The Artist Alley halls at Emerald City Comic Con are always bustling, always packed with all kinds of people and talent, and we were lucky enough to get the opportunity to sit down and talk to some of this year’s attending creative professionals. Dan Parent, of Archie Comics (classic) and Die Kitty Die, was generous enough to allow us behind his busy table for a brief, five(-ish) question interview. We thank him for his time!
Note: Due to technical difficulties with audio recording on my phone, answers were recorded by hand and thus may be, to an extent, paraphrased below to the best of my abilities.
Geeks Worldwide: So, I know about Life With Kevin and Die Kitty Die; are there any other upcoming projects you’re working on, or will be, that you’re able to talk about?
PARENT: Aside from Life With Kevin and Die Kitty Die, I’m working on random classic stories for the Archie digests – mostly that for now.
PARENT: It’ll be digital first, and then ideally after five or six digital issues we could do a trade.
GWW: How it been drawing the shorter digest stories for Archie again, rather than the longer magazine issues?
PARENT: It’s not a lot different — the stories are just shorter. I started out that way, for about five or six years longer.
GWW: It probably it feels a little truer to form doing digest stories than an ongoing issue-to-issue story, now that the reboot is sort of taking over the “Archie with continuity” mantle.
PARENT: Yes, I’ve enjoyed working on them again.
PARENT: Die Kitty Die is about a comic book character whose publisher tries to kill her off because sales are bad. A lot of it is how they try to kill her, and with who — they draw upon other characters of theirs, so you get to see who she’s up against and who allies up with her instead. We Kickstarted four digital issues and a 132-page hardcover.
And yes. We’d love to have another Kickstarter in the fall for four more issues. For Die Kitty Die we like a four issue format, where every four issues is a complete story. Fernando and I would also love to do more creator-owned projects with our imprint Astrocomix in general.
GWW: And Die Kitty Die is you, Fernando Ruiz, Gisele Lagace, and…
PARENT: That’s right, Gisele, Fernando, J.Bone and Rich Koslowski on inks, and some other great artists have contributed, too. Darwyn Cooke is doing the trade cover.
GWW: That’s incredible! Now, returning to Kevin: do you anticipate any new challenges working with the cast as adults?
PARENT: It’s easy in one respect; they’re older so there’s a bit more freedom, we can do a little more. Veronica is really the only other returning Archie character, otherwise we’ll be working with a new cast. We wanted it to stand apart from other Archie books, but not be so far removed there’s no connection at all — and I always felt the best part of the Kevin books was his relationship with Veronica.
GWW: For sure. Which brings me to my last question: you’ve created quite a few Archie characters — Kevin, Harper, Ginger, and who else? Which is your favorite? Are there any you’d particularly like to see in the reboot?
PARENT: Brigitte, Ginger, Jellybean, Marcy… Kevin is a favorite, definitely, but I also have a fondness for Marcy because she and Veronica are opposites. Characters like Brigitte and Harper were in part responses to readers calling for more body diversity among the female Archie cast, but Harper I created after meeting the late Jewel Kats, who reminded me of Veronica so of course Harper had to be a Lodge. She was such an incredible and inspiring person.
I’d really love to see Harper show up in the reboot. She’s such a new character I feel like we barely got any time to establish or do enough with her, and she’s a character with a lot of potential.