Fall break is over and school is back in session this week when Nick Spencer and Joe Eisma’s Morning Glories returns. Last seen in November, Image’s mystery-thriller series was on a bit of a hiatus, but returns to its, well, glory in Wednesday’s issue, also marking a beginning of a new arc, “Assembly”.
Newsarama spoke with both Spencer and Eisma and talked about the upcoming arc, as well as some of the unsolved mysteries that have tormented readers and their anticipation on being answered. Eisma provided an exclusive first look at the new issue with interior pages, as well as his new designs for the students of Morning Glory Academy.
Newsarama: Nick, Joe, you have so many threads going on right now, but it seems like Jade’s kidnapping and Isabel’s running for student council seem to be the big stories behind the new arc. How close is that assumption?
Nick Spencer: Well the new arc, which is called “Assembly”, is about putting together the very last pieces of the story that is really going to power it for the next eight to twelve issues. You’re absolutely right, though, that Jade’s kidnapping and the student council election are the primary drivers are for what’s to come. There are other ingredients in terms of the science fair and the things that are coalescing and are about to connect and it’ll lead to the most explosive story that we’ve done since Woodrun.
Nrama: Jade also saw the glowing morning glories last way back in #10, why bring them back now?
Spencer: Well, you know they’re recurring part of Jade’s dreams, if you can call them that. When we were crafting another dream sequence with Jade and it was fun to bring in somethings we saw in #10 and remind you of that stuff. It was just a fun thing to dabble back into.
Joe Eisma: Plus they’re pretty, so c’mon!
Nrama: A lingering mystery is what baby was Dagney talking about killing? Are we going to see some of that talk about more?
Spencer: The baby and Dagney story is one of those long-term elements so it’s not something you’re going to get an answer for anytime soon. It is critical to Dagney as a character and a pretty big hint for the book itself.
Nrama: Joe, you’ve been showing some of the MGA new duds for 2015. Tell us about designing those; was there a collaboration between you two?
Eisma: Well this will be my sixth year drawing this and I don’t want to be drawing it the same way I drew it six years ago. So what I wanted to do was to evolve my style as we go along and kick off the new year with some different clothes. I mean they have to do laundry some time, ya know? So it was a fun way to explore some different looks for them and do some portrait shots of them.
Spencer: They look great and like he said it makes sense that the kids would want to change up their looks for a bit. I’m excited to see them in the book.
Nrama: Coming from the "Rivals" arc, what do we see "Assembly" exploring more of? You mentioned the election and science fair, but what are we going to see a lot of in this arc, or who, I guess I should say?
Spencer: Well in the first issue, we’re going to spend some time with Ike, so that’s always fun. In the next issue, it will be spotlighting a character we haven’t had a lot time with: Ellen Richmond, Vanessa’s mother. In the issue that follows that, we’re going to spend some time with Guillam and Jade and give those two some quality time together. And the fourth issue, I’m going to keep under wraps for now. Those are the characters that are due for some time.
Nrama: Are we going to see how did Ian knew about the Cylinder in the first place? That seems like a big pivotal plot point.
Spencer: Yes, we’ll get some answers here in that arc. You’ll get at least get a little more about Ian’s thinking about the Cylinder and what his plans with it are.
Nrama: Is it weird writing things out of continuity? Do you ever find yourself losing track of things?
Spencer: No, so far we haven’t had any big mistakes or screw ups. I think there was one time in the 20’s where I got something off by a year. So as far as I know, that’s my only reasonably slip-up, but I don’t think anybody else caught it. I think I was actually the only one that noticed. So, so far we’re doing good, but I’m sure it’s coming.
Nrama: So your original colorist Alex Sollazzo had to drop the book to losing sight in one of his eyes. You then recruited Paul Little to take his place. Was there any sort of troubleshooting that had to be done, or was it a pretty easy transition?
Eisma: Well, Paul was one of the original guys I approached back in 2009 and I tease this about him a lot because he had turned it down. We were pretty much in the green stages of our careers and Paul didn’t really want to do another pitch and that’s where his mindset was. He always joked about how he kicked himself when the book took off. Paul’s the kind of guy though that wasn’t too much of a drastic change from Alex. It’s not too jarring of a transition. I’ve been encouraging him to not mimic Alex and that he can do his own thing and he’s definitely been doing that in the last couple of issues.
Nrama: Morning Glories has such a devoted fan following. Joe you even draw fans into the series (present company included), so is it still mind blowing as it was the first year?
Eisma: Of course. I’m never not blown away by the support and passion by our readers. Coming up to us at shows and yelling, not necessarily in anger, but in excitement. All my artist friends tease me about it. I think it’s great.
Spencer: The book has such a devoted and fervent following. It’s such a unique experience for me in my career to have such a book that is sort of studied and closely logged and monitored by folks, it’s such a huge honor. It’s so cool to see and it’s been one of the most rewarding experiences of my career. We’re very grateful for the fans we have and of course it’s really cool to see people just discover the book and that’s a really cool thing.
Nrama: Will there be one big mystery that is solved in this arc or are you both planning on adding a few more to keep fans guessing? You don’t have to say what it is, but is there finally that will be resolved or are you guys just pulling a L” on readers and just keep antagonizing your fans?
Spencer: [Laughs] Well...it’s a long-term mystery that will run over a hundred issues. so we’re still at the point where the rock is being pushed uphill than rolling down. You know, you’ll definitely get some answers in this arc and you’ll see how some of these different plotlines connect. You’ll definitely get a sense of that, but in terms of big mysteries, we’re still in that “be patient” stretch. The thing for me is that I can sort of see the line where things start moving in the other direction and we provide more answers than questions. I’m excited to get to that point.
Eisma: Yeah, it’s funny, tying back to the fanbase, I get people always asking “what’s going on?” and you know, we do resolve plotlines and things do get answered. However, Nick and I are of the 80’s style X-Men school of we’ll give you one thing, but also opens up a whole new set of subplots. That’s one of the fun things working on this is to answer things, but inevitably lead into more mysteries.