Gail Simone is one of the most popular creators in comics and is an outspoken advocate for the industry. Meanwhile, Cat Staggs has made her name as one of the best artists in the business, creating some of the best looking covers and interiors in the industry. It was only natural when Crosswind was announced from the duo, comics fandom exploded with anticipation. With the first issue out this week, we got to sit down with Gail and Cat and talk about the series!
How do you get in the mindset to work each day?
CS: Getting into the mindset is easy. I am so invested in these characters that it is a joy to get back to them everyday.
A very cool thing you did- as soon as the body swap happened, Cason adopted Juniper’s body language and vice versa. How did you pull that off so seamlessly?
CS: This book has been a master class of human behavior for me. I have had to study bold body language as well as the subtle things. The way a man holds something vs the way a woman might hold it. The way a confident man carries himself vs the way a defeated woman would carry herself. All of these things have to carry over once they switch. Then the fun begins once they start to “pretend” to be each other as they try not to get caught while figuring out what happened.
What’s been the most challenging thing you’ve had to draw so far?
CS: The most challenging thing for me is certainly the subtlety of the “acting.” A body swap story where each character still retains their essence is so complex and nuanced. I’m enjoying it much more than I even thought I would, but it takes a lot of thinking and planning and keeping track of things.
What has it been like working with Gail?
CS: It has been an absolute dream. Getting to draw from her scripts is so much fun. She has a wonderful sense of timing. It makes pacing out the pages fun and exciting. Gail is a dream partner and I am so grateful we were finally able to come together for a project.
Now, a question for you both- the story is set, at least in the first issue, in both Chicago and Seattle. What made those two cities the place to set the story?
GS: They are simply two of my favorite cities, but they couldn’t be more different. Chicago feels like old world elegance that Seattle simply doesn’t have. I know there are rough parts of Chicago,
but you find beautiful old buildings all over the damn place. Seattle looks forward, Chicago looks back, and I love them both.
CS: I think any story that is set in an actual place, adds a grounding element. People can relate to the setting and it lets the audience fall into the story on a greater level.
The story feels like a film put to paper. Is this something you both wanted from the beginning or is it some that developed as the story started getting put on the page?
GS: That’s 100% Cat’s skill level. She wanted to do a book that felt like real people, and she pulled it off brilliantly.
CS: That is what it felt like when I read it. My brain immediately made the world. I am watching the movie every time I get a new script.
What’s your favorite scene from the first issue?
GS: I find the first scene kind of heartbreaking, even in its brutality. It says something to me that resonates–you can seemingly be on top of the world and still be forced to do terrible sh*t you don’t want to do.
CS: I really enjoyed drawing the opening scene in the snow. I had fun with that. But my favorite scene of the first issue is definitely the immediate aftermath of the switch. As they are seeing themselves for the first time and the shock of it all.
I know the first issue is just out this week, so it’s weird to ask this question, but is the series open ended or do you have a specific end point in mind?
GS: There is a definite end point. But it’s also a beginning. Also, I somehow just swallowed a fortune cookie.
What kind of readers do you think the series will appeal to?
GS: I am hoping people who love great drama, people who really want a ripping yarn. It’s rough in spots, but it rewards the reader who invests their time in it, I think.
And it’s gorgeous to look at.
CS: Anyone who enjoys a great story.
What comics are each of you enjoying right now?
GS: I am reading MONSTRESS a million times and waiting for BINGO LOVE to come out. Also, anything by Scott Snyder, Tom King, G. Willow Wilson, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Jody Houser and Marjorie Liu is guaranteed a buy from me.
CS: I have just caught up on my reading. I usually only get to read when I travel. I have been reading Velvet, Lazarus, and Black Widow…and I sense a theme.
Do you have any parting words for ComicsBuzz readers?
GS: Thank you for all the support! I don’t live near a comics store, so sites like this are really how I keep in touch with what’s going on, and it’s much appreciated!
CS: I hope you all enjoy Crosswind!
We would like to thank Gail and Cat for taking the time to talk to us.
Tony Thornley is a Mormon geek dad, blogger, Spider-Man and Superman aficionado, amateur novelist and all around awesome guy. He was born and raised in Utah and has been reading comics since age five. His first comic series was GI Joe and he was doomed from there. You can follow him on Twitter @brawl2099.