Demo is a classic series from 2003-2004, an early collaboration between creators Brian Wood and Becky Cloonan. It is a series of single-issue vignettes with a unifying theme: feeling out of place, for one reason or another. The series is being compiled and re-released in a big beautiful paperback, which will be released on March 25, 2015. It’s now available for preorder online or at your local comic shop using Diamond Code NOV140068. We recently got the chance to sit down and chat with Brian and Becky about this exciting release of this indie hit, and we also discuss the way the comics community is reacting to a movement toward equal representation, “comics is for everyone.”
Dark Horse has generously provided us with a .pdf preview of one of the stories in Demo! Click here to download.
The audio from this interview is also being featured in a podcast episode at End of the Universe Comics, and will include music from American Sharks, who are apparently friends with Becky.
Katy Rex for Comics Bulletin: I think you guys are awesome, by the way.
Brian Wood: Thanks!
KR: Just to get the fan-girling out of the way before anything official happens. You guys have been collaborating since Channel Zero.
KR: So how did you guys meet? How did that happen?
BW: I found Becky’s online comics. I think linked through somebody else’s site back when websites had links of their friends instead of social media, you know? It’s like ‘check out some of my friends’! And I just saw some of her comics and I think at that time I was looking for somebody with a style that sort of felt complementary to the stuff I had done on Channel Zero and I think she just had the right things up online that sort of spoke to me at that time. Becky always says it seems like vaguely creepy that I emailed her out of the blue and then we like met on a street corner or something in New York.
BC: Yeah it’s always funny because I think I had just turned like nineteen or something and it’s like I just got an email, this is because I’m old, we were on like dial up, you know?
KR: I remember that!
BC: It was crazy and I think you were like the first person I had ever met from the internet that I had never met in like- you know what I mean? So you’re just like, “Hey, let’s meet up!” and I was like, “This is crazy!”
BC: “I could die!”
BW: It was literally on a corner too. Like I ran downstairs from my day job and handed her some books or something.
BC: Some books and I think some, I think at the time Demo. I mean we spoke about it I think the first- because we met up for coffee, I think.
BW: Yeah, I’m sure we met a couple of times. I know you came over to my house one time.
BW: But that was after we’d already done Demo. Yes, I always give Becky a lot of credit because that must have been a real leap of faith. She like agreed to draw a hundred pages of a graphic novel based on not a whole lot of anything. Obviously it all worked out, but I really do look back and I’m like she could have so easily just have been like, you know, delete email, you know, and then none of this would have happened.
BC: Well it just seemed so serendipitous too. It was like the things you were doing just seemed so parallel to my sensibilities as a storyteller and just like at the point in my life that I was at and so it just made a whole lot of sense. I was in school for animation at the time, but I didn’t want to animate. I wanted to do comics. So it kind of just seemed like the perfect- you know, like all the signs are pointing to yes. You know?
KR: So you guys are both doing the writing side and the artistic side on a couple of things, right? Brian, I think you did a lot on the first Channel Zero?
BW: Yeah. That was the only comic that I’ve drawn, I mean, I’ve done covers since. I’ve pretty much stopped doing the art thing as far as comics go. But I have done both at points in the past, yes.
KR: And Becky you’re doing Gotham Academy, right?
BC: Wait, what’s that? You’re breaking up a little bit.
KR: Sorry! You’re writing on Gotham Academy, right?
BC: Oh yeah, yes.
KR: So how does doing both roles work for you guys when it comes to collaborating together?
BW: Should I go first?
BC: You go first!
BW: I went to art school as well. I really believed, you know, I was going to have a career drawing. If anything I feel like, I mean, having a visual sense in a very general sense helps me when I’m like writing a page or writing a scene. I also think it gives me a lot of empathy for the artist. I try to make it easy on them. I’m very aware if I’m asking for something hard and I have a lot of guilt about it even if I do ask for it, but I’ve had other artists in the past, I’m sure Becky has said it before too, that can sort of tell that I have an art background by the way I write, which I take as a very nice compliment. I try to have that understanding and to be sympathetic and not put a lot of information into a lot of panels. I try to keep it simple.
