THE WAKE has been an interesting and very cool read. Scott Snyder is taking us all over the place in different time periods and Sean Murphy's visual are out of this world. The two have created an immense world and it's hard to imagine this whole story contained to only ten issues. With issue 9 out this week and one left after, we took the chance to talk to the two to find out what we can expect.
COMIC VINE: With only two issues of THE WAKE left, is everything going to the original plan, like with pacing and everything?
SEAN MURPHY: Yes, except we will be delaying the last issue because I broke my arm, mountain biking, so that was not part of the plan. July 16th is the new release date. Other than that, everything is going to plan. It's been bigger, more exciting and more well-received then we ever imagined. People have turned this into a top seller at DC and Vertigo and Scott and I are thrilled with that and never expected that to happen, so thank you.
CV: When we talked to Scott in another interview, he said there wasn't time to fully visit the other areas that was shown on the map in issue #6. How much did you design in your sketches to flesh out this world?
SM: I do a lot of designing on the page in order to keep on schedule. I don't have a whole lot of time to do stuff, and often times when you're collecting stuff, in the trade, and looking for extra content, I'm always the guy that doesn't have a lot because all the work in on the page.
CV: What went into designing the vehicles of the Governess’ forces?
SM: Scott would have some great ideas and he sent me some jpegs of stuff he dug up and I would try to include that. If I'm doing research and find something better or something that would add on to that, I would just go ahead and add it in. As we said before, we have good sort of improv process of working together. It helps that we know each other and we're really good friends and vacation together and all that stuff too. People are getting the precise product with THE WAKE. Teams don't always communicate that much where as our team really does, also with the colorist as well.
SCOTT SNYDER: Yeah, Matt [Hollingsworth] is awesome.
CV: Yeah, yeah he is. Are we going to see more of these vehicles?
SS: #9 is the craziest vehicle display, ever. You're going to see everything in there from a retro-fitted space shuttle to... it's out of control. I felt bad, I was telling Sean. I remember I was saying "what about this spread?" It was going to keep you busy for days. It's definitely going to be the money shot.
SM: My analogy is I feel like a Mustang. When people rent it, they just trash it because they know they can. When I work with writers, a lot of the time, they're just leaning on the gas pedal the entire time, and I'm like "Oh man, why can't I draw any nice, quiet, easy scenes?"
CV: How much more of the world are we going to get to see in these last two issues?
SS: A ton. We're going to jump around and you're going to see all the answers you've been waiting around for, plot wise, really come in these issues. They begin in issue 9 and issue 9 is really our pirate adventure issue. We try to go through different genres associated with sea-faring stories, whether it's Creature from the Black Lagoon or Godzilla or different types of folk tales and fairy tales and throw in everything we can as a sort of love letter to all stories that have anything to do with the ocean. But this one is really a big pirate adventure, across different territories throughout the world, so you're going to see more of the world we've created than ever before and see some very strange people, throughout it.
You also begin to get the answers in issue 9 of the plot answers to the series and issue 10 will give you everything you've been waiting for in terms of thefactual and plot answers to the mysteries that were set up through the neanderthal elements to the futuristic elements to the call itself. On top of that, I think both of us hope even more than the prior being fulfilling, which I'm very happy with and I hope they are, is that people will really feel the weight of the emotion issue 10. It's mean to be something that is resonant and the book is really about being unafraid to explore places that you shouldn't go and looking at truths that are sometimes so scary that you'd rather shy away from them.
In that way, the book is deeply personal to both of us and also the fun, flip-side of it being something that's personal and scary to do is that it's also exhilarating to do when you try to follow that tenant and jam stuff in there that shouldn't go together, and I try to write in ways that I've never written before and Sean's drawn things that he's never drawn before. The book was always designed to be a very singular sort of exploration of that idea that you have to kind of go forward, unafraid towards these things that are really scary sometimes. In that way, I really hope, most of all, that issue 10 will leave people moved.
CV: Will we see any more of the 2014 timeline or earlier or will the last two issues stay in the future?
SS: Yes. Anything that we touched on will come back in issue 9 and 10 petty much.
SM: Yeah, we're not going to "Lost" you.
CV: What’s been your favorite moment so far?
SM: There's a scene in issue 9, with Dash, that reminds me a bit of a scene in Willow where Madmartigan escapes from... Maybe that's too much information, but that was my favorite scene to draw, by far. It'll make sense when you see it.
SS: It's definitely my favorite scene too. It involves Dash, the dolphin, who is everyone's favorite character at this point, it seems like. I think the reason it's my favorite, not just because it looks amazing, it's because it was one of those scenes that perfectly encapsulates our working relationship on the book which is that I told Sean this action sequence that we needed at the penultimate moment, the big, climax of the issue, issue 9, and he asked if Dash could be a part of it, in a certain way that seemed completely impossible to do. He was like "can you write that dolphin in there and put him there and I promise I'll make it work artistically if you can just get him up the mountain" in certain way, and I said "Okay, let's do it." We did it and it's my favorite scene both because it's incredibly compelling and emotional and thrilling, visually and story wise, but also because that's been the joy of doing the book, doing stuff like that where we bounce back and forth and challenge each other to do things we wouldn't be able to do without that little push.
CV: Are you still sticking to what you said about Dash being safe?
SS: Yes. I'll definitely give you that spoiler. I know I'm notorious now for hurting and killing animals all over the place, like in BATMAN and wherever, but Dash is safe. I would never do that to Dash. Dash it totally safe.
SM: Now, I killed an animal in PUNK ROCK JESUS and I still hear about it.
CV: Has there been any struggles in keeping the series at ten issues?
SS: Yeah, there has, for me. It's what we set out to do in the beginning and part of the joy of working with Sean is that we come up with things that I wish we had more time to explore, whether it's a location or characters. But it's a great exercise in restraint. Out of everything I've ever written, it's been the most challenging, in turns of its dichotomy that way. There's never been a series of AMERICAN VAMPIRE or BATMAN where I was doing it and like "Oh god. I wish this was longer" because I have the room to do it, in those series, a lot of the time, but also, this book has been, as corny as it sounds, so special in that way, where the world building has been surprising and Sean will draw something on the page where I'll say "I have to write a few pages about that character." And that collaboration and the way that it works for me has made it incredibly hard to stick to the outline, but I'm very proud that we did.
You'll see in issue 9. Issue 9, to me, is a perfect that where there are people in it called "The Music Men" who make these music instruments that are a hundred feet tall. They play them on the shore and lure unsuspecting people by and then kill them. That alone, I could right a whole issue adventure with Leeward and the crew, of the Argo 3, on that island. I know I could. I would love to do that, but it's only a couple of panels. That's the great thing and the frustrating thing about the book. It's full of story ideas and art that I wish I could explore further but at the same time, I'm so proud that we've been able to keep the book what we set out to make it and I'm really happy with what it is.
CV: When can we expect THE WAKE, Part 2?
SS: A sequel? We were just joking about doing a Dash story.
SM: Yeah. Dash and the parrot, Zero Year.
SS: Yeah, Gabby. Gabby is the drone parrot.
CV: Maybe you can do an annual.
SS: The truth of it is that I would happily come back to this world any time with Sean. I've said it before, but he's one of these guys that I plan to work with the rest of my life. I'm always honored and thrilled when we can do a project together. Whether we come back to this, who knows? But we definitely have little ideas like that would be fun. We have other things lined up in the future that we're going to do.
Make sure you pick up THE WAKE #9, on sale this week. Issue #10 has been moved to July 16.