by Joao RuasWriter/artist Terry Moore has several new projects lined up after the conclusion in May of his hit series Echo, including a new ongoing, a guest stint on Vertigo's ongoing Fables series, and a new series of "How to Draw" books.
Moore's current self-published sci-fi series Echo, which is nominated for a 2011 Eisner Award for Best Continuing Series, just had its 29th issue released this month. But with May's Echo #30, the story will conclude, and readers will find out if Julie, Ivy, Annie and Dillon can stop the end of the world.
"The Echo story -- the story of Julie and Annie -- is just a one-arc story," Moore said. But that doesn't necessarily mean he'll never use the characters from Echo again, he said, teasing in particular that he may revisit Ivy's character in the future. "This was just one of Ivy's cases," Moore pointed out. "Ivy makes a living doing these kind of cases, so if she can survive this story, she's going to have another case like this."
But that will have to wait until later, because Moore is planning to start a new series in his Terryverse called Rachel Rising in July. Printed through his self-publishing imprint, Abstract Studio, Rachel Rising is about a girl who will not die. "The series starts up with her waking up in her own grave, then going on to investigate who murdered her, trying to figure it out," he said.Moore plans to make Rachel Rising an ongoing series, because he has a lot of characters in mind around which he wants to build a world.
And just like Echo is set in the same world as his long-running series Stranger in Paradise, Rachel Rising will also be part of that universe.
"It all ties in. It's all one big 'Terryverse,'" he said. "You won't need to know about the other series, but it will be fun if you do. I don't want you to have to [read everything], but if you have read everything, then you'll see all these cool little networks, and you'll get a kick out of it, hopefully."
The indy cartoonist will also be drawing an issue of Fables this summer, working with writer Bill Willingham. "I was thrilled to get that offer. I'm finally getting to work with Bill. He's a terrific creator," Moore said.
The two creators have known each other since meeting in 1996 when Willingham also lived in Moore's native Texas. "And he'd already been doing independent comics before I got started," Moore said, "so he was around the indy scene, in and out, and we crossed paths a lot. I've always been a big fan of his work. I've never made any secret of that either."
Moore said he's been working on Fables #107 for several weeks now, and he's a little more than halfway through drawing it. The issue will be colored art, which is unusual for Moore, whose self-published work has been primarily published in black and white.
The issue focuses on Sleeping Beauty, who was last seen sleeping in the heart of the Empire, surrounded by a giant forest of thorns. "I have thorns coming out of my ears," he laughed.
The artist will also get to add characters to the Fables universe. "I've actually had to invent a new group, and that's a lot of fun. I haven't drawn the full cast yet," he said.
Moore said he's a huge fan of what Willingham has done with the characters in Fables. "He's done more with them than the old classic people did with them," he said. "I think he's done a tremendous job of turbo-boosting them and launching them back out for another 200 years for readers to enjoy."
Fans of Moore's art will also get a treat in June when he releases the first issue in a series he's calling Terry Moore's How to Draw. The first chapter will focus on how to draw women.
"I'm going to release an issue of How to Draw, maybe two to three times a year until I get, say, 10 to 12 chapters," he said. "Then I'll collect them into a book."
Moore said he gets questions about his techniques when interacts with fans at conventions, but he doesn't want to repeat anything if it's already available in another book.
"It's not the 'how to draw: the empirical truth,'" he added. "It's how I draw. It's what I look for in people, and how I put it into my drawings. I've noticed things that I never see in a book. I grew up reading instruction books and reading about other artists. And I studied anatomy, and what doctors need to know. You have to know what's under the skin.
"But I see things that nobody ever mentions," he said. "For instance, there are two types of girls' hands. There's the kind where the fingers come all the way back, and there's the kind where the fingers don't. And I've noticed that the girls whose fingers can come all the way back, and the little finger can curl up real easy, they tend to be more awkward and not as athletic. And the girls who are athletic tend to have the straight fingers. And whether people talk about that or not, I don't know. But it's there, subconsciously. And I put hands like that on my characters, depending on what character it is. Like, Francine's little finger can curl all the way back, but Katchoo's don't, because Katchoo is more athletic. If Katchoo throws something at you, duck. But if Francine throws something at you, she's probably going to miss."Moore said he's self-taught in the art of drawing, but he soaked up every book he ever came across. "Really, for myself and most the other artists in comics, it's a self-taught thing. But it's not something you can just draw your way into by isolating yourself. You have to take in a whole lot of information," he said. "And I thought I'd share some of the information I've picked up."
Check back tomorrow for part 2 of our discussion with Moore when we talk in detail about the end of Echo and the beginning of Rachel Rising.