Last week saw the announcement of a “Lumberjanes” film adaptation in the works from 20th Century Fox, and today CBR presents a conversation with “Lumberjanes” co-creator Noelle Stevenson from WonderCon 2015 in Anahaeim.
CBR TV’s Jonah Weiland spoke with the rising star creator at the show about the way her life and career have changed in the year since “Lumberjanes” first debuted, how she manages her newfound success and the doors the book has opened for her. One of those doors led to her writing Marvel‘s “Runaways” “Secret Wars” series, and Stevenson explains what kind of pressure she felt following Brian K. Vaughan on the title, how she made peace with that to tell her own story, and discussed the appeal of writing team books.
Toward the end of the interview, Stevenson also gave some hints as to the future of the “Lumberjanes” comic, saying that she’s “very excited” about what’s coming up in the series, which was originally planned as a miniseries.
On going with the flow when it comes to managing her newfound success:
My strategy has just always been to kind of go with it and just go with the flow and see where that takes me. That’s still my strategy. I do get overwhelmed a lot and it’s kind of a — sometimes you just wanna kick back and not — maybe stick with something that’s a little more known, something that’s a little less scary. It’s been kind of an astronomical couple of years, honestly. I’ve ended up in places that I never thought I’d be, but I wouldn’t mind slowing down. I will say that. I may be taking my time a little bit more. I just don’t want to lose sight of what got me into comics in the first place, which is stories and characters, and I want to maybe focus on a few at once and put my — just not spread myself too thin.
On the pressure she feels writing “Runaways” for Marvel after Brian K. Vaughan left such a mark on the series and its characters:
A lot of the fans consider his run like the true run, and a lot of other people have tried to take the characters and carry on that legacy and it hasn’t held a candle to Brian K. Vaughan’s original series. The reason behind that is because it was something that was just totally new. All the characters were new, it was just this really fresh series. Kind of incorporating ‘Runaways’ into the wider Marvel Universe is a challenge. My kind of plan was to not worry about the legacy as much because I think my strategy is this is gonna be its own thing. I think, in a weird way, that’s almost the best I can do for the legacy because I’m not gonna try and live up to Brian K. Vaughan’s standard on that book. I’m gonna try and do my own thing and hopefully a little bit of the, “Oh, this is new, this is different.” Hopefully [I] can get some of that, but it’s gonna be pretty different.
On the appeal of writing team books:
My first comic, “Nimona,” it had three characters. That was really cool to just really get to the core of who each one of these characters were and their relationships to each other. Since then I wanna challenge myself a little bit more. I want to work with balancing a dynamic between, like, how if you have a six-person team, how do you make sure each character is given their due? How do you get interested in every character? How do you establish all the interpersonal relationships between them and stay attentive to all that? And it is a challenge, but also there’s a lot of really cool and unexpected stuff that can happen there. What are their relationships to each other and if you kind of jumble up the friendships or the pairs and the couples, what happens there? What happens when they’re interacting with someone they haven’t interacted with before? And what does everyone bring to the team, what is their specific strength? That’s something that’s very appealing, I think, about writing team books.
On the future of “Lumberjanes”:
I think there are some growing pains when you’re going from a limited series to an ongoing. How do we keep this going? What are our long-term goals? The characters — how are they going to grow? We’ve been talking a lot about it, and figuring it out, and planning. We get to have an even bigger mystery that is very, very long-term and I’m super-excited about it. We’re introducing a new character I’m very excited about. We’re going to learn more about the institution of the Lumberjanes, what its purpose originally was — which is not, perhaps, what you would think. We’re going to learn more about each character and their relationship to each other, and their relationships to themselves.
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