Gail Simone On Red Sonja, Ahead Of Her Return With Walter Geovani

Gail Simone and Walter Geovani are returning to Red Sonja for Red Sonja: Black, White, And Red #3 with Dynamite Entertainment running an IndieGogo campaign fundraiser at some point with a special promotion you sign up for here. But Gail also took to Twitter to talk about Red Sonja, Nick Barrucci, Dynamite, Walter Geovani and her mother.

So, I want to talk a little bit about Red Sonja, just a bit. I know I talk about her often but I CAN'T HELP IT, I just love her, all right? :) Some of you already know parts of this story, it shouldn't be long. The thing is, I had been exclusive at one publisher for many years, which meant turning down other characters I would have liked. And eventually, other publishers learned I couldn't take their offers. So I had no idea, when I left that publisher, if I would have any job offers anywhere else. I just didn't know. Then the thing happened with Batgirl (it's all good now, I swear!) and I thought, huh, I may have to go back to hairdressing. :) But I was lucky! My phone rang off the hook with cool offers, so that was a big relief. But the FIRST call, was from @DynamiteComics, who essentially said I could write any character they had, whatever I wanted. Sweet! Their FIRST suggestion was Red Sonja. Here's the part I haven't told. I turned Sonja down. For a bunch of reasons that are now goofy in retrospect. I'd written a lot of redheads, it almost seemed too spot on. And I really love pulp heroes, and Dynamite had ALL of those, almost. So I turned Sonja down. So I wanted to do the Shadow or Green Hornet or the Avenger, something like that. That night, I called my mom to tell her, and said I had turned down doing Red Sonja. Now, my mom doesn't read comics, not even my comics. Nothing bad, she just doesn't. But she flipped out. Again, she DOESN'T READ COMICS. But she got really upset and almost begged me to change my mind. She wanted me to write Sonja that badly. It turns out, the character meant the world to her, as one of the first truly iconic badass redheads. I had NO IDEA. She had never, ever tried to sway me to one gig or another, she had always just trusted me to make those decisions. But how do you tell your MOTHER that you are not going to write her absolute favorite character? Answer: You don't. :) So I called back Dynamite and said sheepishly…"Um, er, uh…so about that redhead…" And I took the gig. I never made a better decision in my entire comics career. And I had this story in my mind. The thing is, I loved loved loved the Roy Thomas/Frank Thorne stuff, it was just so beautiful. And @oeming and @mercuryeric wrote great stories more recently. I wanted her to have a unique voice, and I needed an artist who could draw that.  I went through a lot of names for artists. But Nick at @dynamite thought they had just the right guy. @Walter_Geovani_ They were right.

Walter and I have never met, he lives in Brazil for Pete's sake. I say this all the time. If you write a lot, you get to work with a lot of great artists. But some, some just click. It's like singing harmony. Walter is that guy for me and Sonja. When you write comics, and you are blessed with an artist who just GETS it, and always delivers more than you ask for, that's a very magic feeling. Walter is THE Sonja guy for me and the first question I ask when a Sonja thing comes up is, "Is Walter available? Anyway, what COULD have been a nice little run instead became kind of a big thing. Big seller internationally and in TPB. People reading Sonja for the first time. And now, she is poised to be an even bigger deal. There's a movie in development, prose stories, audible stories, games, an omnibus, LOTS of new comics, statues, cosplayers, I bought Red Sonja SOCKS at freaking GameStop a while ago…:) There's a lot of stuff we can't even discuss yet. The REVENGE OF THE REDHEAD! And quite a bit of that stuff was sparked by our run, just me and @Walter_Geovani_ with his wonderful imagination and dedication. I know because the writers and directors have told me! But the point is, I almost turned down what without question became the funnest and one of the most rewarding jobs I've had in comics. Important point: Sometimes your instincts are terrible. :) I would never have dreamed that I would be still so wrapped up in Sonja stuff years after ending my run. But I love her so much and am THRILLED to see her explode like this, and have a part in that. I am very grateful to @DynamiteComics and Luke Lieberman for letting me! But mostly I am just incredibly grateful to @Walter_Geovani_
for putting up with me and making my stories look better than I ever could have imagined. No one has shaped my love for Sonja more than you, Walter! YOU ARE THE BEST!

Anyway, that's something I have wanted to say for a while. When you get a @NicolaScottArt or a @daleeaglesham or a @david_baldeon or a @Walter_Geovani_  basically, you just try to stay out of their way and let them be brilliant. I love making comics, you guys. :) That said, @DynamiteComics is doing a cool thing to celebrate our run. It's a special edition of our first issue together, BUT with some surprises that should be announced this week. It's cool, yo. I can't wait for you to see what Walter has cooked up! If you check there and sign up, you will be the first to find out what the exact package will be, because we are being SNEAKY. :) But we've been working it out all day and I am EXCITE. If you are a Sonja fan, I think you will love this! Check it out! And THANK YOU everyone who supported our beloved She-Devil! She may need a shower, but she's the BEST! Oh, and P.S. ? THANKS, MOM!

Now as Gail Simone and Walter Geovani return to Red Sonja, Dynamite will be crowd-funding a pair of limited edition variant covers by Walter on Indiegogo. The comic will reprint Gail and Walter's first Red Sonja #1 from eight years ago featuring the first appearance of Dark Annisia. One cover is a  homage to the Frank Thorne era of the character, another to Gail and Walter's run, among the cast of characters like Annisia, Rat, Aneva, Osric, Halayah, and Ayla. Copies will be available signed by Gail, and add-ons options are set to include digital and physical graphic novels of the run.Gail Simone Talks About Writing Red Sonja Ahead Of Her Return


Not the Indiegogo covers of last year…

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About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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