Ian Brill has been ready to get dangerous — but now that’s looking to be a much more long-term investment, after BOOM! Studios announced today that the June Darkwing Duck miniseries would now be an ongoing book! Newsarama caught up with the writer to follow up on how he’s handling the transition, and what might be next for Drake Mallard and company now that he has more room to — ahem — stretch his wings.
Newsarama: Ian, wow, I think this is a first — going from a limited series to a fully-fledged ongoing based on pre-orders and buzz alone! As someone who works at BOOM! as both a writer and an editor, can you take us behind the curtain a bit, as to the sorts of variables that spurred this decision?
Ian Brill: It’s not much more than simple supply and demand. Fans demanded more Darkwing, we’re going to supply it! I’m personally so thankful to see the reaction from fans. It’s amazing to see a character that still gets so much love twenty years later. That’s why myself, James Silvani and everyone else on this book are working so hard to make this book as good as it possibly can be!
Nrama: Now, you’re staying on for the long haul on this, correct? How long do you plan to stick around on the series, and how far ahead are you in terms of Darkwing ideas? Can you tease any arcs that you’ve been tossing around for future issues?
Brill: I’ll be writing Darkwing as long as they’ll have me! The next arc is all plotted out and we have other ideas brewing. I’ll say this for the next arc: there is one major villain that we don’t get to explore to a great extent in the first arc. One villain that fans have been asking about since we announced this story. The second arc is our change to really bring this villain back. He will be throwing some major MAJOR challenges our heroes’ way.
Nrama: For those who aren’t in the loop about Darkwing Duck: The Duck Knight Returns, can you tell us a little bit about how you’re opening this series, and where DW’s head is at? And considering this series is now ongoing, how will Darkwing continue to grow as a character?
Brill: We find that Drake Mallard and hasn’t been Darkwing for a while. As the story continues we’ll find out why that is. We’ll also see what a St. Canard without Darkwing looks like, and who protects it. A lot of familiar faces return but in strange new ways!
Nrama: Something we should ask is how you’re making the jump from writing a limited series to an ongoing. How are you wrapping your head around this? Are you switching how you see things when you’re putting together future stories?
Brill: The big lesson I’m learning is what to do with this great cast of characters the show has. Not just the main characters but the many villains and supporting cast the show had. It’s hard to choose who to use in a given story since there are so many great ones available.
Nrama: How about the art in this book? We know you’re working with James Silvani for at least the first arc – any idea as to what the future might hold for this series in that regard?
Brill: The plan is to keep James as long as he can do the book. He’s amazing! He inserts visual jokes into the book that are funnier than anything I could come up with. The next arc has specific story points for him to go wild with.
Nrama: And considering you also work as an editor for the company — how do you balance the two jobs both in terms of time and brainpower, and how does your “editor” hat inform your “writer” hat?
Brill: It’s a matter of managing my time correctly. Editor by day, writer by night! The way the two inform each other is that I try to make my scripts as clear as possible, well aware of the fact that what may be obvious to me isn’t obvious to my editor and artist. That’s an important lesson picked up working editorial.
Nrama: And also touching upon that — you’re working with editor Aaron Sparrow on this book, correct? How do you feel your two editorial sensibilities differ, and how do you feel they complement each other?
Brill: I like it when Launchpad’s crashes go CRASH! and Aaron likes it when they go K-KRASH! But (half-)seriously Aaron’s been working in comics longer than I have, whether it’s working in editorial, working for Comic-Con or being the translator for such heralded mangas as Dragon Head. I learn a lot from him and have great conversations with him on story and characters.
Nrama: Now, Darkwing Duck has a lot of characters in his rogues gallery, and with a limited series, there’s no way you could touch upon all of them — but now that you’ve got an ongoing to stretch your muscles with, are there any characters you’re excited to have pop up in your next few arcs?
Brill: Let me just say this: Let’s. Get. Negative.