BOOM! Studios has found success with its “Adventure Time” ongoing series written by Ryan North — the publisher has already released spin-off series “Marceline and the Scream Queens” and “Adventure Time with Fionna and Cake,” but there’s still more “Adventure Time” goodness on the way. Courtesy of popular webcomic creator Danielle Corsetto and artist Zack Sterling, BOOM! announced an all-new 160-page black and white graphic novel set in the “Adventure Time” universe entitled “Playing With Fire.” Corsetto, best known for her webcomic “Girls With Slingshots,” plans to explore the Flame Princess in the land of Ooo and the budding romantic relationship between the fiery royal and Finn.
CBR spoke with Corsetto about the upcoming graphic novel, her excitement at getting to work in the “Adventure Time” universe, the challenges of transitioning from digital to print and shifting gears from writer/illustrator to solely writer.
CBR News: Danielle, you’re taking on “Adventure Time: Playing With Fire” for BOOM! Studios — tell us a bit about what you have planned for Finn and the Flame Princess.
Danielle Corsetto: Ooh I don’t know what I can and can’t tell you! I’m excited to give Flame Princess the spotlight and let her loose in the land of Ooo without the companionship of Finn for a little while. I can say it wouldn’t be “Adventure Time” without a good adventure!
Are you a fan of fellow webcartoonist Ryan North’s current ongoing series and Pendleton Ward’s original animated show? How did you end up getting involved in the project?
Yes! To be honest, I started reading Ryan’s take on the series after I was contacted by BOOM!, selfishly hoping it would be a mediocre read so I wouldn’t be too intimidated by the project. Alas, Ryan’s “Adventure Time” books are, predictably, so much fun, a perfect mesh of his endearing sense of humor with Pen’s characters, so now I am officially intimidated.
As for how I became involved — I’m actually not sure! BOOM! had contacted me about other work in the past, but nothing stuck until they asked me to write the next “Adventure Time” book. I think they have a big hat with webcartoonists’ names in it and mine was the lucky slip that was pulled this time.
How much of the book will deal with the budding romantic relationship between Finn and the Flame Princess?
A lady doesn’t kiss and tell! There will be romance. An alternate title for the book is “Adventure Time: There Will Be Romance.”
For most denizens of the web, you’re best known for the popular “Girls With Slingshots” webcomic, which you both write and draw. What challenges did you find shifting gears from writing a daily strip to writing a full “Adventure Time” OGN?
I’ve wanted to write long-form forever. While I love daily strips and the challenges inherent in the format, I’ve wanted to stretch out past the four-panel borders for years now. It’s nice to make subtle non-punchline jokes, rather than relying on that last panel to be a killer joke or conclusion every time.
I’m actually working on another Secret Project with the same responsibilities — writing instead of drawing, 150ish pages of self-contained story — and the switch has been very interesting. I hadn’t realized how much of my storytelling is reliant on the marriage of art and text, the primary mix of media I’ve worked in since I was in third grade. After drawing sequential stories for many different writers in the past, I’ve found putting all my trust in my artist is the ideal situation, but it really depends on how the artist works. Thus far, I do very rough thumbnails next to everything I write (for this reason I have to write my first drafts on paper; I transcribe everything in Open Office later) and keep the crappy thumbnails for the artist in case she or he gets stuck/has a very different vision from mine.
“Adventure Time” is known for its off-beat and somewhat random brand of humor, as is “Girls With Slingshots.” How did writing so many humorous situations for GwS help prepare you for writing an “Adventure Time” story?
Honestly, it’s worked the other way for me; the more “Adventure Time” I write, the more loose and fun I feel when writing GwS. I’m not even sure if it shows! Thinking outside the box for Pen Ward’s dreamy, anything-goes world has exercised my brain for other projects. Writing for AT is like CrossFit for creativity; in comparison, writing GwS is like a brisk jog, as it’s become so much easier to write now that it’s the least challenging IP I’m working on (as opposed to months ago when it was the only world I had to create).
What other “Adventure Time” characters have been the most fun so far for you to take on?
This particular book is actually pretty limited in its use of familiar characters. Our gang gets stuck in a pretty secluded section of Ooo, so Flame Princess is really given center stage.
As one of the major names in online comics, what was the deciding factor in writing a book solely intended for print?
There is only one reason: I flippin’ love “Adventure Time.” I’ve taken on way more work than is healthy this spring, between writing the other OGN, teaching a course on illustration at my nearby college and still working on GwS full-time. Had this opportunity been for any other IP, I probably would’ve declined. But, meh, why bother with a social life when you can write about stretchy dogs and flame-filled princesses instead?
Earlier, you mentioned a Secret Project. Is there anything you can tease about it?
As mentioned, it’s another graphic novel I’m writing, and I’ll steer clear of telling you the deets, but — this book is much closer to what I normally write: twenty-something girls, snark, sass, sex and relationships. It’s illustrated by a mad talented up-and-coming SCAD-grad whose work I really admire.
With this project on your plate, can fans and readers expect more from you in the world of print?
I’m playing it by ear! I normally would never fill my plate so much, but every opportunity that’s been offered to me recently is a dream job, so I’ve just bitten in and taken it. If other projects are presented to me in the future and they rock as hard as these, I’ll take ’em. But my main focus is still — and will be for the foreseeable future — making “Girls With Slingshots” the best it can be.
“Adventure Time: Playing With Fire” is scheduled for an April 2013 release