|ANDREW WHEELER & PAULINA GANUCHEAU
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DF Interview: Andrew Wheeler & Paulina Ganucheau tell a different type of fairy tale in Another Castle
By Byron Brewer
Fans of works such as Nimona or mangas like Slayers will love Princess Misty, who wishes to defend her kingdom against the evil Lord Badlug. The ruler of the neighboring kingdom of Grimoire, Lord Badlug plans to marry the princess and conquer her kingdom.
Not, however, if SHE can destroy him first!
This is the linchpin around which Another Castle, from Oni Press and creators Andrew Wheeler and Paulina Ganucheau, revolves. To delve deep into this fantasy, Dynamic Forces caught up with those creators and had a chat.
Dynamic Forces: Andrew, tell us the genesis of this new series from Oni Press and how you came to be a part of it.
Andrew Wheeler: I think most Oni titles start out with the creators, and this is no exception! One of my big beliefs is that everyone deserves a chance to be the hero, so this is a story that builds from that idea. Women in stories are too often presented as a prize for the male hero to win, but that's not how they'd see themselves. So what is the "damsel in distress" doing while the hero comes to rescue her? She's not just going to wait around. So this whole story builds out of the idea of putting the damsel at the heart of her own story.
DF: Tell us about the main protagonist of the book, Princess Misty, and the circumstances in which she finds herself.
Andrew Wheeler: Misty is a princess with a lot of frustration and unhappiness in her life. Her worst fear is that she'll be abducted like her mother before her, and her brightest hope is that she'll be married off to a friendly prince, and in neither case does she get to make any choices. So when the worst actually does come to pass, Misty turns a very bad day into an opportunity to make some tough choices.
DF: Andrew and Paulina, in your work on the series, have you developed a favorite among the cast of characters? And if so, why?
Andrew Wheeler: I think we both have a lot of favorites. I'm very fond of Pete, the dashing but rather out-of-his-depth prince who thinks he's meant to rescue her, and I love Misty's jailers, Gorga and Fogmoth. They're monsters, but they're very sweet, naive monsters. Gorga and Misty's peculiar friendship means a lot to me.
Paulina Ganucheau: It may be an obvious choice, but I really love Misty. I’m a leading lady lover! She’s so strong and competent. Seeing her handle situations with a more methodical approach over a quintessential hero is so cool. I just love seeing her journey. I honestly love all of them, though. They’re all my little babies!
DF: What has been the most fun or challenging in producing this new book?
Andrew Wheeler: I like to pack a lot into 24 pages, and keep the story moving, which Paulina probably has thoughts on! But it's important to me that people really get to enjoy the time they spend in this world, with these characters, so it needs to be a rich story, and that really can be a challenge! But it's also where the fun lies for me. And along the way I get to throw in some unexpected beats, like a witch composing a recipe, or a knight writing his own epic poetry.
Paulina Ganucheau: My thoughts are that it’s awesome, Andrew! Building the visual foundation for this lush world that we’re creating together and telling this complex tale is such a joy. I love playing with fantasy settings in their own unique way that still call back to the foundations of the “sword and sorcery” genre. When doing comics, there’s always a challenge. You're basically on an endless journey of learning to draw everything. It's thrilling and crazy and wonderful and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
DF: So storywise and artwise, what do readers have to look forward to in Another Castle?
Andrew Wheeler: The art is so gorgeous. Paulina is amazing, and I can't believe how lucky I am to work with her. These characters wouldn't be as rich or as charming without her, and the way she colors this world is just breathtaking. Look at those pages and imagine having to write the next chapter in a story that promises that much vibrancy and pleasure! It's crazy!
Paulina Ganucheau: This is the part of the interview where it devolves into us talking about how great the other person is because it’s true and Andrew’s storytelling is amazing! It’s going to go in directions you’d never expect and I promise you will enjoy every minute of it. Every time I get a new issue’s script, I’m blown away. I can’t wait for everyone to fall in love with this world and these characters the way that we both have!
Dynamic Forces would like to thank Andrew Wheeler and Paulina Ganucheau for taking time out of their busy schedules to answer our questions. Another Castle #1 hits stores March 2nd!
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