Ethan Tarshish Creator/Writer, Kelly Brown Illustrator Sept 26, 2018 21:40:48 GMT
Post by richardvasseur on Sept 26, 2018 21:40:48 GMT
Creator/Writer for Woe Is Oz
Illustrator for Woe Is Oz
Published by: Woe Is Oz Entertainment
Interviewed by: Richard Vasseur
Rich: What are some of the main differences between "Woe Is Oz" and the original Wizard of Oz?
Ethan: Well I think the first thing most readers will notice is that it is a shift in tone from the original film/book (though maybe not so much so from "Return to Oz"). That is purposeful, just like the use of colors to elicit certain feelings and realms that we explore throughout the world of Oz. It is not so much a feeling of "well this book is so different or the same as the original" as much is it is taking the wonderful pieces that made the original such a masterpiece and hopefully captures and expands on that. The story takes the overarching elements of what is cannon from the "Wizard of Oz" and "Return to Oz", as well as the first book, and continues with a "what if" approach, so that we are now able to explore with a greater depth into some of these lesser known characters that are just magnificent!
Rich: Who are the four main characters?
Ethan: The short answer is that Dorothy, Tin Man, Scarecrow, and Lion are all along for the ride, without a doubt, and at least a few of them are there from the get go. The longer answer is that this series is more episodic and allows for more individual character development, so we are really able to delve into a lot of characters that might be a bit lesser known, but I like to say that they are just characters that readers haven't realized are their favorites yet. Some of these of these include Tic-Tok, General Jinjur, Ozma, H.M Wogglebug, and Shaggy Man, as well as some wholly new characters like Um, Ra, Rose, and Peter.
Rich: For those who do not know who is Ozma?
Ethan: Well historically Princess Ozma is the ruler of the the land of Oz, and just like most of those who reside in Oz, she appears to be immortal...but who knows...nothing is forever. I'll just set there there for now. Our Ozma is kind of going through some major transformations and some pretty huge crisis of conscience when we first meet her here. There are some pretty heavy decisions she'll have to make, ones the likes of which she has never had to make before, it will really test her mettle as ruler.
Rich: What type of adventures do Dorothy and her friends go on?
Ethan: "Journey" might be the more appropriate word to use here, and I don't want to spoil any plot points, but each is kind of on their own personal journey that will leave them very emotionally and in some cases, very physically different then when they first started. One could argue that if Dorothy's Journey in the "Wizard of Oz" was to find her way back home, in this tale, it may be her Journey to find her way through coping with great loss and to get a better understanding in terms of her grasp of reality. Each character is on a journey that will be very personal to them and which will definitely see them deviating quite a bit from that well traveled yellow brick road.
Rich: Will the ruby red slippers play a part in this comic?
Ethan: Here's a fun fact about "public domain," while it does allow creators a wide berth for creative license when it comes to beloved characters, there are some items within the world of Oz that are inherently not covered by this framework. Many of the fans correlate the ruby slippers as being synonymous with Dorothy and Oz, but in reality they were not ruby in the original book, but instead silver. They did not become that ruby color until MGM was introducing color (specifically technicolor) to an audience for the first time in film, and wanted a color that would really pop, hence ruby. Unfortunately though, because this was a later movie-specific add, just like the yellow brick road, it cannot be used in subsequent stories without a licensing agreement. That said, the silver shoes and a weathered "brick road" of sorts do indeed show up throughout the "Woe Is Oz" series, but as to how, you'll have to keep reading to find out.
Rich: What is the most frightening thing in Oz?
Ethan: What I am going to put these characters through. Ha, well there are certainly some things to fear within Oz, but I guess in terms of specific threats, there is a very real and fast growing challenge to the kingdom, one that has been technically festering since the death of the Witch of the West, and is very soon coming home to roost.
Rich: What is Dorthy Gale's personality like?
Ethan: Right now it is a little frazzled. She came back from a magical place with no proof, and is having a heck of a time trying to explain this to others without it sounding like she got hit a little too hard in the head. So, there is some inner doubt happening. If only there were some way to prove she isn't crazy...
Rich: Would "Woe Is Oz" make a great animated movie, why or why not?
Ethan: I mean, you are asking the creator, so naturally there is a bias here, but as a huge fan of the world of Oz itself, a huge comic fan and collector, and someone involved in the television and film industry, I will say that even though the series absolutely stands on it's own as a comic series, it was always envisioned as something that could transition well to a truly epic and sprawling cinematic experience. Animated or live action, I think it would be a blast to see in all forms, and we have some amazing fans, so if there are any diehard's out there that want to see this made, make your voices heard. Tell us, tell the studio's, shout it to social media, let's do this!
Rich: Would you like to visit the land of Oz?
Ethan: Oh for sure, I would live there in a heartbeat. No matter how many tornado's I throw myself into though, no dice...just hospital visits. For now I guess I'll just have to settle for occasionally bursting into song for seemingly no reason throughout my daily routine just to give the appearance of significance...but here's a life lesson, when a bunch of people all at once burst into song, it's thrilling to behold, when just one guy does it, you spend the night in a jail cell for drunken and disorderly conduct.
Rich: What is Tarshish Creative?
Ethan: It's the umbrella company for all the creative endeavors that are brewing. It's a bit of a catch all in that comics may be produced under that title, but it is also a company that does consulting to create television taglines, campaigns, commercials, trailers, and more. If interested in seeing a sampling of what goes on there, head on over to ethantarshish.com
Rich: Do you have fun going to comic conventions, do you take your family to?
