Q&A with MEMORIAL’s Chris Roberson + a comic giveawayBy Andrew Leslie
Posted on January 23, 2012
Memorial is IDW Publishing’s latest creator-owned miniseries. It is the story of Em, a young woman who arrives at a hospital in Portland, Oregon, with no memory of her past. A year later, she has rebuilt her life, only to find her existence thrown into turmoil after she inherits a magical shop. The kind that appears in an alley one instance and disappears the next. Chris Roberson is the creator and writer of this IDW comic gem. He’s also the creator of Vertigo’s iZombie and the writer of titles such as Cinderella: Fables are Forever, Elric and the Star Trek/Legion of Superheros crossover. Chris answered a few questions for the F.A.N. and in conjunction with this Q&A session we’ll also be giving away a copy of MEMORIAL #1 in a Twitter contest. Later in the week we’ll be having similar Q&A’s with MEMORIAL’s artist and colorist (along with more giveaways), but for now enjoy Chris’ responses!
1. First question and the most obvious one – where did the idea for MEMORIAL come from? Do you have some preternatural fascination with antique shops?
Chris Roberson: In its current form, Memorial actually combines a bunch of different ideas I’ve had, synthesized together into one. The central image (the young woman travelling from place to place in a curiosity shop that appears and disappears magically) came from an idea I had for a Doctor Who spinoff novel about eight years ago, that I was considering pitching to BBC Books. But the more I worked on the idea, the less and less it made sense in the world of Doctor Who. Along the way, I had been working on another idea that played around with some of the central themes from classic children’s fantasy stories, and yet another idea that was all about what memory means and how it works. It took me the better part of eight years, but I eventually figured out that all of these ideas slotted together, like a bunch of robot lions forming one giant Voltron, and Memorial is the result.
2. MEMORIAL will be released as a series of miniseries. There are only a handful of comics that are produced through a major publisher this way (ala Locke & Key) – what was the impetus of this decision? Did it come from IDW Publishing as a logistical issue or from a creative standpoint?
Chris Roberson: I think the original suggestion that we do Memorial as a series of miniseries came from IDW, but I was all for the idea. As a reader, I’ve always liked that kind of structure, particularly in series like Hellboy, BPRD, Locke & Key, Atomic Robo, and on and on. It gives the reader a nice sense of closure at the end of each story arc. In my head, it’s more the way that the BBC handles groups of episodes as “series,” usually with a discreet story arcs that begin and end each year, rather than the more open-ended format that US network television has historically used.
3. Music is a big part of the creative process for a lot of writers. What kind of music do you listen to when you’re writing? Also – if you could pick a soundtrack for people to read MEMORIAL to, what are some songs/albums you would recommend?
Chris Roberson: Actually, I never listen to music while I write, if I can help it. The only time I will is when I’m having to work in a noisy coffee shop or something like that, in which case it’s usually something purely instrumental, like Beethoven or Penguin Café Orchestra.
4. If a major Hollywood studio gave you the chance to pick any actor to play the following roles – who would it be?
Chris Roberson: I’d rather not say. Don’t want to jinx it!
5. If you were transported into the world of MEMORIAL and could create your own identity/character, who/what would you be?
Chris Roberson: I have an answer for this, actually, but to say would spoil the next storyline. Let’s just say that there are LOADS of cool things someone with a good imagination could do in the Land of Maybe.
6. Finally, who would win in a fight? You, Rich (artist) or Grace (colorist)?
Chris Roberson: My money is on Grace. She seems feisty.
Thanks to writer Chris Roberson for answering a few questions for us! The Freakin’ Awesome Network will be having a Twitter giveaway with the prize being a copy of Chris Roberson’s and IDW’s MEMORIAL #1. To be entered in the giveaway, all you have to do is tweet out this article to your followers with the hashtag #MemorialFAN. We’ll pick a winner on Tuesday evening so get tweeting!
You’ll also have two more chances to win a copy of MEMORIAL as we’ll be having an interview with Memorial’s artist and colorist later this week!
As always you can follow me on Twitter @dethfilm or find me on our message boards (I’m Numero99 there). Thanks for reading and tell your friends all about the Freakin’ Awesome Network by using those handy little social media thingamabobs down there. Also tell them about the DORK FOREST Podcast (of which I was recently a guest). It’s an awesome podcast hosted by stand-up comic Jackie Kashian.