One of Adventure Time's breakout stars is going to the stars on January 14 with an all-new miniseries.
BOOM!’s handle on the Adventure Time license has been plenty fruitful, paving the way to a handful of mini-series that give certain characters a larger platform and for a way to flesh them out. Marceline is one of the most popular characters on the show, and also the star of her own mini from a while back, Marceline and the Scream Queens. Once again, Marceline the Vampire Queen, is part of a mini-series, but she isn’t alone.
In BOOM!’s upcoming Adventure Time: Marceline Gone Adrift by Meredith Gran and illustrated by Carey Pietsch, Marceline shares the spotlight with the Princess Bubblegum, but the series truly tests their friendship as Bubblegum launches Marceline into space and goes in after her.
Gran (who also wrote Marceline and the Scream Queens) praised Marceline as a character, but also the challenges working with the character.
“Marceline is a cool character, and it's a real challenge to unpack those - the mystery is what makes them so endearing," says the writer. "I've spent a lot of time exploring the roots of Marceline's insecurities, the holes in the armor where the really interesting stories lie.”
Gran continued with why she thinks Marceline is appealing to Adventure Time fans as well as somebody to write.
"I like how intimidating Marceline can be, just by virtue of her hipness and (apparent) confidence," Gran says. "She doesn't reveal her feelings except in the heat of the moment. Her vampire status makes her seem all the more untouchable. She brings an adult edge to Adventure Time, and I think kids see her as sort of a cool older sister.”
Pietsch also had some kind words for the vampiric rockstar she's illustrating here.
“I think a major factor in Marceline's appeal is how well-developed she is as a character," says Pietsch, who has also illustrated for BOOM!'s main Adventure Time series. "I mean, it's (relatively) easy to write a one-dimensional tough, spunky rock star, but that's not her; she's vulnerable, she's sensitive, she has her own problems, her own baggage, and she's still growing as a person. I loved Meredith's exploration of her insecurities in Marceline and the Scream Queens. And the more we get to see of the Adventure Time show and comics, the more room it seems like there's been to flesh out other characters in that same way, which is really exciting.”
She continued with how much the “the little kid in her is stoked that she can fly and rock out and kick butt when she has to. Tough to go wrong with that combo.”
Talking to Pietsch, she was full of excitement and “beyond floored” being on board with this miniseries project, having already done Adventure Time covers and a few backups, but still came into this project feeling relatively new to the world.
“One of the things that's most surprised me is how freeing it's actually been!" says the artist. "The comics work I've done on my own in the past has been a lot more figurative, but there's so much room for squash-and-stretch expressiveness and motion and physical acting in this setting. I love it, and I think it's bleeding back into my other work in a very positive way.”
She also had high praise for her collaborator and what she brings to the character.
“Meredith's comics -- Octopus Pie and her earlier work on Meredith and the Scream Queens-- are wonderful, and it's so much fun to get to draw from her scripts for Marcy. They're powerful storytelling in their own right, and as a bonus for me and our awesome editors, Whitney Leopard and Shannon Watters, full of fun side comments-- very important fuel for powering through crowd scenes”
One of the biggest debates in Adventure Time mythos is the actual relationship between Princess Bubblegum and Marceline. Actress Olivia Olsen, who provides the voice of Marceline, did actually state that Adventure Time creator Pendelton Ward told her that they were once together, but will that be explored any in the comics this time?
“I think I'd be giving away some of this series if I told you my interpretation,” Gran said. “I will say that I think the relationship between them, in present day, is largely about forgiveness. There's a lot of unresolved junk between them. We'll see quite a few flashbacks in this story.”
Pietsch had a similar way of interpreting it.
“Well, there's the show-and-comics context, backed up by how Marceline's voice actress once said Pendelton Ward explained it, and there's also the script itself," Pietsch says. "The first seems to make it pretty darn clear that Marcy and Princess Bubblegum dated at some point in the past, especially knowing that what the show and comics can present is frustratingly limited by this nebulous licensing oversight/approval process, and that absolutely factors into the lens through which I'm looking at and drawing Meredith's writing of their present relationship.”
As mentioned, the first issue ends with Marceline being launched into the depths of space and Bubblegum going after her, but where do you go from there? Not wanting to give too much away, Gran chose a more vague, yet accurate, response.
Whereas Pietsch didn’t shy away from slightly more details.
“The next few issues include flashback peeks that help give a deeper context to Marcy and Princess Bubblegum's states of mind in the present day conflict, and I love those scenes and parallels," the artist says. "I'm only working on issue three right now, though-- I don't know how it all wraps up! But my little explorer/sci-fi fan heart is both very happy with what I'm getting to design and draw and very much excited to see where Marcy and Princess Bubblegum go next.”