Felicia Day Talks ‘The Guild’ Season 4 and Its Next Comic Series [Interview]
With the fourth season of her popular Web series "The Guild" underway and a successful three-issue comic book miniseries under her belt, Felicia Day is set to add yet another chapter of the show's comic book counterpart to her portfolio. Five all-new, single-issue standalone tales are due out in 2011, with each focusing on a different member of the guild's mighty men and women. We caught up with the multi-talented Ms. Day to talk about "The Guild's" new season and what fans can expect from next year's adventures at Dark Horse Comics.
ComicsAlliance: Congrats on the first episode of season four airing.
Felicia Day: Thank you. I never appreciate how many hours of the day it takes to launch something on the Internet.
CA: What was the reaction from fans of the Web series to the three issue mini series released earlier this year?
FD: It was very gratifying. I'm a new comic writer so I never claimed to be an expert at anything. I'm not sure how many of my fans reads comics. I'd say it's probably about fifty-fifty as far as people who don't read comics and people who are big comics fans. Before the issues actually came out I don't know if there was as much excitement, but once the issues started coming out I just got so much feedback and it just kept building. So by the third issue every single day I was getting like 10 or 15 Twitter messages saying, you know, "Hey, I've never bought a comic before, but I love The Guild comic." It was really gratifying. I feel like I should be doing some research to introduce them to other really good comics that they might like. That's a future blog entry that's on my to do list [laughs]. The biggest compliment is when people who are huge comic book aficionados who call me and tell me that they think the comic is good. I feel like comic readers are the most critical of any sub-group of geek because they're very educated about what they love. So I was kind of worried. I did fret a lot over it because I just didn't want to let anyone down.CA: In your last interview with ComicsAlliance you mentioned that writing the comic took you quite awhile compared to writing say, screenplays.
FD: It definitely took me a long time and it also had to teach me how to write a story in a different way. I had a lot of subplots and side jokes and things like that in the script that I had to go through and cut out because there just isn't space. It's a lot more visual than anything I'm used to doing. I'm sure I still have a long way to go. I definitely learned that brevity is the key to comics. I mean, you could do a whole comic book with no dialogue. I think by the third comic I definitely had fewer drafts. The first issue was definitely the steepest for me. I think I went in there with about twenty pages too much material. But, I'm really proud of them. Just seeing them come to life under the artist's pen was kind of a thrill for me because I can't draw at all *laughs*.
FD: No, when [Dark Horse editor] Scott [Allie] approached me to do more "Guild" comics I was like, gosh, I don't know if I have time. Because it does take a lot of time and I don't like to do anything that's not 100 percent. And I said I'm not sure if I could consistently get five issues together. So I said the only way I could do it is if I could do single issues that center around each character. And he [Allie] was like, "Well, you could do three or five [issues]" and I was like, well, that's kind of funny because there are five other characters and I could do an issue about each. So I was really excited about that idea. And we're going to be using different artists for each one and different artists for each cover. That's kind of the most exciting thing for me about this run because I can really pair the style of story that I want to tell with each of these characters with a distinctive style of art. Jim Rugg had such a great touch with Codex, whose life was kind of sparse and linear and very Indie style.
CA: What were the reactions of the cast of "The Guild" to the three-issue mini-series.
FD: They were really excited to see themselves drawn like superheroes. Each of the issues had the cast looking very heroic, and then there was a Codex centered, more indie style, and all of them went out and bought the issues that they were on. Jeff and Sandeep read a lot of comics, and so does Vince, so they were really particularly excited about the comics and of course wanted to thumb to the page that they were on first.
CA: Do you think it will be difficult to fit each character's origin story into a single issue?
FD: Well, I'm going to have the timeline start after they've already formed the Guild so it's going to be begin right after the third issue that I left off. It's going to be more of a character study of their day-to-day life and how the Guild is starting to form together.
CA: How will the comic series intertwine with season four of "The Guild," if at all?
FD: Well, it won't intertwine at all. That's always been my fear with the comic; that I would step on the toes of the story that I need to tell in the Web series. And we're pretty limited as far as what we can do with our budget in the Web series and I didn't want to steal anything away from the web series because that's kind of our primary focus.
CA: What can fans expect to see in this season of "The Guild?"
FD: I can say that we'll see more of certain characters interacting who haven't really interacted before. And we'll see more of Bladezz at that grill at Cheesy Beards. It makes me laugh a lot. I can't believe we actually were able to film him in a restaurant kitchen, but we have friends who own a restaurant and they allowed us to film there. It makes me laugh so much to see him in a hairnet.
CA: And I love the interaction between Bladezz and his real-life sister on the show.
FD: Yes! She's hilarious. We'll definitely see her again this season.
CA: So, with all that you've got going on, do you still find time to spend online gaming?
FD: I just finished "Mass Effect 2." I had a really good time doing with that, although I think I may have picked the wrong ending and I'm going to go back because you can import your game into the next one so I don't want to start "Mass Effect 3" off on the wrong foot (laughs). And I finished "Dragon Age" before that and I've been playing a lot of Split second. If somebody comes over to the house they're probably going to have to take the time to play "Split Second" with me because it's a really fun racing game. And I'm really good at it (laughs).
CA: I'm impressed that with your schedule you're still able to devote so much time to gaming.
FD: Well, I try my best. If it's an hour before bed I have to decide between that and watching TV, essentially. And lately I've been watching a lot more TV because just because I've been in writing mode. I feel like, if you're going to write well you've got to watch what you're writing so I noticed that I was playing too many video game so I was like 'OK you've got to watch TV and movies now because you're losing your language.' So, I've been just catching as much gaming as I can possibly catch between doing everything else.
CA: Are you working on anything else that you'd like to talk about?
FD: Well, you know we're always working. With the web series it's like 90 percent of the work is after you finish filming and that was a lot of work this year. There's just day-to-day maintenance on the show that's kind of my full-time job. Which is great. And we're working on other projects. I'm writing something else and we're producing like three different web-series in various stages so hopefully by the end of the year we'll have at least one other thing that we've filmed that's not Guild related because we want to expand a little bit; that's just a goal, but we're only two ladies still, we're trying to learn how to delegate, but it's hard for two people.