Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Captain Jack and the Selkie

Maintaining the comic theme, Titan Publishing have provided details on the John and Carole Barrowman-penned comic strip Captain Jack and the Selkie, which appears in Issue 14 of Torchwood Magazine (due out at the shops in the UK on 19th February and the US on 17th March).

Carole E. Barrowman explains how the project took off: "When John and I were working on [John's autobiography] Anything Goes, we spent a lot of time together on the Torchwood set. In between our storytelling and moments of inspired silliness (maybe one or two), we decided we’d like to work on a project together that involved Captain Jack. The role of myth in a culture’s zeitgeist has always intrigued John and I (it probably intrigues all sci-fi fans) so I when I got back to the US, I sent John a short story I’d written, 'The Tale of the Selkie.' Almost immediately he called and said, 'This should be our first Captain Jack tale.'”

John Barrowman picks up the story: "Fast forward to ComicCon 2008 in San Diego, where we met the artists Tommy Lee Edwards and Trevor Goring. Tommy and Trevor had drawn a brilliant poster of my face super-imposed over the Face of Boe, which I think is the best piece of Captain Jack art I've seen. The four of us hit it off immediately and I asked if they’d ever be interested in working with us on a Captain Jack project. They thought about it for, oh, about 30 seconds, and so 'Captain Jack and the Selkie' was born!"

Media coverage of the comic strip: Metro, Press Association, Metro, io9, and Fear Net.


Titan have also provided a mini-interview between the two writers, which is reproduced in the spoiler section below.
From screen to strip! John Barrowman reveals all about his new comic strip creation. Here, John Barrowman discusses the strip in a special interview conducted by his sister, Carole.

CB: Ready to chat about our Torchwood Magazine comic?
JB: Wait. Shouldn’t we have some sound effects if we’re making this read like a scene from '24'?

CB: Do you even know how to write sound effects? You're the worst speller.
JB: I blame the doctor for that because when I was a kid I'd stay up late on Sunday nights when the classic DOCTOR WHO was on WTTW in Chicago so I'd never study for my Monday morning spelling tests. Add the sound effects later.

CB: Do you remember when we first got the idea to collaborate on a Captain Jack story?
JB: The summer when we were working together on Anything Goes. We were on location for Torchwood in a warehouse in Cardiff. I was filming the "Meat" episode.

CB: Wasn’t that the same shoot where the pigeon pooped on Jack's shoulder? Now that was hilarious.
JB: That was good luck . . . the shoot was taking forever. Lots of green screen shots. I think I started making up ways that Jack could end the scene and we could all get home. Now that I think about it, we came up with some funny stuff . . . I still think we should do something someday with the idea of Jack and the–

CB: Shush!! . . . Can we tease shamelessly like that?
JB [laughing] I think we just did. Anyway, I remember the endings we made up got more ridiculous the longer we all sat in that cold damp warehouse . . . you and I kept playing on the way home in the car.

CB: I'd forgotten about that . . . do you remember what we called the game?
JB: "What Would Jack Do?" . . . but the actual comic didn’t really take shape until Comic Con last summer in San Diego when we met Tommy Lee Edwards and Trevor Goring.

CB: It was the 'Face of Boe' poster that did it.
JB: The poster they created of Jack superimposed on the 'Face of Boe' still amazes me when I look at it. I framed it as soon as I got back to London. It's on the wall in my office and I think it’s the best illustrated characterization of Jack that I’ve come across . . . until our comic is released that is.

CB: And you see a lot of images of Jack.
JB: Oh, yeah . . . so after Tommy, Trevor and I signed a batch of the posters, I asked them if they'd ever be interested in working with us on a graphic novel about Captain Jack.

CB: We had a graphic novel in our head because we had both recently read Neil Gaiman’s MARVEL 1602. You’d bought it to send home with me for Turner [my son], but we each ended up reading it first.
JB: Was that the one where the X-Men face the Spanish Inquisition?

CB: Uh, huh . . . they're in Elizabethan England. Very clever stuff.
JB: Trevor and Tommy thought a collaboration sounded like a great idea and on the way home from Comic Con I knew that if we didn’t pursue the idea of the four of us working together right away, we'd all get busy with our individual work and it would never happen.

CB: Torchwood Magazine didn’t necessarily have a comic in mind did they?
JB: I don’t think so . . . but given that we’d just hooked up with two of the best artists in the comic world, as far as I was concerned, it made sense to pitch a comic . . . and then later when you and I were brainstorming on a story, I remembered you’d written something before about the myth of the selkie, and I thought it'd be a perfect plot to adapt for what, in my head, I was already calling a "Captain Jack Tale."

CB: Except that my story had nothing to do with Torchwood or Captain Jack.
JB: Not then it didn’t but we worked that out between us . . . I'd always wanted to do something that put Jack in Scotland and your original story was set on an island off the Orkneys. Plus we’d already agreed to tell a story that showed a side of Jack and a part of his history that hadn’t been explored too much in other media . . . I wanted to give fans something original about Jack.

CB: What side of Jack do you think our comic foregrounds?
JB: I think we see Jack’s compassion . . . maybe his guilt. Plus his wicked skills with a harpoon!

CB: You've always been a comic fan, haven't you?
JB: Oh, yeah. Love Spiderman, Batman, and definitely Captain America. . . I think it has something to do with when we immigrated to the States in the late 70s and I was trying hard to be an American kid. Couldn’t get enough of comics and Captain America . . . but I also love Superman–all the Justice League heroes for that matter.

CB: Do you remember the first mint condition comic you ever bought me when you could afford one?
SOUNDS OF SILENCE
CB: You haven’t got a clue, have you?
JB: A TIN TIN comic . . . plus a bunch of first edition 'Noddy' books.

CB: Nice save . . . so what do you think of 'Captain Jack and The Selkie' now that you’ve seen the finished product?
JB: I'm astonished. It's brilliant work. The panels with the selkie are completely breathtaking . . . and Jack looks so damn good.

CB: When Tommy and Trevor sent the first colored panels, I just stared at them in stunned admiration.
JB: Tommy Lee, Trevor, John Workman on the lettering, Martin Eden at Torchwood Magazine, everyone worked really hard, but Tommy Lee especially, given the tight deadlines and budget constraints.

CB: Are you game for another one?
JB: !bOng! !bOng! !bOng!