Molly’s Back in Action! Jamal Igle Returns for ‘Molly Danger’ Book Two [Back Pages]
Writer/artist Jamal Igle has had a busy few years in comics. Fresh off an exclusive at DC Comics where he became known as probably the defining Supergirl artist, he's joined Action Lab Comics, become a lecturer on comics issues, and --- oh yes --- created Molly Danger. The first volume of his series proved a knockout success on Kickstarter when it launched, raising over $50,000 from fans and acclaim from readers.
This year Igle is returning to Kickstarter for Book Two of the series, which is currently proposed to run for four volumes --- and things are really starting to get interesting for the young superhero. She's gained new allies, new enemies, and a whole load of new complications in her life. We spoke to Igle about his hero, and his plans for book two of the series.
ComicsAlliance: What’s the basic premise of Molly Danger?
Jamal IgIe: A seemingly immortal, superhumanly strong pre-teen girl battles the forces of evil and discovers more about herself than she ever imagined. She's been described a few ways, but I like to think of Molly as being one-part Peter Pan, one-part Supergirl.
CA: What was the genesis of the project? How long have you wanted to get this comic up and running?
JI: I originally conceived of the idea back in 2003 as an animated pitch. One of my friends, who had an independent publishing company, was going to publish Molly, but circumstances kept getting in the way. Every year or so, I'd do some more concept work, rework the story with every intention of doing it --- but had become disillusioned with the idea of self-publishing. Molly ended up getting placed on the shelf as I got busier with my paying work.
In 2010 I was approached by an editor at a book publisher looking for all-ages superhero material, and I brushed off the Molly Danger pitch, reworked the concept and pitched it. I never heard back about it and I kept pitching it to companies like Tor and Random House. I took Molly to a literary agent who loved the concept but didn't know where to take it. So I left it alone again.
I left DC Comics, where I'd been on contract for seven years, in 2012 and was trying to --- frankly --- figure what to do with my life when I was approached by another writer about pitching a project to Kickstarter for funding. I did some investigating, because I'd never heard of Kickstarter at that point and decided that I could run my own campaign and do a project I cared about. So I took Molly off the shelf, reworked the concept again to its current form, and pitched it. I ended up raising $50,000 dollars for the first book.
CA: What was it about this story which made you want to tell it?
JI: It's really a character study, when it all comes down to it. Molly Danger is less a superhero story as it is the story of a "young" girl trying to find herself. She begins book one having led this fabulous career of action, fame and fortune, yet she was incredibly lonely and isolated until Austin Briggs and, conversely, his stepson Bryan come along. All three characters, and Commander Holder, embody aspects of different stages of my life. I really find the story, not to toot my own horn too much, fascinating to explore.
CA: What can readers expect as Molly's story now continues into book two?
JI: Book Two begins nine months after the end of book one and Molly is enjoying a bit more freedom than she did previously. Unfortunately this puts Austin in the awkward position of actually having to be a disciplinarian. It's not a role he's comfortable with and it causes tension not just at work but at home with Bryan. Meanwhile, we learn more about Father, who was introduced in Book One, his connection to Molly, and who she really is.
CA: Why take this to Kickstarter?
JI: I believe in Kickstarter as a leveller for concepts. It allows creators of all types to fund and market test their projects. The funding made it possible for me to work on Book One uninterrupted, pay the creative team, print and market the book in a way that would not have been possible had I taken Molly to another publisher.
CA: What stage are you at with the Book Two? How much have you already completed?
JI: Scripting and design work. If the campaign is successful, I can not only get the print script to Elaine Lee (who is adapting the books for the Audiocomics companion). It will pay for the recording (Actors, studio time, etc.) but get the artwork done for Book Two as well as... hmm… I can't give that away just yet… but it's something big that we're doing at Action Lab.
CA: Should you achieve your goal, what’s your estimated delivery on the final comic?
JI: The scheduled ship date in store with be October of 2016, but backers will receive their books before that time.
Molly Danger Book Two is looking for a goal of $50000, and will end on 18 May 2015. You can find out more about Molly on Jamal's website!