SHE SAID DESTROY: JOE CORALLO & LIANA KANGAS DISCUSS SPACE CASTLES AND GODDESSES (INTERVIEW)

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SHE SAID DESTROY is hitting comic stores May 29th, so be sure to order your copy from your local comic shop by May 6th. She Said Destroy, published by Vault Comics, is the story of two goddesses, vying for the worshippers across the solar system. The series is written by Joe Corallo and art by Liana Kangas, with colours by Rebecca Nalty and letters by Melanie Ujimori. I had the opportunity to sit down with Liana and Joe earlier this year while attending Emerald City Comic-Con, these are the edited excerpts from our conversation.

Scott: What is She Said Destroy about and what can readers expect?

Joe: It’s about the last two gods, The Morrigan and Brigid, in the far future, where Brigid has taken control over the solar system and everyone’s worshiping her. The only other god left anyone is worshiping is The Morrigan. She has a few worshipers left on this small satellite called Fey. The story is about Brigid’s invasion of Fey to try and finish it off and be the only god with worshippers left.

Liana: That’s a really good way to describe it. I think we’ve really got this down now.

Joe: I think we’ve got it down.

Liana: I think you’ve got it down.

S: Can you give some background about The Morrigan and Brigid, their history, and the myth behind these two and how you’ve interpreted them into the story?

J: Sure. The Morrigan is mostly known for being the Death god, but also the god of war and destruction. She’s the god you want in your favour when you’re about to go into war. Brigid is the god of the sun, and fluffy, positive things like poetry. When we were approaching this we were like, well, death isn’t necessarily a negative thing, so why don’t we take a character like that and make them the hero, and someone like the Sun and make them the villain. Seems like an interesting route to go, instead of what you normally get where The Morrigan is the “bad guy”.

S: Was there a reason behind why you wanted The Morrigan to be seen in that positive light, rather then how they would commonly be portrayed?

J: Part of it was that death isn’t always a negative thing, it isn’t evil. A lot of this is necessary, destruction is necessary. You have to tear things down to keep going. So the idea that a god character, like The Morrigan, is viewed only in a negative way just isn’t accurate. We wanted to do something to get reader to questions that and to push the boundaries of what a character is, is really compelling to me.

S: How did you find Liana? How did your collaboration together begin?

L: Joe is the editor of Mine! Planned Parenthood anthology. It was a Ringo award winner, and he kicked ass and got a bunch of amazing people in there. One of those people was Pat Shand, the writer of the story I worked on. So I got connected with Joe that way. Joe and I ended up meeting at a Forbidden Planet signing for the book when it came out in December 2017, and we’ve been chatting ever since. One day he came to me and said “what do you think about this idea, I’m thinking about pitching it” and I was like “ah…yeah, totally!”. I’m sold at space, but space goddesses, I’m in.

S: What made you decide Vault Comics was the right publisher for this story?

L: Joe is a pretty big Vault fanboy.

J: I started picking up everything, Fissure, Songs of the Dead, Wasted Space, & Heathen.

L: I think it was Joe’s idea to pitch to Vault. Also, our friend Vita Ayala, had worked with them on Submerged and it just kind of organically came together that way. Joe and I both did SDCC last year because of the Mine anthology, Cecil Castellucci and Scott Chantler’s story was nominated for an Eisner. We were introduced to Damian Wassel (Vault Comics CEO) and Adrian Wassel (Vault Comics COO & Editor) there. I think they could tell we were cool, and we love them already.

J: We already did stuff at Black Mask Studios, I edit Kim & Kim, which got the GLAAD nomination earlier this year, and Liana illustrates Black AF Devils Dye with Vita. We were both doing stuff at Black Mask, and already intertwined.

S: It’s always great to see how the comic community comes together. Being a spectator and seeing those connections being made and how positive everyone is, is refreshing.

She Said Destroy

S: Is She Said Destroy going to be a mini-series, or do you have more story arcs planned?

J: So far we have five issues planned, and we will see how things go. Definitely pre-order it, not just the first issue, the whole series. It’s tough, the way preordering works, you’re ordering up to 3 issues even before you see the first one. Which creates this situation where people are like “I want to read the first issue before I keep going”.

S: It puts a lot of the pressure and responsibility on the Comic Shop owners, are they going to continue those numbers for issues 1-3, with the hope that the customers are going to buy it.

L: I feel like readers and creators have to develop a relationship with the comic shops.

S: Thats something Vault is amazing at. They’ve built great relationships with their retailers.

J: We’re definitely planning on doing signings.

L: We’re planning a Mid-West tour of signing, maybe in June. Probably around Chicago & St. Louis.

J: With hopes that this will support issue 2, and keep the momentum going.

S: Can we talk a little about the genre of She Said Destroy?

L: High Sci-Fi Fantasy

J: Yeah, Science Fantasy. I guess there is a bit of Myth-Punk and I feel like it may have some of those elements.

S: When She Said Destroy was announced, there was mention that this series would be pushing the boundaries of the comic medium. Can we expect this from the writing side or more of the art side?

J: On the writing side, a lot of it was just pushing reality, figuring out what we wanted reality to be. A lot of stories, even in science fantasy, you tend to see the same sorts of technology. This is more or less when starships look like, these are what spacesuits look like, and we wanted to do our own thing. Taking cues from things like Final Fantasy, we approach this with that in mind. Space castles, knight characters surfing on light through the universe.

She Said Destroy

S: That is the joy of both Sci-Fi and Fantasy. Why do creators stay within those boundaries when they could be dropping readers anywhere. Some things don’t need to be explained.

J: Exactly, and that’s how we wanted to approach this. As long as you’re consistent for the rules that have been set up, it’s fine. It’s when you’re not consistent that readers are like “wait a minute…”. Adrian is a very hands on editor and is on top of that kind of stuff.

L: It’s hard to have that much freedom and then mess it up. When Joe asked me to do that, it was like giving me the ticket to do whatever I want. So a lot of the things we came up with collaboratively, how the world works, we get things like castle-ships. Castle space ships are a thing, and I love it so much. I wouldn’t consider myself a complete fantasy fan, I like a lot of Fantasy but its always been tied to the Final Fantasy games. A lot of influence came from playing the games. It’s nice know that we can create this entire world and it doesn’t need to make sense.

S: I think that sums up comics, the medium is quite limitless to what can be done.

S: Lastly, I like to get recommendations, books or comics or anything really.

L: Paul Azaceta is one of my buds, and Outcast is one of my favourite books. An incredible book. Also, I feel like I have to talk about Clamp Manga, I’ve been remembering things like Chobits. This is where I get my weird Sci-Fi Fantasy, and 90s anime. That was a big influence, and probably why I like Final Fantasy so much. I realize as an adult I should not have been reading that as a child.

J: There are two books I like to recommend. Two french graphic novels, Beautiful Darkness and Satania. Beautiful Darkness is published by Drawn Quarterly and Satania by NBM. They are my favourites, done by the same creative teams.

Beautiful Darkness is about these fairies that live inside a girl who dies in a forrest and her body starts to decay and its basically like an apocalypse for the fairies.

Satania is about a girl trying to find her brother who went on an expedition deep into the earth. Her going down this hole, the worlds keep getting more and more bizarre. Those 2 for me really helped make me want to push the reality that I’m dealing with in the stories I tell.

L: Oh, Infinite Vacation. That’s another one of mine, if we’re talking about pushing boundaries.

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Huge thanks to both Liana and Joe for taking the time for this interview.

Be sure to let your comic shop know you’d like to order She Said Destroy, using Diamond code MAR192091 & MAR192092.

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