Interview with Bonnie Lass Co-Creator Michael Mayne
getting around to finishing my Bonnie Lass #1 review, which you can read
here, I really wanted to talk to one of the guys behind the project. Luckily
enough I was able to get in touch with co-writer/illustrator Michael Mayne to
discuss the project.
1) Bonnie Lass was
released digitally first. Did that affect the way you created the book at all?
at all. Bonnie Lass was conceived as something that would ultimately (hopefully)
make it to print. Even considering the growing popularity of digital comics, I
never thought the layout and composition of the "book" needed to be
significantly tailored to fit within any kind of perceived constraints.
2)What do you
think of the digital realm and comic books? Are you interested in exploring this
new media and its potential for comics?
I love it. I, unfortunately, live in an area that's all too sparse on comics.
Being able to access digital comics practically anywhere one can get internet is
a huge plus for me. I'm always going to prefer a tangible book I can flip
through, and I think the comics fanbase is largely comprised of like-minded
folks. I'm all for a synergy of the two formats, as I think they really can and
should support each other. Now, if I were to work on a comic with a digital
release in mind from the get-go, I think I could have some fun with that and
really experiment with the more horizontal layout of most displays!
3) Reading Bonnie
Lass I felt like there was a bit of an anime/manga influence particularly One
Piece. Are you a fan of anime/manga? What did actually inspire the story?
MM: Definitely a manga/anime fan, though I can tell I'm definitely a bit
more selective than the throngs of fans I meet at conventions. haha! It's funny
that you mentioned One Piece, because I only familiarized myself with it well
into the production of the mini-series, though I was definitely aware of its
style and brand of action. If there's any one anime I would pinpoint as a direct
influence on the storytelling AND art style, it'd have to be Dragonball--which
probably explains the stylistic similarities to One Piece as well. haha! But
seriously--Dragonball is one of my favorite adventure sagas just because its so
fun and whimsical, even if it is clichéd.
4) I don't see too
many Pirate comics released. Do you look at that as fans aren't interested in
the genre or an opportunity that is being passed up by all the other creators
CLICK TO ZOOM
MM: I don't think there's a lack of "pirate" fans; I just think they've
largely been forgotten (until Jack Sparrow came along of course). Either that or
we've simply been able to "hold off" with other genres for the last several
decades! haha! I honestly would love to see more pirate adventures out there, so
when Tyler and I first had the time to sit down and figure out a story, I knew I
definitely wanted pirate elements in there!
5) I remember
hearing that in Seinfeld they originally struggled to write Elaine's character
because she was a woman and had no idea how she would act. Was it easy writing a
larger than life character like Bonnie?
MM: "Larger than life" in general I think is pretty easy to write.
Specifically writing Bonnie has been tricky though… =D
I think everything we've thrown at Bonnie started off way big, and then in
making a cohesive plot and building the character interactions, we just had to
whittle away at Bonnie--not really taking anything away from her; just making
her any kind of relatable. If we went too overboard with her characterization,
she'd literally become so kinetic that we (and the readers) would pretty much
have our fill of her by the second issue... haha! Throw in the fact that I had
to (try to, at least) write enough strong, believable femininity into her, on
top of the checks and balances, and it's definitely been a challenge. But a fun
6) Even though
it's a mini-series Bonnie Lass seems like a series that could go on for quite
some time with new adventures, would you be open to doing more work in the
Bonnie Lass world?
MM: Definitely. I've not set anything in stone, but this mini-series only
covers a small yet important part of her legend. Besides just plots, there is an
array of characters I'd like to flesh out and introduce beyond this arc!
Hopefully I'll get the chance, somehow!
7) There's a lot
of crossover between comic books and other media now. As a creator do you ever
consider how far you'd like the character to go? An animated film or short
perhaps or is your focus solely on the comic?
MM: Movies, I'd say, are my big passion, so a cinematic adaptation (or
all-new instalment!) would be right up my alley! I'm just a fan of storytelling
in general, so any chances to let the characters be interpreted in other media
would be amazing. To be able to stay relatively hands-on would be even more so,
but I'd be all for seeing what others could do with them just as well!
8) If I'm right
Bonnie Lass was created and then you sought out publisher's eventually landing
at Red 5. What was that experience like, trying to find someone to publish your
MM: I'll try and keep this brief, as the full story could go on a while
(maybe for a convention panel sometime in the future, haha!)... But Bonnie's
publisher-hunting life was actually kept relatively short—how, I have no idea! I
feel extremely fortunate for that! We pitched it with one issue back in early
'09. There was interest, but it needed to be polished, so we went back to redo
Issue #1 and I subsequently went ahead and illustrated #2 and #3 before we
pitched it again. We pitched it to a few places that we just thought had a knack
for fun titles, either getting no response, or getting a, "Sorry, not right
now." Then we hit up Red 5 and they bounced right back with enthusiasm within
the next day or so! It was surprising, but I couldn't complain! And the rest, as
they say, is history...