Roger Langridge Gets Literary While Staying All-Ages In ‘Snarked!’
If you mostly stuck to skimming the classic, if nonsensical, works of Lewis Carroll in school, fear not! Thor: The Mighty Avenger and Muppet Show alumnus Roger Langridge has got something for you, your nephew, your mom and even your grandma to make up for lost time. Coming this August, Langridge’s Snarked! #0 from Boom! Studios’ Kaboom! imprint remixes scads of relevant Carroll references into an ongoing original comic for readers of all ages. We interviewed Langridge about his inspiration for the upcoming series and learned how his idea for a literary mashup evolved into a full-color, kid-friendly monthly comic. Read the full interview and Snarked! #0 preview after the jump.ComicsAlliance: Snarked! is an original series that draws from the works of Lewis Carroll. Did you have a “light bulb” moment to tell this story, or was it more of a confluence of various inspirations?
Roger Langridge: A few things fell together. I’d been toying with the idea of doing a web strip, gag-a-day format, with The Walrus and the Carpenter; I’d long wanted to do an adaptation of The Hunting of the Snark; and I was keen on the idea of trying my hand at some kind of original long, epic story. When Boom! asked me if I had any kid-friendly ideas lying around, I couldn’t think of a single thing for a couple of weeks! It was ages before it occurred to me that I could mash all of those things together.
CA: What is it about Carroll’s writing that’s kept it relevant for more than a century and how does that fit into what you’re doing on Snarked!?
RL: Nonsense and surrealism never get old; even if some of the specific references are Victorian, the fact that Carroll’s work is set in a kind of timeless world keeps it from feeling too dated. And I’ve always been a huge fan of the absurdist/surrealist streak that runs through British comedy, as in Monty Python and the Goons – that worldview is a constant presence in my comics – so that meshes with Carroll’s sensibility fairly seamlessly.
CA: The bonus material at the end of issue #0 fleshes out each Carroll reference in your narrative with illustrated retellings of “The Hunting of the Snark,” “The Walrus and the Carpenter” along with puzzles and games. Will these kinds of extras be included in every issue of the series?
RL: Not necessarily as separate features (although there will be a letters section!), but I’ll be trying to integrate things like that into the narrative to some extent. I always loved that kind of thing when I read comics as a kid, and I think it adds an extra dimension to a comic – it keeps the work from being a completely passive reading experience and engages the reader more directly. That’s true interactive entertainment!
CA: Word originally broke about Snarked! back in March. How long have you been keeping the series under your cap and roughly how far ahead have you been able to work?
RL: I had a couple of other obligations to work through before I began work on Snarked!, but I’m still a comfortable way ahead; sticking to a monthly schedule looks entirely doable for a good while to come. I’m writing #4 at the moment, with plots worked out up to issue #12.
CA: The cover to Snarked! #0 features the shadow of a looming dragon-like creature. Any chance readers might see an actual snark (or dragon) at some point?
RL: Well, now you’re asking me something. Um. What I will say is that the Snark is going to be a constant presence, even when you don’t see it; the threat of it, the fear of it, in some cases the memory of it, will never be far away. And there will be genuine physical threats to overcome as well – but now we’re getting into spoiler territory, so I’ll shut up!
CA: Along with the print version, do you or Boom! have any plans to take Snarked! digital via outlets like comiXology?
RL: That’s not up to me, but I’d be in favour of it. Anything to get more eyeballs on the thing is a good idea.
RL: Firstly, I think it’s the right time in my life for me to be doing this kind of work – I have two kids, eight and five, and if I’m not going to work on something now that they can appreciate, I never will. Besides that, the comic industry is in such a state right now that it needs all the readers it can get. It makes all kinds of sense to me to be creating comics that have as few barriers as possible to reaching the widest audience they can. And I really enjoy the challenge of coming up with stories built around universal themes that adults and children can both appreciate – in the case of Snarked!, the idea of losing a parent is central to the story. I don’t know any kid who isn’t either dealing with the reality of an absent parent, or at least with anxiety about it; and of course every adult loses their parents at some point. All ages, folks. ALL ages.
CA: Your ACT-I-VATE series Mugwhump the Great is being collected alongside other material in The Show Must Go On this fall through Boom!, meaning you’ve got a lot of new material being released alongside comics you wrapped up awhile back. Are there any other upcoming projects your fans should be looking out for at the moment?
RL: There’s going to be a little flurry of Langridge towards the end of the year. In September, in addition to The Show Must Go On, I’ve got a piece in the Jim Henson’s The Storyteller anthology from Archaia; September will also see the first issue of the Edgar Rice Burroughs adaptation I’m writing for Marvel, John Carter: A Princess of Mars, drawn by Filipe Andrade. Then Snarked! #1 comes out in October, and in November I’ll be contributing a chapter to Nelson, a multi-creator graphic novel from Blank Slate Books. Busy times, and sometimes it’s hard to fit everything in – but what a great problem to have!
Read the first four pages of Roger Langridge’s Snarked! #0 below: