DF Interview: Landry Q. Walker brings readers home, home to the castle in The Last Siege
By Byron Brewer
A tale of blood, desperation and loss. New York Times bestselling author Landry Q. Walker joins artist Justin Greenwood for an all-new ongoing series, The Last Siege!
Spaghetti western storytelling meets Game of Thrones atmosphere in this gritty medieval war story, as a mysterious stranger arrives at a castle overrun with brutal soldiers bent on usurping the throne of the rightful heir: an 11-year-old girl.
DF caught up with scribe Landry Q. Walker and chit-chatted some info on the coming Image comic … just for you!
Dynamic Forces: Landry, hopefully our readers know (and if not, WHY not?) that you write an adaptation of a George R.R. Martin work called A Clash of Kings for Dynamite Entertainment that spins out of the Game of Thrones universe. Was writing this at all the inspiration for your own Last Siege? Or was it just your eternal love for gritty medieval warfare and old castles? (Laughs)
Landry Q. Walker: It’s a bit of a reversal, really. The first volume of A Game of Thrones was purchased for me as a gift in the early 2000’s because of my love of the setting and genre. The basic plot for Siege was already in place by 2002 – but it took me the better part of twenty years to find both the voice for the story, as well as the funding – creator-owned comics are an expensive endeavor.
That said, it’s interesting to me that these two project have coincided in this way.
DF: Spinning out of Q1, what can you tell us about this world you and artist Justin Greenwood are creating?
Landry Q. Walker: Well, the easiest way to describe it points back to the actual source of inspiration – spaghetti westerns/Kurosawa films. There is a basic tone and atmosphere of desperation and hopelessness you find in those films that I feel plays well to this scenario.
DF: Tell us about the storyline for this new ongoing series from Image.
Landry Q. Walker: To be honest, much of it is right there in the title. This is the last conflict in a long and brutal war. A vicious conquering warlord has battled his way across the land, and there is one last hold-out. A small castle in the far west. Rather than stretch his resources further, and considering himself the victor be default, the King has sent a small band of his soldiers to claim the castle through a forced marriage. Then a stranger rides into town, a mysterious swordsmen from a distant land with his own agenda. Things evolve from there.
DF: Who are your chief protagonists? Can you introduce as many as you can to readers please?
Landry Q. Walker: We have the aforementioned stranger. We have the Lady of the castle – an eleven-year-old orphan named Elsbeth. We have Feist, a knight determined to claim the Lady and the castle as his own. And there’s more, but we should save something for the book…
DF: What other seemingly minor characters should readers pay attention to, any that might have a payoff later on?
Landry Q. Walker: This is a very blunt story, as befits the era and the material that served as inspiration. So most everything is right on the table. Characters will evolve quite a bit through the course of our first arc – the stranger acts like a catalyst from the moment he arrives, and leaves virtually nothing unchanged in his wake.
DF: What should readers expect when they pick up a copy of The Last Siege in June?
Landry Q. Walker: Quite a bit of violence. Swords, crossbows, knights. The focus is on action – not that there isn’t a story. But our primary goal is to keep the energy moving.
DF: What does Justin bring to this medieval oaken table?
Landry Q. Walker: Justin and I have been working on this together for the last two years. As soon as I saw his work I knew I wanted him on the book, but getting the financing and schedules lined up took a bit of time.
It terms of creative energy, Justin has a talent for infusing each panel with vibrant life, even when the characters are simply standing around and talking. Action drives this story far more than dialog, and Justin knows how to make that work.
Additionally, with Justin I am able to take a step back and leave him to craft a lot of elements and storytelling for the book. I script very lightly, with minimal direction knowing that he can build the action and performance of the characters, staging things in ways I can’t begin to envision. Long story short, it’s been a very rewarding collaboration.
We’re also working with another frequent collaborator of mine – Eric Jones is on colors. Eric and I have worked together on tons of projects over the last twenty years, and I’m really excited to drag him into this one too. And we also have Patrick Brosseau on letters. Between him, Eric and myself, we almost have a Supergirl Cosmic Adventures reunion – albeit on a VERY different type of book.
DF: Landry, what other goodies do you have coming forth for readers anon?
Landry Q. Walker: I tend to work in a wide swing of genres and mediums. I have a series of novels aimed at the 8-12 age range. The first one, Project Terra: Crash Course, came out last September and the next one is Project Terra: Bites Back. A new adaptation of A Clash of Kings is roughly out once a month, and a guide book from DK Publishing on Star Wars ships [is due out].
Dynamic Forces would like to thank Landry Q. Walker for taking time out of his busy schedule to answer our questions. The Last Siege #1 from Image Comics hits stores June 13th!
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