Venus And Mars Caught In A Crosswind
Apr 23, 2017
by Vince Brusio
Crosswind #1 (APR170674) begins a crime fantasy where the two sexes get put into a blender. Now ask yourself what happens after you hit “puree.” Does the frothy green shake taste minty? Did the ingredients work together? What exactly are you drinking, and — more importantly — is it safe to drink? Good questions. Gail Simone and Cat Staggs give us the answers in this PREVIEWSworld Exclusive interview!
Crosswind #1 (APR170674) is in comic shops June 21.
Vince Brusio: This series smells like Bonnie & Clyde's been sprinkled over a True Romance pizza pie. Fun, familiar, and fragrant. But the real recipe is said to be Freaky Friday folded into a Goodfellas gordita. So what made you decide on those ingredients? Why cross those two classic films? How do you write such a thing? How do you draw such a thing?
Cat Staggs: Drawing this is a bit of a challenge. So much of the storytelling relies on the acting. At first, I have to sell you his confidence and swagger and her timidness and fear. Once they switch I need to carry those traits to the "other body." He is still very much a confident man in her shell, and she is still scared of everything in his shell but they are now reacting to each other's world. I have a mannerism list that I keep around while I'm working. There is a lot to keep track of. How a man does this, how a woman does that. I have also added some personal habits for each of them.
Gail Simone: I don't think it's fair to make anyone choose between pizzas and gorditas, to be honest. And it's funny, but even as I love Freaky Friday, and as Goodfellas is my favorite crime film, that wasn't really in my mind at first.
To me, the theme is respect. In our story, one person has it, demands it, takes it if it's not given freely. And the other feels she somehow doesn't deserve respect, and is suspicious when it's given to her. That informs everything in the story...Cason, our Chicago hitman, carries a gun and shoots people for money. Juniper, our Seattle housewife, is sort of pressed upon by everyone around her.
Now have them switch souls.
That's just the kind of asskicking chaos I love.
And you asked about how Cat draws this, that's the most amazing thing. Not only does she have to draw flawless expressions and body language, she then has to switch it up and draw the characters with their OPPOSITE expressions and body language. It's just amazing that she is able to pull this off so masterfully. A lesser artist would have jumped off a bridge by now.
Vince Brusio: Gail, when you were conjuring Crosswind for Image Comics back in 2015, did you already have Cat Staggs on tap to be the artist? Or was that step 2 in getting this thing moving along? To lure her into the trap, so to speak?
Gail Simone: It's funny, because Cat was always in my mind as I was coming up with the plot, but I was a bit nervous to ask her...it's not the genre she's known for, and the visuals will be daunting. I finally worked up the nerve to ask her at a convention, where she was just a few tables down. It was kind of like, "CatIloveyourworkIhavethisimpossibleideaandwillyoupleasepleasepleasedrawitpleasepleaseplease," and when I told her the pitch, she was instantly like, "Hell, YES." Turns out she too was dying to do a crime story. I asked for a first set of character sketches, and she did the cover to issue one, which is the most impossibly perfect first image for our book, I can't even tell you. I put it as the save screen on my phone, my iPad, and my laptop, I printed it out and kept a copy in my car for inspiration.
Cat is the BOSS.
Vince Brusio: Can you introduce us to the main players? It's fair to say they're not good role models for impressionable youth, but who are the souls beneath the skins? Who are these people?
Gail Simone: Cason Ray Bennett is a slick Chicago hitman with the world at his feet. He's respected, feared, and loved. But he might have to shoot his best friend. Juniper Elanore Blue is a smart, pretty, daydreaming Seattle housewife whom the world tends to ignore or abuse. And she might have married the wrong man.
Vince Brusio: So when you're leaning over the stew pot, and you decide to add a dash of black humor to give the story some spice, what sort of situation in this story might strike us as sick, but satisfyingly silly?
Cat Staggs: They both get put into some crazy situations and experience things they have never experienced before. Some of the dark humor hits just right and really cut the tension just long enough to catch your breath. That has been the fun part for me. I have laughed a few times while working on some of these pages. I hope I give Gail's wicked sense of humor the translation it deserves.
Gail Simone: This interview has more culinary references than the Food network! I dig it. Ok. Crosswind. It's got humor, and to call it 'gallows' humor is probably being a little bit kind. These are two people who are in the most ****ed-up situation in their lives, and they have no idea why. How does a trained killer pretend to be a housewife? How does a housewife ditch a corpse? It's not My Little Pony, that's all I'm saying.
Vince Brusio: The headline we could write is that Gail Simone & Cat Staggs go Thelma & Louise for their first creator-owned project. But let's give you two the microphone to let you go free-style. No cue cards. What would you each like to say about Crosswind? Go for the kill shot.
Gail Simone: This book has something for pervs and creeps of all kinds. It's a crime fantasy no one has seen before. It has the bullets and sex and murder and all that, but with a twist that makes it unique. It has twists and turns and is probably not fit for decent company and that's why I love it so very, very much.
Cat Staggs: Crosswind is a suspenseful thrill ride of the human condition.
Click on the image to see it at full size.
|Crosswind #2 (MAY170671)|
Vince Brusio writes about comics, and writes comics. He is the long-serving Editor of PREVIEWSworld.com, the creator of PUSSYCATS, and encourages everyone to keep the faith...and keep reading comics.