Egos In Ectoplasm When Ghosts Are Crossing Over
Jan 21, 2018
by Vince Brusio
The goal of any business is to grow. The same could be said of team-ups. Why have two heroes join forces when you can have 20? The more hands with grenades, the bigger the explosions. So when your business is to team up members of the Ghostbusters, does one think such a combination will lead to a crisis, or a full-scale war? That’s one of the observations writer Erik Burnham and artist Dan Schoening were asked to contemplate in his PREVIEWSworld Exclusive interview for their new series Ghostbusters: Crossing Over #1 (JAN180442) from IDW Publishing. Imagine the sparks that can fly it you pit Ray Stantz against Ron Alexander.
Vince Brusio: How did this project get off the ground? What took it from concept, to communication, to an official green light so that Ghostbusters: Crossing Over #1 (JAN180442) was approved for solicitation in the January PREVIEWS?
Erik Burnham: Once we crossed over with The Real Ghostbusters, it felt like a foregone conclusion that we'd do another, bigger Ghostbusters team-up with more teams. Smaller crossovers happened first, but this was always on the radar... though, to be honest, the biggest surprise was not waiting for the 35th anniversary in 2019. I was pitching a much smaller story when editor Tom Waltz said "no, let's do this one."
Vince Brusio: It’s said in the January PREVIEWS that this series is the “...Ghostbusters version of Crisis on Infinite Earths.” So give us a heads-up on the egos that clash in this series. Who gets in whose face first? Who wants to be the loudest voice in the room?
Erik Burnham: When I think Crisis, I think of worlds permanently merging into one — and that's not going to happen here. This almost feels a little bit more like Secret Wars, in that everyone gets pulled in to deal with something... heck, I guess we're like a little of both! But that's beside the point. Most of the canon Ghostbusters are decent folks who just aim to do the job and/or gain further scientific knowledge.
And then there's Ron Alexander. A comics original, he was the guy who didn't feel any shame in stealing and modifying Ghostbusters technology so as to directly compete with them. He's what Peter Venkman would be if you took away the huckster charm — he's the ego that can clash with everybody.
Vince Brusio: Were there any particular characters you wanted to show strutting their stuff? Do you have a favorite Ghostbuster? Why or why not?
Erik Burnham: Hopefully everyone will get to strut a bit. Primarily, we wanted to have the fun of different characters bouncing off each other, which is the real joy of a crossover — the journey. You know the ghosts will be busted and our heroes will all be there at the end of the day (or will they?)
Dan Schoening: It's very exciting to have an opportunity to draw the Real Ghostbusters, SOS Ghostbusters, Extreme Ghostbusters, and Answer the Call Ghostbusters again. It's anyone's guess as to who else will show up, too. In particular, Real Ghostbusters Egon is my favorite to draw. It's all about that hair. As for a favorite, I'd have to go with the original Ray Stantz. His excitement and passion for what he does still inspires me, as does Dan Aykroyd's performance of the character. No one can deliver lines the way Dan does.
Vince Brusio: It’s said that in this story the Ghostbusters Containment unit has been breached. All hell’s about to break loose. So, naturally, we expect to see a lot of ghosts set loose to tease and terrorize. Did you take any time to develop new strains of ghosts, or did you leave that creative task to artist Dan Schoening?
Erik Burnham: Sometimes I will take great pains to describe a ghost. I may even sketch up a design... but then Dan overrules me and decides to use something from the Real Ghostbusters toy line, and the fans eat it up with a spoon. Dan then puts on his sunglasses and music from The Who appears out of nowhere. But seriously, it's the most fun when we add a new ghost to the canon. We've come up with a couple of fun ones in the past, and this is the perfect opportunity to add a couple more — and I know when all is said and done, Dan'll come up with a design that he enjoys drawing and the readers get a kick out of. It'll feel perfectly in place, as always.
Dan Schoening: We'll leave that as a surprise, but expect to see some new ghouls and some old fan favorite phantoms.
Vince Brusio: Both covers of the book are very kinetic. Is that indicative of the energy for this series? Do you throw the switch without hesitating, and go both guns blazing every chance you get? Did you set out to make something so flammable that to get near it with an open flame is dangerous? Describe the fun factor you allowed yourself to have when creating chaos for this carnival of souls.
Erik Burnham: The fun factor is always high. We love this job. As for energy — Dan and Luis always bring that; the pages are crackling with life. And they're going to even be bringing different styles to the book, which is one of my favorite things about these two — their absolute versatility.
I'm not gonna sneak any plot details that aren't already out there! Suffice it to say, ghosts will be busted from go. (As far as open flame, we cannot recommend bringing you comics (or tablets) too close to one.)
Dan Schoening: It was a challenge to come up with something that is visually interesting and fresh for the covers. Overall, our main goal was to showcase all the Ghostbusters that will appear in the story arc...and as a plus, all the covers connect! Vertically no less! As for dangerous, how hazardous could it be to wear an unlicensed nuclear accelerator on your back?
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.