Take the concept of superheroes and mix it with traditional family values, and you have The Incredibles. This 2004 computer-animated film by Pixar became one of the biggest films of the year, and took the concept of a superhero family and played it for drama and laughs. Although it didn't originate in the pages of a comic book, its inspirations could be seen with modern interpretations of many classic superhero archetypes. And it was no surprise when in 2008 BOOM! Studios announced it was working on a miniseries spinning out of the movie entitled The Incredibles Family Values. It was the first of several comics done in partnership between Disney/Pixar and the thriving California-based publisher.
Proving that you can't keep a good comic down, BOOM! has taken the success of the Incredibles: Family Matters miniseries and introduced an ongoing series for The Incredibles. Original miniseries creators Mark Waid and artist Marco Takara are returning, and are being joined by co-writer with some kid comic cred to make it all come into place. On the eve of the release of the special zero issue of this new ongoing series, Newsarama talked with series writer – and BOOM! Editor-In-Chief – Mark Waid to know more.
Newsarama: Thanks for talking to us, Mark.
First of all, congratulations on the success of the comic. How has it been, now that you finished the first miniseries, at writing such a genuinely mainstream title?
Mark Waid: Really rewarding. The number of people who send letters or tell me at conventions that the characters sound "right" and that the material is every bit as age-appropriate as they'd hoped...that's very nice to hear.
Nrama: You mentioned conventions; do you see a different type of fan coming up to you at cons for the Incredibles series?
Waid: Two types. One is the younger kids whose first super-hero comic ever is The Incredibles, and that's terrific. The other is the dedicated Disney/Pixar fan – met a lot of them in San Diego – who aren't normally comics readers but who've heard good things about how faithful our material is to the films they love and are eager to try them. So far, I've yet to hear anyone say, "Eh, not for me" – and I credit that to our artist Marcio Takara and to how well-defined and funny the characters themselves are.
Nrama: I'm talking to you today because The Incredibles comic is expanding from a series of miniseries to be a truly ongoing comic, with this week a #0 issue debuting. What can we expect, story-wise, from the new series?
Waid: The first new issue, our zero issue, is a stand-alone story that also ties into the next arc (issues one through three). In #0, we flash back to the day Jack-Jack was born and the tumult of the Plainclothes Incredibles having to fight their way past a phalanx of super-villains just to get to the hospital! Then, issues #1-3, which can be read apart from #0, show the consequences of one moment of that day – Jack-Jack has, for months, been unknowingly incubating a super-powered virus that's given him a nasty head cold – and gives super-powers to everyone he sneezes at!
Nrama: Only you can make being sick sound fun, Mark.
In the recent miniseries which preceded this new ongoing, you introduced some new supporting cast members – normal humans – for the Parrs to interact with. Will they continue to be seen in this new series?
Waid: Not in the next arc, but hopefully somewhere down the line. I like the little romance we gave to Xander and Violet and would love to develop that more!
Nrama: As someone who co-edits Project: Rooftop on the side, I have a big love for Edna Mode. Will she be showing up anytime soon?
Waid: That's a good idea! I have to have a specific reason for her to appear, and the Incredibles aren't going to change costumes anytime soon – but you've given me a notion that I could easily develop! Lemme check with Pixar on this, because what I'm now thinking about could be a really exciting story!
Nrama: From my mouth to Pixar's ear – I like it.
Speaking about the series as a whole, you've been handled a big ball here: first doing a new story based on the Pixar movie, but now an ongoing series. What's it like to be handed this property to tell its stories for what could be a long time?
Waid: A little intimidating, but ultimately a blast. Plus, starting soon, I'm sharing the responsibilities a bit; acclaimed kids'-comics writer Landry (Supergirl in the Eighth Grade) Walker will be co-writing with me, and that's shaping up to be a really fun collaboration!
Nrama: Will the miniseries artist Marcio Takara be reuniting with you for the ongoing?
Nrama: Looking back at an earlier interview, The Incredibles books were originally planned as an ongoing series of miniseries. Why'd you decide to switch it up to a flat ongoing series?
Waid: We had such great success with the mini-series, that we decided we just didn't want to confuse people with a series of successive miniseries. So we decided to launch an ongoing!