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Zack Whedon Flips Star Wars and Serenity With Comic Book Resources

26 December 2011 Leave a comment

ZACK WHEDON FLIPS “STAR WARS” AND “SERENITY” FOR FREE COMIC BOOK DAY

by Shaun Manning, Staff Writer

Wed, December 21st, 2011

For the next Free Comic Book DayDark Horse is giving readers a taste of two major licenses with its “Star Wars/Serenity” flipbook. Both stories are written by “Dr. Horrible” and “Terminator” writer Zack Whedon (whose brother Joss created “Firefly”/”Serenity”), with the “Star Wars” tale illustrated by Davidé Fabbri and the “Serenity” story featuring art by Fabio Moon. Comic Book Resources spoke exclusively with Whedon about the free comic, his fannish relationship with “StarWars,” and how Mal Reynolds and Han Solo might get along.

After playing around in the “Terminator” universe where he introduced new elements to the original moviestoryline, Whedon now has the chance to write another, perhaps even more famous, set of iconic characters in Han Solo and Chewbacca. “There is definitely something scary about it,” the writer told CBR. “These two characters are loved by, well, everyone. So you don’t want to screw it up. I care about these guys a lot, so that makes it easier. I can be a good gauge for what a fan would like and dislike since I am one myself.”

Whedon said that up to now, his “Star Wars” fandom has followed a familiar path. “It’s pretty much the same as most people my age (32), which is to say that I grew up watching these movies. I had all the toys, I dreamed of being Luke Skywalker, I’d have lightsaber battles with discarded wrapping paper tubes, I’d reenact over and over the moment where Han runs after the Stormtroopers firing his blaster and screaming and then turns around and runs back screaming. On cold winter nights I’d cut open the bellies of Tauntauns and stuff my friends inside,” Whedon said. He added that he’s engaging in some not-atypical “Star Wars” obsessiveness. “In all seriousness, a few years ago, outraged that I couldn’t get the original trilogy sans CG but with good sound, I bought a laserdisc player and the laserdiscs which have THX sound but no CG. Ultimately, the flipping required in laserdisc viewing takes more away from the experience than Han shooting first, so I gave in and bought the blu-rays. I know, I’m weak.”

With the vast canvas of the “Star Wars” universe, which Dark Horse has had a large hand in expanding, CBR asked Whedon why he honed in on Han and Chewie for his story and why he chose this moment in their careers. “Well, this is before they met Luke and Obi-Wan, which is when their life took a turn for the epic/problematic/Jedi-heavy,” he said. “They’re still small time smugglers just trying to get by at this point. I didn’t want to mess with any of the major storylines. I just wanted to write about these guys bumming around the galaxy. It’s a light story, so I didn’t want them dealing with heavy subjects like rebellion, fate and absentee fathers.”

Whedon went on to say that the Free Comic Book Day tale is “sort of a day in the life of these guys who are always on the wrong end of every deal, which means staring down the barrel of a gun much of the time.” “It’s about how they work together, how they don’t, how they talk to each other after being alone together on a spaceship for days on end,” he said.

“Serenity” has some affinities with “Star Wars,” but Whedon doesn’t see Han Solo and Mal Reynolds getting along. “I think if they could get past their initial misgivings — Mal with Han’s shifty, smooth-talking nature; Han with Mal’s stoic soldier routine — they’d have a lot to talk about. But I think it’s more likely they’d butt heads, possibly literally,” said the writer.

Whedon is working with long-time “Star Wars” artist Davidé Fabbri for the Han and Chewbacca story while Fabio Moon provides the visuals for the “Serenity” tale. The writer said he did not know which artists would bring his stories to life while he was writing them, but he has “seen the pages for both and they’re astonishing.” “They bring so much life to the pages and fill in millions of details that I could never think of,” Whedon added. “They’ve both done some fantastic character design work in these stories as well. I’m very excited about the art.”

Whedon has told a few “Serenity” stories in comics before, notably “The Shepherd’s Tale” graphic novel, revealing Shepherd Book’s checkered past, and a short for DH:HD on the “USA Today” web site. For the Free Comic Book Day Story, Whedon wanted a unified feeling with the “Star Wars” story on the other side of the flipbook. “I wanted to put Han and Mal in similar situations and through their reactions, see how they are different and how they are the same,” he said. “The one thing that these two ‘loners’ are never without is their loyal friends, so that’s part of it. I really focus on Mal but you get a taste of some other folks. [There’s] not as much Jayne as I would like, but there’s only so much you can do in ten pages.”

Having tackled both very short stories and longer works like ‘The Shepherd’s Tale,’ CBR asked Whedon about the fun or challenges of the very-short format. “The challenge with a short story like this is obviously real estate. You don’t have a lot of panels to tell your story,” the writer said. “That was part of my decision to have these be stand-alone stories that don’t effect the greater mythology of these characters. I didn’t want to do a disservice to a larger, course-changing story by cramming it into ten pages. I just wanted to have fun with these characters and shine a light on some of their unique qualities.”

