We recently touched base with writer Kami Garcia to talk Joker/Harley: Criminal Sanity, her grounded take on comics’ most twisted “romance.” As it turns out, Garcia has also been hard at work — alongside illustrator Gabriel Picolo — on the third installment of the Teen Titan graphic novel series. (Teen Titans: Raven, dropped in July 2019, while Teen Titans: Beast Boy published in September 2020.) Teen Titans: Beast Boy Loves Raven finds the pair crossing paths in Nashville, Tennessee, where to discover their respective secrets, they join forces to “seek answers from the one person who seems to have them all figured out: Slade Wilson.”
Ahead of today’s publication date, Garcia talked about the story, the series in general, working with Picolo, and much more.
AIPT: How has your collaborative process developed over these three books?
Kami Garcia: It just gets easier and more fun with every book. You trust your co-creator’s vision more and more as time goes on, which allows you to take bigger chances in the storytelling.
AIPT: What do people need to know from books No. 1 and 2 heading into Beast Boy Loves Raven? Could you just jump in with book No. 3?
KG: We provide enough background that readers can jump in, but I definitely think the book is even more fun to read if you’ve read the first two.
AIPT: How do Beast Boy and Raven, as they are depicted in other titles/mediums, influence their depictions here (if at all)?
KG: We wanted to be true to the core of who we believe the characters are and what makes them special like Gar’s sense of humor and openness or Raven’s self doubt and fear of hurting others.
AIPT: Raven’s seen as perhaps more dark and brooding, and BB/Garfield is a little more playful. Why is their dynamic together so interesting or compelling? Does it have to do with their shared history of weird parental secrets?
KG: I think their differences compliment each other because they bring out parts of the other person’s personality that they don’t normally share. Raven grounds Gar and Gar keeps Raven from taking herself too seriously and going too dark. The fact that they are both carrying a secret about having powers also contributes to their connection.
AIPT: Do you have a favorite moment/or visual from this book that is important or feels particularly telling about the story in general?
KG: The scene when Raven takes care of Gar in the hotel room really sums up what’s special about their relationship.
AIPT: Do you have any indication of what comes next for these characters (or other Teen Titans members?) Is a fourth book already in the works?
KG: We absolutely know what’s next, but we can’t share yet. But if readers get the book and flip to the bonus material at the end, they will find out.
AIPT: How do you think these books stand out or add something new to the “traditional” comics experience? Is it just about opening comics to new audiences?
KG: our books give readers and fans who already know and love these characters an opportunity to get to know them on a deeper level because they aren’t saving the world. But they are saving each other and themselves.
AIPT: Why should anyone, regardless of age, be interested in Beast Boy Loves Raven?
KG: Beast Boy Loves Raven is a story about friendship and beating the odds. That’s something everyone can enjoy.
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