A Q&A with Brian Wood and Becky Cloonan about DEMO Volume 2
DEMO Volume 2 is a compelling collection of 6 short stories, by writer Brian Wood and artist Becky Cloonan, about conflicted teens grappling with love, loss and the joy of finding their way in life while dealing with their unexpected super-powers.
In the spirit of the stories in DEMO Volume 2, we’ve asked Brian and Becky a few questions.
In one story a man tries to keep his eating habits secret from his date, do you have any secret food habits or a favorite meal you care to share?
Brian Wood: I got asked recently about what my favorite last meal would be, and you always hear how people want the simplest things, the basic comfort foods. No one's a food snob in a situation like that. I'd probably want a peanut butter sandwich with Cheetos laid inside, or whatever I loved dearly as a kid.
Becky Cloonan: This is weird, but I'd ask for the same thing as Brian-maybe that's why we work so well together! It's that little bit of added crunch in the middle of a pb&j that really makes it something special. I still make one of these every now and again.
If you could go back in time would you?
BW: Absolutely. I just did my 20th high school reunion. I want to go back in time and mess with all their heads.
BC: No way, that's way too much power. I'd turn into a super-villain. Also, there would be continuity issues.
Sticky notes are an obsession in one story, to say the least, what’s your biggest obsession?
BW: Sometimes my entire life feels like a bunch of obsessions! One thing that Demo has benefited from, though, and in turn has helped me as a person, is to embrace the little bit of OCD I do have, and roll with it.
BC: It's hard to say if drawing is an obsessive behavior for me, or if it's just a habit by now. If I have a bad art day, I feel totally worthless and won't feel better until I draw something I'm pleased with (which I think is true of most artists). One thing I am fussy about though is clean pillow cases. If I could, I would have new ones every night; as it is I have way too many so I can change them as often as possible.
If you could have any extraordinary power what would it be?
BW: Foresight, probably. Looking ahead to see how a given course of action would work out. Granted, it would make my life boring as hell, I suppose, but I tend to think that, eventually, any extraordinary power results in profound boredom. Maybe I should write a series about that... the ugly truth behind it all, like a documentary.
BC: I think the most useful power would be teleporting. I'd save so much time and money, and conventions would be so much less of a pain if I could just materialize in the hotel lobby. If I could teleport, my schedule tomorrow would be São Paulo for coffee, LA for dinner, and the UK for drinks- then I'd be home in time to play Dragon Age before bed.
Where did you grow up and was it your inspiration for the setting/look of Underwater Breather?
BW: One of the great things about knowing a bit of the personal history of your collaborators is being able to tailor certain parts of stories to match. Becky and I both come from rural/suburban New England, and I know that when I described that sort of low rent/low expectations summer camping sites, she would get it. They are ubiquitous around all the minor lakes we have up there.
BC: It was really easy to pull from my memories and make that story real- it's like they say, draw what you know- and it's always those stories that I think have the most impact. While I was working on that issue, I remembered things like what the air was like, the smells and sounds from growing up, all that went into my art. I hope people can feel some of that.
Is there someone or something you can’t live without? If so, what?
BW: That's an impossible question to answer. Too many people, too many things to name. I know where this question is coming from, though, and that final Demo story is one of my favorites because I have a fascination with people who stay together even when it seems so unadvisable or impossible. You start to wonder what the secret is... "She took him back? Why??" or "What in the hell does he see in her?", etc. The couple in that story are more like us then we want to admit, probably. And I think that's a good thing.
BC: I think the obvious answer is my mom, because I literally wouldn't be here without her. Truthfully though the only real constant in my life has been art, and it's hard to say what would happen if I couldn't draw. I can't say for a fact I would be a danger to myself and others, but I honestly don't think I would be here today without it. I've always been able to fall back on drawing, even when the rest of my life seems uncertain. Maybe that's why I love comics so much.
Pickup DEMO Volume 2 now!