TFAW Interviews: SNARKED’s Roger Langridge

by Jeff

via The Blog From Another World

jun110963 TFAW Interviews: SNARKED's Roger LangridgeAlways on the hunt for a great all-ages title to check out, I was excited to see Snarked! in this month’s new offerings.

The introductory issue, Snarked #0, features an all-original eight-page story featuring “The Walrus and The Carpenter” from Through the Looking Glass, the same Walrus that inspired the Beatles song “I Am the Walrus.” The issue also includes a full issue’s worth of back matter that dives deep into the world of Snarked! with an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the new series.

We were lucky enough to get the chance to chat about this new Kaboom! title with Harvey Award-winning creator Roger Langridge, who’s both providing the art and writing for the book.

TFAW.com: Hi Roger! Can you introduce us to Snarked?

Roger Langridge: Snarked! is a story set in a Lewis Carroll-inspired world, though not directly adapted from any existing Carroll works–it’s more that I’ve got a story of my own which I’m filling with characters I’ve freely plundered from his books.

The main protagonists are the Walrus and the Carpenter, a couple of charming con-men, and a young Red Queen, Queen Scarlett (who is eight years old in our story) and her little brother Rusty. They’re thrust together very much against their will in order to go on a quest–to rescue Scarlett and Rusty’s missing father, the Red King–in the face of whatever wacky, Carroll-themed obstacle I can throw at them.

TFAW.com: Why did you choose “The Walrus and the Carpenter” from Through the Looking-Glass?

Langridge: I love working with those kinds of double-acts–the intelligent, not-entirely-scrupulous one and the dim, guileless sidekick. That dynamic goes right back to my first published characters, Art d’Ecco and the Gump, and on through Doctor Sputnik and Spud. The Walrus and the Carpenter are the latest to follow in that tradition. It’s such great fun to write those character dynamics.

TFAW.com: How did you handle the challenge of creating an ongoing series from a poem?

Langridge: Well, as I say, it’s an original story, with characters cherry-picked from the works of Lewis Carroll, so it wasn’t as if the poem was my only starting point–it was one ingredient in a soup of ideas that had been swilling around in my head for a while. Snarked! is more like three distinct concepts that I mashed together and found (to my happy surprise) that they kind of worked better that way.

snarked_pencils_sm TFAW Interviews: SNARKED's Roger Langridgesnarked_inks_sm TFAW Interviews: SNARKED's Roger Langridgesnarked_colors_sm TFAW Interviews: SNARKED's Roger LangridgeTFAW.com: What influenced your visual look for these characters, and their world?

Langridge: I wanted to try and avoid directly riffing off any existing interpretations of Carroll’s characters and make things look as stylistically “Langridge” as I could–which means filtered through my usual influences; old-style comedy, British humour cartooning, old American newspaper strips and so on.

The nice thing about Carroll’s characters is that they’ve withstood multiple visual interpretations over the decades–from the definitive Sir John Tenniel versions through Arthur Rackham, Walt Disney, Ralph Steadman and all the rest. So I felt pretty free to reinterpret things my own way without feeling that I was compromising the spirit of the characters–those many interpretations are a part of the characters now.

TFAW.com: In the poem, the Walrus and the Carpenter are master manipulators, charming oysters right into their gullets. Will they be as disreputable in Snarked?

Langridge: Ooh, yes. Con-men, thieves and scoundrels. Though they may just surprise us every now and then…

TFAW.com: What can you tell us about Princess Scarlett and Prince Rusty?

Langridge: Princess Scarlett–who pretty quickly becomes Queen Scarlett–is eight years old. Both she and her young brother Rusty have been trained for monarchy since birth, but Rusty is really too young to grasp what it’s all about; Scarlett, on the other hand, is used to being treated like the royalty she is, and doesn’t mind letting you know about it.

It’s her steely determination and ability to bend others to her will that are really the engine of the story–she gets the quest off and running. Rusty, a pre-verbal tot, is happy to tag along with his big sister–though his penchant for wandering off and getting into trouble causes complications right from the start.

TFAW.com: Will there be any other references to Through the Looking-Glass or Alice in Wonderland?

Langridge: There’ll be other characters from Carroll’s works popping up, yes–not just from the Alice books, but (as the title suggests) from The Hunting of the Snark as well.

TFAW.com: You’ve been the pen behind several critically acclaimed kid-friendly comics, including The Muppet Show and Thor: The Mighty Avenger. What keeps drawing you to this material?

Langridge: People keep asking! I guess I’ve found a niche, which I’m happy to occupy–I have two kids myself, one a daughter who’s eight years old and one a son who’s a few years younger. (And people wonder where I get my ideas from!) It feels right at this stage of my career to be creating work that I can share with them.

Apart from the personal connection, I believe it’s important that comics for every type of reader should exist–it’s vital to the long-term health of the comics medium–and I’m committed to the idea of quality kids’ comics that don’t talk down to their readers. I believe these kinds of comics are important.

TFAW.com: With Thor: The Mighty Avenger, Chris Samnee took on the art duties. Here, you’re pulling double duty again. Which do you prefer?

Langridge: They both have their appeal! I do like being responsible for the whole package, but I was surprised by how much I enjoyed writing for other artists. I never expected that I would like it half as much as I did. I see no reason not to continue to have my cake and eat it too.

TFAW.com: Do you have any other projects in the works for BOOM!’s Kaboom! line?

Langridge: Not right now, I don’t. My current workload is keeping me working at full capacity. I like to sleep now and again; I’m old-fashioned that way!

We want to thank Roger for taking time out of his busy work schedule to talk to us about Snarked!. The book sounds (and looks) like loads of fun and you can’t beat a $1.00 introductory price ($0.80 when you pre-order at TFAW.com)!

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What do you think about this exciting all-ages comic book series? I know a certain 2-year-old who will be getting a copy from her dad in August. Post your comments below!

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