Imagine a world where magic a possibility, and that you could go between that world and this world easily.
Now imagine both this world and the magic world being cut off from you and you end up in a world where both co-exist, but not in ways you’d expect.
For the titular character of the Amelia Cole series, it’s her reality. After an unexpected crossover between the magical and non-magical world, Amelia ends up cut-off from both worlds and in a third world she doesn’t understand. However, this third world might be the key to understanding herself more.
How does the story of a young mage-turned-superintendent come about though? Well, I thought I would ask Amelia Cole writers Adam P. Knave and D.J. Kirkbride all the questions about the quirky mage with a penchant for sandwiches.
How did the idea for Amelia Cole come about? More importantly, who thought of her wrench being her wand?
D.J. Kirkbride: Amelia’s origins stem from Adam and I on a never-ending quest to create more comics and being introduced to the great Nick Brokenshire by my pal Tim Simmons. We really liked Nick’s art, as we have eyes and good taste, so we set forth on trying to collaborate with him. Nick mentioned wanting to work in a fantasy and magic kind of realm, which got Adam and me to talking and scheming, and over the course of a phone call one evening, the original idea for Amelia Cole was born. We’re forever thankful Nick dug the cut of our jib. As for the wrench, was that you, Adam…?
Adam P. Knave: Yeah we decided to break her wand (again) and then needed to replace it and it just sounded like a silly fun thing to do. Now I honestly wish we had started there, because I love it so much.
How did the creative team come together?
DJK: Oops, I revealed the origin of the APK/DJK/NICK hydra in the first question, but Adam brought Rachel and Ruiz to the team. Were both meetings via Twitter, Adam?
APK: I don’t remember where I met Rachel, but I knew her as an editor and we were chatting and she mentioned she lettered and it snowballed from there. Ruiz was a friend of ours for a while and wanted to start doing coloring work and Nick needed some help there so that just worked like a charm.
What kind of process does the team go through from writing to final product?
APK: The normal stuff. D.J. and I work together to come up with a plot, we send it to Nick who suggests changes and then we write some scripts. We send them to Nick who pencils and inks, and as he’s working, they go to Ruiz who lays down flats. Nick then finishes the pages with some shadows and highlights and by then we have a lettering script done (adjustments for art) and Rachel letters it.
DJK: What Adam left out in his casual answer is the blood, sweat, and tears that goes into every single issue. The endless debates on a line of dialogue or how much is too much for what we want to be an all-ages comic. Nick’s hours upon hours of drawing not only what we write, but a million other fun things in the background and making every action better, Ruiz having to deal with color flatting astronomical amounts of rubble, Rachel not killing us with our post-lettering second thoughts and notes… It’s also all very fun, though, of course.
There are a lot of little Easter Eggs hidden in the comic. One of my personal favorites was a book titled A Dinklage of Peters at the library Amelia was researching at. Who comes up with stuff like that: Adam, DJ, or Nick?
APK: Those are all Nick, except one. One I asked for once. D.J., did you ever ask for one?
DJK: I haven’t asked for anything other than the big coffee chain to be called “Apollo’s” for reasons that are obvious to fans of classic sci fi television. I think that won’t appear until THE HIDDEN WAR trade, though. And I missed “A Dinklage of Peters,” haha! I get so focused on the story and the text and whatnot that I often don’t see the fun Easter Eggs until someone points them out to me. I gotta pay more attention to the fun stuff!
Adam, you emailed me initially because of a publishing issue you guys faced recently. Care to elaborate for the readers at home?
APK: It was just one of those perfectly normal things that happens, with a dose of bad timing. IDW ran out of copies of the first trade. That is, mind you, a wonderful thing. Except due to how it happened they didn’t catch it in time to put in a reorder of books from the printer so there would be no gap. Sadly the gap happened from mid-December through the end of Jan, prime holiday sales. It meant that stores couldn’t order more copies – whatever stock they had, they had. Which hurt holiday sales for us. It also, since we’re a smaller book, worried some stores that we had simply gone out of print for good! No no no. We’re here. And the book is back in print. Volume 2 is in previews for March and volume 1 is even resolicited in that same catalog so people can’t miss it.
DJK: It was such a great fun surprise that the book sold out! Maybe too much of a surprise…hopefully everyone will be ready for Volume 2 now.
Were the issues being shorter in volume 2 intentional?
DJK: The reasoning behind that change was twofold: 1) The 99 cent price point on ComiXology ended up seeming like the way to go for us, but in order to do that and still stay somewhat afloat, we had to cut the page count. 2) We really wanted to stay on a monthly to 6-week kinda schedule, and it got pretty tough near the end of THE UNKNOWN WORLD arc. At first we were worried about the 12-page change, but we cram the issues with so much, and Nick’s art is so layered, that they really don’t seem short to me. I’ve read many 22-page comics way quicker than our 12-pagers.
I love Amelia’s clothes. Like… a lot. A LOT. To the point I’m considering cosplaying her for a future convention. What inspires the style designs for Amelia?
DJK: That’s great to read! I pretend everyone I see in jeans, flannel, and Chuck’s is cosplaying Amelia Cole, but maybe that’s just me. As for her style, aside from general guidelines she look like a real person who wants to go out in public, it’s all Nick.
HEY, EVERYONE. Spoilers for the Amelia Cole series follow this disclaimer. If you want to remain unspoiled, keep scrolling until you see that the coast is clear.
If not, go forward!
So… Puppyzilla. How about that?
DJK: Love Puppyzilla! The idea of a puppy getting huge and actually dangerous amused us and seemed like a nice way to kick off the second volume. And the only way to effectively combat Puppyzilla was obviously Mecha Lemmy. The idea made us chuckle so much, but then to see Nick bring it to life with some really great color assits by Ruiz…holy smokes. So fun!
