Comic book journalist Rich Johnston stops by the Outhouse to discuss his biographical comic Kate and William: A Very Public Love Story!
RIch Johnston is one of the foremost comic book journalists in the industry. Love or hate him, he's had an undeniable impact on the relationship between publishers and comic news websites such as our own. However, Rich is also a comic book writer with several published stories under his belt. Rich stopped by the Outhouse to discuss his latest comic Kate and William: A Very Public Love Story.
The Outhouse: Rich, why did you decide to write a comic about Prince William and his fiancee?
Rich Johnston: Because I knew that someone else would and it would be rubbish. This is the biggest British "event" and I could see other versions looming on the horizon. I'm politically minded, I love a good love story and taht's what this genuinely seemed to be.
OH: A glut of biographical comics has hit the comic market over the last couple of years. Why do you think there is such a market for biographical comics today?
RJ: Because it makes for easy copy. That's why you're interviewing me about this comic rather than any others...
OH: How much research did you put in when writing the comic? Did you take a lot of creative liberties when writing the comic?
RJ: Oh both. I was surrounded by books and articles at one point, but they only go so far. That an event happened is one thing, but what was said by who, why amd what led up to events is often not. So I had lots of pockets to fill. What was worse was what I had to leave out...
OH: A lot of your past work has been satirical in nature. Does William and Kate have similar undertones or is a straightforward retelling of their relationship?
RJ: Only in so much as they are always going to be a comment on our times. And the British do have a peculiar relationship with their monarchy. But no, this is pretty straight, more like my Doctor Who and Flying Friar work.
OH: Do you feel that your comic portrays an accurate depiction of William and Kate's wedding?
RJ: Not at all. For a start it hasn't happened yet! Dammit Jim, I'm a comic writer, not a psychic.
OH: So do you feel the comic accurately portrays the couple's relationship?
RJ: Oh it can't do. So much is a mix of reportage with just my own speculation as to how couples act, argue and fall in love. In many ways it's an imaginary story. But aren't they all?
OH: Do you plan on spoiling the ending of the comic on Bleeding Cool?
RJ: No, I'll spoil it here. The Human Torch dies.
OH: How would you describe the appeal of the Royal Wedding to non-British readers? How does this media exposure for this wedding compare to the wedding of William's parents Charles and Diana?
RJ: Well, for a start it's not an arranged marriage. It's a couple who met dorming together at university. So suddenly it's a relationship that so many more can relate to. There will be street parties. People lining roads where the procession will travel in their hundreds of thousands. It will be big. Expect seas of people. The media exposure will... basically be just the same. Except Charles and Diana didn't have a comic.
OH: Who do you feel is your target audience for the comic?
RJ: No idea. I never have any idea.
OH: Do you have any other projects coming out soon?
RJ: Working on a project with my Watchmensch collaborator, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne which, cross fingers, looks like it may end up at Dark Horse now. Then I have several other comics to find homes for.
OH: If you had to convince readers to pick your book up in fifty words or less, what would you say?
RJ: I probably wouldn't. I'd take their family hostage. That usually proves more persuasive.
Kate and William: A Very Public Love Story hits select comic stores April 2nd. For more from Richard Johnston, please see his excellent comic site Bleeding Cool, available on Internets everywhere.
Written or Contributed by: Christian Hoffer