Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: For our readers who may be unfamiliar with Darby Pop, what initiated the publishing company, and what defines a Darby Pop comic?
Renae Geerlings: Darby Pop Publishing was started by Jeff Kline, the Emmy Award-winning TV writer/producer who firmly believes that character is king. We go for titles with great ensembles and high concepts. The kind of thing that you could easily imagine as a summer popcorn movie.
BD: Since its inception, the company has moved towards a "wholly independent" model of publishing. What inspired this transition, and why has this been important to you as the Managing Editor?
RG: Well, since we were just starting out, I think we assumed that having a partner to lean on and learn from would be helpful. And it was. But, the cost of those partnerships was high. So, after a while, it simply didn't make sense any more. Ultimately, the change didn't affect the creative in any way. We always had editorial independence, and it seemed like our standards were already pretty high. Going it alone has added to my administrative duties, but that's really the only change!
BD: What do you hope that readers will take away from Darby Pop's catalog of comics and graphic novels?
RG: Great stories that they continue to think about long after they've read them. Whether it's wondering what it would have been like to have the ability to see as far and wide as Ben does in CITY: THE MIND IN THE MACHINE... or imagining the next adventure for the sisters in FAKE EMPIRE... or wondering, as I often do, "Where the heck are the rest of the parts of her body?" in THE LIVING FINGER... or just wanting to hang out with DOBERMAN. I want readers to find their attention being drawn back to the situations and the characters that we brought to life.
BD: What can you share with us about the creators with whom you have worked that have made Darby Pop such a dynamic publisher?
RG: They're all so different and – because each book is a bit of a standalone – our creators don't often repeat. Each book is such a unique experience from start to finish, but everyone we've worked with has been so passionate and thrilled to get to do what they've maybe dreamed about for years and see their characters become "real." That's what I love – being part of a team that crafts this modern myth from scratch. I get to help problem-solve, and – hopefully – help refine "good" ideas into "great" ones.
BD: How has your experience in the comic book industry shaped your creative mission, and what do you hope to see in the years ahead?
RG: I'm still learning. I want to always be learning. I learn from every artist and creator I work with. From the ones who have honed their craft for years, to the ones who are just starting and have a brand-new perspective. I'm a big believer in myth and its importance to us as a species. Myth has existed since the dawn of time as a way to share experience, and – at the core of it – to make us feel like we're not alone... like someone else has already been through the same thing. Or, to experience something that we may NOT ever experience personally, but that may give us empathy for someone else. Myth brings us together. So, that is why I love it, and why I want to keep myth-making forever.
BD: Are there any other projects on which you are currently working that you are able to share with our readers?
RG: The three trade paperbacks we have solicited most recently are: THINGS YOU SHOULDN'T REMEMBER, BASTARD'S WALTZ, and, coming up soon, SANTA CLAUS: PRIVATE EYE. All three are so different, from concept to art to tone.
TYSR is a more slick-looking story about people who are having memories of things that never existed, and then being systematically assassinated. It's a rabbit-hole for sure. BASTARD'S WALTZ is a hard-hitting supervillain/cop indie mash-up. It reminds me a little of an edgier POWERS or WANTED. Pretty dark stuff. SANTA CLAUS: PRIVATE EYE will turn your concept of Santa on its ear. Santa has to do something the rest of the year! And how do you think he KNOWS who's naughty and nice? Instead of reading like it's for kids, it has a crime noir tonality. I love it.
BD: Lastly, what would you like to tell fans who want to learn more about Darby Pop?
RG: Check us out for yourself! We're all over that thing called the Interweb and we don't bite!
FANMAIL (at) DARBYPOP (dot) COM