Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: Congratulations on the release of Love and War! For those who may be unfamiliar, how would you describe the series’ premise, and what inspired you to tell this story?
Andrew Wheeler: Thank you! Love and War is a sports comedy set in a world where tug-of-war is a hugely popular stadium-level sport! Our characters are part of a university team in the beautiful (fictional) city of Rosecastle, and they’re all trying to balance their personal ambitions with their romantic ambitions -- creating a tug-of-war between the two!
Domo is our lead. He’s the person everyone depends on, but he recently developed feelings for a teammate, so now the guy with the steadiest hands on the team is feeling all kinds of shaken up! And then there’s a new guy at the academy who is going to shake him up even more!
BD: What can you tell us about your shared creative process in working with artists Killian Ng and Guillermo Saavedra to bring this story to life, and what (or who) have been some of your creative influences?
AW: Killian created the look of our world of Rosecastle and our cast of wonderful characters, and Guillermo brought his whimsical charm and joy to the story. They’re phenomenal artists whose styles complement each other beautifully!
The story is influenced by a lifetime of enjoying sports underdog stories and teen soap operas and wanting to create something new in that vein. I definitely look to fantastic comics like Check, Please and Heartstopper as inspirations.
BD: How many issues do you have planned for the series overall?
AW: The first five issues are banked, and they’ll be collected by Dark Horse in September. If there’s demand for more, we’ll do more! There are so many more stories to tell with these characters, and I’d like to get them to the end of the school year! I’d also love to explore the stories of the team members who don’t get the spotlight in this first arc!
BD: What makes Comixology Originals the best home for this series?
AW: The Comixology team have been a joy to work with! They provide a platform with incredible reach, and I hope that will allow this story to connect to a really broad audience, because this is a story that should resonate with a lot of different experiences of life, love, and growing up!
BD: At Fanbase Press, our #StoriesMatter initiative endeavors to highlight the impact that stories can have on audiences of various mediums. How do you feel that Domo’s story will connect with and impact readers, and why do you feel that this story was important for you to bring to life?
AW: This is a story where the characters have a range of body types, a range of backgrounds, and where all the romances are queer, but the stories are universal -- we all experience romances and rivalries, but some of us never get to see ourselves as the leads in those kinds of stories. Hopefully, this is a series that will help a few more people realize that their story matters!
BD: Are there any other projects on which you are currently working that you would like to share with our readers?
AW: I just wrapped my first story for Marvel, which will appear in the 2022 Marvel Voices: Pride anthology in June, with art by Brittney Williams. It’s a great little story about Hercules and his boyfriend!
That same month also sees the launch of my first Image book, Sins of the Black Flamingo, with art by Travis Moore and Tamra Bonvillain. It’s a visually stunning occult noir story -- a lot more grown-up than Love and War. I’d recommend pre-ordering Sins of the Black Flamingo, because I think it’s going to blow up!
BD: Lastly, what is the best way for our readers to find more information about Love and War and your other work?
AW: You can follow me on Twitter (@wheeler) or on Instagram (@wheelergram), or you can subscribe to my new Wheelergram newsletter at https://buttondown.email/wheeler!