BC: Yeah, I thinks that’s probably the biggest thing, is knowing exactly what can fit in a page because you’ve had that experience yourself with trying to cram in too many beats or too many actions per panel. And also working with- on Gotham Academy I’m working with Karl Kerschl and he’s incredible and I can just sit back and- every once in a while maybe I’ll put in, and Brian you did this for me as well with your scripts, you’d be like “Okay, this first panel is bigger” or maybe like “I see these panels as like smaller and in a row” or whatever. Occasionally I’ll put that in for Karl, but that’s just cause it’s the way that I would see it, but Karl sometimes doesn’t even, most of the time actually, doesn’t even listen to that so I don’t even have to describe this, I don’t have to go into too much detail about describing the way the page should look. And I was probably the same way with you, I don’t even remember. I mean mostly it’s pretty obvious, I guess, if there’s like an establishing shot it would be a bigger panel. It’s really nice to sit back and be able to give the art duties to Karl who can more than- he’s more than capable of handling all of that. But I think as an artist- coming into writing from an artist’s perspective is much more visual for me when I’m thinking about the story.
BW: I also know that over time, Becky, I relaxed a lot with the scripts. I felt like the first couple of issues we were getting to know each other’s style and then I know that I got a lot more relaxed and knew you could, you know-
BW: I understood what you were going to give me so I didn’t feel like I had to over describe or really sweat a lot of that kind of stuff.
BC: Yeah. Yeah, there’s like a casual, the scripts become a little more casual, I think, as time progresses.
KR: So what made you guys decide that you were the right team together for Demo.
BW: Well I think after we had done that Jennie One book we were like, let’s do something else! Great! I think that was the only thing I had going at the time. It was just this idea for this book. And so I was like, “How about this?” You know. It was just kind of the next thing on my plate, as it were. I asked Becky if she would be into it. But it was really, I don’t know, I look back and I’m so aware that I didn’t really have an idea of what I was doing. Like I had an idea generally of what-
BC: I thought you had an idea!
BW: Well, I knew I wanted this to be like, have a certain tone and I knew I wanted to sort of like- I mean I just hadn’t written a lot of comics at that point and I really hadn’t written a lot of monthly comics. I’d mostly done graphic novels. So I like to say that I was breaking all the rules with Demo, but I also didn’t really know what a lot of the rules were writing a monthly comic. I just kind of like went for it and let it rip, you know and I remember when we re-teamed to do Demo 2 so many years later, I had spent many many years writing monthly comics so I was really worried that I wouldn’t be able to unlearn all that in order to make another Demo comic, you know, make Demo comic the way we did Demo a decade ago. I was like really really worried that I somehow wouldn’t be able to write it. Because it was so much of a point in time when I was just sort of figuring all of this stuff out, figuring what my voice was, figuring out how to work with like an artist in an ongoing way. Obviously it all worked out, but there wasn’t a whole lot of planning on my end.
BC: Yeah, I was- when we came into talking about coming into the second series of Demo, I was in a very similar boat because I was- the first twelve were done in different styles, like I was trying to experiment a lot and by the time we came around to doing the second series I had pretty much settled down, like I had calmed down enough to have I guess what you would call a pretty consistent style so I was like, “I don’t know if I can do what I did in the first twelve issues and it’s all going to look fairly consistent, more or less.” Yeah. So those art jitters.
KR: How much time passed between volumes?
BW: We finished volume one, I guess, 2004, right? The very end of 2004.
BW: The beginning of ’05 and then I think it was like- was it like 2010? Or like ’11?
BW: It was a decent amount of time, but it wasn’t so much the time as it was, like, we were really really busy and we’re doing completely different things in-between so in a way it almost felt like so much more time in-between.
BC: Yeah. And it was kind of cool because it was like we were always talking about- people would ask if we would ever do more Demo and it was always this very coy answer of like, maybe, maybe we will. But it was never planned and it just so happened, I think, that both Brian and I had a break in our schedules and it was like, “Let’s do more Demo!” and I was like, “Perfect. Let’s do it.”
BW: We were both doing Vertigo work at that time.
BW: That helped as well.
KR: I’m writing a little narrative in my head in which Demo 2 was so much fun for you guys that that’s why you went on to collaborate on Conan. Is that accurate?
BW: I think there was a lot of time in-between those too. I mean, no-one’s going to have to twist my arm to get me to work with Becky. I’ll work with Becky right now if she wants me too. That’s not like, I don’t need to be convinced. I think that every so often our schedules just overlap in a certain way that like allows these things to happen.
BC: Yeah, it’s like a planetary alignment or something.
KR: You were saying the difference between writing graphic novels and monthlies, but now that these monthlies are being collected in a new edition, how does that read from a narrative perspective?
