Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: Congratulations on the recent return of Glamorella's Daughter! For those who may be new to the series, how would you describe its premise, and where will we pick up with the world and characters in this new story arc?
Charles J. Martin: It’s about the autistic daughter of Earth’s mightiest defender and how she views life very differently from her mother, but they have to find a way to come together to stop an invasion from Glamorella’s homeworld. Though there is definitely adventure in the comic, we decided to focus far less on the superhero derring-dos and more on the complex connections and emotions of a family comedy with Comet, the daughter, in the starring role.
The first season, issues 1-4, was really focused on showing how Comet moves through the world and how her parents, now divorced, both deeply love her but have a hard time relating to her unique view of the world. Isaac has installed himself in the Glamorpalace as Comet’s best friend and is the only person able to get Comet outside of her one brilliant mind.
Meanwhile, the portal that her father Emmett built which saved Glamorella from her homeland is now glitchy and turning on randomly, leading to disappearances.
Glamorella refuses to go back through the portal for reasons she won’t discuss with Comet, so Comet takes it upon herself to go through along with Isaac and Comet’s frenemy Betsy.
BD: What can you tell us about your shared creative process of bringing this story to life? Likewise, did you find that there was a creative “shorthand” in returning to the world and characters again?
CJM: Jerry is a dream to work with, as anyone who's collaborated with him can attest. The comic was originally his idea, and he brought me in to write the script. I immediately saw close connections between my own child and Comet, so that gave me a good emotional foundation for the story. Jerry’s fantastic ability to build very knowable characters during the concept art phase really fleshed out all the personalities, which made writing the comic surprisingly simple. This is one of those rare projects you encounter as a creator where everything just works. All the characters, the comedy, the relationship dynamics. Entering this second and final arc, the story felt so familiar that we felt emboldened to take a couple chances, including a scene in issue five where we got experimental with panel and speech bubbles while Glamorella told her life story. Rather than only focusing on the story itself, we wanted to spotlight how Comet would react to an emotionally charged conversation. We fretted over that scene from script to initial art, and almost trashed it several times. We ultimately went for it and, in a recent review from You Don’t Read Comics, it was called out as a highlight of the issue. I really felt like screaming for joy, because we were so worried the scene wouldn’t work.
Of course it did, though, because Jerry is fantastic and makes me look so much better as a writer than I really am.
Jerry Bennett: It’s been like no other. Getting to work with friends is always excellent, but getting to work with a storyteller as wonderfully talented as Charles is simply the best I can ask for. He took all my scraps of notes and ideas and turned them into a poignant, powerful story with heart, humor, and substance. As I read each script, it was so easy to visualize the scenes in my head, and almost as easy to put them to digital paper. Charles also gives me huge creative space to tell the story, as well, even letting me change up panel numbering if I feel compelled to compact a few panels together to move the story and give more emphasis in certain areas. It’s great to work with a writer who understands pacing so well, and how to leave an ending with such fun and riveting cliffhangers! As we approached the fifth issue, we delved into a ton of new territory: Glamorella’s homeworld, lots of new characters, and experimental storytelling devices like the scene where Comet has to deal with her mother’s emotional moment telling her story. As Charles mentioned, we did stress over it, but I loved the idea of visually representing such a concept, and I trusted Charles' storytelling skills, so we went for it, and we are both proud of how that scene played out.
BD: How many issues do you have planned for this new story arc?
CJM: This new season is a five-issue arc and that will be the end of the story. It’s bittersweet to be past the halfway point now, but we wanted it to read more like a graphic novel with a very definitive ending rather than being a comic that could just go on forever.
JB: Yeah, we toyed around with possibly continuing, mainly because Charles had a brilliant concept for continuing the story, but ultimately we felt it best to close out with a strong ending.
BD: What makes Literati Press Comics & Novels the perfect home for Glamorella's Daughter?
