Impulse Gamer Interviews Bonnie Lass Co-Creator Michael Mayne - -

Exclusive Interview with Bonnie Lass Co-Creator Michael Mayne

After finally 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? 

Michael Mayne: Not 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? 

MM: 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 out there?


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 one! 

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 work? 

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...


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