APK: I love it when we toss something silly in there because it makes us laugh and Nick and the team up the game so it becomes this moment of amazing comics in ways we couldn’t have guessed.
Okay, I promise I’ll ask more serious questions after this, but I have to know: Did you always intend for the first Protector’s name to be Hector?
APK: I think that came late in the first arc writing process. We had him as The Protector but knew he wouldn’t be for much longer. And so he’d need a name. I think it was me that first suggested Hector. D.J. is that right?
DJK: That is right, you cornball.
APK: We debated it a while, too, if I remember. If it would be too silly or just right and could we go that silly with the name rhyme and still have him be a serious character. This is one of the many reasons I adore working on this book.
DJK: Yeah, it really works because it’s just so goofy, and Hector is so stiff. Initially I said, “Really, Adam? REALLY?” but now I love it.
About how much time had passed between volume one and volume two? Enough time for Hector to join a magical army obviously.
APK: A few months pass between issues 6 and 7. Also during issues 1-6 there are a few breaks of time. Amelia first lands and deals with things then gets her job as a super and a few months pass there, in that issue, as she settles in.
Did you always intend to have the twist of The Magistrate being a non-mage?
APK: Since day one. If you go back and look, you’ll see it. How often he has someone holding things for him, he leaves his wand behind, and so on. We were dropping hints for a long time. This was always in the works.
DJK: I was worried folks would call it sooner. Either our hints were subtle enough, too subtle…or no one really called us out on it but secretly knew. Well, our pal Russ Burlingame knew. We did an interview with him and really had to dance around our answers, because he had clearly figured it out, but it hadn’t been officially revealed in the book yet.
We see that Amelia’s motivation for protecting people came from the death of her dog Lemmy when she was little. Is it her sole motivation or will we be seeing more in the future?
DJK: We didn’t want her to “need” a motivation other than wanting to help and do the right thing. The dog Lemmy flashback was really just an example of how she’s always been this way and has never really known when to quit. Dani stopped her there, but Dani’s gone now. A little foreshadowing in the flashback. It also showed that her naming a giant golem “Lemmy” wasn’t totally random and was also kinda sweet.
APK: Maybe we should’ve had her at a Motorhead concert instead, as a ten year old, being all “Yeah! Lemmy!” … no, probably not.
DJK: Who says we can’t still do that?
I love the move Amelia pulled where she mixed magic and science to send the monsters away. Will there be more exploration of mixing science and magic in future issues?
APK: We’ve seen some of that with Omega Company, too. The world Amelia is in tries to draw hard lines in the sand about science and magic but that’s an artificial choice. People within the world, who are able to think about the boxes that society puts them in, can see that sometimes you need a chocolate in your peanut butter.
DJK: What Adam said. And now I want a Reese’s Cup.
Amelia Cole is currently on the third volume. What can we expect from The Enemy Unleashed?
APK: Issue 13, the start of the third arc is what I feel is The Last Quiet Day. It isn’t hardly quiet but when you look back after the next few issues, you’ll see what I mean. We’ve been setting up things for a while now, even if you can’t see them from where you are. Enemy Unleashed is the start of the big time payoff for everything. And it doesn’t just wrap up, laugh track, credits. There are consequences. Serious ones.
DJK: Yeah, it all goes from real to REALER. The Enemy Unleashed pays off some of the situations that were ramping up in The Hidden War while also racheting up new tension. It really doesn’t stop, and then the next arc…holy crap. My heart is pounding just thinking about it, honestly.
How far in the future have you planned the series?
APK: We have everything up to issue 30 plotted tightly. Past that we have some crazy ideas, but nothing firm on paper yet.
DJK: Adam and I not-so-secretly hope we’ll be able to keep writing Amelia’s adventures forever, so long as Nick is still game and we can afford to keep producing it.
APK: I want issue 100 so bad. So bad.
Will Amelia and Hector ever see each other again?
DJK: I know this is a SPOILERS section, but I really don’t to spoil that. Do you, Adam?
APK: I think we can spoil it and reveal that in issue 14, Hector goes on a cruise. He and Amelia never meet again, but he sends her letters from various tropical islands. Each one simply says “I hope the cloak itches” and is unsigned.
Any other teasers for the future of Amelia Cole?
DJK: MORE! More adventure! More spooky bad guys and monsters! More lessons learned! More magic! More sassy quips! AND MORE LEMMY BEING AWESOME! Also, Amelia will eat some really tasty food at some point, not that she’s that picky. Food is awesome.
APK: 100% Actual bit of dialogue from a future issue. I won’t say who says it or what context or when in the next fifteen issues it happens but: “I’m a dead man anyway.”
SPOILERS ARE OVER. Resume normal reading.
Where can readers obtain Amelia Cole comics?
APK: Single issues are digital only through Comixology and trades come out through IDW. The first arc (Amelia Cole and the Unknown World) is out this second and the second (Amelia Cole and the Hidden War) is out in early May.
DJK: If you like digital, please support the book there. If you prefer print, please let your comic shop know you want copies of the book. Some stores aren’t able to order everything, but if they know there’s a demand, they will. If you aren’t by a comic shop or bookstore, the books are on Amazon and other online retailers. However you get the book, please spread the word if you like it, and stay with us — we’re just about to the top of that first hill of the roller coaster.
Thank you, Adam and D.J! Feel free to come back and share your magic with the Nerdophiles anytime! For more information on Amelia Cole, check out the series page on MonkeyBrain Comics!