Tuesday, May 17, 2011

New Moon - Interview with Moon Girl (Re)Creators Johnny Zito & Tony Trov

Moon Girl #1
(April 2011, Red5 Comics)

When I happened upon a copy of Moon Girl #1 (Red5 Comics, 2011) last week, I was immediately intrigued. Was this really the short-lived EC Comics character from the late 1940s?
Yes! Clare Lune lives again, this time penned by Johnny Zito and Tony Trov (of SOUTH fellini), with art by Rahzzah.
Both the writing and the art set a considerably darker tone than in the original stories. This is not the Moon Girl you remember (if you remember). But the new series succeeds on its own merits.
The Golden Rage (TGR) had a virtual sit-down with the co-writers this weekend and asked them a few questions about this new-to-you Moon Girl. Johnny Zito (JZ) and Tony Trov (TT) turned out to be open, irreverent and just plain entertaining.

TGR: How familiar were you with Moon Girl before you decided to revamp the character?
JZ: We didn't know much going in. I first stumbled on Moon Girl after reading Tom Strong and discovering the catalog of public domain characters Alan Moore was pulling from. It was very interesting to discover golden age universes that were otherwise completely forgotten. 
Moon Girl and the Prince #1
(Fall 1947, EC Comics)
TT: We're HUGE supporters of the public domain. We try to include that kind of universal imagery in our projects. If artists want their work to last forever, they'll it it over to the public after they've died.

TGR: What drew you to the character in the first place?
TT: The Moon Girl comic went through four name changes and genre twists. It was a super hero comic, then a crime comic and finally a romance comic.
JZ: If you read her original eight issues by Gardner Fox, Moon Girl seems to reflect the very chaotic/schizophrenic world she comes from. It's almost like Moon Girl was this accidental allegory for the American experience post WW2.
TT: It was the 50's and we were just coming off this insane war that completely upset the balance of power around the globe. America is the only surviving super power and we just start tearing ourselves apart. Urban renewal, civil unrest and isolation paranoia changed us as much as reconstruction and rationing changed Europe.
JZ: There are a lot of parallels to what we're experiencing right now. Using the past frees us up to talk about today.

Clare covers her tracks after taking out
a beastie in her civilian identity
(Moon Girl #1, April 2011).

TGR: Each writing team has its own dynamic. How do you break down your co-writing chores?
JZ: Trov comes up with all of the verbs and I take care of the nouns.
TT: We type on the same keyboard at the same time, like a piano duet.

TGR: Are there any stories planned beyond the current series?
TT: The current series is five issues but we have ideas for a pair of sequels exploring the lineage of our version of Moon Girl.
JZ: We're also kind of hoping that other people will make their versions of Moon Girl. Maybe somewhere down the line we could assemble a crossover.
TT: Infinite Moon Girl Crisis.
JZ: Secret Moon War!

TGR: Do you see the original stories as canon or inspiration?
JZ: Inspiration. There's a lot of open ended stuff in the old Moon Girl issues we've been able to track down.
TT: So much of her own story was reinvented by the original creators as they went along. It's hard to nail down what's canon.
JZ: We're also not huge fans of continuity as canon.
TT: Every story happened somewhere.

Moon Girl confronts arch-villain Satana,
another carry over from the original stories
(Moon Girl #1, April 2011)

TGR: Was the "dark knight" approach your first choice or did you consider other storytelling options?
TT: We compare it to Dark Knight because we're trying to remain grounded in a very natural world. If you put on a mask and go out looking for a fight, you will find one.
JZ: We're trying to avoid what we've seen done with these kind of relaunches. Instead of breaking our necks to explain Moon Girl's super powers plausibly, we're exploring the idea that maybe it's all in her head.

TGR: Are there other golden age characters you'd like to tackle?
JZ: We'd like to do more super hero stuff but I think Moon Girl will be our one rescue attempt.
TT: She's very unique in the publishing and super hero community. Moon Girl is a tough act to follow.

TGR: What are you working on right now?
TT: Moon Girl comes out monthly from Red5 Comics and you can read our new web comic D.O.G.S. of Mars through Comixology.
JZ: It's space-horror. Astronauts marooned on Mars are hunted by a terrifying predator.

Do you love golden age comic books? The Golden Rage welcomes contributions from fans and invites creators to participate in future interviews.

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