AHOY Comics is in the middle of a multiverse-spanning event via a series of one-shots under The Wrong Earth line of comics. Each one is written and illustrated by a coterie of incredible writers and artists. The next one-shot up for release is The Wrong Earth: Purple #1, written by Stuart Moore and with art and color by Fred Harper.
Set in Earth-Kappa — a world of big hair, shoulder pads, and funk music, where the 1980s never ended and Greed is always Good. It adds a mighty big twist to The Wrong Earth story, which shows us two sides of Dragonflyman: one grimdark ala Frank Miller’s Dark Knight Returns and the other bright and hopeful like Adam West’s Batman. Sufficed to say, it’s your standard multiversal tale full of giant heroes, feats of bravery, and a heaping helping of humor.
To get some proper insight into the super funky issue (on shelves May 18), Moore sat down with AIPT to answer a few of our most riveting questions. A warning, readers, it may get radical.
AIPT: AHOY is in the middle of a one-shot bonanza with Wrong Earth, how does The Wrong Earth: Purple #1 begin?
Stuart Moore: It begins with a real estate deal! Isn’t that exciting? Fortunately, it’s a real estate deal with mobsters, murder by poison darts, and a colorful villain who plays the saxophone.
AIPT: To start, the solicit for the issue talks about shoulder pads and greed being good, is this one-shot also a commentary on the 80s?
SM: It is, yeah. That’s really the decade when we gave up on reining in big business, when we decided that rich people could do anything they wanted. Of course, Richard Fame, the alter ego of our hero the Dragon-Fly, IS a rich person. So he’s riding high, but that may or may not be the path he should be taking.
AIPT: If it is a commentary on the ’80s, I must ask, Stuart what is your favorite decade…so far!?
SM: Oh, I can’t choose. I will say I find something profoundly disturbing in the fact that we seem to have stopped counting decades. We should be talking about the styles of the 20s by now, and laughing at how stupid the teens were. Instead, we all seem to be caught in some nebulous now, unable to glimpse the future.
That got heavy! Forget I said that. Decades: The 90s were a blissful lull that allowed us all to be stupid. The 00s were when I became a full-time writer, so I have a soft spot for those years. But they all have their good and bad points.
AIPT: The art I’ve seen is trippy as heck, was there a panel or page by Fred Harper that blew away your expectations?
SM: There were several, but this one really got me. It’s just beautifully composed, with a layout that’s classical and unexpected at the same time. [See attached jpeg]
AIPT: As a seasoned professional, what are the pros and cons of writing a one-shot?
SM: The pros are, you can’t screw around. The format forces you to focus on what’s important, to jettison anything unnecessary. Also, you get to work with artists you wouldn’t necessarily connect with otherwise. Fred Harper did his own coloring on this book—it’s gorgeous, and he wouldn’t have had time to do that on a longer project.
The cons are that you always leave the good stuff in the cutting room. I really wanted to give Dragon-Fly a romance, and to deal with the oppression women faced in the Backlash 80s. Maybe we’ll get to do a sequel.
AIPT: Why do you think The Wrong Earth is a superhero series that can stand the test of time?
SM: Well, most of that comes down to the incredible levels of craft and heart that Tom Peyer and Jamal Igle put into the main series. But it’s also just a great concept, and I think this series of one-shots shows just how versatile it is. You can do stories set on one Earth or both, or you can make up your own, as Gail Simone did and as Fred and I have in this story.
AIPT: Do you have any other projects you’d like to let readers know about?
SM: I’ve got a story in AWA’s ET ER #2, out in June—a sort of medical space-adventure farce called “Final Cut.” And I’m working on something else, something very, very big with Fred Harper, because purple was just so much fun. That’ll be announced sooner than you think!
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