BC: I was actually just thinking about this. And this is like the weird thing about the comic industry is that we’re all so focused on monthly books and making these concise twenty or twenty-two page issues that read well right off the shelf. We’re all really concerned with monthly sales and that’s great because I think there’s a kind of magic in waiting for new books every Wednesday, but at the same time these books are so transitory and it’s really the trade paperback that’s going to have the shelf life so all these stories have to exist cohesively within a collected book, basically. So it’s a weird, I mean, serialization is a weird format when, I mean, people binge watch TV shows, but it’s, you know, when you slap something together in a trade it has to read, I think, more smoothly than a show on Netflix or something.
BC: But I think that’s where Demo kind of stands apart is that it’s, each issue is an individual story so it’s a bit different when you collect it all together because I don’t think that it really changes the way you read it. Each story is still its own story from beginning to end and then you can put the book down or pick it up again whenever you like and those stories still remain a stand-alone, self-contained thing.
BW: I’ve always called it, like, a collection of short stories when I’ve had to describe it, you know, the trades.
BW: Which I think is, I agree with Becky, I think it’s the only way you can really define it.
BW: Those things were written so, I mean I’ve written one off stories plenty of times since, but never like that. I mean these things, like, lived and died every month. Each month it was completely wiped clean and like, a brand new cast, a new story, a new everything began. Demo is the only thing I’ve ever written like that. So I agree, I think it’s not like most things out there.
KR: The unifying theme is very much about people who feel different, specifically teens who feel different because they are kind of the people that feel the most different, right? I feel like that was the least articulate way I could say that, sorry.
BW: No, no that’s true. I feel like there’s- you know, it’s sort of like evolved a bit over time. But I feel like that’s a good way of summing up the general Demo concept.
KR: Do you feel like this would fit into magical realism as a category?
BW: It could. I mean I would never try to tell anyone they were wrong if that’s what they felt it was. I always felt Demo was, I mean a lot of the stories were open enough, were like written in an open way enough to allow for a lot of interpretation and I’ve sort of tried really hard not to inject myself into any body’s opinion of any Demo story. I’ve read reviews or I’ve had friends comment on the stories and they’re like, “Yeah! When it ended like this I really thought X, Y, and Z.” And what they would tell me was 100% opposite of what I felt and I just felt like I had to keep my mouth shut. I mean, I don’t want to ruin it for them and I did deliberately write these things in an open way at times. So I just think that’s great. I think a lot of people look at it in like a, ‘Oh, it’s a super-hero type of thing,’ or some people are like, ‘Oh, it’s like the Twilight Zone.’ It’s like a little supernatural, it’s like a little magical. Or some people are really attracted to like the straight drama that doesn’t involve either of those things. I just kind of back away and let that be.
KR: Sure. From a literature perspective, magical realism has been associated with colonial discourse and that of course is very much about rejecting the dominant culture and you guys focus not only on teens that feel on the outside, but there are at least a couple of stories that focus specifically on queerness or, I don’t know, on characters that are queer rather than necessarily on their queerness. How did that factor in, I guess?
BW: I’m not sure if I got all of that question, to be honest with you.
BC: Yeah, it’s really breaking up for me.
KR: Oh sorry!
BC: That’s okay.
KR: Sorry, so magical realism-
BW: I got to the point where you said some of the stories were something.
KR: Okay, magical realism, colonial discourse, majority culture rejecting individuals slash individuals rejecting majority culture, teenagers, queerness is where I went with that.
BW: Okay. How should I say this?
BC: When I drew this book I was totally rejecting culture. I had a Mohawk, I shaved my head, I was-
BW: You totally did.
BW: I mean I came from as much of an outsider background as you can get in like rural Vermont, but I was definitely on the fringes of the social scenes growing up and that’s definitely where I’m coming from with the Demo. So much of that is very personal like I never tried to expand out of my own experiences with that, which I feel like if there was anything I would ever criticize myself for is, you know, Demo is a little bit white, a little bit limited to stuff that I as a writer have experienced. I never really pushed it beyond there, beyond that, you know. It’s kind of like where I was as a writer at the time. But I think, I mean, that’s a lot of the reason why Demo worked, is Becky and I, even though I’m a bit older, we definitely had a lot of the same cultural backgrounds and touch-points with like music and film and art. I don’t know if I answered your question.
