He is the writer that types through the night, he is that insistent jingle that gets stuck in your head, he is Ian Brill! In this week’s adventure, our hero, with the help of the master of the comic arts James Silvani, takes on the thrilling duck of mystery Darkwing Duck!
With yesterday’s thrilling news that BOOM! Studios’ Darkwing Duck is becoming an ongoing series: Alex Rodrik has been entrusted with the task of interviewing the master of the pen to get a closer look at the troubles and mischief in St. Canard.
We join our heroes in the heat of discussion. Prepare yourself, things are about to get dangerous…
Alex Rodrik: Tell us a bit about what you wanted to do with the thrilling Duck of mystery, the champion of right, the Darkwing Duck.
Ian Brill: I wanted to do a book worthy of the property and worthy of the hard work creator Tad Stones and everyone else who worked on the show did. I knew that this book had to be funny and still be a legitimately good superhero story on its own. I need to stay true to Gosalyn, Darkwing and Launchpad, the core characters that made us come back to the show everyday.
It’s up to the audience to say how good a job I did, but I can tell you I’m putting a lot of energy toward those goals. I take it seriously that fans are spending their hard-earned money on this book, especially when there are so many choices out there.
Rodrik: What can Darkwing fans look forward to in The Duck Knight Returns?
Brill: New villains, old villains, humor, adventure, pathos…I want to give people a book crammed with awesomeness! There have been big changes in Darkwing’s world, but soon you will see the terror flap in the night once more, and things get dangerous!
Rodrik: Where does our story begin? What’s the present state of St. Canard and its inhabitants?
Brill: Certain events, which you will discover as the series goes on, have forced Drake Mallard to give up being Darkwing. The city has been taken over by this corporation that seems to meet the needs of every citizen. But the place has also become a lot less fun.
But we all know this would not last long! Darkwing comes back, but as he hits the streets once more some familiar faces also come back, some appearing in pretty surprising ways!
Rodrik: Were you a Darkwing fan before getting involved with the comic?
Brill: Absolutely! It was appointment television after I finished my homework. There was this sweet spot for Disney Afternoons where you had DuckTales, Rescue Ranger, TaleSpin and Darkwing. That was two hours of fantastic cartoons. Great visual gags, but great characters too. That combination is very important to me, and something I plan to continue in the book. That’s why I’m lucky to have artist James Silvani illustrating this book. That guy gets how to pull off a joke like a master, as well as come up with these brilliant facial expressions for all the characters.
Rodrik: As a fan, what was it that you really wanted to bring out in the comics?
Brill: It was important to me that the humor never cancelled out the stakes of the plot, and vice versa. There have been a lot of funny superhero stories that just give you jokes but when you think about the plot for two seconds it falls apart. Darkwing never cheated like that, both elements had to be in top shape. That was an important aspect for me to keep in the comics.
Rodrik: Who’s your favorite Darkwing villain? Why?
Brill: It’s really hard for me to pick one. I can tell you, I love writing both Megavolt and Quackerjack, especially the way they play off each other. Those two always made a huge impression on me so I really like getting to play with those characters.
Rodrik: What was it like working with James? Did you script a lot of the physical comedy or was this something he had a lot of fun designing?
Brill: There’s a lot of designing I have poor James do! Luckily he’s an ace. We have these new antagonists for Darkwing, these robots, and he just rocks it. They feel like a part of the Darkwing world, even though they appear in the comic first.
Rodrik: What new layer has the comic format allowed you to develop that the television format kept the audience from really getting a lot of meat on?
Brill: The fact that it’s a four-issue long mini-series meant I had more time to play with than a twenty-two minute cartoon. I wanted to give Darkwing a big epic story with lots of villains and [adventure].
Rodrik: With yesterday’s announcement that Darkwing is becoming an ongoing series, where do we go from here? What amazingly adventurous adventures will DW get into next?
Brill: Just when Darkwing thinks he’s fought one of his hardest battles yet…an even more intense challenge comes along! There’s one major villain that you see for only a bit in the first story but who shall come to the fore in the second story in a major way. St. Canard has been without Darkwing for a while; this next story will ask what happens when there are too many Darkwings?
Rodrik: Aside from your duties driving the DW Universe, are there any other titles fans should look out for coming soon?
Brill: All the BOOM Kids! books are worth picking up. For Darkwing fans Uncle Scrooge #392, also arriving in June, starts a run of DuckTales stories never seen in the U.S. before. That’s TWO Launchpad McQuack appearances per month from your friends at BOOM!
And there you have it folks. Darkwing Duck is back on the streets and ready to kick some bad guy butt! The adventures have just begun so there’s only one thing left to say: Let’s get dangerous!