For last month’s interview, which was kind of an unmitigated technological disaster, click here. I never put it on Blog@, that I’m aware of, because it was so incredibly late.
Since the last issue of the series, Young Liars has undergone a real-world change of status in the sense that writer/artist David Lapham announced on the Standard Attrition message boards that the series has been canceled after August’s #18. This will move everything up substantially in terms of resolving the dangling plot threads that make up the rich tapestry of the comic’s story, but it hasn’t jarred the current plot out of gear at all; Danny and Loreli are recruiting some help to their cause, as Loreli’s transformation into Sadie is becoming closer and closer to complete and the questions continue to dog the characters and the readers: Is Loreli actually a brainwashed Sadie? If so, how do they keep her under control? Are the Spiders from Mars a real thing? With the life of the series ticking down like the bomb in Danny’s trunk, it’s time to check in with Lapham and see what’s going on in the Young Liars universe.
Blog@Newsarama: So the Vertigo element of the series, the transformation of Loreli into Sadie, is certainly as evident as ever in these first few pages. Danny must really kind of think they’re untouchable to be so blatant about it.
David Lapham: Well no matter what they do they just get put back where they started. So he starts of subtly, but then gets bolder and bolder trying to get the hell out of dodge.
BLOG@: “It was our third attempt to get out of Browning,” she says of the town where everything is taken care of for her. Beyond Vertigo, is there a certain Truman Show-esque element to this portion of our tale? There’s even the fake (or not?) bus breakdown, and a guy named Truman in their living room!
DL: Hmmm…That’s interesting and exactly how I’d do it if there was a homage to that film. I love Peter Weir as a director. I think he’s great. However I never dug that particular film. (Dead Poet’s Society, too, didn’t like that one either—Fearless, Master and Commander, all the others are pretty damn good.) I had forgotten there’s a bus breakdown scene (that’s what you’re saying, right?) To be closer to my thoughts, there’s more of a Prisoner vibe.
BLOG@: Is he just washing off the scars and tattoos? Or is there something more to that—using lye or something? Certainly we only saw the tattoo briefly but those scars were there for a long while to not have tried “water” as a solution before.
DL: Yes, he used lie to remove the scars. And lots of ‘em.
BLOG@: Is Dr. Rivera kind of communicating some of the snarky doubts that you hear from fans who are trying to suss out the logic of the series when he says things like, “Do you realize how ridiculous this sounds,” or is he just kind of a devil’s advocate?
DL: A devil’s advocate. I don’t pay attention to all those …nice…people out there who throw around words like “cardboard characters” whenever they hear a buzzword of a type. As if the three word description of any person on the G—damn planet isn’t a stereotype. What, are we all from various planets with utterly unique experiences? People don’t fall into categories? How many people in cubicles does it take to make Dilbert popular? And after 15 issues do you really see NO connections between the situations going on? None? It’s all random, because I have no idea what I’m doing? Give me some f—king credit, people. You think I just started writing yesterday?!!
Devil’s advocate. Donnie’s just trying to help Loreli as any good transvestite therapist would.
BLOG@: It’s interesting—even as Danny thinks that having “won” last issue has put him in charge of the relationship, doesn’t it seem like Annie is able to order him around? “Do me now, finish now?” Just using the spiders as a pretext to get control of him.
DL: Well, you know sex is different. Danny wouldn’t do anything he didn’t want to do. If he wasn’t certain finishing her off wouldn’t play into his master plan, I’m sure he would have…um…not done that.
Of course, many of Danny’s notions on how “in control” he is are kind of shattered by the end of the issue.
BLOG@: How did they win over Donnie and Truman so quickly? Is there really just a switch going off in people’s heads, or are these guys working for the Spiders and doing whatever they think Danny wants so they can keep tabs? Clearly Truman went that route, but I can’t tell for sure if it was supposed to be before or after.
DL: Quickly? Don Diego had to put on ladies underwear. That would trigger latent memories in anybody. Did for me.
BLOG@: Now, let’s assume for the moment that this is Sadie—how many times during the life of the series will he be responsible for getting her shot in the head?
DL: “Sigh” If only we had the chance to find out. I could have replaced “Oh my God, they killed Kenny!” in the national consciousness.
BLOG@: And if it isn’t Sadie? What’re the chances that both of his girlfriends can survive that?
DL: Zero. Oh wait this is the comic book universe…Well, pretty good then.
(But maybe not.)
BLOG@: Certainly if she’s dead, it tends to lend credence to the idea that he just got some poor girl killed; the Spiders had always wanted to take Sadie alive, right?
DL: Yes we know for a fact that if there really are spiders, that they need Sadie to propagate their army. And if there aren’t any spiders or if she isn’t Sadie, then, well, the heck with her.
BLOG@: Structurally, it seems like this story arc is set up around a number of confrontations with the old characters—first Annie, now these two. Is that just the first couple of parts and we’ll settle down into a different rhythm next chapter or is this by design?
DL: It’s Danny’s story. And his story includes these…friends…so in some form or another they will keep returning. Having said that the next chapter has a completely different rhythm…and completely different characters? What’s up with that? We may never find out but it IS possibly my favorite issue and there’s something that happens in it that could possibly be the most vile thing I’ve ever done.