Terry Moore has been writing and illustrating comics pretty consistently since 1993 when he first released the Strangers In Paradise miniseries. The miniseries eventually became one hundred and six issues and ended its run in 2007. Moore followed up SiP with a science fiction based series called Echo which, while being a very different series to SiP, still showed the same characterisation, fine art, and strong woman characters that made SiP so popular.
In late 2011 Moore launched his third ongoing series, Rachel Rising. It’s the story of a woman who wakes up in a grave, after having been killed, and still able to remember the murder itself.
I was lucky enough to be able to score an interview with Terry Moore and ask him a few questions about Rachel Rising and his plans for the book.
The Rachel Rising covers seem to be starker and different from anything we’ve seen you do before. Is this a case where we should judge a book by its cover?
Terry Moore: That’s one approach, but, yeah, I do want the series I create to have unique personalities from each other. Like Beatles albums. Rachel is definitely different from SiP or Echo, but it’s all one world.
Anyone who reads Terry Moore comics knows that the supporting cast is a huge part of the story. Do the supporting cast have pre-defined roles and relationships in your work, or do they change in the telling of the story?
TM: Both. I begin with their relationships in mind up to that point. Then the story changes that. Like real life. Sometimes it’s fun — as a writer, not as a human — to see how fast you can get from two characters hugging in friendship to trying to kill each other. That’s sort of what all thrillers are doing, right?
Will the artwork on the back cover of Rachel Rising be a recurring theme?
TM: I wish. Fabio Moon’s beautiful painting was a gift that fell out of the sky. I would love to make the back cover a place for my talented friends to show Rachel art. Bring it. But, it’s not something I’ve lined up. I never ask my friends for art, because it takes two seconds to ask but hours or days for them to make. I can’t impose that on them. They’re busy trying to work.
SiP was a Crime / Romance book; Echo was Science Fiction. Rachel Rising looks like it could easily be Supernatural or Mystery. How would you classify it?
TM: How about a goth comedy? I don’t know. It’s really up to others to decide what I’ve made, good or bad. I just make it. I don’t always know what it is until I’ve finished.
Is Rachel Rising an open-ended book, or does it have a predetermined story?
TM: It’s an ongoing series to me. I have too many ideas to nail it down to one or two arcs. So, I’m guessing it’s longer than Echo but shorter that SiP.
Now that The Terryverse has been established, will there be more crossovers of characters? Will we ever see a Tambi / Ivy Raven Team-Up book? Perhaps with Casey as the lovable sidekick?
TM: They all live the same United States at the same time. Anything is possible.
After Rachel rises, the first person she meets who actually know her are Lewis and Rose. They can see that something’s amiss. Can everyone who knows Rachel see this… or are Lewis and Rose tuned in to something?
TM: That’s for the story to tell.
In Echo, Annie lived on in Julie through science. Is science or magic involved in Rachel’s return?
TM: Death is involved. This story is about life and death, and all the weird things in between and after. I’m not sure what category that encompasses yet.
Does Rachel’s killer only have one eye?
How do you choose the quote that opened each issue of Echo and (hopefully) will open each issue of Rachel Rising?
TM: Umm… I eat a lot of fortune cookies?
If you were to create a rock band of Terryverse characters, what would be the lineup of that band? And who’d be their manager?
- Lead Guitar & vocals: Katchoo.
- Keyboards & vocals: Casey
- Bass: Cain
- Drums: Dillon
- Kazoo: Lulu
- Triangle & vocals: Francine
- Whoopee cushion: Marie Peters
- Cowbell: Julie
- Sleazy Manager: Freddie
- Everybody else is the backstage posse.
Rachel Rising is available from all good comic book stores and Terry Moore’s first retail sketchbook Hot Girls, Cold Feet will be available in December.