Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: Congratulations on the release of the collected Ash & Thorn trade paperback! As with all of AHOY Comics’ releases, this trade is sure to be packed with incredible bonus features. What will readers have in store with the upcoming release?
Mariah McCourt: All of the recipes from the singles, plus some additional ones we saved for the TPB! There should also be sketches and things like that from the development stage.
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 Soo Lee and cover artist Jill Thompson that really made this series unique?
MM: Well, first of all, Soo is just the loveliest person and so easy to work with. I gave her my character ideas and scripts, and we sort of focused on the personality of each character and used that to develop how they looked. I did have some specific ideas, especially about Peruvia. Jill is the kind of artist where I gave her the covers and she had Soo’s character designs and let her go wild. And she did!
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 Ash & Thorn’s story has connected with and impacted readers, especially in light of the incredible critical and fan response to the series?
MM: It’s been really touching to have people say that the story has been comforting and uplifting during difficult times. That’s something I was hoping the story would do, and it means a lot that people we able to get a sense of hopefulness amidst the chaos and monsters. That’s important to me, I truly believe it’s about the good fight and not giving up.
BD: Are there any other upcoming projects on which you are working that you are able to share with our readers?
MM: I’ve been concentrating on my Patreon (MonsterTeaTime) at the moment while working on developing some other projects. I would like to suggest people check out the INSIDER ART anthology on Gumroad. I edited the Attic section of a house themed anthology full of comics, crafts, and cats. All proceeds benefit retailers hit by the pandemic.
BD: Lastly, what would you like to tell fans who want to learn more about the Ash & Thorn trade paperback?
MM: If you like little old ladies, weird monsters, baking, art, and humor and horror, Ash & Thorn’s collection is the kind of binge read that should satisfy you.