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DF Interview: A new Augusta Wind blows courtesy of J.M. DeMatteis
By Byron Brewer
In the thrillingly imaginative, all-ages world of Augusta Wind, we follow the title character across page after page of eye-popping, otherworldly realms as she uncovers and chases down her destiny – many times to her regret.
Writer J.M. DeMatteis and artist Vassilis Gogtzilas will soon be bringing a new book of adventures the way of readers young and old featuring the girl who has captured our hearts.
To discover this new world of otherworldly wonder, Dynamic Forces met under a gigantic mushroom with scribe DeMatteis to see what challenges Augusta Wind will face this time around.
Dynamic Forces: Why did you decide to give us another yarn with Augusta Wind? What is it about this character that makes her one you love to work with?
J.M. DeMatteis: The story we told in the first five issues was only half the tale. I knew, all along, that there was more to come...and I’m delighted we’re getting the chance to take Augusta on the next stage of her journey.
It’s not just Augusta herself that I love—although I do love her—it’s the whole universe she’s situated in. The story is both intimate (focusing on Augusta and the family she left behind) and cosmic (dealing with big philosophical questions in, I hope, a fun and imaginative way): exactly the kind of story I like.
DF: J.M., you have always had an ability to tell a really captivating, action-filled story that is also very heartfelt. You use these talents to great effect in Augusta Wind.
J.M. DeMatteis: Thank you. I think, first and foremost, a story has to make you feel, touch the heart: you have to have an emotional connection to the characters in order to follow them on their journey. Everything else is built on that emotional connection. It’s not just the most important thing in a story, it’s the most important thing in life.
DF: For the uninitiated, tell us about your young heroine.
J.M. DeMatteis: Once upon a time, she was—or thought she was—Augusta Webster, an average girl with a family that she dearly loved. But Augusta discovered that she’s far more than that. (That discovery cost her dearly: her family forgot she ever existed and it broke her heart.) She’s one of the Tellers serving the Dreamer on the Ocean of Story. She and her fellow Tellers are responsible for creating the stories that become ... well, everything. But there’s someone out there who’s after the Tellers, seeking to erase them—and the Great Story we all live in—from existence.
DF: What will the title of this adventure be, and what new challenges will Augusta Wind face?
J.M. DeMatteis: We’re keeping it simple: The Further Adventures of Augusta Wind. As for what she’ll face: Augusta has to find the missing Tellers—the children she grew up with who are responsible for weaving the stories that become our lives—and save them from the Story Killer, whose goal is to, essentially, unravel the Story of Creation.
DF: Will we see the Snabbit this time ‘round? Any new fantastic creatures that have caught your fancy?
J.M. DeMatteis: Yes, the Snabbit will be back along with a whole parade of new and fantastical creatures. One of the joys of working with the brilliant Vassilis Gogtzilas is that he’s always coming up with new creatures, sending me sketches and designs. I then get to pick and choose my favorites, decide who they are and how they’ll fit into the story. It’s a wonderful way to collaborate.
DF: Along with female-lead characters in comics (superhero and non), there seem to be more all-ages stories out there. Is Augusta Wind a part of that trend, and what are your thoughts on it?
J.M. DeMatteis: I don’t know if it’s a trend, but if it is, I’m delighted. I’ve been trumpeting all-age comics for a very long time. Took years, decades actually, to get publishers interested. Projects like Abadazad and The Stardust Kid were born from that passion and Augusta is the next in line.
We desperately need smart, literate, kid-friendly comics. Not just adaptations of popular cartoons, but fresh, original stories that aim to equal the best in children’s literature. We need to bring more kids—and their parents, who are often the ones who read these stories to them—into the comic book tent.
DF: Glad to be working with artist Vassilis Gogtzilas again?
J.M. DeMatteis: Delighted. Vassilis isn’t just an artist, he’s a creative force: his head is just exploding with visions and dreams. He’s also one of the fastest artists I’ve ever encountered. Amazing!
DF: There seems a lot of Lewis Carroll in Augusta Wind. Was Alice an inspiration?
J.M. DeMatteis: I think the Victorian dress and the Snabbit made many people assume this was inspired by Alice—and I understand that—but, no, it wasn’t really a primary inspiration. Well, no more than all the wonderful children’s stories I love, from Narnia to Neverland to Wonderland to the Hundred Acre Wood and on and on and on. These stories have nurtured me and my children; filled us with wonder and magic and hope. I hope that Augusta can do the same for the people who come along on her adventures.
Dynamic Forces would like to thank J.M. DeMatteis for taking time out of his busy schedule to answer our questions. The Further Adventures of Augusta Wind is slated for release from IDW in 2016!
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