Comic Bulletin’s Katy Rex interviews David Pinckney about Fight Like a Girl from Action Lab Entertainment!
Katy Rex: Where did Fight Like A Girl come from?
David Pinckney: Like most of my stories, it kinda came out of a day dream laying on the couch. Not sure what I was watching at the time, but something popped into my head. I was like, “Fight Like A Girl” would make a good title for a comic and I sorta just started thinking about what that story would be about. At the time, I just wanted to do a character study of sorts, but something a bit off the wall, something that would allow me to have literally anything at all that I wanted in the story and made sense. I kept thinking and tweaking and then eventually I had “Fight Like A Girl”.
KR: Tell us a little bit about the universe. Outside of the wishing well, the world seems to be very similar to what most of us experience, is this something that readers should assume they could live if they just found the counsel and the wishing well?
DP: Yeah, so as far as we know now, the world is pretty much just like our own, though with a twist. They have a Wishing Well. More importantly, they have a venue where they can just walk in and talk to a couple deities. Eventually, we’ll explore a touch more of the world and what and who inhabits it, but for now, it’s all about Amarosa and her journey.
KR: The counsel at the beginning seems to be based on a wide variety of mythologies. Is this an interest you had before you started work on this book?
DP: I had an interest, but I hadn’t really delved too much into mythology. That said, I’ve always loved stories that dealt with larger than life being and entities. The deities that we see here came from necessity of the story given the world I built and what I wanted Amarosa to do. From that necessity I then found a great deal of interest in mythology and started doing more reading on the subject.
KR: Can you tell us what an artisan is yet? That’s very intriguing!
DP: What I will say is they are a “liaison” between our world and the multi-realms of the heavens. We’ll learn more about what an artisan is further in the story. Don’t want to say too much and give it all away!
KR: Title notwithstanding, the fact that our protagonist is a girl doesn’t seem to affect how she deals with her interactions and situation. Why emphasize it in the title?
DP: This is one of those situations where I think I mainly had the title before I had a full-on story. Once I started writing the story and had to make that decision if I was gonna stick with the name or not, I decided I liked the double meaning that is now put behind the phrase “Fight Like A Girl” in the context of this story. I thought it was more fitting of her and what she does, rather than “a cool title”.
KR: How does this book fit in with other Action Lab titles like Princeless and Molly Danger?
DP: I think that titles like Molly Danger and Princeless have this sort of off-kilter, whimsicalness to them that Fight Like A Girl also has. A lot of the books with Action Lab just have this “fun-ness” factor to them, which I think Fight Like A Girl also has.
KR: The main character, Amarosa, has a great character design. How is collaborating with Soo Lee?
DP: Soo’s great! We found each other online via a form and worked out an arrangement to work with each other. When you do that sort of thing online, you have that voice in the back of your head that makes you wonder if this will actually work out. I got super lucky. She’s so easy to work with and knows what makes a comic good from a storytelling perspective. There’s plenty of times where I will send her a script and then the pages come back far better than I expect. She has a knack for seeing where she needs to add a panel that I didn’t put in or take one out if it’s making things run too long. It’s really comforting being able to work with a team that I know will put their best foot forward and help create the best book we can. I can’t mention making a great book without at least mentioning the letterer, Adam Wollet. I cannot express to you how much this guy has helped me out in a pinch. On top of that, he’s great at lettering. Without him and Soo this book would not have gotten off the ground. They really make the book! I’m still absolutely amazed that the two of them have put up with me for so long!
KR: In a book that’s all about a female protagonist finding herself and saving her family, why choose to make so many of the other main characters (Kaiden, Announcer, her little brother) predominantly male?
DP: Honestly, there really isn’t a real “point” or focus on making the supporting cast predominately male. It’s more coincidental and situational than it is premeditated. There is a really good balance with the pantheon being almost half male and half female. Fulla, Sif, Fourtuna, and Luna are all important to the story, just like the rest of the pantheon, but the pantheon isn’t currently focused on in the story now because this isn’t their time to shine. That really just leaves Amarosa, Kaiden, the Announcer, and her brother. The brother isn’t really seen, he’s mentioned, and is the catalyst, but he is certainly not a main character in the strictest sense. As for the Announcer, I always envisioned some little fairy-like guy that was all dressed up and so obnoxious that you weren’t sure if you wanted to punch him in the face or hug him. That kind of character just clicked with me so I stuck with that. Kaiden is there as the balance Amarosa needs. Not that she needs someone in order to stay level headed, but I wanted her to have someone who knows her better than she knows herself and can help guide her in the right direction when emotions get in the way or when she gets too headstrong. Who better to do that for someone than their significant other? Also, in the end, each issue pretty much just focuses on Amarosa and whoever she is fighting. The Announcer does get a lot of “screen time” , but the focus is truly Amaorsa. It’s a pretty small cast for this standpoint.
KR: Is each issue of this supposed to line up with each of Amarosa’s trials? Can you tell us a little bit about what’s in store for her?
DP: Yeah, so for right now, things line up with the trials. That may or may not change, we’ll just have to wait and see. The story centers around Amarosa learning about herself. It’s a character study in a way. As she pushes forward in the trials she will be forced to really look at herself and see where she has faults and see where she has strengths.
KR: If Amarosa were going to make best friends with 3 other comic book characters in currently-ongoing series, who would she hang out with? Any publisher.
DP: Well, the first person that comes to mind is Ramona Flowers. I think those two would really hit it off. I could also see Amarosa being pretty close with Buffy Summers and Dick Grayson (oddly enough). Yeah, those three would probably all be pretty close friends with Amarosa.
KR: Finally, understanding that people who write full time and are getting married soon have absolutely no free time, what’s on your pull? What comics are you reading, and who inspires you?
DP: My pull list is pretty extensive even though I have very little time to actually sit down in read. Currently I’m getting, Amazing Spider-Man, Miles-Morales Spider-Man, Invincible, Sheltered, Flash, Supergirl, Captain Marvel, Suicide Risk, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel and Faith, Batman, Batman & Robin, Skullkickers, Rat Queens, Hexed, Green Arrow, Ody-C, The Kitchen, All New X-men, Aquaman, Morning Glories, and a whole bunch more I can’t think of off the top of my head. I’m actually behind in most of my comics, but that doesn’t stop me from going to the shop pretty frequently.
The people that inspire me come from all over, but comic book wise, Brian Michael Bends, Matt Fraction, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Joss Whedon and Gerard Way. In some fashion, each one of them has influenced me one way or another. Gerard Way’s Umbrella Academy is one of my all time favorite comic book series. It really inspired me to keep making comics, where as Ultimate Spider-Man by Bendis is what really got me looking into reading comics more actively. I’m also very big Joss Whedon fan. I’m a HUGE fan of Firefly. Can’t get enough of it! Buffy, Angel, Dollhouse, are also sitting in my DVD and comic collection. Fraction and DeConnick are just awesome. Fraction’s Iron Man run and Kelly Sue’s Captain Marvel run and Pretty Deadly are all so great! Kinda hard to read any of these comics and not be inspired to do something.