CJM: At Literati Press, we focus on progressive and cerebral genre storytelling. Those are the types of stories we like to read, that we like to stock in our bookshop in OKC, and that we like to publish. Because we are publishing comics in a state not really known for it, we’ve developed a pretty tight community of writers, artists, and designers. We host an Ink & Draw at our bookshop every week to mentor up-and-coming creators, we even serve as the printer for not just our own comics, but other indie creators in the area. There is, of course, a natural disadvantage when publishing with a cash-poor indie publisher, but what we don’t have in marketing dollars, we make up for in creator support. Everyone in our organization is fighting to make OKC a hub of indie comics, and it makes for an energizing atmosphere that challenges everyone involved to try a little harder as we all fight for legitimacy.
JB: LP Comics is becoming widely known for stories that challenge thought and ideas, and with Glamorella’s Daughter, we wanted the reader to understand perspectives different than their own, but do it in a way that entertains and hopefully provokes thoughtful discussion.
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 the story will connect with and impact readers?
CJM: This is a comic I wish I’d read as a young parent trying to figure out how to raise and appreciate a child on the autism spectrum. We’ve worked really hard with sensitivity editors, test readers, and organizations specializing in autism. We want this comic to feel real to the experiences shared by families all across the country.
JB: We are hoping that people will be pleasantly surprised by the characters and their unique backgrounds, and hopefully relate to them in some way that broadens their outlook on the world.
BD: Are there any upcoming projects on which you are currently working that you would like to share with our readers?
CJM: There are tons of things happening all of the time, but here are the two that I’m most excited about.
We Promised Utopia is about to launch a Kickstarter campaign for season two. It’s a hard sci-fi epic that takes place in three eras, separated by millennia. The first is about a woman who creates an idea for a new economy that balances technology and environmental needs. Thousands of years later, a utopia has seemingly been achieved. And thousands of years after that, everything has fallen apart and humanity is in the midst of an extinction event. The comic was created by an energy engineer and a geophysicist wanting to explore what a perfect, environmentally-focused society could look like, but also exploring human failings that would always challenge a utopia. At its core, WPU is a sci-fi noir story, centering on the mystery of how changes in one era impact the next. It’s complete with scientific white papers written and researched by the energy engineer and geophysicist for each issue. The trade of season one trade is out now and available at bookshops, comic shops, and the Literati Press website.
I’m also extremely excited about a project I’m editing with Chloe Harrison and Steve “Echo” Gooch: Natash Alterici (Heathen) is returning to Literati Press to release her very first graphic novel. We were the original home of the Heathen comic series, but we just didn’t have the infrastructure at the time to support its explosive growth. We ended up helping it move to Vault, so this is a happy homecoming for us. We’re editing the script now, and it’s sooooo good.
JB: I’m trying to write a middle grade graphic novel series I’m currently calling an Underwater Western.
BD: Lastly, what is the best way for our readers to find more information about Glamorella's Daughter and your other work?
CJM: Follow @literatipress on all social media, and check out literatipressok.com. My twitter and Instagram accounts are @CM_and_WW. Literati Press Comics are distributed by Diamond and Ingram, so if your local shop doesn’t have them, ask them to add our titles to your pull list or order them for you. If you ever find yourself in Oklahoma City, we have our own physical bookshop you can drop by. Our Ink & Draw takes place there and is free and happens every Sunday from 3-5 p.m.
JB: Glamorella’s Daughter is available for ordering at most local comic shops, and the Volume One trade can be ordered/purchased at any indie bookstore or even B&N, if necessary. The series is also available digitally through Global Comix to buy the PDF or subscribe through their service. We are also doing Kickstarters for each issue, as well!
My art can be seen on Instagram and TikTok at @artistjerrybennett, and on twitter at @JerryBennettArt. Thank you so much for the opportunity to share Glamorella’s Daughter and our work with Fanbase Press. We love how you support the indie comics community and the reviews, articles, and the podcast!