Erik Burnham offers a Writer's Commentary on Red Sonja: Age of Chaos #3. The comic was published by Dynamite Entertainment last month, back when that was the norm, not the exception. If you picked up a copy, then it's time to read along, Erik writes,
Hi, Erik Burnham here. Welcome to the first (of hopefully very few) quarantine commentaries! Let's all knock wood, and then disinfect the wood we knocked, and then wash our hands. I'll wait. Okay, let's talk some about Red Sonja: Age of Chaos #3. It got to the stands before I had a chance to write this, so I've already seen a few positive comments — thank you. You know who you are. (One would assume.)
It's time you also know who worked on the book… Me, of course. Line art provided by Jonathan Lau. Andrew Dalhouse colored it up. Carlos M. Mangual did the lettering, and Matt Idelson kept us all on the proper path. Cover A was done by Lucio Parillo; Cover B by Alan Quah and Komikaki Studio; Cover C by Ale Garza, Mostoffa Moussa, and Omi Remalante, Jr; Kunkka provided Cover D; and finally, on Cover E, cosplay.
Chastity is making sure she understands the stakes of the situation (shouldn't a vampire – even a half-vampire – always understand the stakes?) I can't focus too much on that because Jonathan drew a seagull with a beard. He's so wise. (Jonathan and the gull.) It's a nicely set up bit of environment that pays off on page three, to boot.
Check out Lady Demon plucking the dagger out of her eye. Jonathan gets a lot of mileage out of a silhouette to skirt gore.
This is where the bird Jonathan set up comes into play nicely. Sonja has put her hand into hellfire. She screams. He has the birds scattering. This gives a great indication of how loud the scream was, and how painful the fire was. Wonderful storytelling, all on Jonathan. (I mean, I wrote the scream as off-panel. The birds were his inspiration!)
Everybody needed a spotlight, and this was Ernie's — I needed to show that his powers were not at their peak, and we had some fun with that by giving him something a little different to focus them on — a dragon.
Back with Sonja, we see the aftermath of her encounter with hellfire, and a little bit of her nobility. The power scale was so off-kilter in this book, I had to come up with ways for little battles to be fought when physical battles couldn't be. (And yes, we did consider powering Sonja up, but that didn't feel right at the end of the day. Maybe for the sequel, huh?) In any case, Lady Demon trying to manipulate Sonja and Sonja getting out of it was something I felt important to get in there, and I'm glad we did.
Getting back over to Purgatori! It's not as clear as I would've liked it, but she's in the snow, feeding on travelers. And then warriors come to put a stop to that kind of activity. Jonathan rocks the gore silhouettes again, and then we get back to the snow and Mistress Hel. I love how nonchalant her body language is.
This is just a small detail, but I didn't notice it before — not in the proof, not until the issue was right in front of me. On Hel's ankle is a small bell. I love the detail.
One last bit to shine the light on Jade, who doesn't want to be manipulated anymore. I like that she'd be content to just stick where she is and grind out her goals through immortality and sheer force of will. And I also like that she's still able to be manipulated. This is basically all simmering and getting set to boil. But first, there's a ghost! And that's in issue 4. See you then. Stay safe and healthy out there.