2013 is shaping up to be quite the year for writer Scott Snyder and writer/artist Jeff Lemire as DC Comics’ two “Rotworld” architects also prepare to debut brand new Vertigo miniseries, taking readers through time, space and beyond.
Announced at the Vertigo NYCC panel, in 2013 Lemire writes and illustrates a brand new science-fiction/romance story titled “Trillium,” a ten-issue miniseries about a woman from the far-flung future and a man from the twentieth century whose love for each other brings about the end of the universe. Also debuting in 2013 is Snyder’s “The Wake,” a science-fiction/horror story drawn by artist Sean Murphy that centers on a deep-sea discovery that calls into question humanity’s assumptions about evolution.
Speaking with CBR at NYCC, Lemire and Snyder happily dove into a discussion about the recently announced books, as well as their own literary friendship and why fans should get excited for “The Wake” and “Trillium” in 2013.
CBR News: You both announced new miniseries with Vertigo, and your separate DC books “Swamp Thing” and “Animal Man” are crossing over with “Rotworld” right now — any chance you two will have a Vertigo crossover one of these days?
Scott Snyder: [Laughs] Vertigo crossover? Nah!
Jeff Lemire: At one point, I was going to draw an issue of “American Vampire” and [artist] Rafael [Albuquerque] was going to draw an issue of “Sweet Tooth,” but it just didn’t work out. I would love to do something — maybe draw something you write.
Snyder: Yeah, I’d be honored to work with you anytime on anything, man. I think we’re talking with each other so much about what we do, whether it’s Vertigo or the DCU, and sharing scripts and all that, it feels like we’re working with each other in that capacity already!
Lemire: Yeah, we really do help each other in everything, even if it’s un-credited. Most of Scott’s really good “Batman” ideas start with me. [Laughter]
Snyder: Literally, working on Superman, he gets this stuff before everybody.
Lemire: I think I saw it before Jim [Lee].
Snyder: He hasn’t seen it yet! The part I showed him, I showed it to Jeff before I show it to editorial because I know that what he says is going to go in it. I feel like it’s the same the other way too, we show it to each other before we hand it in.
As we just mentioned, you’re in the middle of “Rotworld,” the climax for the first year arcs of both “Swamp Thing” and “Animal Man.” What has been your impression of fan reaction to “Rotworld” and would you change anything you’ve done?
Lemire: I think fans have been really enjoying it; there’s been so much anticipation that I think people are just glad that it’s finally happening. If we could do it again, maybe I would have started it a little sooner, but it’s good — I think fans are really going to like it, and it just gets better.
Snyder: I would just say in addition to the stuff coming up, we’re just getting started. I feel the reaction is that people are eager to see what we’re going to do, and what we’re going to do involves the Rot versions of every one of your favorite DC characters, whether it’s Batman or Starro or —
Lemire: Green Arrow.
Snyder: Everybody! We’re about to kill everyone, so that will be fun. [Laughs]
Turning to Vertigo, both of your newly announced comics, “The Wake” and “Trillium,” are really science-fiction books —
Lemire: Mine is romance, [Snyder’s] is horror.
Starting with you, Scott, “The Wake” explores evolution, a theme which seems akin to what you’ve done in “American Vampire” with all the different vampire species. Did the idea for “The Wake” arise from doing “American Vampire?”
Snyder: Not really. I’ve always had an interest in evolutionary biology. My wife actually used to work for the Museum of Natural History, so she would be able to let me in the back where they keep the fossils, because only twenty-five percent of that place is actually open to the public. The notion that there’s all these secrets about evolution and there’s these things people don’t see about these species, whether it’s human or otherwise, is always fascinating to me.
With this series, it was really something where I have always loved the myths of the ocean — mermaids and the sirens of ancient Greece and sea serpents. My father used to collect these old globes that were replicas of the ones they had where they thought the ocean covered much more of the world than it did, so that notion of that unknowable, awesome thing that is the ocean is where it came from. And then, knowing that I loved this idea about how much of it is undiscovered and mysterious [I thought], “What if we found a creature down there that had some connection to us?” That was really the impetus of the whole thing, so I’m really excited about it. And the designs [artist] Sean [Murphy] is turning in are going to blow your mind! I really, really think it’s going to be something special.
Jeff, “Trillium” was announced along with “The Wake,” but while Scott’s underwater, you’re in outer space. Though “Sweet Tooth” has a lot of heart to it, it isn’t the same as writing a science-fiction time-travel romance —
Lemire: Yeah, not really, [“Sweet Tooth’s”] more horror/apocalypse. This is hardcore, deep space sci-fi with spaceships. It’s a genre I really wanted to tackle for a while, and I also wanted to do a really effective love story, because I don’t think there are a lot of really good love stories in comics, truly effective ones, you know? It’s a real challenge for me, we’ll see if I pull it off!
Snyder: You will — the outline is amazing! It’s going to be great.
Lemire: I love time-travel stories and things that span generations, so this is giving me a chance to do all that in a new sort of way. This should be really interesting.
Obviously Scott’s seen the outline for “Trillium” — is the reverse true for “The Wake?”
Snyder: I’ve been working on it with Sean for — almost a year [ago] we started talking about it, so [Jeff] saw it a long time ago, yeah.
Well then, while you’ve both talked separately about what you’re doing in your miniseries, since you intimately know each other’s outlines and story, sell it to us! Jeff what are you most excited for in “The Wake” and Scott, vice versa on “Trillium?”
Lemire: The thing that’s really exciting is, without giving anything away, I love how it starts off in once place and then some point in the series, there’s a major shift where the story completely jumps. It’s almost like a different story. I love those big, huge shifts through time and tone, and it’s pretty interesting. It’s pretty cool!
Snyder: That’s the part I’m most excited about too! [Laughter] And with Jeff, I think what I’m most excited about is the breadth of the story. It’s something that when he told me the idea about these two characters that exist thousands of years apart, each environment and context each character exists in is so fascinating. One is essentially like a space botanist, thousands of years in the future; the other is almost an explorer back in the 1900s. That was so fascinating, that he could create a story that made a connection between these two people, who have these personal revelations and yet at the same time have this breadth. That’s what I love, that it’s a really intimate story about two people, and yet it has such incredible scope that spans thousands of years. It’s going to be great!
“The Wake” and “Trillium” are slated for release in 2013; “Rotworld continues in “Swamp Thing” #14 and “Animal Man” #14, both out November 7