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DF Interview: A superhero corpse and a new kind of creepy from Jeff Lemire in Plutona
By Byron Brewer
Jeff Lemire, Emi Lenox and Jordie Bellaire explore the nature of young friendship and good and evil in the coming Image Comics series, Plutona.
Plutona will use the superhero genre as the entry point into a dark journey that explores the above through the eyes of five children alone in the woods. Don’t be fooled by the artwork. This will not be a children’s book.
Need more? We thought so, so Dynamic Forces met with Lemire in a smalltown cemetery late at night. Funny, but I thought there were some kids in the moonlight behind him during the interview …
Dynamic Forces: Jeff, tell us how this concept for Plutona coming out from Image Comics came about.
Jeff Lemire: It was an idea Emi Lenox had. She and I have been friends for a number of years now. We met at San Diego Comicon back when I was promoting Essex County and she was interning at Top Shelf. She showed me her work and I became an immediate fan.
Anyway, this was an idea she told me and I fell in love with it. We sat down to discuss and before we knew it we had plotted the whole story out.
DF: A bit unusual starting a series with the superhero dead already! That is quite a beginning. Where do you go from here?
JL: The book isn’t so much about the superhero as it is the kids who find her. It’s about how this discovery, and the decision they make, starts to effect their lives and their friendship. It’s a very grounded story told from these kids’ points of view. Superheroes exist in this world, but they usually only see them from a distance. They are as real to these kids as sports stars or movie actors are to us. Now, not only confronted with a superhero but with a dead one, these kids’ lives will change forever.
DF: Tell us about the five suburban kids who are your protagonists.
JL: Mie is “the leader of the pack.” She’s pretty self-assured and pushy. Her little brother Mike is the runt of the pack. The tag along. Diane, Mie’s best friend, is sort of lost in Mie’s shadow. Ray is a dick with a troubled home life and Teddy is a nerd and a superhero fanatic (hint: He’s the most like me) and sort of a loner.
DF: Any hints as to the "darkness" (solicits) coming to this group? Non-spoilery, of course.
JL: This is definitely not a kids’ comic. It goes into some pretty dark territory. Think Lord of The Flies with superheroes and suburban kids.
DF: This reminds me a bit of Stephen King's "It" book. Any particular inspiration for this comic there or elsewhere?
JL: I’d actually never even thought of that, but I can see it for sure. I’d actually point to Steven King’s “Stand By Me” as a much bigger influence. Also films like Mean Creek, Rivers Edge and Mud.
DF: Tell us about working with Emi Lenox and Jordie Bellaire.
JL: Emi is great. We’ve been friends for a while, so it’s really fun to work with her at last. And Jordie is super-talented. She does wonders on the page. Been great finally working with her too!
DF: Jeff, your writing credit is everywhere! Any current or future projects you would like to discuss?
JL: Well, as of now I’m writing Extraordinary X-Men, Hawkeye and Old Man Logan at Marvel, Bloodshot at Valiant, Descender and Plutona at Image.
In terms of drawing, I just finished a new graphic novel called ROUGHNECK for Simon and Shuster, which I wrote and drew. That will be published in the fall of 2016. And I am just starting to draw a new graphic novel written by Scott Snyder. It will be published by Image in Spring 2016. PHEW!
Dynamic Forces would like to thank Jeff Lemire for taking time out of his busy schedule to answer our questions. Plutona #1 hits stores September 2nd!
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