It has been nearly a year since Terry Moore confided in ComicBook.com at New York Comic Con that 2018 would see the return of Strangers in Paradise, his best-selling and most acclaimed comic -- and, finally, with Comic Con International in our rear-view mirror, we have a good deal of insight into exactly what Moore has planned for the coming year.
Strangers in Paradise, which ran from 1993 until 2007, was Moore's entree in the world of comic books after a career in advertising, music, and animation. It centered on three friends (Katchoo, David, and Francine) who had a complex relationship -- and two of whom had dangerous, intersecting pasts.
The series turns 25 years old in 2018, and so will launch a new #1 and run for the year, telling one story before allowing Francine and Katchoo to retire back to their normal lives again, free from the prying eyes of the readers on whom they literally closed the door in 2007's finale.
The title will launch in January, and Moore has promised some surprises along the way. While one of the series' original leads, David Qin, passed away during the original run, Moore noted in a conversation with ComicBook.com that "He's left a mark, and he's left a child with Katchoo."
Besides the practical elements of releasing Strangers in Paradise and its 2019 follow-up -- also a familiar name -- Moore talked a little bit about some other ways he will celebrate 25 years since the launch of Strangers in 2018.
You can read on for more details...!
During a conversation with ComicBook.com at his Comic Con booth, Moore admitted that he was toying with the idea of Motor Girl literally handing off its story to Strangers in Paradise.
A member of the Motor Girl supporting cast is actually Francine Peters's aunt, so there would be a justification for bringing Katchoo, Francine, and/or their kids to the ol' UFO garage.
Moore likely meant their Gallery Editions, oversized hardcover editions that present the comic as close to the look of the original art boards as possible, with an 11"x17" format reminiscent of the Artist's Editions at IDW Publishing.
What's more, it seems Graphitti are interested in restoring what amounts to the "unaired pilot" to Strangers in Paradise: Moore wrote and drew an early version of the first issue, which he describes as "crude and unsophisticated"...but it got him his first publishing offer, and he edited the book from there to become what was eventually published.
Moore noted that the original Strangers in Paradise #1 actually has seen print before -- in the pages of the Strangers in Paradise Treasury, which was released in 2004 and served as a kind of companion to the series up to that point.
Moore indicated to his audience that he has been resisting Graphitti's attempts to reprint the "unused" first issue, responding to their offer with a counter-offer of maybe printing one or a few pages rather than the whole thing.
In any event, look out over the next few months for a really nice edition of early Strangers in Paradise.
A new edition of Strangers in Paradise: The Treasury Edition is coming, and this one will not only complete the retrospective look at the series but also include a music CD.
Fans of the series likely know that before he was a cartoonist, one of the hats Moore wore was as a musician. Griffin Silver, the rock star whose family Francine eventually married into, is a bit of an author avatar for Moore, and several of the songs in the series have been recorded by Moore and released online in the past.
At this point, Moore's Soundcloud account is gone and all of those MP3s are scrapped, too, unless you had the foresight to save them somewhere.
No specific details have come along yet as to when the Treasury Edition or the Griffin Silver CD will be made available. We will keep on that one.
Moore previously talks about Strangers in Paradise as a property he could bring back as a prose novel, although he has had trouble doing both that and dealing with the press of deadlines on his ongoing comics work.
So is the revival just bringing that plot over to comics?
"[This is] something entirely new," Moore told ComicBook.com. "The prose novel is really in-depth and covers a lot of ground -- things that you can't cover in a standard comic book. I haven't really said much about the story becuase I don't want to offer any spoilers."
During the panel, Moore told fans that he is considering making a run at monthly comics for 2018.
When talking about the plot, Moore indicated that there would be "eight or nine" issues of Strangers in Paradise in 2018 -- but during the panel he was talking about trying to be ambitious and turning out a monthly book for the first time ever.
Why hasn't he done so before? Well, Moore writes, draws, inks, and letters every issue of his comics. That makes it very difficult to get a book done in a 30-day timeframe.