KR: Yeah, I was hoping that you’d expand a little more on your queer characters.
BW: Oh. How many did we have, Becky?
BC: I was actually just counting in my head.
BW: I know we had Kate in issue five.
BC: Yeah, and then in the new Demo, I can’t remember her name. I’m so bad.
KR: The time travel one.
BW: Oh, right.
BC: It was the time travel story.
BW: In issue five, right?
BC: No, the time travel-
BW: This is a while ago for us, Katy.
BC: It was Kate in issue five, the girl you want, and it’s the time travel story also.
BW: Right, right.
BW: The way that I approach it is I just didn’t want to, I wanted it to be there, but I didn’t want to be like, ‘Hey everybody look at what I’m doing. Look at how I’m getting attention in this way.’ So I just put it in there and I didn’t make a big deal about it. I wanted to see what the reactions would be to it if we treated it in that sort of very matter of fact, very unordinary, or I should say ordinary, way. I think a lot of people didn’t really, they either didn’t notice it or they took it in the same way that I wrote it. That it is no big deal. That it is a very ordinary thing. I don’t know.
KR: I mean at the same time your queer characters are only women, right?
BW: In Demo, yes.
KR: Yeah. Does that-
BW: I couldn’t tell you why that is.
BW: But I’m sure there is- somewhere in the back of my brain if you go back in time there’s like a reason for that. I don’t have one that I can give you.
KR: I mean, you do write women really well so I don’t know how that maybe affected it?
BW: It could be. I mean yeah, that’s sort of something I’m known for so I take pride in that. I’ve done it a lot. I don’t know, maybe the guy that eats people is gay too, Becky, I don’t know.
BC: I actually feel like-
KR: He really likes that girl.
BC: Yeah, he was just looking for companionship. That’s how I felt, I was like, ‘He just wants someone to be with.’ I really felt like that girl that was there could have been-
BW: Yeah, he clearly wasn’t into it.
BC: He clearly has problems. That’s one of my favorite stories too, I don’t know. I think it’s so sweet and like sad. It kind of grows also.
BW: I’m not sure if you ever were a part of the conversation, Becky, but we had done that issue first, right?
BC: Well yes, yeah, I remember.
BW: And Vertigo was really worried about launching the book with that story because it was gross and I was like, ‘Vertigo is worried about this? We’ve somehow like crossed some line at Vertigo where this is like one step too far.’ I seem to remember reading an awful lot of Preacher comics that were ten times worse than this. But that’s why it got bumped back to issue two.
BC: Yeah, I guess I get it. You know, maybe.
KR: I genuinely found it more disturbing, and I guess this is kind of a spoiler, when he was eating himself than when he was eating people.
BC: Oh yeah.
KR: That upset me way more.
BC: Yeah, yeah. It’s because you don’t see him like- oh yeah, that was fun to draw actually. I really enjoyed that.
KR: So, I brought up women a little bit and you both have been spoken about a lot in women in comics, feminism in comics related contexts. Becky, I think you were most frequently spoken about as a woman in comics, being the first woman to draw Batman.
BC: Oh yeah, yeah that happened.
KR: Yeah, good job by the way.
BC: Thank you.
KR: How do you guys feel about this idea that there’s this whole category of women in comics and feminism in comics that you are a part of?
BC: I personally love it. I think it’s great. I have been reading comics since I was like- oo very long time. Since I can remember. I think my dad was getting comics and reading them to me since I was like eight years old so it’s been a part of my life for pretty much all of it that I can remember. And so many times, you know, at conventions or just on twitter or any time I meet a young girl and they say, “I’m starting to draw comics because I’m inspired by your work,” it means so much to me. And it’s really nice to be a part of this community I guess, it’s weird to call it a movement, I guess, but it kind of is.
BC: The awareness now that is going on about having comics for everybody and even the change in the industry as a whole, getting comics into, we’ve seen in the past like decade, I guess, comics getting into bookstores and that was a huge thing and a lot more kids reading manga and Japanese comics and that was a huge thing and then web comics and it’s all just, I think it’s nothing but positive change now and I’m very happy to be involved in the community at this point. I get really mushy when I think about it. I’m like, ‘Woo comics!’ I love it.
