Exclusive: Adam P. Knave and D.J. Kirkbride on Amelia Cole #16: The Enemy Unleashed Part 4

This past week saw the release of Adam P. Knave, D.J. Kirkbride and Nick Brokenshire's Amelia [...]

This past week saw the release of Adam P. Knave, D.J. Kirkbride and Nick Brokenshire's Amelia Cole #16, a bit of an action-driven break from the plot in which Amelia's fully-human supporting cast and her giant golem try to bring some brute force down on the magic-eating monsters who have proven so difficult for Omega Company.

As ever, Knave and Kirkbride joined us to talk about the issue (with a cameo appearance from Brokenshire, too).

Warning: Our commentary track-style interviews are spoiler-intensive. If you haven't yet read Amelia Cole #16, go buy it and come back to read along with us.

Are you guys getting comfortable enough with how the readers react to the universe that you don't have to kick off an issue with Amelia around? The supporting cast on the cover AND the first scene was a change of pace.

APK: We certainly hope readers are as concerned with non-Amelia characters by now! It's a big world, and there is more in than just Amelia. Of course we have also had Omega Company on covers and start issues, in the past, so this isn't that new.

DJK: Amelia is also felt in her absence. When she's not around, saving the day and cracking wise, we get to show how she's inspired the supporting characters and, in some cases, how she has a lot to learn from them. As for the cover, Nick has Mike and George, non-mages, still fighting these monsters – and there's nothing braver than going up against impossible odds, an Amelia specialty.

I just want to say that I enjoyed Lemmy's fight with the monsters way more than I enjoyed Pacific Rim. That is all.

DJK: We're big Pacific Rim fans and kinda scratched that itch in terms of giant size in issue 6, with Mecha-Lemmy V. Puppyzilla: Dawn of Hidden War – but it is always fun to see robot-looking characters fighting monsters, isn't it? Can't go wrong.

APK: Also if you didn't enjoy Pacific Rim I can spend a few hours explaining the subtle reasons why you should…

ed. note: He already has! Read Adam's review of Pacific Rim here!

Do we know who that blonde guy is in the foreground of the Toth's panel? Between the name of the bar and the Blues Brothers running through it, I kinda figure that's an in -joke.

DJK: I think that's a question for our esteemed artist, Nick Brokenshire…

NB: Unfortunately, that guy is just a random dude. Sorry!

APK: The adventures of Random Dude, coming soon to a comic shop nowhere near you!

Who is making the SFX calls this month? They're kind of great.

DJK: We put them into the scripts. It's kind of a gut thing…sometimes we like the action to go "silent" and just be seen via the art, and sometimes we think a "KERPUNCH" or "KRAKAPOW" is necessary. It's a fairly random process sans logic, at least for me. I'm sure Adam's set up an algorithm.

APK: Oh no, I tend to be scared to add them. I always want fun ones and then feel like I use the most boring effects ever. I am no good at them, I fear. But I keep trying.

Do you think the letterer having a little fun is important in an action-heavy issue like this to keep the tone light? It would be weird for this book to feel too grim.

DJK: We're not going to shy away from darkness when appropriate, but, yeah, we don't ever want the book to become gritted teeth and grimness and shoegazing or anything. Rachel is a total pro and makes whatever absurd sound effects we write look great with Nick's art.

APK: Everyone making this book should be having fun. Or else. I mean… totally, all fun here. …or else…

Is this the least plotty issue you've done yet? I feel like at the end of the day we did get some character beats and we learned that Amelia is wanted yet again, but other than that it was basically a big fight.

APK: This was one of those issues you get to do, after a while, where you can show the hole that not having your title around for a bit can make, as D.J. said above. It isn't an issue you can do too early, but have to build to and I think this was the right time for it in the scheme of things.

DJK: It's mid-plot, and we figured it was time to finally round up all the troops. We'd been doing the parallel stories since the start of Amelia Cole and the Hidden War (aka issue 6), and now the stage is set for it all to come together, and…well, wait and see.

For the trade collection, I think you need to go through with Nick and point out all the in-jokes in the cityscape.

DJK: We're discussing extras now, and that's a great one, Russ! Thank you. (Makes a note to talk to Nick and Adam about this for the Amelia Cole and the Enemy Unleashed trade coming from IDW in November, actually already listed on Amazon now. Ahem.)

APK: Oh man, I love it but I feel like it would take ages to go through. Can we do a total list for the omnibus? Assuming we have an omnibus later.

What's next? This arc is close to wrapping up, do you know what your schedule looks like this year?

APK: Oh yeah. Issues 17 and 18 will wrap this arc with a bang. A big bang. Big badda boom. That will be the end of summer/start of fall. In November the trade of this arc is released from IDW. The turn around won't always be that fast but the timing worked out on all sides so there you go. November should also see start the fourth arc, after we take our customary tiny break and then we keep going!

DJK: We've written the next arc and are fine-tuning it now. In fact, our to-do list today includes adding [REDACTED] and moving [REDACTED] to [REDACTED, MAN!] in issue 19. I'm really excited for readers to see what we have planned. It is going to be a fun and hopefully surprising/SHOCKING ride.