Chicago Comic-Con 2010: Jill Thompson

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At Chicago Comic-Con, Jill Thompson discussed the future of Beasts of Burden, Scary Godmother, and other upcoming work.

BROKEN FRONTIER: I understand that there’s going to be a Beasts of Burden/Hellboy crossover. Anything that you can tease us about for that?

JILL THOMPSON: Hellboy ends up meeting up with the dogs of Burden Hill, because very bad things are happening, and the story actually affects the real storyline of Beasts of Burden. It’s not one of those situations where, you know, the two guys meet or team up and it really doesn’t have anything to do with continuity. This really does affect our guys’ continuity. There’s a big fight. Hellboy has to fight something much bigger than the dogs. There’s a lot of wise-cracking going on between Pugs and Hellboy. But it’s all Mike Mignola approved and Evan [Dorkin] did a fantastic job writing the script and combining both of these worlds.

BF: Anything you can reveal about the threat the heroes are facing?

JT: The threat has to do with something that already happened in Beasts of Burden. I guess I shouldn’t talk about that but it is part of a continuation of the stuff that you’ve seen before so I urge people to go pick up that. But you don’t have to read everything that came before to understand it. It’s a self-contained story.

BF: Are there plans for future Beasts of Burden adventures?

JT: I think that’s definitely up to the fans, if the fans write to Dark Horse and let their voices be heard. I know that Evan and I want to do more but we’ll have to see. I think this did really well. I know it’s had a really good reaction. But as with any publisher or any media, they have to hear what you want, because we’re a beautiful little circle of life. We feed off each other. We’ll be able to do more if you let us know how much you like it. Evan has an enormous history of the town and lots more stories that he wants to tell so we’d love to be able to tell them for you.

BF: Do you have any plans for future Scary Godmother, either in comics or in animation?

JT: I do. I know that there are two more books that I would love to do. Right now, Dark Horse is going to be collecting all of the color material. That’ll be out in October. So in one volume, you get all four books and then some extra stories that weren’t published in book form. Then, in the springtime, all of the black and white material is going to be collected in another volume. There’s also a lot of behind the scenes sketchbook stuff, things that no one has ever seen, a lot of painted art that I did when I worked on the Scary Godmother TV show. I did a lot of art for that that no one has ever had the chance to see and we included as much as we could. I could fill a whole book with just the work that I did for that but we just chose a few things to try and round it out.

BF: Any plans for more Sandman-related projects such as your Little Endless books or other stories in that universe?

JT: Right now, I am working on another Little Endless Storybook. That’ll be out the beginning of next year. It’s called Delirium’s Party. I think DC is reissuing the first Little Endless Storybook right now so you’ll have that again in addition to the new book.

BF: Any other future projects you’re working on?

JT: Those are the ones that are occupying my time right now but I do have a lot of other things lined up. Some have publishers, some don’t. I’m hopefully going to be working with Steve Niles to do an adaptation of Night of the Living Dead, which will be in children’s book form. Interesting and a challenge and not cutesy-pie like you’d think it would be, but more like a spooky ghost story. I have a great idea for how I want it to look, a very interesting, limited palette. Very much in the style of the old Brothers Grimm types of fairy tales. I don’t like to be overly gory. I think your imagination is much gorier than anything I can show. I like the human condition so I try to focus on the acting.

I have two things pitched to DC, a Wonder Woman graphic novel and also a Superman graphic novel. But when you say you have something pitched that doesn’t mean it ever goes anywhere. I’m supposed to work with James Robinson on some Shade, the Changing Man and I think I’m going to be working on some Green Lantern as well. And I want to do more Beasts of Burden and Scary Godmother so, hopefully, that will all come together.

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  • Andy Oliver

    Andy Oliver Aug 25, 2010 at 9:30am

    James Robinson and Jill Thompson on SHADE THE CHANGING MAN? Very intriguing. Does that mean that Ditko's original creation, rather than the (pre)-Vertigo reinterpretation, is about to return to the DCU? Hmmm...

  • Eric Lindberg

    Eric Lindberg Aug 26, 2010 at 9:27pm

    I'm not sure. The interview was kind of done on the fly while she was signing autographs. Didn't ask for clarification, so I'm not sure if it's DC, Vertigo, or if she actually meant The Shade (who Robinson has written before). Time will tell.

  • Andy Oliver

    Andy Oliver Aug 26, 2010 at 9:59pm

    Ah yes... Starman's The Shade would, of course, make a lot more sense.

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