Last October, Writer Kate Leth and artist Drew Rausch welcomed one of Tim Burton‘s most beloved creations back into the pop culture spotlight. In IDW Publishing‘s ongoing “Edward Scissorhands” comic, Kim’s granddaughter Megs begins looking into the now-mythical man’s existence. At the same time, Edward has discovered another of his father’s creations, dubbed Eli. Once awake, Eli’s search for his missing parts lead to renewed hysteria in the town Edward once called home. While Megs believes in Edward’s innocence, whether she can convince anyone else is a question to be answered in next week’s Issue #5.
CBR News spoke with Leth about what she’s learned as she’s fully immersed herself in Burton’s world, the fan reaction she’s experienced since the comic’s debut and what will happen when Edward finds himself faced with a very important, potentially life changing decision in the series’ next story arc.
CBR News: You’re wrapping up the first arc of “Edward Scissorhands” with this month’s #5. Can you give fans a bit of an idea where that story goes and the new status quo that will follow?
Kate Leth: Our first arc was definitely a mystery, a bit more of a spookem! Drew and I both wanted to play off the darker elements of the film, and it was a lot of fun to create something a little eerie. Where our first arc very much takes place in Edward’s world and hometown, our next one takes him out of his comfort zone into the bizarre, terrifying, twisted reality that is… television.
Our next five issues have a lot of fun and strange elements to them, but at the core, they’re about what it means to be “normal.” Edward is struggling with that notion and finds himself with an opportunity to live differently. But at what cost? Who gets to decide what normal is, anyway? We’re playing with those ideas in between some funny, some sad, and some weird moments.
How does Edward do in these attempts to integrate back into “normal” society?
I can’t spoil that for you! I can tell you that not everyone encourages him to try and “fix” himself, though.
The idea of having other experiments like Edward pop up is interesting, because it allows you to show what makes Edward so special by displaying what the other creations lack. Will we be seeing more of them as the series progresses?
Not in our next arc — but who’s to say, in the long run? I want each of our stories to be very different.
When it came to planning this series, was there a lot of back-and-forth with your editors about how this story would work or is the final product similar to your initial ideas?
It’s changed and evolved! Drew, Sarah and I go back and forth about stories and characters quite a bit, which is what makes it work so well. I had some particular morals and conflicts in mind that I wanted to tackle, and Sarah helped me shape them into something great. Drew brings life to these bizarre ideas and characters of mine and makes them look like they stepped right out of Burton’s world, while Rikki Simons knocks it out of the park on colors. I’m very lucky.
Seriously, Drew’s art is the best. When I started imagining the characters in my mind, back before issue #1, they looked very different, because I had no idea who would be drawing them. Now, I try and write for him, to make characters he’ll have fun with, and I have a better sense of his style. It’s one of my favorite parts of any collaboration, when you start to get someone’s look. Still, he always surprises me. He’s done a killer job on the pages I’ve seen so far for our second arc, and I can’t wait for you to see them!
You’ve said in the past that you were a Goth growing up. Has this book helped introduce you to the current generation of teenaged goths? What has their reaction been like?
Ha! Yes, it definitely has. Our letters column, Clippings, has been one of my favorite parts of working on the book. We get so many submissions, from both current and former goths. It’s also a lot more real and honest than I could’ve hoped for, and we get a lot of positive feedback about that. I’ve seen some really wicked hairstyles, that’s for sure. Gerard Way and Neil Gaiman are mentioned every issue, without fail. The bands change, but it feels like the sentiment has stayed the same: Being an outsider is cool, finding others as weird as you is the very best.
Do you feel like you have a different perspective on Burton’s work after submerging yourself in this world?
I can tell you that I know pretty much every word to the film at this point! I watch or re-watch a bit of it every time I start to script, to get myself in the right mindset. I take new things from it. I’ve always been a fan of his stuff — “Sleepy Hollow” and “Big Fish” are my other two favorites — but “Edward” will always have a special place in my heart. It’s a love story, it’s about being an outsider. It feels almost autobiographical at times.
Speaking of Burton, have you had any interaction with him or heard if he’s seen the comic?
No. People ask us this all the time! Hey, if you have a copy on you and see him, take a selfie, won’tcha? Drew and I would be just tickled!
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