Today, Dynamite has sent us a writer's commentary from Amy Chu as she talks about Red Sonja #8. Cover by Mike McKone, interiors by Carlos Gomez.
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How time flies! Summer is almost over, and here we are, already at Issue #8, the 2nd issue of the 2nd arc. Hope you've enjoyed the ride so far! This second story takes us away from New York, and across America. Maybe you remember when Green Lantern and Green Arrow did something similar? Red Sonja and her pals are taking a slightly different route, through West Virginia as you saw in the previous issue, down to Oklahoma and Texas and west from there.
I traveled a similar route by car three times, all when I was a kid and it was an amazing experience. By the way, you really don't realize how big America is until you do this – like five issues BIG. I would have liked to do six, but Red Sonja does not like to tarry in one spot for long….
We open with a little target shooting on some empty beer cans. This was a fun scene to write. I got to draw on a little bit of college experience. I learned how to shoot my junior year, firing .22s at paper targets. It's hard!
Turns out Sonja prefers crossbows over guns. Also cutoffs! This was Carlos's suggestion and it made sense. After all, it is hot in the desert… (By the way, I learned to shoot a crossbow in college, too, but I'm definitely no Red Sonja. The first time the recoil hit me in the forehead. I have a small scar on my eyebrow as a souvenir!)
Lest you think this is all about the modern world, don't worry – we need to check back on our NYPD cop Max in Hyrkania. Unfortunately, things are going less than smoothly. The beer is warm and Hyrkanian girls just don't fall for his magical pickup lines…
Splash — leaving Oklahoma and entering… TEXAS. Last month I met a fan from Texas at Denver Comic Con who gave me a little Native American history of the land there. So that reference to the Comanches is for that fan from Amarillo, you know who you are. Thanks!
The original scene had my favorite, country fried steak, but I have to figure Sonja is more of a rare steak person. One of these days I will sneak some in, with gravy. If you've hung out with me at all, you know some of my favorite places are diners. I'm not talking about the hipster retro joints but the real deal. So far I've been able to put a diner in Poison Ivy and KISS: The Demon.
Back to Max. Warm mead packs a punch, apparently…
Max encounters a troll. Couldn't resist. Thanks to Carlos and the editors for humoring me.
There was a kale salad in this scene originally, but it just wasn't working. Bye, bye, kale!
Uh oh, those Las Aranhas guys are back!
Fortunately, it's just another day for Red Sonja…
Here come the cops!
Now, what's a road trip story without a night in jail?
Here, Red Sonja learns a little about the American prison system, which in fairness, is probably better than the Hyrkanian system in her day. I was going to put Max in a Hyborian age jail too, but I don't think he'd last too long there…
And here comes Holly's dad! This page always cracks me up for some reason. Maybe because I really didn't give Carlos much art direction, so this is interpretation.
Yep, Sonja's basically an illegal alien. And Spike's not too happy about the double standard in display here.
But hey, at least they're out! Welcome to Holly's home, or rather her childhood home. I had fun sending photos of big Texan houses to Carlos and I think he pretty much nailed it.
Same with Holly's Mom – gave almost no notes to Carlos, but here she is, spot on exactly as I imagined her to be.
And the girls are back on the road. Dad's not going to be too happy! Next stop, New Mexico!
Writing Red Sonja has been an incredibly fun job, but it's also been really great meeting all the fans, and especially the lapsed readers who have come back on board! Sadly, I only have two more conventions this year — Baltimore Comic Con and New York Comic Con, but I'll be at both signing away. Hopefully I will see you there! Thanks for reading!