LJGothamAcademy_001_B_SubscriptionThe crossover book that I never knew I wanted until it was announced was Boom! Studios and DC Comics’ Lumberjanes/Gotham Academy. Two things that naturally and effortlessly go together… like peanut butter and jelly.

The first issue of the book came out on June 8 and was well received by both Lumberjanes and Gotham Academy fans alike. The team on the book is Chynna Clugston-Flores as writer with Rosemary Valero-O’Connell on art and covers by Mingjue Helen Chen.

We got the chance to briefly chat and ask a few questions to the writer of the book, Chynna Clugston-Flores (Blue Monday). Check out our Q&A below:

Rogues Portal: How did the Lumberjanes Gotham Academy crossover come to be and how did you come to be the writer of it?
Chynna Clugston Flores: I have no idea how it came together, honestly, just that I was contacted about writing it once they got the green light at BOOM!. So even though I’m not quite sure how it happened, I’m certainly glad it did! I’m guessing I was probably recruited to write it because of my creator-owned series Blue Monday, which also has a large cast of teenage misfits with quick tongues. They seemed confident that I wouldn’t have any trouble writing for a large ensemble.

RP: What have been some of the challenges to writing two sets of established and beloved characters?
CCF: Just keeping tabs on everyone can be a challenge; I find myself writing lists of who is with who in particular scenes so I don’t let anyone go under the radar for too long, or forget someone who’s supposed to be split off with a certain group doing whatever. As far as writing for two sets of well-known characters, it’s just a matter of getting their personalities down and working within the set parameters each company has for their properties. I also like to try to keep in mind what a casual reader might like to see happen in the story, too, without turning it into a big fan-service circus that would detract too much from the story!

RP: Which of the characters did you have the most fun writing? Did you feel a personal connection to any of them in particular?
CCF: Most of them are super fun to write, but my favorites were probably Jen and Mal from Lumberjanes, and Colton and Pom from Gotham Academy. Which I guess means I enjoy writing dialogue for characters that are either somewhat neurotic worry-warts, or smart-alecky troublemakers, or both!

RP: Did any of the Lumberjanes or Gotham Academy team act as consultants on the book? If so, how involved were they?
CCF: My sole contact on all things Lumberjanes/Gotham Academy has been through my editors at BOOM! and they’ve been extremely helpful and awesome in navigating me through both properties’ many different layers. 

RP: How did working on a cross-publisher book with two sets of characters help you grow as a creator?
CCF: It’s helped me learn how to juggle an even bigger cast of characters than I usually do, which has been a fun exercise, among other things––such as writing for as diverse a readership as possible. This may be initially aimed at a young audience, but the older readers are definitely there (I’m one of them on the regular series,) and my goal has been to create a story that many different ages can enjoy. The entire project has been a wonderful learning experience. 

RP: Ok – flashforward to a big Halloween get together (or comic con, even!). Who would the kids choose to dress up or cosplay as?
CCF: Good question! I’m guessing maybe Mal would shave off the rest of her hair and be Furiosa, and Colton would dress up in honor of David Bowie as Ziggy Stardust this year. Olive would go ahead and be a Ravenclaw, wand in hand and an ancient book in the other. Ripley would dress up as Bubbles, and dress Bubbles up as herself. Or, Ripley would be Rocky the Flying Squirrel! Maps would rock as Indiana Jones, Kyle would definitely be young Spock. I imagine Jo would be Rey from The Force Awakens, Pom would be Wednesday Addams dressed as a homicidal maniac (they look just like everyone else,) April would go as Holtzmann from Ghostbusters 2016, and I’m hoping Molly would be one of my personal favorites –– Brienne of Tarth!

Stephanie Cooke
Stephanie is a Toronto based writer and editor. She's a comic book fan, avid gamer, movie watcher, lover of music, and sarcasm. She is a purveyor of too many projects and has done work for Talking Comics, JoBlo.com, Agents of Geek, Word of the Nerd, C&G Magazine, Dork Shelf, and more. Her writing credits include "Home Sweet Huck" (Mark Millar's Millarworld Annual 2017), "Lungarella (Secret Loves of Geek Girls, 2016), "Behind Enemy Linens" (BLOCKED Anthology, 2017), "Home and Country" (Toronto Comics Anthology, 2017) and more to come. You can read more about her shenanigans over on her <a href="http://www.stephaniecooke.ca">personal web site</a>.

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