Almost a month ago it was announced that the Thrillbent webcomic The Damnation of Charlie Wormwood by Christina Blanch, Chris Carr, Chee and Troy Peteri was being collected by Dynamite. Now Byron Brewer caught up with Blanch and asked about the transition from digital to print and how it might change things.
CHRISTINA BLANCH: It's all thanks to Nick Barrucci of Dynamite. We were chatting at a con and we started talking about the book and he asked when it was coming out in print. I told him we were printing one issue of it just so I would have something to sign at conventions and he was surprised that I hadn't taken it somewhere. He and I then talked the next and it all just happened. It was amazing, and Dynamite has been wonderful to work with – we couldn't ask for anything better.
BB: What is it like producing a book for Thrillbent vs. a more mainstream company like Dynamite? Can you explain the process difference to the reader?
CB: The biggiest thing is that now we know that it will be in print so we well keep that in mind when writing and when Chee is drawing. However, we still want to give readers the digital comic experience on the screen so we aren't really changing too much. The big difference is in the production – taking the pages or the screens as we call them at Thrillbent and turning them into print pages. Our editor Mark Waid has been great in helping to do that and we are learning as we go. I'm sure we will get better at the transformation every issue.
CB: Nothing will change. The whole creative team that we have on Charlie is so integral to the book that we don't want to change things. Our creative process is pretty simple but has changed over time. The first few issues we wrote together, in the same room, working through all of it. As time went by and schedules got busier and busier, it was harder to be in the same workspace. We have worked out an outline for each issue and one of us will write the book, the other will approve it, and then we send it to our editor Mark, ho then send it to our incredible artist Chee.
For the uninitiated, tell us the concept of the book.
Charlie Wormwood is a teacher in the correctional education system aka prison. He isn't thrilled about it but job in education are not easy to get. He also happens to have a son who has been in and out of the hospital and they really can't figure out what is wrong with him. With bills piling up, Charlie is offered help from an unexpected source. This is the story of how far someone will go to help their child and how that journey changes that person. I don't want to give too much away. People have said it has a Breaking Bad vibe which I have to take their word on because I have internationally stayed away from that show so I don't subconsciously put in a similar storyline. When the book is done and that makes me sad, it will be nice to have Breaking Bad to watch as a treat.
BB: The book is very dark, from what I understand. How do you keep the emphasis on what sacrifices Charlie is making for his sick son?
CB: I've heard the book is dark. Some of our readers send me notes asking why I hate Charlie. I don't hate him. He does have some bad luck. But, the book is called the Damnation of Charlie Wormwood.