...But, apparently, he feels like he might have it in him just this once...!
After Strangers in Paradise celebrates its 25th anniversary with a year-long revival in 2018, indie comics icon Terry Moore plans to move into a second volume of Rachel Rising, his recently-concluded horror hit.
Rachel Rising centered on a woman who wakes up in a shallow grave, and realized that she was part of a centuries-old supernatural legacy in the small, creepy town of Manson.
Moore introduced numerous storylines, featuring a variety of creepy and supernatural influences from mythology to the Old Testament to Jack the Ripper -- and while the series' resolution was a satisfying one, it certainly did not close all of the loopholes the writer left open.
"It's unfinished," Moore told ComicBook.com when we asked why he was so keen to rush back to Manson once Motor Girl and Strangers in Paradise were over.
Moore launched Rachel Rising, and it gained instant acclaim, a high-profile fan in the form of The Walking Dead's Robert Kirkman, and a TV deal, with a pilot meant to be written by Moore.
While the TV series never happened, Rachel remained Moore's best-selling work since Strangers in Paradise for much of its run and built up huge demand on the back issue market.
It also burned out Moore, who has admitted that the relentlessly dark and creepy book drained him and left him desperate for something more fun. That's a big part of why his next title was Motor Girl, about a woman who repairs UFOs with the help of her imaginary friend, a gorilla.
"My plan is, it became unsustainable in its format, but I plan to finish it one way or the other, either coming back to it with a little more clout as a new series with a new number one, or I will finish it in another medium," Moore told his panel at Comic Con. "I am absolutely in love with some of the characters in there, and I care about them a lot."
Ever since members of the Strangers in Paradise cast appeared in Echo, Terry Moore's comics have been established as taking place in the same, shared "Terryverse" -- and that, of course, brings with it the potential for a crossover event. Moore says he says he absolutely intends to make such a story a reality -- and probably soon.
Strangers in Paradise, widely regarded as Moore's masterpiece, will return in 2018 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the series' original publication. After that, he told a panel at Comic Con last week, Rachel Rising will return with a new #1 and start to resolve some of the plot threads the supernatural series left dangling when it ended last year to make way for Motor Girl.
After the panel, ComicBook.com caught up with Moore to ask whether he was interested in a multi-title crossover, and before the question was even finished, he rushed out a "yes."
"I feel like I've earned that," Moore elaborated. "It's like you've set up all your dominoes and so you're the one who's earned the right to push them, and I've set up all this inter-networking of characters and the day I can draw them all in one scene is going to be a delight."
Each of Moore's three other series since Strangers concluded has included members of the Strangers supporting cast in one role or another: Echo used Tambi Baker and Casey Femur, while introducing a mysterious box that would recur in Rachel Rising -- a comic that featured the short-lived SiP supporting character Jet, as well as a previously-unnamed lesbian couple who had bought one of Katchoo's paintings at the gallery where Jet had worked. A minor supporting character in Motor Girl is actually Francine Peters's aunt.
Asked whether the story that would finally bring the cast together could be his thirtieth-anniversary plan, Moore answered, "I can't wait that long," implying that whatever he has up his sleeve, we will probably see it sooner than later.
You want more Moore? Well, you're in luck.
Between the panel, the conversation at his booth, and the fact that we have been tracking the Strangers in Paradise revival longer than anybody else, there's plenty more to read.
Moore had plenty to say that didn't even make it into this, so check out his (mostly) full Comic Con panel, in which he discusses a lot of this stuff, below.
Meanwhile, stay tuned to ComicBook.com for much more information as January 2018 draws near.
More Strangers in Paradise:
- 5 Things That Make Us Excited For More Strangers in Paradise
- New Strangers in Paradise Coming in January
- Exclusive: Terry Moore Talks Rachel Rising #25, SiP Kids and the Strangers in Paradise Novel
- Feeling The Walking Dead Withdrawal? Check Out Why Robert Kirkman Loves Rachel Rising