Back in April, we talked to Ian Flynn about the New Crusaders returning to Archie Comics. The series has been digital only and the first printed issue will debut next month. With the success of the return of the characters, Archie and Red Circle are ready for the next stage. 'LOST CRUSADE' is coming up so we took asked Ian more about what we can expect.
Comic Vine: Archie and Red Circle launched the NEW CRUSADERS digitally back in May. Have the stories and characters stayed close to the original plans before launch or have the plans evolved with each issue?
Ian Flynn: Plans have definitely evolved. New Crusaders #6 was always planned as something of a benchmark in our Season One plans, and the Brain Trust came upon a new idea that not only rewrote the ending, but changed the book for the rest of the season. It’s been a very dynamic, creative experience and really exciting.== TEASER ==
CV: The first printed issue is set for September now?
IF: Yup, September 5th, with a launch signing in New York City’s Midtown Comics Downtown the following Saturday September 8th @ 1pm. We’ll have series artist Alitha Martinez there as well as Ryan Jampole who did a Variant cover for issue #1 and some extensive design work for the series.
CV: Will there be any major differences between the digital episodes and the printed copies?
IF: One’s made of paper, and you don’t have to wait for it to load. That’s it. The same comic goodness the digital subscribers have been enjoying already.
CV: What can you tell us about the upcoming LOST CRUSADE series?
IF: LOST CRUSADE is the story (or stories, rather) of what happened between the end of the 80s era and today. It will be launching as a bonus update in months with a fifth week for digital subscribers, the first one hits Wednesday August 29th on the app.
CV: Are you handling all the short stories or are other writers coming on board? Are you guiding it all?
IF: I’m just getting the ball rolling, and I’ll contribute from time to time, but there were so many creatives excited about the project we’ll be opening our doors to a lot of other people. Chuck Dixon will be writing the second installment, and the rest you’ll just have to wait to hear about. I’m not getting in the way of anyone’s creativity, though. I’ve got my plate full, and they know what they’re doing.
CV: Will the short stories focus on solo stories with different characters, flashbacks/origins, team ups, all of the above?
IF: All of the above. There are so many characters to follow-up on and potential stories to be told, we can do anything.
CV: Will LOST CRUSADE follow the same format, digital first and print later?
IF: Exactly. In months with a fifth week, instead of leaving the weekly digital subscribers high and dry, they get LOST CRUSADE. There are plans to collect in print, but just as with the main New Crusaders series, app subscribers get the material first.
CV: What has been the reaction from fans? Have you heard from older and new fans about the digital first move?
IF: The response to the digital first initiative has been a little mixed insomuch as folks are happy with the comic, but they want a printed version too. Some don’t want to mess with the technology, some just want a physical copy to collect. I’d say it’s a good sign when the chief gripe is “give me more ways to buy this comic!”
CV: What else can we expect in the future for Red Circle?
IF: The first arc is all about setting up the present world and heroes. Once we’ve got that established, we can run wild and get ever bigger with the stories. The first arc, ending with NEW CRUSADERS #6, will be setting some pretty high stakes, and we’ll just be going on from there.