Top Cow has published "Witchblade" in one form or another for the last 15 years, but in all that time there has never been a "Witchblade Annual"... until now. CBR news caught up with writer Jay Faerber to get the details on the first-ever "Witchblade Annual 2009."
Faerber's portion of the 40-page annual puts Witchblade bearer Sara Pezzini and her partner Gleason in the high stakes world of plastic surgery. "Sara and Gleasoninvestigate a series of murders committed by gorgeous women who've all had plastic surgery," Faerber told CBR. "I can't say anything more about the story without giving it away. But I will say it's completely self-contained. You don't need to know anything about 'Witchblade' continuity to appreciate it."
Faerber described the story as a "detective story with supernatural elements," and as such, it features a lot of talking heads. "It's not like an 'X-Men' story, where you can just toss them into the Danger Room for no apparent reason. Talking scenes can be really trying on artists, but Eric finds ways of making these scenes very visually interesting, while still telling the story. And don't worry, the story's not all talking heads. There's plenty of action."
"Witchblade Annual 2009" is penciled by Eric Basaluda, and Faerber couldn't be happier with his collaborator. "Eric was chosen by the Top Cow guys and I got my first look at his pages just last week," Faerber said. "They're fantastic."
Faerber had a great experience working writing "Urban Myths," his installment for Top Cow's 2008 Pilot Season competition, and when he was offered the opportunity to write a done-in-one Witchblade story, the writer jumped at the chance. Faerber was familiar with the Witchblade franchise when he came on board, but he read Ron Marz's current run in its entirety in preparation for writing his story. "I didn't realize until after I'd written it that it would be the first 'Witchblade Annual.' I'm just flattered they let me write it."
The writer hopes to continue producing not only creator-owned projects for Top Cow but also some of the company's own franchises. "But Ron is the regular 'Witchblade' writer and is committed to the book long-term, so I don't anticipate doing much more work with those characters, unless it's side projects like this one," Faerber said. "I hope to be doing more with Top Cow, and aside from that I've still got 'Dynamo 5' coming out every month, as well as two Marvel Digital Comics, 'War of Kings: Crystal' and 'War of Kings: Lilandra."
In addition to Faerber's full-length Sara story, "Witchblade Annual 2009" also features a backup story about Ian Nottingham, written by Joshua Cozine and Joe Henderson and penciled by Sheldon Mitchell.
"Witchblade Annual" #1 hits stands March 30.