Published on February 12th, 2019 | by Dana Folkard
STUART MOORE INTERVIEW – BRONZE AGE BOOGIE
Everything you ever loved about 70s comics is jam-packed into AHOY’s new series Bronze Age Boogie, written by Stuart Moore with art by Alberto Ponticelli and Giulia Brusco.
I recently had a quick chat with Stuart, where we got to talking about the inspiration behind this whacky adventure, his love of the 70s and much more!
With a name like Bronze Age Boogie, it sounds like we’re set for a stella genre-mashing adventure. Can you give us a little rundown on what readers can expect when they pick up a copy?
Genre-mashing is a very good way to put it. Smashed genre with garlic, maybe. Genre-slicing, -dicing, even a bit of genre-sautéing.
The story takes place on a vast scale, hopping back and forth from New York City in 1975 A.D. to the lawless barbarian world of 1975 B.C. That gives us a lot of freedom to work in sword and sorcery characters, time-tossed talking animals, a kung fu master, and a lot more. I wanted to hit the ground running, focusing strongly on Brita, our teenage barbarian. The other characters show up gradually, in as natural a way as we could manage.
There is so much to love about this concept. Please, please, please tell me where you came up with the idea to mash all of these much-loved comic genres from the 1970s?
I, uh, I think it just popped out of a corner of my brain where reruns of The Match Game play constantly on a loop. Sorry. I wish I had some trenchant insight into the creative process to share with you!
I did make a lot of notes, over time. Character bits, notes on the period, a few bits of dialogue. When I had enough elements, I just threw the whole thing in the genre-Instapot and let it stew.
You’re beginning to regret this genre-mashing stuff, aren’t you?
Is there some level of nostalgia for you personally when you think of the 70s?
Definitely. Those were some of the first comics that really opened my mind up, made me think about the potential of the medium.
But BRONZE AGE BOOGIE is more than just an exercise in nostalgia. We’re taking a look at that period, both its archetypal characters and the world that was going on all around them. The mid-70s was a drastic period for New York; the city nearly went bankrupt, services were failing, everything seemed to be falling apart. And yet, people loved the place. I moved there later, and my New York still had traces of that, but the city had already turned a big corner. Now my Brooklyn neighborhood is practically Disneyland with craft breweries.
Is writing humour something that comes naturally for you, or do you have to work hard for it?
That’s an interesting question. I like writing humor, but it’s hard for me to judge how effective it is.
One thing I’m doing differently with this book is writing it plot-first, the way Stan (rest him) and his immediate successors used to do it. That means I give Alberto Ponticelli a rough plot, and he shows me brilliant layouts followed by brilliant pencils and stunning inks. We’re working far enough ahead that I usually wait until the inks are done to write the dialogue, though some of it is already roughed in at the plotting stage.
The nice thing about this method is that it frees me to concentrate ONLY on the dialogue, at that point. I can let it flow naturally without worrying about how many pages I’ll have for the climax, or whether I’ve described the mysterious Taboo Zone thoroughly enough for the artist. I can also fine-tune jokes and character bits to fit, because the art is already in front of me.
How do you go about forming your stories – do you have all the arcs formed before you start, or do you tend to improvise and change the story as you move along?
I’m a bit of a compulsive plotter. My outlines are full of notes—often they’re longer than the scripts. This book is a bit of a juggling act because the viewpoint shifts around among a whole cast of characters. The plot is more complicated than it seems at first, too. So I wound up working out the story and then improvising, jazz-style, to make it all fit and to cover any holes.
One nice thing about this sort of (wait for it) genre-pureeing is that the source material is pretty forgiving of plot holes. How did Foxy Brown find that killer, really? How did Bruce Lee stumble onto that island? Why did the Martians even WANT to invade Earth? It’s all good fun.
The art by Alberto Ponticelli is absolutely gorgeous. How would you best describe the overall visual style of this comic?
Alberto has a love of the period, but his style is very modern. I think it’s a perfect mix. In real life he also teaches martial arts, which helped A LOT with issues #2-3.
I have to mention the coloring of Giulia Brusco, too. It’s brilliant. She takes Alberto’s inks and adds so much mood and feeling to each individual scene. I’m very lucky to be working with both of them.
Thanks for the chat Stuart!
BRONZE AGE BOOGIE is slated for release April 03, 2019.
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