It’s been a while since Ted Naifeh has dabbled in the world of his series Courtney Crumrin.
Over at Naifeh’s site, he presents a few preview pages for the upcoming for the upcoming Courtney Tales 2. Newsarama has got the exclusive interview with Naifeh, as well as the first look to the cover, as well as the official name: Courtney Crumrin Tales: The League of Ordinary Gentlemen.
Blog@: You’ve written another Aloysius story before, what made you want to write another about Courtney’s mysterious uncle?
Ted Naifeh: The first one was really part one of a two parter. I wanted to resolve that story, and this book does exactly that.
Blog@: Without giving too much away, where does this story take Aloysius?
Naifeh: The story explores the roots of my little magical world, where it came from, why it’s there, and what Aloysius’s role is in it. Aloysius is a pretty mysterious character in the main series, and I wanted to reveal some of his secrets. I’d like to think this story addresses why he’s such a lonely old man.
Blog@: Does this tie into any of Courtney’s adventures?
Naifeh: It will in the next Courtney adventure. I start digging more deeply into the back story of Courtney’s world, the community of witches and warlocks in the town of Hillsborough. Some of what comes up will have direct bearing on Courtney’s life.
Blog@: Who are some of the new characters we’ll get introduced in this tale? Any old favorites coming back this round?
Naifeh: One of the characters I had fun with in the last story was the pulp hero Goose Daniels. But since he was transformed into a goose at the end, I needed a replacement. So he has a confederate that comes looking for him, and ends up getting press-ganged by the Anti-Sorcery Society to take his place. Another character that shows up is Aloysius’s grandmother, who was briefly mentioned in Courtney vol 3 as the first witch in Hillsborough. It’s through her that some of the world’s back-story is revealed.
Blog@: Do you feel your style has evolved since last dabbling with Aloysius?
Naifeh: I tried to make it as similar as possible, but I’ve acquired new influences, and I can’t help it if they shine through a bit. It’s not a jarring difference, at least. Just a bit better.
Blog@: Tell us about some of those new influences.
Naifeh: In my promotional trips to Europe, I had had the honor of being exposed to some truly amazing artists. Sergio Toppi is a real artist’s artist. He’s been around forever, and you can see his influence on Bill Sienkiewicz as well as french artist Phillipe Druillet, who I used to adore back in the early Heavy Metal Magazine days. The new one is named Roger (which sounds much more romantic with a French accent), artist of Jazz Maynard (ditto). His lines are so incredible, so elastic yet under precise control.
Blog@: You took a break for a while doing Good Neighbors with Holly Black, how does it feel coming back to the world of Crumrin?
Naifeh: Like returning home, really. Courtney’s world is as comfortable to me as my own bedroom. I’m looking forward to adding some new flourishes. But I really had a ball working on Good Neighbors, trying out some Toppi-style line work (which was ill-advised, but I eventually got some really nice results out of it), and getting to do real fingers instead of Courtney’s spikes or Polly’s nubs.
Blog@: Do you foresee an end to Courtney and Alyosuis’ tales?
Naifeh: I foresee a stopping point. But that doesn’t mean I’m done with them forever. In this new volume, I added a single story element that completely changes their world, and that makes me want to explore the world a bit more. I have a definite conclusion for the Courtney Crumrin series, which is pretty final. But it’s not like Courtney’s going to die or anything. So we’ll see. As for Uncle Aloysius, this second volume concludes the Anti-Sorcerer Society storyline. I’d love to continue his adventures if I have time. But I want to explore new worlds as well. Princess Ugg is calling to me, demanding that her story be told. And there are others.