Of course, one element you’ve spoken about with this series is the “world behind the world” idea. This series takes place in a version of our reality, but there’s crazy stuff going on under the surface that most people don’t see. What’s your “in” to that part of the series? Do we have an outsider character discovering this world, or would you rather start us off on the inside and explain it as you go?
Traditionally, there’s a Neo or a Luke Skywalker when you’re having a new world explained to you, someone you identify with and whose journey you can relate to. This is a little different because it starts when we’re already deep into it. The idea is that all those myths and monsters we heard about as kids were real, but they were pushed back into the darkness a thousand years ago. Now we’ve cemented over all the madness with cities and we live these lovely peaceful lives where nobody’s ever really seen a ghost, and these guys are the reason why. They do day jobs just like we do, but when there’s a problem they’re called together to take care of it. We’ve got three leads, the three children of the man who runs the Magic Order, and the one we identify most with I guess is the guy who’s turned his back on it and become a complete norm. He and his wife are just living a regular life for a very big reason we find out about in the first issue.
Stick with that family. The first evocative cover from Olivier shows off a quartet of characters who look like they’re living pretty separate lives: classic stage magician, working class stiff, slick Rick and a street punk. What can you tell us about each these four and where they stand with each other as the story opens?
King Lear is obviously about an old man who’s worried about his kingdom and who among his three daughters is going to keep the shit together: Cordelia, Regan and Goneril. Our lead here, Moonstone the Magnificent, is a stage magician with three kids, and he likewise frets about their suitability to protect the world when he’s gone. They’re all very real people here in the real world with their own individual concerns. Regan is the most likely, but is a hot-head. Cordelia wants to please her father, but she’s a drug-user and an alcoholic who can always be counted on to make the wrong choices. Gabriel is the boy most likely to. He’s the Michael Corleone. But he isn’t interested. He walks away, and this is all part of a much bigger plot and a war that’s been going on in the shadows while we’re reading about the Kardashians or tweeting jokes about Trump.
With Olivier Coipel, you’ve got a collaborator who I’m shocked hasn’t done more original work outside of the big two. And he’s an artist you haven’t previously paired with on a big series. What made him the right visual partner for this particular pitch? What was the big ask you had of him in designing the world and drawing the book itself?
Olivier is hands down the best artist working in comics right now. At any company. I’ve always admired him and been chasing him for years, but you’ve read the first couple of issues and seen the level he’s working at here. This isn’t hyperbole. Look at the work previewed on these pages. It’s just jaw-dropping. We created this internally with designers and a character design bible as we do with all the Netflix projects, but he’s just taken it to levels we couldn’t have imagined. He’s God, plain and simple.
Our numbers for this have exceeded even Jupiter’s Legacy, which came in just under 140,000 with a couple printings back in 2012. We’ve exceeded that already and FOC isn’t even until Monday so it’s BY FAR the best numbers ever on a Millarworld book. Netflix has a Hell of a launch here, and 99.9% of that is down to Olivier, who’s just a superstar. I love him.
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