|CORINNA S. BECHKO
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DF Interview: Corinna S. Bechko begins a new arc in Invisible Republic this autumn
By Byron Brewer
When Image Comics first introduced Invisible Republic to an awaiting readership, it was described as Breaking Bad meets Blade Runner. But soon writing partners Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman turned this gritty sci-fi epic into so much more, with the feel of Hardman’s art style defining the comic’s unique atmosphere.
A new arc is coming in the fall with issue #11. DF cornered the very busy Corinna Bechko and asked her all about it.
Dynamic Forces: Congratulations, Corinna, I understand your book Invisible Republic was nominated for a Hugo! Tell us about the award and what this nomination means to you.
Corinna S. Bechko: Thanks! Getting the news was very exciting. I mean, people like Ursala K. Le Guin and James Tiptree Jr. have won Hugos, so I didn’t quite believe it at first. Gabriel Hardman, my co-writer and the artist on Invisible Republic, and I are truly humbled by this nomination.
DF: I know the book from Image Comics has been ongoing for a while now, and it will soon be beginning a new arc. Before we discuss this, tell us a little about the series’ concept and what has gone on before as an interest starter for new readers please.
Corinna S. Bechko: It’s the story of the rise and fall of Arthur McBride, a dictator on a little moon a long way from Earth, as told by his cousin Maia Reveron who was subsequently erased from every official history. This is the fate of a lot of important women throughout time, so we wanted to examine that. Who controls the truth, and what does that mean for the future? If people are fed a false history, will it distort their idea of themselves, and of their fate? And what if the truth can’t be ignored any longer? It’s an epic science fiction story with elements of rebellion, politics, and the adventure told through two different points in time, both before Arthur’s rise and after his fall.
DF: And the new arc about to begin?
Corinna S. Bechko: The third arc will more closely examine Maia’s personal history, and what made her the woman she became. It will also look at the fallout of reporting the unvarnished truth, and question whether such a thing is possible.
DF: Tell us more about your protagonists as characters.
Corinna S. Bechko: Arthur is inscrutable. He wants power, but believes he is smart enough to do the right thing with it. Maia, on the other hand, is full of doubts. Even so, she has a better grasp on human nature and has a more consistent moral compass. She’s our point of view character, a direct contrast to Arthur’s cold outlook. Crusading journalist Croger Babb has suffered a disgrace from which he is still trying to recover, and he hopes that uncovering Maia’s story will allow him to do that.
DF: I loved your Aliens/Vampirella mashup for Dynamite Entertainment. We are on a celestial body, so anything of that weird/cosmic nature coming to Invisible Republic?
Corinna S. Bechko: Thanks so much! I loved working on that book. As for Invisible Republic, the third arc will deal with many more alien life forms. One reason I love to write sci-fi is that it gives me the chance to imagine alien ecologies. Already, in the second arc, we met Maia’s “dog” Jo. In the third arc, we’ll learn there’s a lot more to Jo than meets the eye.
DF: Gabriel Hardman co-writes the book as well as does the art. You have done this before, but tell me the process you and Gabriel have for producing this series.
Corinna S. Bechko: At this point we’ve got a bit of a science to it, or at least developed a shorthand for working through the writing. We generally talk through what we think should happen in an arc, then refine it by issue. We both have a good idea of where the overall story is going to go, and what our ultimate end point is too. At this point we seldom write full scripts, since Gabriel finds a lot of the story as he draws it. We then both sit with it and hammer out the dialogue and sometimes even a little of the art will change. It’s a very organic process, and a bit more labor-intensive than most work-for-hire jobs.
DF: Talking of that, why is Gabriel the right artist for Invisible Republic?
Corinna S. Bechko: I don’t think anyone else could possibly render the world we have in our heads for this story! Invisible Republic has a very definite aesthetic that is intrinsic to the story, and that’s all Gabriel. The way the pages are laid out, how the characters look and “act,” in short, everything about the book is tied together by the visuals that he creates. We like working with other artists on other projects, but for this one, there’s no one else! On the same note, we’re really lucky that we have Jordan Boyd on board to do the colors. I think he’s one of the few colorists out there who would “get” what we were going for, and he’s doing an amazing job.
DF: So, Corinna, what else is popping out of your kinetic keyboard that you can discuss?
Corinna S. Bechko: I’ve been busy! Both Miss Fury and Lords of the Jungle are in the middle of their respective runs for Dynamite, and I have also been doing a lot of work for Sideshow’s Court of the Dead property. That comic will be out under the Heavy Metal banner in July, just in time for SDCC.
Dynamic Forces would like to thank Corinna Bechko for taking time out of his busy schedule to answer our questions. A new arc begins in Invisible Republic #11 which hits stores in September!
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