Cracking The Mysteries Of ‘Goldie Vance’ With Hope Larson And Brittney Williams [Interview]
Boom Studios' imprint Boom Box has been setting the standard for young adult comics, with hit series like Lumberjanes and The Midas Flesh connecting with readers of all-ages. This week sees the release of Goldie Vance, a brand new Boom Box series by Hope Larson and Brittney Williams about an aspiring teen detective who grew up at the hotel where her father works.
ComicsAlliance caught up with the creative team to talk about the genesis of Goldie's creation, their collaborative process and Goldie's love of cars, plus Boom Box provided an exclusive preview of Goldie Vance #1 with covers by Brittney Williams, Marguerite Sauvage and Jen Wang.
ComicsAlliance: I want to start by talking about Goldie Vance’s inception and how you two came to work together. Have you been in collaboration since the start, or did one of you come aboard into the development process?
Hope Larson: We have been in collaboration from the start. I came on before Brittney, but I think it was only by a matter of hours, and it was my (mis)understanding at the time that she was attached before I was! I’ve never had a project come together as quickly as this one did.
My editors Shannon Watters and Dafna Pleban called asking if I would be interested in pitching a girl-detective book, I came up with an idea that afternoon, and we were off to the races. I don’t remember how long it was before Brittney sent in character designs, but it wasn’t long at all! It was a great situation of the two of us finding out together who these characters are and what they’re all about.
Brittney Williams: As Hope said things got started pretty quickly. I read the super amazing outline and character descriptions Hope wrote and I just went from there!
CA: What can you tell us about our lead character, Goldie? What is it that drives her to be a detective?
HL: Goldie’s obsessed with cars, and she looks at the world the same way she does the engine of a car. She wants the thing to be running well. If something’s broken, she fixes it. If one of her friends gets into trouble due to their own poor decision-making, her thought process isn’t, “How could you do this?!” It’s, “How can we fix the problem.” Engines break down, and sometimes people break down, and what Goldie cares about is getting everything back up and running.
BW: Goldie is a great friend who just happens to love cars and racing them! If I were any cooler I’d be her.
CA: When creating Goldie and her supporting cast, was it important to you to create a world that a young girl, who may be underrepresented in comics, could see herself in?
HL: I always worry about issues of representation, but this book came together in an organic way and, speaking for myself, I’m not out to make any big statements about race or gender politics. Goldie’s world is no more the “real world” than Archie’s Riverdale is. My goal for the book was just to make it fun.
BW: I definitely feel representation is important and creating a diverse world was my goal. In all-ages media especially I feel diversity is very important.
CA: What’s the collaboration like on a mystery book? Are there secret asides in the script for Easter eggs and clues?
HL: There are a couple. I was lucky in that I had enough lead time to script the whole four-issue arc in advance; I’m not sure how else one would write a mystery!
BW: Each cover illustration holds a clue to the story and that's all I’m going to say!
CA: How far ahead do you have to plot with a mystery story? Do you start at the solution and work backwards?
HL: Kind of. It’s a lot of back and forth and a lot of research and a lot of long walks and a lot of feeling like my brain is going to melt, even though this is not a really complicated mystery. I don’t know how serious mystery writers do it! I outline extensively.
CA: Brittney, what’s it like to be drawing two books at the same time? Was Goldie Vance completed before you started on Pasty Walker A.K.A. Hellcat, or are you juggling them both?
BW: I could easily improve my time management skills that’s for sure. I kind of juggle them month to month.
CA: The hotel, staff and guests all feel really timeless. Did you have any specific references that you worked from when you were building the world of Goldie Vance?
HL: That stuff is all Brittney, but I personally have an obsession with hotels and resorts from the first half of the 1900s and have been wanting to write a hotel-based story for years.
BW: I grew up watching tons of classic movies and I fell in love with those characters and worlds. Other than pulling from that inspiration there really wasn’t anything specific that I referenced.
CA: What cryptic clues can you give us for what Goldie Vance #1 has in store?
HL: Fast cars, brainy girls, and a main character who’ll do anything to help a friend.
BW: You’re going to like it!
Goldie Vance #1 is out this Wednesday in comic stores and on Comixology. Check below for an exclusive preview of the first issue.