BW: I mean I spent a lot of time- I always think back to all those years I spent on like the Warren Ellis forum and all these like comic book communities, you know, and the last decade and how many- what a obvious balance there was in the people commenting on comics, male and female, gay and straight, every possible type of person was there clearly as a comic book fan and I just felt like, I mean I didn’t know it at the time, I couldn’t have predicted it, but clearly comics just had to like catch up, it had to change to match, eventually all of these fan’s voice was going to be heard and comics were going to have to sort of catch up and like adapt. My perspective: I’ve seen the worst of the boys club in comics. It’s still there, like I do signings and stuff like that, it’s like very pervasive. I always think, I was talking to a friend and I said something that was really depressing and I think it’s true. So I feel like there’s such an old guard in comics, a whole generation of us. Like my age and a bit older than me that I think are just going to have to die off. Until there’s an actual true change, like the leadership of the companies and at the VP levels, all that kind of stuff. Until there’s like a true change of point of view and not just out of touch executives trying to react to trends in order to keep selling their books. I feel like we’re all going to have to vanish before there’s true representation, like honestly. Which is like a really grim thing to say, but like, and I’ve said, I’ve seen the inner workings of the boys club over the years and it isn’t a pretty thing.
KR: I think the boys club thing is very present in the younger generations as well if you look at things like, to cite a horrible example, gamer gate-
KR: Where the horrible perpetrators of disgusting threats spanned ages, spanned age groups in really horrible ways.
BW: Yeah, yeah.
KR: I actually kind of think that waiting for the bad guys to die off is really optimistic.
BW: Well I think I was asked via question, ‘How is it going to change? What has to happen for everything to change?’ and I didn’t have any other answer besides that one. All these guys I know in comics, they’re never going to change.
BW: I’m talking about like people that hold the strings, that run the companies, at that level, you know.
KR: You don’t want to name drop or anything, right?
BW: No, but I’m saying like at a higher level than just a random writer or an artist. The infrastructure of comics, I guess is what I’m saying, are just not going to change. They’re all old. So yeah.
KR: Yeah. And I think that we can look at numbers, like Comixology for instance, that indicate that about half of the comics reading population is women between the ages of 18 and 24 and then you look at the demographic information that we get from local comic shops and they’re at like 30% women and I think that says something really big about the environment and the community that we build for comics versus our online communities.
BW: Right, well I just think there’s this fundamental idea that comics should be for everybody and I can’t imagine why anybody would ever disagree with that and if you do than you really have something wrong with you and you should just go- you should just die off. I can’t imagine why anybody would be resistant to that and I guess that’s what the gamer gate is too, you know, it’s some sort of weird clubhouse.
BC: Yeah, I know- gamer gate stuff just really depresses me and although I’ve tried to keep up with it, I don’t- it’s just not a pretty thing, but it seems so much more, I don’t know, you know when we have problems in comics that are similar and- because it does happen. Threats and harassment. I feel like there’s a generally better sense of community and people are more willing to talk about it and the discussions I’ve had about comics have gone generally a lot better than discussions about gamer gate and I don’t know if that has to do with just the way that publishers and professionals react to it rather than in the gaming community. Gamer gate is something that I think is- it’s like a conversation that is happening in a very small, I mean not small because games are a huge- that’s a huge industry there, but it’s something within the scope of what we’re seeing right now of people talking about it, in general with media, with movies, with comics, and with games it’s just a conversation that’s being had right now and in general, you know?
KR: So you feel like the reactions to Janelle Asselin’s, I’m maybe pronouncing her last name wrong, criticism of the Teen Titans cover, you think that the reactions to that were less horrible then gamer gate?
BC: No, no. I’m not saying the reactions of people, you know like, when people are being gross and from what I’ve read of that there was a negative reaction to it, however I feel like it was mostly, there was a big push back, and I guess with gamer gate, I just feel like in comics with things like that it’s things that we’re learning from and there’s more and more people and more and more support and more and more voices being joined and there’s more headway being made, you know, and that headway might be made, you know and it’s like right now even with just Gotham Academy being made, you know, I don’t know if that’s something that would have happened five years ago.
BC: And it’s because we’re having conversations like this and even though they’re hard and they bring out some really nasty, nasty people come crawling out through the woodwork when we try to bring this up, but it’s all things that need to be brought up. People are voicing their opinion now and people are not afraid to say how they feel and there’s more and more voices being led to that cause and more and more people saying- standing up within all ranks of the industry and saying that comics are for everyone. I didn’t mean to say that there aren’t nasty people within- who are involved in comics, who are reading comics or whatever, but I do generally think, when I think about gamer gate I think, ‘Thank god I make comics.’
