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DF Interview: Tini Howard hits the ground – er uh, ocean – running in Poseidon IX
By Byron Brewer
Spinning out of the pages of Top Cow’s IXth Generation, neo-writer Tini Howard and artist Phillip Sevy take us to Triton, where luxury is a cyborg’s reward for worship of their god-king, Poseidon. But in blue oceans lurks a sleeping terror from before civilization as we know it ever existed!
To discover more of this intriguing one-shot, Dynamic Forces sat down with Tini Howard and discussed the book.
Dynamic Forces: First off, Tini, tell us about yourself -- your love of comics, etc. Weren't you a contest winner?
Tini Howard: I was! My Talent Hunt winning book, Magdalena: Seventh Sacrament, came out last December. I entered the Talent Hunt a few years ago as I was starting to write and refine my own comic scripts and get more into the idea of writing comics. I've been a writer and a fan of comics my whole life -- it's always been my favorite medium to read. However, much of my early comics experience was with cartooning and manga -- work where the story and art are often by the same professional. Not being much of an artist myself, I was happy to find a way to submit a script to a publisher. That's a rare opportunity.
DF: There is a growing stable of female writers and artists in the industry these days. How does it feel to be among that lot in a field dominated by male creators in the past?
Tini Howard: Feels great. All I can hope is that readers and publishers continue to let us evolve and work on projects as diverse as we are. I'm very grateful to Top Cow for that -- no one's ever told me I had to stick to female characters or “girl” concepts (whatever that would mean). I'm trusted to write what I want to write!
DF: This book is a spin-off of IXth Generation, correct? Tell us a little about the book's concept and about how you became involved in this Top Cow publication.
Tini Howard: Since Seventh Sacrament I've kept in regular contact with the Top Cow team, sending in pitches and chatting about what's next. That's part of comics - you do a lot of work that never gets seen by anyone else, so the stuff that makes it through is really rewarding! I was asked to help contribute to the world of IXth Generation, and Poseidon IX was my first choice.
DF: Tell us about your protagonists.
Tini Howard: Well, Poseidon isn't exactly in love with his people. He's not noble like Aphrodite. But he lives in a beautiful, tropical city-state, so I liked the idea of him as a kind of Ozymandias-figure in love with his city and feeling immune to decay. I wanted Triton, the city itself, to be a character and a central part of the story. Comics are full of great, living cities, so it was a fun tradition to continue.
DF: And the big-bad?
Tini Howard: There's a bit of an in-joke about my fascination and obsession with sea monsters. I can honestly say I developed the idea of our villain before I even really got into Poseidon's head.
DF: Are there any stories from the previous IX books that will be carried through here?
Tini Howard: Well, I'm a huge fan of the series, but I tried to carry themes, rather than stories. But there are clear references to aspects of Aphrodite IX, and Apollo IX makes a pretty significant appearance. If you read Ashley V. Robinson's story and want to see more of him, you'll love Poseidon IX.
DF: How have you enjoyed working with artist Phillip Sevy?
Tini Howard: So much so that I haven't stopped. Phil and I have all sorts of plans for the future!
DF: Tini, any projects current or near future you would like to share with us?
Tini Howard: Currently you can pledge to the Oath Anthology Kickstarter if you'd like to see more of my work. I have a story in there with a fantastic artist named Vaneda Vireak, who is absolutely on the rise. We'd love your support!
Outside of that, I've got things brewing, things cooking, things in the hopper. Nothing I can announce just yet, but you've certainly not seen the last of me.
Dynamic Forces would like to thank Tini Howard for taking time out of her busy schedule to answer our questions. The Poseidon IX one-shot hits stores September 2nd!
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