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On new beginnings: Tini Howard and Gleb Melnikov talk 'Punchline: The Gotham Game'

Comic Books

On new beginnings: Tini Howard and Gleb Melnikov talk ‘Punchline: The Gotham Game’

Get an inside look at Gotham’s newest supervillain.

Debuting just a little over two years ago, Punchline is one of the newest supervillains in all of comics. But since she’s been pretty vital since day one, it’s only fitting she gets her very own series. Written by Tini Howard and Blake Howard, with art by Gleb Melnikov, Punchline: The Gotham Game looks to explore the character inside and out while building out a robust supporting cast.

Due out tomorrow (October 25) in comic book shops everywhere, Punchline: The Gotham Game introduces Punchline, aka Alexis Kaye, after being released from jail. While she wants to be the queen of crime in Gotham, Punchline’s made heaps of enemies, and now she’s got to play a difficult game to asset her dominance. The creators set out to further carve a unique spot for Punchline in a comics industry filled with wacky characters, going so far as to design an an all-new Royal Flush Gang.

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To get an inside look at the project, I asked Howard and Melnikov a few questions, including where the story begins and the story’s punk rock vibes.

Punchline

Courtesy of DC Comics.

AIPT: Where does the story of Punchline: Gotham Game pick up?

Tini Howard: Alexis has been released from Blackgate, she’s got a connection to the Royal Flush Gang, and she’s got a backlog of work she’s got to get done. We pick up right with her – no time to waste.

AIPT: Punchline is so new it’s almost like she’s a blank slate, are you working on fleshing out her supporting cast or developing her character’s past? TH: It’s her first series, we couldn’t just limit her to her past. I mean, she just got out of Blackgate. She’s ready to party.

We are really loving the supporting cast of this book. They’re weird and fun, and I’m already enjoying having them show up all over Gotham City.

On new beginnings: Tini Howard and Gleb Melnikov talk 'Punchline: The Gotham Game'

Courtesy of DC Comics.

AIPT: For the Punchline haters out there, what defines her and makes her awesome?

TH: Haaa! It feels utterly against the ethos of Punchline to convince people why they should like her. You don’t like her? Good! That’s what makes her cool! Not caring if people like you is cool.

Gleb Melnikov: Punchline is just like me, in a sense. The coolest new kid on the block with a lot of enemies. Hate makes us stronger because we thrive off negativity!

AIPT: Gleb, you’re coming off the great launch of Robin, and now Punchline, what is it you like about Punchline and like bringing out in your art?

GM: Well, first of all I’m happy to draw adults again, teenagers are a bit tricky to draw. Still, with Punchline I’m proceeding to do what I do best – depicting cool violent goth girls kicking everyone’s asses.

AIPT: Tini and Howard, this isn’t your first project together by any means, what is your collaborative process like? 

TH: We live together, so it’s always on our minds, it’s incredibly natural for us because we’re both creative people and like to tell stories. Honestly, the only unexpected speed bump to becoming creative collaborators has been learning to say “I’m tapped for the day” to the other. I’m guilty of this – we were literally trying to get to sleep the other night and I started trying to match some things up in Catwoman and Punchline out loud. It’s important to not be working all of the time just because your co-writer is always around.

On new beginnings: Tini Howard and Gleb Melnikov talk 'Punchline: The Gotham Game'

Courtesy of DC Comics.

AIPT: A lot of the first issue is very bright and set during the day, are you going for a different feel for Gotham?

GB
: Yeah, it’s nice to show Gotham at day time sometimes, why not? I can always count on Luis to help me make it look interesting and atmospheric.

AIPT: If you were to sum up the vibe of Punchline: Gotham Game in three words or less what would it be?

TH: Violent, twisted, and hilarious. Just like Alexis.

GB: Punk Rock Circus!

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