Dark Horse has the Conan license, Dynamite has the Red Sonja license. But luckily the two know how to work together…
Last year it was announced that there would be a crossover between the two properties written by Gail Simone and Brian Wood.
Although, to smooth troubled waters, they may need a different writer.
Hence Jim Zub being tapped to co-write the series with Gail instead.
I talked with Jim about the project earlier today at San Diego Comic Con.
Rich Johnston: Obviously you are now typecast as a fantasy writer.
Jim Zub: I have whored myself out to all the sword and sorcery that will every be. I love it though! I loved reading on Bleeding Cool, Jim is doing a new fantasy probably, either D&D or Conan, these are the only two he hasn't done.
RJ: And it was both!
JZ: I laughed when I read that because I knew it was both and couldn't say anything.
We talked about how his new Image series Wayward could give him a new career bent.
JZ: I would be happy, the great thing about teen characters, the crucial point in their lives, its they are making important decisions about who they are going to be, its the reason why the X-Men or the New Mutants or Runaways have that kind of audience, those kind of properties that tap into teenage, I don't want to say angst, who they are going to be who they are deciding they are going to be. I think it's a powerful metaphor. Would I be happy if Wayward grabbed people in that level? Of course it would be a thrill.
RJ: Editors are a cowardly and lazy bunch, they see someone can write one kind of comic, so we'll give them all of this kind of comic…
JZ: That's an easy thing to say but they can only work off what evidence they have. If they look at it and see a clear contact point there why not. The rumour is that Marvel is going to a bunch with their supernatural properties built off of Doctor Strange, well this guy does cool supernatural things, these seem like natural contact points.
RJ: So will you be writing The Doctor Strangettes ?
JZ: In my dreams. Doctor Strange was my guy, I loved D&D, hewas a wizard and a superherom he's everything. He was my dude but I'm not writing Doctor Strange.
RJ: Now Conan/Red Sonja was previously announced earlier with a different creative team….
JZ: I was approached by Gail to jump on Conan/Red Sonja, she had a broad idea where she anted to go with it, she asked me to jump on board, I don't have much context for what happened before, you'd have to talk to David at Dark Horse.
And handily the editor was right there to task.
RJ: The book was originally announced from Gail Simone and Brian Wood, what happened?
David Land: Um… it just didn't work out basically. It's that simple. We announced it very early, you always run a risk of putting out inaccurate if you put it out so early
We went off half cocked and it turned out that wasn't what the project was after all.
RJ: So Gail and Jim are fully cocked?
DZ: Fully cocked.
JZ: Wow, that's going to be the headline quote, But scripts are already done and we're rolling away on it.
What era do you plan? You've got them when they're youthful, in their prime and their older years. Gail's really cool idea was to show them over the course of years. There's three different times, years pass between each major chapter.
RJ: Not one crossover but three crossover?
JZ: You get this epic breath of time, you're building up a relationship with the two of them, they meet when they are young and impetuous and they're not even fully formed in who they are and then when they meet again, they've changed, tempered into adults and some decisions they've made to lead hem to that point have paid off and how they react to each other is now quite different. You get these characters but you get different aspects of them, who they grow to be, the maturity, the time that builds up on them, the detritus that builds up on them.
So in many ways in many ways what's cool is we get this playground of a broader story structure, we have Conan before he ever meets Bêlit and an aspect of the story after she's died, that's a real pinnacle moment of who he is and who he becomes and playing off Sonja in that context.
You can literally have call backs to your own story…
You literally can, Jim!