tagged me in a tweet, saying she was a fan of my work. I was flabbergasted. A few weeks later we were both at Baltimore Comic Con, and she was signing at the Dynamite Comics booth. I went up and introduced myself. She was very kind (as always), and I thought that was that. Then a few weeks after that, she contacted me and asked if I would be interested in working with her on a project. I thought I was in an alternate universe or something. We went back and forth on email, and I was brought on board with these other amazing ladies. When I saw the list of other women involved, I KNEW I was in an alternate universe.
BB: Tell us about your perceptions of Black Sparrow and Lady Zorro?
ES: I was familiar with Lady Zorro, as I had reviewed Alex DeCampi's miniseries for the podcast, Comic News Insider, that I frequently co-host with my friend Jimmy Aquino. I thought Esperanza was sassy, vulnerable, strong, passionate … I really liked her moxie.
Black Sparrow was a character I had to research, as I hadn't read any of Victor Gischler's run on The Shadow. She held many of the same qualities I loved in Lady Zorro, so they make a great team together.
BB: So, it IS true that these two warrior women from different times actually team up! Can you tell us (non-spoilery) about how they get together?
ES: I haven't read all the other scripts for the other tie-ins for this series, but I can say that the Sparrow/Zorro book is more Sparrow AND Zorro, rather than Sparrow VS Zorro. I think this is mostly due to Lady Zorro's compassion.
As we see throughout the series, there are these dimensional rifts opening up all over the world, pulling different characters (both good and bad) into other universes. Sparrow and Zorro are brought together by one of these rifts, and the ladies just click. But don't be fooled, there's plenty of otherworldly action throughout.
BB: Have you enjoyed working with artist Cristhian Crizam Zamora?
ES: I wasn't familiar with Cristhian's artwork before I learned he was going to be on this book. I immediately looked up whatever he had online, and I was thrilled to have someone so talented working with me on this book. Despite not having direct contact with him (editorial is pretty much the go-between), I'm so impressed with the work. It's a beautiful book and (I hope) a fun read.
For more on Swords of Sorrow: Black Sparrow / Lady Zorro Special, click here.