What happens when the chaotic worlds of Cartoon Network’s Adventure Time and Regular Show collide? You get, well, Adventure Time/Regular Show, a new miniseries from KaBOOM! that shoves the Land of Ooo and the landscape of The Park together, and nothing will ever be the same. Maybe.
With the six-issue series scheduled to debut this week, Newsarama talked with seris writer Conor McCreery about his and Mattia De Meo's unique crossover.
Newsarama: Conor, tell us about the set-up for this crossover.
Conor McCreery: Well, I don't want to spoil anything, but the basic idea is that something causes a rift in the space-time fabric, and your favorite Adventure Time characters get pulled into the Regular Show universe. Once there, they need to find a special “power” they can use to save their world from a villain whose power is tearing people apart - literally and figuratively.
As you can imagine, our Regular Show compadres are up for adventure - but might not be exactly the perfect wingmen for this sort of adventure.
Nrama: How did the book come about?
McCreery: [BOOM! Studios Editor] Shannon Watters, one of my favorite editors in the biz, and I had been chatting for some time about doing a project together. I'd pitched her a few things that didn't quite work and she came up to me and said she had an interesting opportunity that she thought would be perfect for me, and would I be willing to pitch on it.
Once I found out what it was, I was incredibly excited. I've had the chance to work on a licensed property before (Assassin's Creed), and that was a great experience, so I thought getting to work on two at once would be even cooler. So, I pitched, and thankfully they really liked my idea.
Nrama: What's the biggest challenge in merging the styles of the two shows? They're both very surreal, but Adventure Time is more of a free-floating ensemble piece, while Regular Show is about twisting a particular formula based off everyday challenges and '80s-era pop culture.
McCreery: I think the biggest challenge is the difference in tone. Adventure Time has a real sweet, almost innocent vibe - it's kind of that smart kid in the front row who just loves to answer questions and be part of the class. Regular Show is a little more the cool kid in the back, cracking jokes and half-listening, but when you call on her, she knows exactly what's going down. So, stuff that works for Regular Show sometimes is a bit too edgy for Adventure Time.
My editors on the book, Alex Galer and Whitney Leopard, are constantly reining me in and making sure there are no, say, “sucking chest wounds.” The surreal element you mentioned is key for me - it's what makes it easy to mesh the worlds. There really aren't too many ideas that are too weird for this world - and that's a lot of fun to play with.
Nrama: What are some of the unexpected inter-show character pairings you were most excited about dealing with? For instance, I'm curious about Pops and Ice King as two older fellows who don't quite see the world the same as everyone else.
McCreery: Oh, man. Pops and Ice King as Statler and Waldorf! Where were you during the pitch process?! Um... I mean, Jake and anybody is a ton of fun- I think I'm enjoying writing him as much as anyone, and putting him together with Rigby feels incredibly natural (although unnatural to Jake, since he's arguably the responsible one in that duo).
In many instances, though, I've wanted to make sure I've given characters strong relationships in their own universes, because I think that helps to ground the book. People want to see Jake and Finn and Mordecai and Rigby be best buds. If I totally lost that I don't think the fans would be satisfied.
Nrama: What do you enjoy about working with Mattia Di Meo, i.e. what do you feel he brings to the book?
McCreery: K-I-N-E-T-I-C E-N-E-R-G-Y. Mattia's work is sooo good. He's got this rare gift to make static images feel like they're in motion. I'm so in debt to his talent, and to his ability to take my often very busy script pages and make it feel clean and clear, while still not losing one drop of the non-stop momentum I want the story to have. There's a double-page spread I just saw he did that is making me cry, it's so good.
Honestly, this comic is about four times as good with him as it would be otherwise.
Nrama: What are some of the biggest challenges in handling such a massive cast of characters?
McCreery: Giving them all some sort of story arc. When you think about it, there are at least 12 major characters in the two shows combined - that's a lot. I haven't been able to get them all in either, and you still want to make room for a.) some of my favorite minor characters and b.) some new ones so it feels like I'm expanding the world. I wish I had even more time and space, so that I could do every cool thing I've brainstormed, but at a certain point you should ask if a gag is doing anything for the story or not, and if not, you gotta kill that darling (R.I.P. Hatey Von Hatenstein, you delicious piece of German-style black licorice you).
Nrama: Name a favorite episode or storyline from both Adventure Time and Regular Show. Go!
McCreery: Off the top of my head: Adventure Time Season 5, Episode 14: “Simon & Marcy.” It makes me cry. I love how kind that episode is. Its fingerprints areall over one of my storylines.
Regular Show? I'd say Season 2, Episode 13: “This Is My Jam,” which is just a perfect example of Regular Show's main story engine: “Rigby and Mordecai piss each other off, make up, and sorta fail-succeed.” Except the whole gang gets to be part of it. It helped in terms of juggling multiple-characters, although, oddly, nothing specific from that episode is in the series.
Nrama: Why do you feel these shows have been so enduring?
McCreery: The short answer is, “Because they’re funny,” and that's harder to do than people realize. The slightly longer answer is, “They also wear their hearts on their sleeves.” If you can make me care about the characters and make me laugh, well here's my money, you magnificent beast!
Nrama: What was the most fun part of working on this crossover?
McCreery: It's not over yet! The most fun is still to come. (I'd say talking story with Whitney and Alex, and seeing Mattia's pages - those things both make me very happy.)
Nrama: Why should readers check this out?
McCreery: I think it's a really weird, really fun, and at times really touching story. And I know I like those.
Nrama: What's next for you?
McCreery: The latest chapter in my creator-owned series Kill Shakespeare (with Anthony Del Col) is coming out this fall. It's a flashback story that's shows how we reinvented Juliet from Romeo & Juliet. Because it's a flashback, it's a perfect jumping-on point for anyone who hasn't read the first four volumes yet.
I've also got a YA graphic novel that the artist is starting to draw this month, and I've got an offer for - I'll call it a post-horror - book that my co-creator Steve Paugh and I think is going to reshape a very popular genre.
Nrama: Anything else you'd like to talk about that we haven't discussed yet?
McCreery: I just want to thank BOOM!, and Shannon, Whit, Alex, and all the Cartoon Network folks for not only thinking my pitch was awesome, but giving me so much freedom to execute it.