Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: Congratulations on the recent release of the Kill Whitey Donovan trade paperback! As with all of Dark Horse’s releases, this trade is sure to be packed with incredible bonus features. What do readers have in store with the collection?
Sydney Duncan: Thank you so much! We’re pretty excited about this trade. First, it’s gorgeous. The cover has this brilliant spot UV in places. If you’re like me, you had to ask what that meant. It means parts of the cover are glossy against a matte back. It really makes certain aspects of the cover pop. Inside, we have a gallery of Natalie Barahona’s character designs, a really cool cover gallery with a look at Jason Pearson’s haunting, unpublished original design for issue two. And lastly, Brian Stelfreeze was kind enough to write a foreword. The book really is beautiful, though. Dark Horse Comics and 12-Gauge publisher Keven Gardner did a brilliant job with it.
BD: In looking back at the development and creation of the series, what can you share with us about your creative process in working with artist Natalie Barahona, letterer Troy Peteri, and cover artist Jason Pearson that really made this series unique?
SD: Working with this team was so, so easy. A lot of the reason it all went so smoothly is that we very quickly built trust in each other’s work, which was pretty astonishing, considering Kill Whitey Donovan was the first comic book Natalie or I had ever worked on. I think we were all convinced that we were, each of us, the right people to tell this story. Troy was on top of his lettering game, as he always is, and so patient with my constant script adjustments. Jason was kind of our seasoned pro. I think we were all wanting to impress him. He did his thing with those amazing covers and behind it all was Brian Stelfreeze and Keven, who know this business and medium just about better than anyone I’ve ever met. At Dark Horse, Megan Walker was simply fantastic. She was a wonderful advocate for this book.
BD: At Fanbase Press this year, our #StoriesMatter initiative endeavors to highlight the impact that stories can have on audiences of various mediums. How do you feel that Kill Whitey Donovan’s story has connected with and impacted readers, especially in light of the incredible critical and fan response to the series?
SD: Kill Whitey Donovan is an adventurous revenge story. It’s entertainment. It’s exciting and fun. But I think at its heart lies a story about breaking the mold of societal expectations. It is about becoming something that the world says you can’t be. These two women of very different backgrounds and means have both heard the same voices saying the same things – you’ll never exceed your station in life. The desire to rebel against that voice is the commonality that binds them together. I think that resonates with women. And minorities. Or any oppressed or empathetic peoples, really. It becomes this universal experience, this unspoken community and I think in the way we told this story, a lot of readers both recognized that and connected with it. When society or someone tells you that you can’t do a thing, most of us have that voice inside that makes you want to clinch your fist and prove them wrong. We root for that voice. We want it to win. That’s Hattie. That’s Anna. That’s what this story is ultimately about.
BD: Are there any other upcoming projects on which you are working that you are able to share with our readers?
SD: I've got a few things in the works. Hopefully, they’ll make it to the shelves in the near future. In the meantime, I have a short story that I’m very excited to share, appearing in First Degree: A Crime Anthology, coming from Humanoids. J. P. Mavinga provided gorgeous interior art on our little story, and the anthology itself features David F. Walker, David Aja, and a brilliant collective of contributors. The hardcover releases in August.
BD: Lastly, what would you like to tell fans who want to learn more about the Kill Whitey Donovan trade paperback and your other work?
SD: First, thank you for reading! And thanks for taking an interest in my work. If you want to learn more about Kill Whitey Donovan and upcoming releases, the best thing to do is follow me on Twitter or Instagram, @sydneyvduncan.