BW: The game fandom is so much bigger than the comics fandom.
BC: And much younger and more tech savvy, I think, you know?
BW: I guess, I’m not super in touch with that, but I just feel like you had such a wider pool from which assholes could spring when you’re talking about gamer culture then comics. And I always like to think that as many assholes as there may be in the comics industry at the end of the day we’re small enough and I think there must be something in the back of everybody’s head that is like at the end of the day, like when the apocalypse comes, we’re all the same in some basic way. Janelle got like a lot of horrible comments, but if she was like a games journalist talking about games it would have been like stratospheric, it would have been epic, it would have been so much worse and that’s not really much of a saving grace, that she got a little bit less because it’s, you know, but I always think somehow in comics it’s like a little bit better than it is in games. I think we’re smaller. I feel like we’re, I don’t know. I’m trying not to use the word community because-
BW: These people aren’t part of a community, like the [unintelligible] and everything like that, but I feel like there is a comics community that does tend to circle its wagons at various times. That always kind of gives me hope, when there’s the external threat, everybody kind of defends comics. Or they should anyway.
BC: When you talk about, New York Comic Con was a big thing two years ago. There was a huge problem with harassment there and this year there was a very definite huge change. They had harassment policies up, they had- you could feel the difference there from the previous year to this past year and that’s because people spoke up about it and the people running the show listened. I feel like it’s because we’re having these discussions and people are listening. It gives me a good feeling when I see things like that.
BC: And not to say that there’s not, you know, that we’re at a point where we can kind of just kick up our feet and relax.
BC: And what I try and do with my work is just encourage people and especially young girls to get involved in reading comics and drawing comics and I think that’s where my strengths lie and that’s what I just try and encourage people.
BW: I always say, Becky, you’re like one of the most positive people I’ve ever met in comics.
BC: Well you know I-
BW: I’ve been saying that forever. It’s true! You really are. I totally agree. I used to sit next to you at Demo signings when not a single person would care about me, you’d have a line of like forty young girls who wanted- who were so into it.
BC: I love it. Sorry Brian.
BW: It’s fine, no, whatever.
KR: I’m sorry. I have a habit of getting sidetracked by feminism sometimes. Let’s get back a little bit to Demo. Sorry that’s totally my sidetrack.
BW: That’s okay.
KR: You know, I’m a woman in comics. This is a thing.
BC: There’s nothing wrong with being sidetracked by feminism.
KR: I like it, generally, but I do want to stay on topic. You have a new edition of Demo coming out. Tell me about it.
BW: It’s basically, I mean, we’re not calling it an omnibus, but that’s basically what it is.
BW: It’s like all eighteen issues of Demo plus a pretty decent amount of extras, like all together. Demo’s been out of print for a while. Many many years, actually. I think the new DC has let a lot of Vertigo stuff go, so we were able to get it back and now Dark Horse is going to put it out in like a glorious- the first Demo edition to ever have a nice paper stock in it.
BC: I am so psyched about that.
BW: Which has been like a real thorn in my side since 2005 so-
KR: Is it a big sexy hardcover too?
BW: It is, no, it’s not. I wanted to keep, well I shouldn’t say I, we wanted to keep the price low. I feel like if it was a hardcover it’d be like ten bucks more in price.
BW: Because it’s almost a five-hundred page book, so it’s a softcover, but it’s like very nice. Like the paper is very thick. It’s got like the spot varnish. It’s all very- I think it has like a color signature in the back so some of the extras are in color. So it’s nice and it’s $25 bucks, which I feel like is a great price for-
KR: Oh definitely.
BW: For something like that.
KR: Yeah, I think I have a Captain Marvel trade that cost about that so.
KR: That’s awesome.
BW: Yeah, I mean and Marvel trades are a little pricey.
KR: Yeah. So who does the color?
BW: There is no color.
KR: Oh no, you said that in the back there were pretty things and I-
BW: Oh, I just mean, I guess Becky had extras that were done in color or no, am I imaging that?
BC: I think it was the covers, I think we’re printing all the covers.
BW: Oh right.
KR: Oh okay.
BC: The covers were in color. There might be a few extras I did in color I can’t remember.
BC: Yeah, but there’s yeah, there’s color stuff in the back, which I did.
BC: Which takes a long time for me. I’m not a colorist, so.
