‘Regular Show’ Takes On Noir In New OGN [Interview & Preview]
The second of Boom Studios' Regular Show OGNs hits stands next week, bringing the quirks and fun of the Cartoon Network show to the comics page. Titled Regular Show: Noir Means Noir, Buddy, the book takes Mordecai and Rigby into the world of mysteries and cop dramas. ComicsAlliance spoke with writers Rachel Connor and Robert Luckett about what to expect (hint: it's probably the unexpected). Plus, check out a nine-page preview after the interview!
ComicsAlliance: What is Regular Show: Noir Means Noir, Buddy about
Rachel Connor: Noir Means Noir, Buddy is a fast-paced 'whodunnit' revolving around some dodgy goings-on at the park. When Rigby and Mordecai have entirely different ideas on how to crack the case, dividing the story between the monochrome hues of a noir mystery and the bare knuckle brashness of those classic buddy cop movies many readers will know and love. As it's Regular Show, the bros have to unite their contrasting efforts to take down the main culprit - it won't be no walk in the park, though!
Robert Luckett: Its about Mordecai and Rigby being in slightly different places with their entertainment influences, and how that affects their own narrative and perception of reality when mystery and action come calling. It's Sin City vs Die Hard and all the Regular Show crew are along for the bumpy ride as well as some entirely new antagonists.
CA: Since this is Rachel’s second Regular Show OGN, but Robert’s first, how was it working together on a project like this?
RC: It's worth mentioning here that Rob actually had a helpful hand in writing some bits and pieces on 'Hydration' my first Regular Show OGN but we didn't have enough time to add him to the standard credit, just as a special thanks.
One of the inevitable things of being an artsy couple living in one another's pockets is that you have a soundboard right there to bounce ideas off at all times. While I want to keep spoilers on the downlow for anyone who hasn't read Hydration (and to those folks I say why not?! *wink*) I plumbed the depths of Rob's considerable knowledge of robots and kaiju when weaving the story arc for Hydration.
As my background is scriptwriting for television, a part of me actually prefers working as part of a writing team. It's exhilarating when your writing brain kinda 'syncs' with that other person and you find yourselves frantically volleying ideas back of forth.
RL: We're both big Regular Show fans, so when we sit down to watch it we always talk about plotlines together afterwards and spitball ideas. The actual writing process is a breeze really as we've worked on and edited each others stuff for so long its just how we do things anyway. Its not like two keyboard cats at the same desk clawing and hissing at each other. We're chunking out specific scenes for each other and having our own pass at the script to add details and flourishes.
RC: There's occasional hissing!
CA: Both of you have a background in areas that are related to comics like animation and gaming. What do you feel you bring to the table from those areas in terms of writing a fun graphic novel?
RC: I probably have a lucky ace up my sleeve since I worked on a Cartoon Network property and then here I am writing graphics novels based on another CN cartoon! I for one can't help but visualize each scene and panel as if it's meant to be animated, so I try my best to make the story as dynamic as possible for the artist to work from. I guess that's another advantage we've enjoyed; thus far we've been very lucky to have some exceptional artistic talent work on our graphic novels. Tessa Stone and Wook Jin Clark, both highly talented, perceptive individuals were able to take our scripts to the next level.
RL: Knowing the pros and cons of animation versus comics sort of opens up an understanding of what you can do in one versus the other too. In comics you don't have to factor in needing voice talent for new characters or how many frames a certain action sequence is going to need a budget for. I used to webcomic a long time ago so understanding how much you can and can't cram into a page is ingrained. We were wary of throwing too much crazy action at Wook Jin Clark on this though! There's a conceptually crazy car-chase but he nailed it and the resulting 2-page splash is one of the highlights of the whole book.
CA: Obviously, the OGN is pretty long in comparison to the Regular Show episodes and comics. How do you keep an engaging story going given the length while still maintaining that Regular Show feel?
RC: I feel that it's a bit of a misconception that the length of a project can determine how engaging it is. As long as you can establish a pretty robust story arc from the start, and make sure that all your key characters have plenty of motivation and conflict that fits in with who they are, you tend to find the momentum needed to keep the pages turning. That said, we're both super-keen Regular Show fans so it's always been rule numero uno that we do our best to write stories pertaining to who these guys are in the show.
RL: Separating up the characters into their own sub-plots to converge later on is what we decided on with this OGN as it gives a lot more room to explore the characters independently and then together again after they reunite. Get those conflict turbines whirring. When we first start out with the 150+ page count staring back at us it can be intimidating, but by the end we're finding it hard to cram in absolutely everything we want to do.
CA: What can fans of Regular Show episodes and comics expect from this OGN? And what about people who aren’t familiar with the property?
RL: Fans can expect a metric horse-ton of callbacks to the show ranging from one panel blink and you'll miss its to weaving our little tale intricately in between a set of episodes in the show. For that reason alone they might be seeing a couple of faces they might not have in a while. People that aren't familiar with Regular Show might find the duality of noir versus buddy cop concept enticing enough alone without knowing what this bluejay and racoon normally get up to as park-keepers and retro entertainment enthusiasts.
RC: Rob and I are particularly proud of OGN2 because we feel there's something in there for a wide range of readers, be they staunch Regular Show fans or a curious peruser for something new in their local comic or book shop. While we've endeavored to ground this story in Mordecai and Rigby's universe, at the heart of it is the very universal problem of two well-meaning dudes just trying to do the right thing, even if their egos do get in the way somewhat!
And here's the solicitation:
Regular Show Vol. 2: Noir Means Noir, BuddyOriginal Graphic NovelPublisher: KaBOOM!Writers: Rachel Connor & Robert LuckettArtist: Wook Jin ClarkCover Artist: Andy HirschFormat: 6" x 9", 160 pages, full colorPrice: $14.99On sale: August 5 in comic shops, August 11 in bookstoresSynopsis: What’s to Love: We love crafting original graphic novels for series like Regular Show because the long-form story reads like an extended episode of the show!
What It Is: Oh, heavens! A cold front is moving in, mysterious earthquakes shake the Park, and worst of all, someone has stolen Pops’s socks! Springing into action, Mordecai and Rigby look to the best role models they have—movies, duh—to crack the case. With the combined powers of noir and ’90s action flicks behind them, these two sleuths should be unstoppable...but this time, they may be up against a bigger foe than they can match. Follow the slime!