|JOE CASEY & PAUL MAYBURY
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DF Interview: Joe Casey, Paul Maybury raise a flaggard to Valhalla Mad
By Byron Brewer
Their names are legend: The Glorious Knox! Greghorn the Battlebjörn! Jhago the Irritator! Three warrior gods vacationing on Earth, just looking to get their drink on and have a good time!
Never in the history of periodical publishing has a tale of such god-sized inebriation and social debauchery been committed to four-color print. Until now and Valhalla Mad, brought to you by bestselling writer Joe Casey (Sex) and artist Paul Maybury (Sovereigns).
Dynamic Forces caught up with the dynamic (!) duo and got the 411, all just for you.
Dynamic Forces: Joe and Paul, tell us how this rather unusual series came together and to Image Comics.
Joe Casey: Wanting to work with Paul again was one of the major motivators. I had this type of story with these type of characters rattling around my brain for awhile, but more importantly, I had an approach to the story that I knew I'd need a sympathetic and open-minded collaborator to work with me on it. I'm grateful that Paul was game to try this specific kind of format experiment and the results are pretty cool.
Paul Maybury: I was wanting to try my hand at a story with a bit more emotional depth than a lot of the work I had been doing. I think Joe and I have really stretched ourselves on Valhalla Mad. This series is unlike anything either of us have attempted, and long time readers should be pleasantly surprised by the direction and tone of this series, despite the mythology we're playing with.
DF: You guys have worked together before, if memory serves?
Joe Casey: On Catalyst Comix, for Dark Horse. Paul drew the Amazing Grace strip and really hit a home run with it. But I'd been a fan of his even before that.
DF: So tell us about your protagonists here. Quite unique characters.
Joe Casey: Let's hope so. God-like beings in comic books are nothing new, but hopefully seeing them get their drink on will be a new twist on an old favorite. Our leads are three warrior gods that have known each other and fought alongside each other... literally forever. I'm sure it's only a matter of time before Knox, Greghorn and Jhago are household names...
DF: What is the key storyline here in Valhalla Mad, besides perhaps “par-tee!”
Joe Casey: What else is there, really? I think anyone can relate to wanting to kick back and enjoy life...
DF: Joe, I believe you have said one of the reasons for the genesis of this series is the unique, un-Kirby storytelling device the King utilized in his last years of rendering Thor? How does that apply to Valhalla Mad?
Joe Casey: I don't think I ever said it was "un-Kirby". In fact, it's very much Kirby. I don't want to get too far into the nuts and bolts of it, because I'm sure most people would find it as boring as I find it fascinating. But if you look at those late-period Thors and really study the storytelling involved, you'll soon pick up on a particular rhythm that Kirby found and carried right through to the end of his run. It was about his choice of grids, which moments he felt deserved the full-page splash treatment, things like that. I have no idea how conscious it was, but clearly he was committed to it. I'm a real student of this stuff so once I felt like I had a handle on what he was doing in his work, I wanted to utilize that specific set of tools in my own work.
DF: Paul, with this book are you emulating Jack Kirby, doing Paul Maybury or a synthesis of the two? Is this kind of book something brand new for you?
Paul Maybury: I didn't grow up with a huge love for Kirby like a lot of my peers. I don't have a built-in nostalgia for Marvel or DC either. I think that actually works in the book's favor since I'm not caught up in the homage. There's only one King. I simply do my best to bring you that Kirby flavor while still serving you something new.
DF: So how much god-sized inebriation and social debauchery can we expect herein, and is there indeed a central big-bad?
Joe Casey: You can expect as much of those things as we can cram into each issue. Maybe intense hangovers could be considered a "big bad"...
Paul Maybury: Thankfully, no drunk karaoke. Unfortunately, no drunken late night indulgence of pizza.
DF: Should this book be looked upon as Thor Light? (laughs)
Joe Casey: No comment.
Paul Maybury: I don't get it.
Dynamic Forces would like to thank Joe Casey and Paul Maybury for taking time out of their busy schedules to answer our questions. Valhalla Mad #1 hits stores May 20th!
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