Our new convention feature, WWAC Asks, means putting industry professionals on the spot with some unusual questions that are sometimes fun, sometimes serious, sometimes hopeful, always challenging. As an extension of my question for Felicia Day and the Mystery Science Theater 3000 comic team, my question for industry professionals at this year’s Toronto Comics Arts Festival (TCAF) was a simple one:
What comic book world would you like to live in?
The MNT’s Steve Morris initially balked, certain that he couldn’t come up with a good answer no such short notice, but after a moment or two, he gave me Pirates of Pangaea, which, he explained was a delightful story where everyone flies in pirate ships above the clouds, with dinosaurs roaming below. Illustrated and and co-written by Neill Cameron with Daniel Hartwell, Steve wistfully described a world where you can slide down brontosaurus necks into beautifully drawn forests and landscapes.
Compelled by the obvious joy Steve found in reminiscing about this children’s book, I’ve subsequently gone hunting for it, because I agree that the world does look beautiful and inviting. Except when the dinosaurs and pirates get rowdy. Though there’s evidence of the people surviving just fine along side the great beasts, Steve believed that he would quickly get underfoot. He was fine with that though. Stomped by a dinosaur would be a good way to go.
In the TCAF Zineland Terrace, Kevin Budnik was similarly drawn in by beautifully illustrated forest backgrounds, which is why he chose Calvin and Hobbes (which also technically has dinosaurs) as his place to be.
Beside him, WWAC founder, now publisher at Bleating Heart Press, Megan Purdy, had no hesitation: Marvel. “I know the lay of the land. I know every villain and their business. I know where they hide the bodies.”
Over in the Toronto Reference Library where the bulk of TCAF programming was housed, I met up with Megan Kearney again, whom I’d met earlier in our The Motherhood Challenge panel, which addressed the role motherhood plays within comics and as a mother creating comics. Megan decided that she wanted her very own Pokemon buddy, so that’s the world she’d want to live in.
Wash Day’s Jamila Rowser was concerned for her safety, since her immediate thoughts were places that might be fun, but might also kill her. She then turned the tables on me by asking me my own question. Totally unfair! But grasping at my youth, I decided Xavier’s School of Gifted Mutants would be my home. Besides, if I hung out with Megan Purdy, I figured I’d have a decent chance at survival.
Emboldened by my willingness to take on a world so deadly, Jamila eventually settled on My Hero Academia. She wasn’t too concerned over getting a power that might be whack, because she’s been so impressed with the way the characters use their quirks to turn seemingly unfortunate abilities into something great.
Nearby, Zainab Akhtar could barely catch a moment’s break, with attendees frequently pausing to examine and purchase her Short Box wares. She was hesitant to answer, wanting to take the time to give a proper response, and wisely refusing Steve’s offer to respond on her behalf. I suggested one of the books in her Short Box collection, but she was concerned about the various questionable things that went on in those stories.
Beside Zainab, Lucie Bryon brought us back to more peaceful and happy places with Kiyohiko Azuma’s Yotsuba&. “Everyone’s so nice there,” she beamed.
Finally, Chip Zdarsky surprised me with a very practical answer. Gesturing at his table, he said the comics world he’d want to live in is Sex Criminals, and offered two reasons for this:
1) “I draw it so I can do whatever I want.
2) “If I had that power [to pause time], I’d probably hit my deadlines.”
So, what comic book world would you like to live in? Or would you want to visit one of the ones mentioned above? Share your thoughts in the comments!