KR: Sure. I’ve recently started obsessing a bit about certain colorists, by which I specifically mean Jordie Bellaire, but also several others, and I’m just so fascinated on how choosing a palate works and how coloring works and how so many artists don’t color their own pencils.
BC: Coloring takes a long time, so I think to have a separate person, I don’t know, yeah. Demo, from the get-go everything I did with you for a while was all black and white. Jennie One was black and white, Demo was black and white.
BW: Yeah. I feel like that was both a product of its time and also just the fact that it was all tiny, indie presses.
BC: Yeah. I love it. I still love black and white comics.
KR: Yeah. A lot of the exteriors in Demo remind me a lot of some of the starker exteriors in all of the volumes of Channel Zero, was that intentional?
BW: I don’t know. It wasn’t for me, I don’t think.
BC: Yeah. I think that was just my sensibilities, I think.
BC: Wait, are you talking about art or are we not-
KR: Yeah, sorry when I say exterior I mean exterior scenes rather than people.
BC: Oh yeah.
KR: Yeah, like cities and stuff.
BC: We were both living in New York at the time.
BW: I wonder how much of that was like mood though. I mean, would you like take a giant brush and draw gloomy trees because that was what the story was like? I don’t know. It’s possible.
BC: I did a lot of it that way.
BW: There was like a lot of suburban backgrounds. Like it wasn’t urban. Demo was not, I mean a couple of them were, but overall it wasn’t an urban book.
BC: Yeah, well I grew up in New Hampshire. Rural New Hampshire and you grew up in Vermont so we have that background, that similar background I think and then both moving to a big city. A.K.A. New York.
KR: So this pretty new release, for only $25, when is that coming out?
BW: It comes out in March. I couldn’t tell you the exact day. I think it’s like March 12th.
BC: It would be the 11th if it was- I think that’s-
BW: Hold on. I’ve got it right here. Oh, I don’t know, I just have March written down.
BW: It’s possible it’s not been defined yet.
KR: We’ll make sure to- we’ll include the exact date. But now I think, January to March, two months, is it in Previews right now?
BC: It should be.
BW: I think it was in the last Previews.
BC: It should be in Previews.
BW: Yeah. It’s still orderable through a comic book store. They can add on to their order. I do fear that, because this is so physically big, it’s the kind of book that a store is going to order one of. And then someone will buy it and then they’ll be like, ‘Oh Demo, I don’t know.’ So I’ve made a special case to tell everybody to preorder it if they can.
KR: Do you know the preorder code?
BW: Yes I do. Would you like me to read it to you?
KR: Yeah. Please do.
BW: It’s NOV14, which is November 14th, 0068. NOV140068.
KR: Okay, so that would have been in the November Previews catalog then.
KR: Okay, cool! Anybody can take that code to their local comic shop and the shop only has to order one. There’s no minimum order quantity, if you’re interested you can preorder just the one.
BC: It comes out on March 25th.
BW: Oh, Becky saves the day.
BC: I just went to the Dark Horse website, yay.
KR: Okay, awesome.
BW: And comic stores get it a week before everyone else does so anybody that is predisposed to using Amazon, they can get it a week sooner at their comic shop.
KR: So there’s a really good incentive for shopping local. That’s awesome.
BW: The book is like stupidly big. I got to look at what the spine is, it’s like, I don’t know how to- it’s like looking at a shoe box or something. It’s so thick.
KR: Have you weighed it?
BW: No, I haven’t weighed it. I haven’t actually gotten a copy yet, but I look at the file and I can see the spine dimensions and it’s quite fat.
KR: I’m just curious if this is going to be reading material and like a workout device.
BW: Yeah! Or like it can hold open your screen door in the summer.
KR: There you go. It’s multi-purpose.
BW: Yeah. You can squash bugs with it.
KR: Oh no. Yes. Sorry ew.
BW: I could keep on going.
KR: Please do, no, do! [laughs] Thank you guys both so much. I really appreciate you taking the time to do this interview.
BC: Yeah, thank you.
BW: Yeah, it was fun. Sorry for all the time zone stuff.
KR: Oh no, I’m sure it was my fault, I’m sorry. Thank you.
BC: It’s more my fault just for being in Texas and causing this whole thing.
KR: Maybe, I’m in Minnesota so we’re in the same time zone.
BC: Oh, well there you go. Brian, you’re the odd man out.
BW: Alright, so it’s obviously my fault.