It’s been a couple of weeks now since The Perhapanauts Halloween Spooktacular #1 hit the stands, and while the Blog@Newsarama already reviewed the book, along with a handful of other Halloween books, just after its release, my regular commentary feature with writer Todd Dezago had to wait while I tracked a copy down. You see, here in the Great White North of Upstate New York, it’s often impossible to find books that are doing well, even if they haven’t technically sold completely out in the rest of the country.
Anyway, enjoy some questions with Todd Dezago. It’s Halloween, and this book (which he implies might become a Perhapanauts yearly thing) is akin to the “Perhapanauts Treehouse of Horror,” with guest artists and at least one story that has such a different tone that while it’s technically in-continuity, it feels very standalone. There’s also, in the spirit of the holiday, a rather ominous little hint that Todd leaves out there for regular readers to ponder…!
Blog@Newsarama: So…Big’s on Facebook? Does the Chief have a problem with that?
Todd Dezago: Big’s got a private account, so I think it’s okay. Also he’s got another one listed under a pseudonym so that he can really surf around. I don’t think they ever worry too much about what Big does anymore–not with Choopie around.
Blog@: What’s his profile picture look like?
TD: The picture on his private account looks just like him. The fake one has a picture that looks a lot like Walter Cronkite.
Blog@: So do you know what the plans are for the next year or so? Should we look forward to another Spooktacular issue, whether or not the next arc is completed by then?
TD: We hadn’t really planned on making the Halloween Spooktacular an annual tradition, but we received a lot of nice reviews on it and readers seemed to like it, so…
Blog@: What’s the deal with everyone trying to eat Choopie this month? Two of the stories have something trying to chase and eat him!
TD: Chupacabras are, apparently, very tasty! I can’t say from experience though. I’ve eaten lots of things, but never a chupacabra.
Blog@: And at the risk of deteriorating into Seinfeld: What’s the deal with the second story?–they’re worried about Big’s footprints attracting attention even in the mounting snow, but Choopie’s aren’t suspect?
TD: I think by the time they called Choopie in, they were a bit exasperated and needed a new game plan. Also, Choopie’s feet in snowshoes would/could look like a little kids. Big’s snowshoes would need to be about three feet long/wide each!
Blog@: It’s interesting–I don’t know that we’ve seen that kind of weakness in Arisa before, and Hamerskold stepped right up. Was that just him being in his element a little, or is he learning to be more of a team player?
TD: Hammerskold’s motivations for helping out are all about his secret attraction to Arisa. (you DO remember his finding feelings for her when he ‘felt’ her kiss back in the Annual, right?) He’s actually been doing a lot of things that seem out of character because of this. He doesn’t know what to do with it.
Blog@: So–Hembeck is awesome. How’d that happen?
TD: Fred and I are old friends–from away back! I love Fred and loved his work long before I knew him! For years we played volleyball together on a mostly comic guys volleyball night in Woodstock. That guy has a killer serve!
Blog@: Is it bad that I still prefer Craig’s interpretation of the characters?
TD: Well, they are Craig’s characters…Though Craig and I are always so excited whenever somebody–ANYBODY–does their version of the Haps! We love to see new interpretations and styles! And that we are so lucky to have such talented friends helping us out is just awesome!
Blog@: Clearly some of the script was done with Fred in mind–the Fred-pop. But the whole tone was pretty all-ages friendly. Was it all written for him?
TD: All three stories for Fred, you mean? No, they were stories that I’d been dreaming up for a while and just handed them to the artists I felt fit the mood of the story best! And then they bring their own mood and it all falls into place perfectly!
Blog@: When will we see the ‘Haps on iTunes? I see the first two issues of Tellos so far (and the first one’s free, people!), but no ‘Haps yet.
TD: It’s not? Hmmm…I’m sure it’ll be up there soon. It’s s’posed to be. Being that I don’t have an iphone, I really haven’t been following the releases of these apps and downloads. I guess I’d better get one and get on-board, huh?
Blog@: Is there a timeline for this issue? Obviously it happens either before the events of “Triangle” or after the next arc, since the gang’s all here…!
TD: Here’s the thing…Going all the way back to “First Blood,” I’ve tried to have the main stories go by in a continuous stream, each arc picking up the moment that the last one ended. That has turned into a monster now that it constantly biting me in the ass! You ask–and I do too–where do these other stories fit in? If Arisa is lost in limbo somewhere, how is she in the opening to Choopie’s Halloween story? Or the Tatzelwurm story? So here’s the deal–they all happened “before”. Sometime earlier when things were good and everyone was around and no one was dead yet.
Blog@: Will we get to see a little more of the boss-man in the next arc? With the bald head and the glasses, he reminds me of Skinner from The X-Files.
TD: The Chief? Oh, yeah, there’s a lot more to the Chief that we haven’t even touched on yet…
Blog@: How many friends has Big got out there in the world? He’s got his Shaman, and Nessie, so far…!
TD: Big has a few notable friends out there in the real world and you’ll see more of them pop up as time goes on. He may not be able to stroll around in public, but the internet affords him a wide range of contact out there in the intellectual world! Stay tuned!