This will just be a list of random questions I had while re-reading SiP. Maybe you’ve answered these before, maybe you haven’t, but my curiosity has gotten the better of me. :D —Trey
The first big question I came across was why did Francine get expelled from college? You refer to the incident a few times in the books, but you never tell what happened.
T.M: It’s one of many Strangers In Paradise stories I’d like to get back to. The reason was never revealed in the series, but I had it all figured out and outlined in my head. A funny story involving a nude statue of her. I used a drawing of that statue as red herring when it was time to solicit a new issue but I didn’t have the real cover art available or wanted to avoid spoilers. So that statue cover was solicited 5 times over 12 years. And nobody ever said anything. Heh heh.
It made me also realize how little we know of Francine’s past, boring or not. Heck, I felt that I knew a little more about her mother, especially after the Mary Midnight bits. And it also made me slightly curious about Francine’s brother, and what’s his job and does he have a family, and if you even came up with a history for Ben. I mean I wouldn’t be surprised if you didn’t, you had a lot of characters and a ton of them were connected somehow.
T.M: In the High School story arc, we learn Ben is dating Molly. Molly later grows up to her own story arc, Molly & Poo. Ben went on to get married and have kids, although I can’t remember if we ever said that in the story.
Speaking of, that brings up my questions about Casey. When did you decide to make Casey work for Tambi? I mean, when you first thought about Casey, did she surprise you by becoming a recurring character, especially one so influential later on in the series?
T.M: The first time I figured out the DUCks angle, I was looking for who could be the one around Katchoo. Casey was my best option so I continued writing her as is on the surface, but thinking about that in mind. So Casey would seem shallow, but then reveal a glimpse of real intelligence or unusual courage. Sometimes it was in the way, sometimes it was ironic, but in the end, it was an effective way to show the layers of deception around Katchoo and illustrated how deep this scary stuff ran.
My next question is about David. He’s my favorite character and every time I read my pocketbooks, I know I’m going to be left heartbroken, but I read the story anyway. So my question here is, around PocketBook 3 (since I’m not sure the exact issue) you started to hint that something was wrong with David. I’m just wondering if you had planned to lose David, or if you were just planting a seed, because perhaps you were undecided as to what would happen to him. And why did you decide to make it cancer? Maybe because it was so different from the killings that had happened so far in the series?
T.M: It was always a triangle, and I knew somebody eventually had to fall. I couldn’t decide who until near the end. And I knew it should be organic, not violent. Because these were heroes who had come through the violence, but nobody escapes the organic price of life.
Switching to Tambi, I was wondering if you ever thought of exploring her world, perhaps from the time after she “joined” the FBI? I would love to read even like a snippet or one-shot of a Tambi adventure.
T.M: Yes. I’ve always thought The Parker Girls would be a good spin-off series.
And last but not least, was there ever more to Winter Chronicle, the comic series Katchoo created in Pocket Book 5?
T.M: The Winter Chronicles is actually a graphic novel I drew when I was about 24. I used only a few pages from it for Katchoo’s notebook. I’d like to publish it, but I’m afraid it is very young work. I’m not sure the general public could restrain themselves from stoning me to death.
Thank you so much for reading this far. I’ve just been a curious fan of late. You don’t have to answer the questions, but I really wanted to pose them for you. I love your work and feel inspired by them every time.