Writer's Commentary: Amy Chu Talks Red Sonja #11

Dynamite has sent us a new writer's commentary from Amy Chu where she breaks down Red Sonja #11. Covers by V. Ken Marion and Jan Duursema and interiors by Carlos Gomez.

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Hello, and greetings from Sao Paulo, Brazil, where I am here as a guest for their mega convention, CCXP! I'm actually going to be a little late to the show since I'm trying to wrap up my commentary for you guys … but this is important, because here we are, finally, the end of Red Sonja's cross country trip, the end of a journey, the end of an arc!

Good story endings are hard, so I usually envision the end first and work my way backwards to the beginning. But this one in particular evolved quite a bit as the story unfolded. I do hope you enjoy this version. At some point, I'll try to put up some of the alternate endings on my website for you fans and process junkies. A lot of questions answered in this issue, so beware: spoilers abound!


I really hope you enjoyed the many covers throughout the series. I certainly have. For this issue, I've been working with the legendary Jan Duursema on the series Summit from Lion Forge that launches this month, so I'm a little biased towards Cover B by Jan Duursema and her daughter Sian Mandrake.

Writer's Commentary: Amy Chu Talks Red Sonja #11

Red Sonja


I would have loved to keep the characters in Las Vegas — that would be a whole series unto itself — but it's time to move on …

First fun fact: the inspiration for the character of the Professor came from meeting one of my favorite actors, Wallace Shawn, My Dinner with Andre, but more famously The Princess Bride. I met him at the Calgary Expo and gave him a bunch of my comics, which he read ON the plane. I was floored.

Writer's Commentary: Amy Chu Talks Red Sonja #11


Remember when young Max created that portal? Well, it looks like he had a little help. Also, look at the detail on this page! As reference, I sent Carlos some images of ancient libraries including the Library of Alexandria and this is what he came up with. Amazing, yes?

Writer's Commentary: Amy Chu Talks Red Sonja #11


Welcome to California! I'm sure Carlos was dying from drawing all that detail on Page 2, so I bet this page was a nice break for him.

Writer's Commentary: Amy Chu Talks Red Sonja #11


The Professor shows off just what he's capable of from his magical bag of tricks. I'm sure for many of you, part of the fun of Red Sonja isn't just the swords but the sorcery, am I right?

Writer's Commentary: Amy Chu Talks Red Sonja #11


Remember way back at the beginning of this arc, Max's cellphone signal? Livermore Labs is real, by the way. I hope the NSA doesn't come after me now.

Writer's Commentary: Amy Chu Talks Red Sonja #11


Max is learning what life is like without electricity and central air conditioning. It's not great.

Writer's Commentary: Amy Chu Talks Red Sonja #11


Welcome back, Kulan Gath! If you are sufficiently creeped out by this page, you can thank colorist Mohan.

Writer's Commentary: Amy Chu Talks Red Sonja #11


I don't know why this page gave me so many problems. That's neither here nor there to you as readers, but I rewrote the dialogue on this page so many times. Fun fact: I almost failed my one and only physics class, so if you think I'm poking fun at physicists, I am.


I spent a stupid amount of time also trying to get this page right. The device they're looking for was originally a plasma fusion reactor, which is real science and a cool concept, but I use plasma fusion extensively already in my series Summit. I see your eyes rolling over already, so let's move on …

PAGE 10:

The magnetic fusion energy generator! Semi-real science, but this device is a product of Carlos' prodigious imagination. Way cooler than the real thing, of course. If somebody cosplays this machine, I will be SUPER impressed!

PAGE 11:

And now, finally, science and magic coming together. I love the expression of the Professor on this page.

PAGE 12:

Semi-splash page so you know stuff is happening!

PAGE 13:

This kind of tension is really hard to do in comics. If you can imagine, in the movies we get movement, soundtrack, all sorts of bells and whistles to help create the drama. Here we have to do the same thing with just a few static snapshots, maybe inset panels, reaction shots. As comics creators, we don't get a lot in our toolkit to do this kind of thing. Just saying …

PAGE 14:

And this is what happens when you day-drink super strong mead …

PAGE 15:

I think we can all agree, the last thing New York needs is Kulan Gath back.

PAGE 16:

And there's the portal. Finally! Good thing Sonja's here to defend our realm.

PAGE 17:

Hello and goodbye!

PAGE 18:

For the record, I don't ask Carlos to draw all this detail in battle scenes. He does this to himself!

PAGE 19:

Now, finally the chance for the Professor to redeem himself and be the hero.

PAGE 20:

It's splitsville! If you thought science was complicated, throw some magic in and bam!

If you're following the artist Carlos Gomez @carlosgomezartist (and me @amy_chu) on Instagram already, you might recognize some teasers images. If not, get on it!

Heartfelt thanks to readers, both old and new, for coming with us on this journey. And special thanks to Nick, Joe and Anthony at Dynamite. This is the longest series I've ever embarked on; Poison Ivy was six issues and KISS was 10, so I've broken a record!

For this next Red Sonja arc, writer Erik Burnham has joined the team so I can work on another title dear to my heart for Dynamite: Dejah Thoris, Princess of Mars. I hope you can pick up this series as well!

Happy holidays to all, and keep reading comics!

Ciao and obrigada from Brazil!

About Dan Wickline

Has quietly been working at Bleeding Cool for over three years. He has written comics for Image, Top Cow, Shadowline, Avatar, IDW, Dynamite, Moonstone, Humanoids and Zenescope. He is the author of the Lucius Fogg series of novels and a published photographer.