As to whether readers will see more “Serenity” from Whedon in 2012, the writer said that he’d like to tell the story of “where they headed after the movie.”

“I’m having some pre-pre-pre-preliminary discussions with Dark Horse about that.”

“Star Wars/Serenity” arrives on Free Comic Book Day, May 5, 2012.

Original Interview at Comic Book Resources

Nerdist Writers’ Panel #17 with Zack Whedon

14 December 2011 Leave a comment

Nerdist Writers Panel #17: ZackWhedon, Jeremy Carver & John Rodgers

Zack Whedon (Fringe; Deadwood; Rubicon); Jeremy Carver (developer, Being Human); John Rogers (creator, Leverage). Recorded September 25, 2011

Listen to the panel at Nerdist


MTV Interviews Zack Whedon

11 April 2011 Leave a comment

Zack Whedon’s Talk Along Interview About Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog Book

Posted 4/5/11 vy Alex Zalben

Dr Horrible Book

Perhaps you’ve heard of a little web series called “Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog?” If not, the musical series, created by Joss Whedon, Zack Whedon, Jed Whedon, and Maurissa Whedon Tanchareon has had a long life beyond its initial Internet broadcast, spawning DVDs, live productions, and now a book. With Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog Book in stores today, we chatted with Zack Whedon about the lasting appeal of the series, what to look for in the book, and totally found out exactly what the title for the sequel will be. For real. Definitely. Cough:

MTV Geek: I’m guessing you get asked this all the time, but did you ever expect Dr. Horrible to have such a long life beyond being a web series you did on a lark?

Zack Whedon: No!  The fact that I’m answering this question almost three years later is astonishing to me. We are thrilled and flattered and retracing our steps to try to find out what we did right.

Geek: Clearly web series production has changed a lot since you made this. If you had to do it again now, what would you do differently? What’s just perfect the way it is?

ZW: There isn’t much we’d do differently.  There are some technical things we learned re: server capacity and business things but all in all we got a lot right the first time and there’s no real reason to mess with such a good thing.  Writing it and making it were too much fun to try and do it differently.

Dr. Horrible

Geek: The series also really changed a lot of people’s lives: Felicia Day and Neil Patrick Harris in particular. Do you take direct credit for that and really hold it over them all the time, asking for favors and whatnot?

ZW: We do and they totally get it. Neil is washing my car right now.

Geek: You’ve had a few live productions of the series… If a Producer approached you to do an ongoing Broadway run, would you do it? Or is it better to have these special one-offs?

ZW: There have been tons of live productions in high schools and colleges and small theaters all over.  We went to a high school production in Los Angeles. Felicia and Nathan (Fillion) came. It was a lot of fun. Broadway is a place we are all fond of so we’ll see about that.

Dr Horrible

 

Geek: And as a follow-up, do you think more or less people would be injured during the production than on the Spider-Man musical?

ZW: We’d obviously go for the record because we don’t do things half way at Dr. Horrible; but it’s a lot easier when you’re TRYING to hurt people… Which we would be.

Geek: You’ve included the sheet music in the book… Is it nice that, beyond the concept and the execution, there’s so much love for the actual music in the series?

ZW: It is incredibly flattering to Jed and Joss and Maurissa who wrote that music.  To me it’s just weird.

Joss Whedon and Neil Patrick Harris

Geek: There’s some new material in the book – what can you tell us about that?

ZW: There is a roundtable discussion with the writers talking about the entire process, which is somewhat insightful and very goofy.  There are contributions from Nathan, Neil, Simon and Felicia.  The script for the show and for commentary is in there and then there’s the sheet music.  It’s chock full of goodies.

Geek: The fans want to know: when are we going to see “Commentary: The Musical: The Book”?

ZW: We are going to first make a book about making the book.  Then the Commentary book.  Then the book about making that book.

Dr Horrible

Geek: I’ll be first in line! I’ve heard you’ve already started work on the sequel’s script – is that true? And if so, how far along are you?

ZW: Sort of!  We all have worked on an outline together which is something.  Jed and Maurissa wrote one of the songs.  We aren’t far along.  Maybe I should get to work on that.

Geek: It’s also been rumored that you guys know the title of the sequel. Care to break some news, eh? Eh?

ZW: I want to so bad.  But… sorry.

Geek: Okay, I’ll throw a few out at you, and you let me know if I’m hot or cold on any of them:

– Dr. Horrible’s Sing-a-Long Tweets

– Bad Horse’s Revenge

– Penny’s From Heaven

ZW: You nailed it.  Three for three.  Back to the drawing board….

Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog Book is out now from Titan Books!

Dr Horrible

Original Interview at MTV

Outlook Portland Interview Zack Whedon

22 March 2011 Leave a comment

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