Jesse Blaze Snider, writer for Dynamite Comics' new Evil Ernie series, offers personal commentary of his reboot of the classic comic character…
"It's a boy!"
I have 2 kids. So, I've done the mad dash to the emergency room twice now and each time, you can't help but think, "What if we got into a car accident right now?" I mean, you're speeding, you're distracted by a contracting wife & you may even have other kids freaking out the whole time! I remember quite clearly thinking, if someone wanted to strike me down at the absolute WORST time, this would be it. It's horrific. It scares me. If I were Sadistic that's probably when I'd strike. If I were Satan, its a definite.
"The fuck do you want…?"
A few people across the web have cried foul at Ernie getting a weapon pass the "metal detectors" – but those people didn't look close enough at what Ernie is holding. It's a big shard of broken glass. I thought it was pretty genius. I mean, who expects anyone to visit a prison so they can kill someone in the first place? When does that happen? It happens when the murderers ONLY objective is to kill. Ernie doesn't care what happens after his Foster Father is dead.
"…Coming to you live!"
I chose to fill in a lot of blanks in this issue with various reports for dozens of reporters. Basically turning our info dump into a flurry of anecdotes. I turned every comment into a thought fragment and tried to give it a flow, like poetry. Groups of 3 whenever possible. This was also a great way to give the feel that this was a very important story being covered by every news outlet in the country.
This was the first money shot I had in mind. Ernie in the chair ready to be put to death staring an uncaring world in the face. In a perfect world, I'd have had another two pages where I'd have had the prison security take the jacket off forcibly and Ernie struggle to part with it. When he later transformed he would put it back on. But you need space to sell that stuff in a comic and there was nowhere to put it. So, we kept it on. Ernie being put to death in the jacket is unlikely, but due to the behind the scenes manipulating that Hell has done just to get us here, I don't think its completely unreasonable as you will eventually come to see. This was the only aspect of the book I felt was a stretch, but working around it killed my pacing, so we kept it like this.
"I can see it. I can always see it."
Its easy for a writer like me to come up with ideas like, "Ernie sees all sinners for what they really are, future demons," but its an artist like Jason who has to actually sell that. I never described a panel that was split between Ernie's vision AND reality. Thanks to Jason Craig for thinking of it, its brilliant.
This stomach ain't big enough for the six hundred and sixty six of us! And yes, Ernie did pee himself, would you?
I think I peed myself just reading it.