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Long distance #1

Thomas Zahler is the developer of the superhero romance comic love as well as Capes, writes for the My little pony comic, as well as has done a diverse number of other projects including the Slider comic strip for the Cleveland Indians. now he brings his new comic, long Distance, to IDW. Westfield’s Roger Ash recently talked to Zahler about this new book.

Westfield: I read on your blog that long distance started off as a TV script that you had written.

Thomas Zahler: It did. There was a TV show on Bravo, I believe, called situation comedy which was essentially project Greenlight for sitcoms. I wrote a pilot for a comedy about a couple in a long distance relationship which is the basis for the comic I am doing now.

Westfield: Why did you choose to turn the script into a comic?

Zahler: It’s one of those stories that I’ve always loved as well as didn’t have one more venue for it. among the numerous things that have changed because I wrote it in 2004 is that there’s texting as well as Twitter as well as so numerous different ways in which we stay in get in touch with over distance as well as I think that those are very well served by showing them visually, which comics do so well. I’m doing things with color where every location has its own distinct color palette so that visually it breaks between the two. You can very much tell what’s Chicago. You can tell what’s Columbus. I think it’s the kind of thing that comics are able to do in a pretty special way.

Also, I wanted to get it out there.

Westfield: So you did update the story from what you had at first written.

Zahler: Oh, yes. When I wrote it in 2004, limitless texting plans weren’t as much of a thing. Twitter hadn’t come out yet. as well as the iphone wasn’t out yet. people were not using technology to the level they are now.

Long distance #1 preview page 1

Westfield: The story stars Carter as well as Lee. What can you tell us about them?

Zahler: Carter is an marketing artist. He lives in Columbus. Lee is a research scientist working for, essentially, NASA in Chicago. That’s an update from the original where she was a model. The two of them, when they meet in the airport, just really hit it off. They blend so effortlessly that they ended up being drawn into each other’s sphere. It’s fascinating writing characters who get along. There’s still dispute between them but, at least in the very first couple issues, the dispute is very much based on atmosphere as well as location as well as less upon exactly how well these two people are able to type a relationship.

Westfield: who are some of the other characters in the series?

Zahler: There is Tim who is Carter’s best buddy as well as co-owner of the ad company that they run. He serves very much as a voice of reason. He likewise has a household as well as he’s kind of what Carter’s striving for, or would like to have. He’s also, in his own way, an anchor in that Carter feels that he got his buddy to start this company as well as that he needs to say in Ohio, in Columbus, to be part of that.

Lee has a co-worker who is above her in the research department who is her sounding board. Lee likewise lives with her grandma as well as we’ll discover out fascinating stuff about their household lives. Lee feels very protective of her grandma as well as she loves being a scientist. one of the things about the book is that while these two characters autumn for each other, they’re likewise both very much in love with their careers as well as that’s part of what keeps them apart.

Long distance #1 preview page 2. This page demonstrates the use of color to denote location.

Westfield: Where did the story come from?

Zahler: A little bit of personal experience. way back in 2003, I had met someone as well as briefly had a long distance relationship. That was the genesis. I thought there were a lot of fascinating story opportunities. So numerous romantic comedies, so numerous sitcoms, are based upon the premise “will they get together?” A lot of times, I think the question of exactly how they get together is a little much more interesting. The Ross as well as Rachel relationship in Friends, for example. I thought they might have got them together, that there were fascinating stories to tell, however they chose they were based much more on “will these two people lastly make it?” or “will these two people lastly ended up being a couple?” rather than “how did these two people choose to type a couple?”

Little things like what happens when your significant other gets sick as well as you can’t be there. You can’t bring them soup. You can’t review to their house. You’re three states away. exactly how do you offer with that? It’s those little conflicts that I discovered particularly interesting.

Love as well as Capes

Westfield: exactly how different is is doing long Distance, which is a straight romance story, instead of love as well as Capes which mixed in the superhero aspect as well?

Zahler: So far the most significant difference is that I’m not doing that eight panel grid format. I don’t want to say that was limiting, however it had its own set of guard rails. It likewise gave you a sense of structure where a lot of the problems you had to resolve were taken care of. You didn’t have to figure out what the page style was. You didn’t have to figure out where the jokes were going to go. long distance is much much more a classical multi-panel, multi-grid conventional comic book story, so that safety net is away. It’s one of the things that very much appealed to me about the project; to tell a different story in a different way. past that, love as well as Capes was always very much much more about the couple in the relationship as well as less about the superhero aspect. in that way, the projects are similar.

Westfield: You’re doing this a a limited series. Does it reach a definitive end or are there much more stories to tell?

Zahler: The response is both. I am structuring this in such a way that if this is the only one that I do, it will stand on its own. That’s been something that I’ve tried to do in a lot of my projects. The very first problem of love as well as Capes is developed to stand alone. once I did six issues, every sixth problem was a place where I might walk away from it if I had to. particularly being a self publisher, trying to figure out if you’re going to be able to do one more six issues was a concern, so I wanted to make sure that whatever ended cleanly. much the same way, this ends cleanly, however there are certainly ways to tell much more stories in this world.

Long distance #1 preview page 3

Westfield: Do you want to tell much more stories in this world?

Zahler: It’s difficult for me to say that best now. I’m precisely in the middle of the project as well as it’s very much swimming in chilly water since this doesn’t have that very comfortable feeling that something like love as well as Capes had since I had been swimming in that water for so long. best now, I just need to surface it. once I do that, I can evaluate based on exactly how much I delighted in it as well as what kind of reaction it gets if I will choose to do more. I definitely have other stories that I want to tell as well as that was conscious in breaking away from love as well as Capes. I probably might have done a fifth year of love as well as Capes however I wasn’t particularly inspired to do so. I felt like I ended that where I wanted to. There are much more stories that I want to tell as well as we only have so much time in which to do the work, so you have to start deciding when it’s time to do one as well as when it’s time to do another.

Westfield: are there any type of other projects you’re working on at the moment that you’d like to mention?

Zahler: I have a two parter coming out for My little Pony: friendship is Magic. The actual plot is pretty hush hush, however it’s the kind of thing where if I’ve done it right, it will strike the minds of fans of the series. I’m really pleased with what I came up with for it. In addition, sometime in the currently airing season of supreme Spider-Man, I wrote an episode of that. I’m currently under NDA [non-disclosure agreement], so I can’t tell you anything about it. We don’t get told when the episodes air, so I don’t understand when my episode will be on, however at some point it will be on as well as I’ll say much much more about it.

Westfield: What was the experience of writing for animation vs. writing for comics like?

Zahler: It was very much a different audience. Not in terms of the story itself; the story is the story. On My little Pony, I write for my editor as well as I write for Hasbro as well as then I craft a script that is provided to the artist. On these issues of Pony, that’s Tony Fleecs. With working on an animated series, it was different having to have it go to the story editor as well as to the producers. The language for writing it to be animated rather than provided to a comic book artist is different. just the whole structure was a very different experience.

Long distance #1. Lora Innes subscription Cover

Westfield: any type of closing comments?

Zahler: I hope people check it out. The romance genre has been underserved in comics. Comics themselves are typically considered a genre as well as not a medium. I think it’s time to get back to it being a medium as well as having way, way much more types of stories. It’s being done already by all sorts of fantastic people, however this is me putting my stake in the ground as well as broadening the playing field just a little bit too.


Long distance #1