We had the pleasure of talking with Doug Wagner, the famous writer in (Warcraft, Batman, Plastic, Thomas River) and more, we went directly to his latest project: YUMI: SPY FATALE, BADDIE ROYALE, Which in NOW on Kickstarter.
YUMI: SPY FATALE, a 136-page Graphic Novel by Doug & Hoyt Silva in the artwork. Covers by Loish, Eliza Ivanova, & Chris Brunner.
We asked a few important questions, based on our experience with his previous job, and his 2nd Kickstarter.
C506: What a great pleasure my friend, can you tell us more about your previous works and how these might influence your new comic.
DOUG: Over the past 15 years, I’ve worked on a lot of varying projects. Everything from World of Warcraft to breakfast cereal comics to creator-owned comics to works for The CW Network and CBS.
The most well-known of those is probably Batman: Arkham Origins, Legends of the Dark Knight, World of Warcraft: Bloodsworn, Plastic, The Ride, The Hard Place, and the years of social media shorts for TV shows like Flash, Arrow, and Person of Interest.
As a writer, I try to evolve and improve with every project I write, so every project influences the next. I realize it may sound strange that World of Warcraft could influence Plastic or vice versa, but it’s true. I’ve learned something valuable from every project I’ve ever worked on that influenced everything about my writing. So, all of my previous projects had an impact on the new book, YUMI: SPY FATATE, BADDIE ROYALE.
The TV show works helped teach me just how much I can actually fit onto one page and have people still understand and enjoy it. Working on books for DC and Blizzard taught me how to work during crazy time crunches and still keep a certain level of quality. All of my creator-owned books taught me to let go more and more as a creative, to really push boundaries, and write a story I would want to pay my hard-earned money for.
Each of those learned aspects were all influential on YUMI, and I believe helped make a book even I would enjoy.
What surprises can we expect from this project? I love the surprise in Thomas River!
DOUG: Action chaos with a heart of gold.
Maybe more than in any previous project, Hoyt Silva and I pushed the boundaries of action, romance, and existential crises. We used Ian Fleming’s James Bond work as a foundation, flipped it on its head, and created the world’s greatest anti-spy, YUMI. Yumi is a sassy, confident, ninja, hacker genius that is going to burn down all of the world’s intelligence agencies until she finds the missing agent that is the love of her life, all the while listening to her personal soundtrack of Cardi B, Alicia Keys, Billie Eilish, Lizzo, and Taylor Swift. Yes, we incorporated a soundtrack into a comic book. The book is filled with femme Fatales, talking Lamborghinis, Navy SEALS, and a stuffed tanuki plushie. YUMI ended up being this odd mix of Scott Pilgrim meets The Kingsman.
So far, amongst all your work, you’ve also put out more than a couple of books. Would you say that this new project will be much more different than the others or would it be similar to what we’ve seen?
DOUG: YUMI: SPY FATALE, BADDIE ROYALE is most definitely different than most of my other work. It’s nothing like Plastic, The Hard Place, The Ride, or Thomas River. With that said, there are elements that carry over in all of my work of course. Even though YUMI is not as dark as most of my previous books, it still has elements of horror, fast cars, insane action, and a character desperate to follow her heart. The closest thing I’ve written to YUMI is Gun Candy, and that was a decade ago.
Doug, any comments about this beautiful mix in the art… this kind of not what you see normally, you mentioned Gun Candy or The Kingsman, I see a violent Adventure Time art with Scott Pilgrim, Silva planned this chaotic yet amazing and powerful art since the beginning?
DOUG: This is such an interesting question to me. I never really put much thought into it. I loved Hoyt’s work the day I saw it, and when we started discussing Yumi, I visualized it in his style from the beginning. For me, I’m only ever concerned on whether an artist can tell a story and is there style something I would buy. If they check those two boxes, I’m in.
From a writer’s standpoint, would you say the pandemic has affected your work?
We expect 2021 to bring a little more peace to our loved comic scene and Pop Culture in general.
DOUG: Without a doubt. In the United States, comic book shops had to close for several months.
With books now running months behind, publishers had to cancel books, push current books into 2021, and stop accepting new projects altogether.
I was heavily impacted by all of those. The first several months of 2020 had me terrified about my future as a writer. I seriously worried whether I’d be able to continue on this path or not. I even started making a list of new careers I might be interested in enough to pursue.
Luckily with the help and encouragement of some wonderful friends, I pushed through and reevaluated all of my plans for 2020 and beyond.
That’s honestly where the idea to start publishing some of my projects through Kickstarter came about. I’ve been fortunate enough to recover my writing career, but the pandemic dramatically changed how I’m going to move forward.
Is there any message you want to say for your fans Latino USA, Latinos, and Spanish speakers in general?
DOUG: Hola! Estudio español durante 6 meses. No soy muy bueno, pero estoy haciendo mi mejor esfuerzo. Les deseo a todos amor y felicidad.
-How can we get the Book?
DOUG: YUMI: SPY FATALE, BADDIE ROYALE is available now through the first week of March on Kickstarter. We’ve included some really fun options – a softcover graphic novel, a hardcover version, and even one with a metal cover. We’ve managed to get covers from Eliza Ivanova, Loish, Chris Brunner & Rico Renzi, and Hoyt Silva. I couldn’t be happier with the choices.
You can help the Kickstarter project with the following link:
We want to say thanks to Doug Warner once more for the time and we personally recommend his work and support this graphic novel, join us in making this project a reality.
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