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War Rocket Ajax #110: Kelly Sue DeConnick Talks ‘Captain Marvel,’ ‘Ghost’ and Manga!

This week, War Rocket Ajax is proud to welcome Kelly Sue DeConnick to the podcast! We’ve been wanting to have her as a guest since the early days of the show, and now we have the chance to talk to her about Ghost, Captain Marvel, and how she made the transition from writing dialogue for manga to mainstream super-heroes, and you can listen to the whole episode right here at ComicsAlliance!War Rocket Ajax #110: Ignore the Broccoli People with Kelly Sue DeConnick
(WARNING: Contains NSFW language)

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You can also stream the show using the player above, or download it in MP3 format from WarRocketAjax.com.

On this week’s episode, things are back on track for Chris after a trip to Georgia to kick off con season, and Matt is celebrating the release of his new book, The Supervillain Handbook, by making some pretty awkward press appearances.

When Kelly Sue joins us, we spend a lot of time talking about how she got her start adapting manga into English versions for Tokyopop and Viz:

I did not localize anything. When I say “localize,” what I mean is that if there was a reference to a late-night comedian in Japan, I would not then change it to David Letterman or whatever. I would instead footnote it and say “so-and-so is a late-night comedian in Japan.” That, to me, is what localizing is, so I didn’t try to take Japan out of the equation.

But what I did do, my goal — this sounds so pretentious — my feeling about it was if I’m doing my job right, my hand is invisible. If I’m doing my job right, you forget that you’re reading it in translation and you’re just enjoying the story. I tried to intuit the best I could what the author’s intent was, and I tried to capture that tone. At the same time, I also did some novels, and there are some things… Rape jokes don’t translate very well. I had a tendency to try to play those down or just cut them when they came up, because they kind of derailed the story for me.

I want you to not notice that you’re reading it in translation, I want it to not feel foreign to you, so that you’re just enjoying the story, and I felt like that would, for most American readers, bring the story to a screeching halt. I tried to downplay those as much as I could.

We also get to hear her pitch for Ghost:

Have you ever watched one of those late-night cable television shows with lots of green camera work and the glowing eyeballs at night, where Ghost Hunters will stay in a house and record everything that happens?

Picture, if you will, the Ghost Bros, one of whom is, or was, an actual legit journalist who was disgraced and has crawled into a bottle of alcohol and ended up partnered with an Ed Hardy-wearing ghost bro to do this late-night television show, and kinda hates himself. The Ed Hardy dude has more money than he knows what to do with, and he’s always, he legitimately thinks that he’s doing science. As much of an idiot as he is, he’s got a good heart, and he’s committed to this stuff that he’s doing. So he’s constantly buying new bits of equipment to measure fluctuations in (mumble mumble mumble).

So one of these pieces of equipment that he buys actually works, and they pull this ghost woman out of the ether, and she comes back with no recollection of who she is or what happened to her, but with an overwhelming rage. And they set about, as a trio, to solve the mystery of who she is and where she came from.

Plus, find out about Broccoli People and why Continuity is the Devil in this week’s interview!

Show Notes:

You can find Kelly Sue on Twitter, @kellysue, or at her website, KellySue.com.

Jamie McKelvie’s new design for Captain Marvel has been a pretty big hit with artists around the web.

Check out some of the mini-comics Chris got at Fluke.

Mancow, the only radio host to be affiliated with the nWo.

Chris’s Rec: The Guitars – High Action

Matt’s Rec: Toshiba’s External Hard Drives, which saved this week’s show.

Comics Reviewed:

Battle Scars #6: “It’s very well-scripted, and Chris Yost does a great job with the script. But what happens in this book is insane. It is completely insane.” “Before I read this issue, the plot was conveyed to me by a series of text messages from a friend who was incredulous at what he just read, which is my favorite way to get comics. Forget about digital, if I could just get things texted to me by people who didn’t believe what they just read, I would drop all of my subscriptions.”

Daredevil #11: “It really does what it set out to do. It’s a very, very fun story. Like I said about the first part, it’s one of those great illustrations of what’s so fun about the Marvel Universe and having these characters in the same place. These crossovers feel really natural.”

The Goon #39: “The cover is not just a gag. The whole issue is a New 52 parody… There are multiple costume changes. He fights versions of himself that are just different colors. There’s a lot in here about pandering to the media, giving the Goon different origins. He has a different origin every few pages. It’s just really fun, a spot-on parody of the New 52.”

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