Ethan: I love going to conventions! When my kids were little, they used to come visit our booth. I started out as a huge comic fan before I made the jump to create a series of my own, so it is still pretty surreal to be on the other side of the table. I really enjoy our local Minnesota conventions (Spring-con, Fall-con, Convergence, and Mars Con stand out), but had a blast out in Chittenango, NY when the series was inducted into the "Oz Hall of Fame" during the "Oz-Stravaganza" convention. They had a parade for us and pulled out all the stops, it was a huge honor and such an amazing time. Other than that, San Diego Comic Con is always an incredible time with so many wonderful people. But the kids are still a bit little yet to come along for any conventions that require traveling...maybe someday.
Rich: What other comic books are you working on or will be in the future?
Ethan: There is actually a brand new Shlocky horror series that is being worked on as we speak called "Parasightmare". Kelly did the art and illustrations for the concept designs and an animated trailer (both are absolutely stunning in classic Kelly fashion), and even though it's a little too early to go too deep into the details, I can say it is a huge love letter to the 1980's (if "Stranger Things" is "Aliens", this series is "Critters" or "Attack of the Killer Tomatoes" meets "Adventures in Babysitting"). It is currently scripted to be a seven issue mini-series, and is co-created by the very talented Ben Cochran. If all goes according to plan, seven issues will be just the start. You'll want to "like" @tarshishcreative on facebook for updates as they become available.
Rich: How do you spend your non comic hours?
Ethan: The same way I spend my comic hours Richard, trying to take over the world
Rich: Would you like to say anything to the fans of "Woe Is Oz"?
Ethan: Well first of all, I want to give them a huge thank you! Thank you for being supportive of our series all these years, thank you for being patient, and thank you for believing in our vision. Kelly and I realize it's been awhile between issues, but I promise, it's well worth the wait. Kelly tells me that issue #5 is fully penciled out, and we're hoping to have out on shelves soon! As a special thank you, we have also included a "never before seen" special preview of a page from that issue. Great things ahead, we are very excited!
Rich: Is your Dorthy at all like Dorthy from the original Oz?
Kelly: When creating Dorothy (and the other well known characters of oz), I wanted keep some integrity to the original characters so that people could still recognize them. Our Dorothy looks a little more unstable and disturbed.
Rich: Is the Tin man you draw as much a soldier as woodsman and how do you bring his personality across?
Kelly: I enjoyed Ethan’s version of the Tin man. He’s a stronger more fierce version of the Tin man. So it made for some really fun character designs. I enjoyed making the Tin man a badass within oz, vs the softer woodsman Tin man.
Rich: How do you illustrate the Emerald City of Oz?
Kelly: I took a lot of reference form the original emerald city but I chose softer greens for colors. That way our emerald city has it’s own character.
Rich: What is a Winkie and how do you draw one to look?
Kelly: Winkies are the jaded servants of the Wicked Witch of the West. Most of them are taller, yellow, really mean looking. Semi-crazy at times.
Rich: Will your art bring out the beauty of Glinda and all her goodness?
Kelly: For the short time that I worked on Glinda, I tried to bring out as much goodness as I could.
Ethan: Yeah, Glinda in this first arc, is a bit preoccupied, this will make perfect sense as the series progresses. But for now, she is a noticeably missing presence (both in person and in the goodness she brought with her).
Rich: What is a Growleywog and how would you describe it's appearance?
Kelly: In our story, Grolweywogs are really big, kind of lumbering creatures with arms that touch the floor.
Rich: What other creatures do you get to illustrate in "Woe Is Oz”?
Kelly: I got to illustrate a Kalidah, a tiger infused bear. The concept alone made for some fun character designs.
Ethan: Ha, yeah, there are a few splash pages that I felt so bad for Kelly. There was a flashback sequence that dealt with Ozma and basically had the whole land of Oz there, every quadrant, no matter how obscure the character, I felt really bad about doing that to Kelly, but it turned out really really beautiful.
Rich: Why should people pick up the "Woe Is Oz: Adult Coloring Book”?
Kelly: Coloring books in general are therapeutic. Plus it would be cool to see how others could color Woe Is Oz.
Ethan: Personally, I have always felt that the world of Oz naturally lends itself to the Adult coloring book trend that has taken off over the years. The world is so vibrant and intricate (especially with Kelly's art), that we felt that it would be a natural fit for any fan of adult coloring books or comic books alike. Also there are some never before released art that fans will get to try their hand at first before eventually seeing them released in future issues.
Rich: Which character from "Woe Is Oz" are you most like?
Kelly: The Tin man. I imagine myself as an ax-toting badass.
Ethan: As a writer, I think I most identify with Dorothy. Largely in the sense that she has just visited a magical world and now is tasked with trying to describe it in a way that makes sense to her, but makes her come off as a raving lunatic to others. This is seemingly the story of my life every time I engage in a new writing project.
Rich: Where do you find your inspiration?
Kelly: All over the place. From a comic perspective, I’ve always had an admiration for Ryan Ottley’s comic book style. Ryan Ottley was one of the main penciler's for Image Comic’s "Invincible" series. I always loved how he would capture so much expression in his characters. I really felt like he truly owned his style.
Ethan: For me, in this series, it's Kelly's art. He is fantastic and really brings the story to life. For the story, it was a bunch of items largely taken from history, some of which has yet to be revealed in the series. But Kelly's illustrations are truly inspiring, when I first saw his character designs on Dorothy and the Witch of the West, I knew this series was going to be something special.
Rich: What else have you been working on and will be in the future?
Kelly: I’ve been developing a character by the name of Rocky. Rocky is a torso character who controls her body with nano technology. I have a few comic book series and shorts that will involve her that I will be releasing pretty soon.
Rich: If you could visit Oz would you and why?
Kelly: I would love to see a world filled with vibrant colors and creativity. I would like to visit a place that is surreal and not of this world.
Rich: How do you spend most of your free time?
Kelly: Drawing and creating.
Rich: What do you have to say to fans of your art?
Kelly: Your support is my creative fuel.