On the heels of today’s announcement by Dynamite Entertainment that it will be putting out a special commemorative edition of Warlord of Mars (numbered #100) to celebrate the nearly one hundred issues which have been released to date by the comic book publisher, Cosmic Book News Managing Editor Byron Brewer got on the horn to the Red Planet and exclusively got the skinny from the horse’s mouth: regular series writer Arvid Nelson.
As we understand, Dynamite will be releasing a special celebratory Warlord of Mars#100 as a special squarebound issue with multiple stories. Featuring a who’s who of today’s best comic artists inside, Warlord of Mars #100 features covers by Joseph Michael Linsner, Jay Anacleto, Fabiano Neves, Emanuela Lupacchino and Stephanie Buscema. Also featuring special bonus material, this comic can be found in stores and also can be read digitally this coming April.
Now, for the real story, straight from Barsoom!
Cosmic Book News: Arvid, you have been with Warlord of Mars since the very beginning. As a writer, what does this collection of work mean to you?
Arvid Nelson: I’m surprised and pleased it’s had such a storied run. Above all, Warlord of Mars has come to mean a tremendous deal to me on a personal level. I poured my heart into every single issue, and I feel like it’s on par with any other title on the racks. I can’t claim full credit – or even most of the credit – because I owe so much to Joe, my editor, and to all the wonderful artists who’ve contributed. But yes, I’m proud of what we accomplished.
CBN: Tell us about this very special issue of Warlord of Mars.
Arvid Nelson: It’s a big, fat, explosion of Warlord of Mars, with contributions from most of the writers who’ve worked on Warlord and its related titles. All the stories are going to focus on Woola, John Carter’s Martian “hound”. When Molly at Dynamite approached me with the idea of Woola-centric stories, I immediately punched myself in the face, because I wish I had thought of it.
CBN: What will these Woola concern? Will it involve individual stories or a continuing tale done by many writers?
Arvid Nelson: Robert Napton – he’s the writer of the Dejah Thoris series – and I are doing a two-part story. Robert’s half is set 400 years before Carter’s arrival, and my half takes place during Carter’s reign as Warlord. More than that, I dare not say!
CBN: Besides Robert and yourself, sir, tell me about the writing talent involved on this great book.
Arvid Nelson: Well, there is Robert Napton, of course. I finally met him last year, and we’ve become fast friends. It’s weird, we share a lot of interests outside of Warlord of Mars. Robert’s working on a YA novel, which he showed to me, and it’s awesome. I’m working on a novel, too, and get this – we both, independently, decided to work with the same editor! [Mark Rahner also writes for #100.]
CBN: Ha! And the art?
Arvid Nelson: The best thing about Warlord of Mars, for me personally, has been collaborating with so many talented artists from all over the globe. Brazil, the Philippines, Germany, the United States… you name it. Each artist brings their own unique set of strengths to the story. Writing to an artist’s strengths is a big part of being a good comic book writer.
CBN: Is this part of John Carter’s regular continuity?
Arvid Nelson: Yeah, it’s part of Dynamite Warlord “canon”.
CBN: Arvid, what makes John Carter a character that you and other scribes want to write?
Arvid Nelson: For me, and I’ve said this before, it’s about finding Carter’s vulnerabilities and flaws. His shyness and clumsiness, especially around women, is what makes him interesting.
CBN: Oh yeah, who is the big-bad that is taking John Carter through this special issue?
Arvid Nelson: One of the things that occurred to Robert and me is that Woola really needs to be the “star” of our story. So Carter plays a central role, but it’s really about loveable, homely old Woola. And for our story it’s not so much a person Woola is up against – it’s a thing. A sword. Doh! Said too much.
CBN: (laughs) Don’t you think it would be nice if John Carter appeared on the cover of Warlord of Mars #100 instead of a nude Dejah Thoris? (laughs)
Arvid Nelson: Hah, yes! In fact, we do Carter covers from time to time. Steve Sadowski, the artist of the first two issues of Warlord, did some great covers featuring Carter solo. I especially love the one of Carter kneeling in chains, and the one of his son, Carthoris, being pulled at by dozens of green Martian hands.
CBN: All the die-hard fans of Warlord of Mars (like me) hope you have a lot more in store for us in the regular book?
Arvid Nelson: I really hope so, Byron! All things must come to an end, including Warlord of Mars. But we’ve got some surprises in store. All I can say is “stay tuned,” so please do!
Cosmic Book News would like to thank Arvid Nelson for answer our questions during his busy schedule. We would also like to thank Dynamite’s own Nick Barrucci who helped make this timely interview possible.
“Warlord of Mars” #100 hits stores in April!