Q&A: Terry Moore on Rachel Rising #7

With its initial, establishing arc out of the way, Terry Moore's Eisner-nominated Rachel Rising [...]

With its initial, establishing arc out of the way, Terry Moore's Eisner-nominated Rachel Rising takes time with its seventh issue, out today, to focus on its characters and dealing with the fallout from last issue's catastrophic accident. As always, Terry Moore joined us to talk about the issue. As always, remember that The Whatdead is a commentary track for those who have already read the issue, and should only be read either if you've read the issue already or if you don't mind being spoiled. Terry Moore talked to us about the series' seventh issue, some of the challenges of "branding" non-spandex characters and how he's adjusting to the need to create characters more ready to license this time around, than he did with his mega-hit Strangers in Paradise. This is an incredibly dense issue, artistically. you have to average something like 6 or 7 panels per page here. Any reason for that? Just an awful lot of story to tell, really. A lot of dialogue and expressions were used to make the scenes work. It's a hassle to draw but it reads better than stacking a bunch of dialogue over one main picture. It's also a very quiet issue. Did you feel like you needed a break after last issue or is it just a matter of starting a new arc? Yeah, it's like performance dynamics, whether it's a song or a play or a movie. A comic is no different. The quiet parts make the louds parts louder. That said, those last three pages are a bit...loud. Is it important to give readers a cliffhanger on the first issue of a new storyline? I don't know if you would want a rule mandating a cliffhanger, but if you can produce one naturally that's nice.

So this lady who approaches Rachel in the parking lot--is that just another manifestation of our friend from the first issue, or just one of her, I dunno, agents or something?

She's just a stranger passing by. She doesn't even realize she's been used as a mouthpiece. It's just the strange blonde lady, using the townspeople to communicate with Rachel. I thought it was an eerie thing to do. Now that law enforcement has gotten involved, it seems likely that this whole thing is going to get a lot more complicated, isn't it? I mean, wasn't Rachel already declared dead once? Yes. Having a detective poking around does complicate things, yeah. You can't just run around town axing people and getting away with it, now can you? Just before (and even during) Earl's confession of love, it seemed a bit like he was going to abuse the body. Was the pacing and choice of angles intentionally trying to mislead the reader a little bit? Earl didn't do anything wrong, your mind just assumed he would. That's where the scariest moments happen, in your mind. It's how you create phobias and paralyzing fears. So, yeah… got ya. Earl has to be an interesting character to draw; he's like a human version of Concrete or something in that he's got like two lines on his whole face and everything else is just a mass. Is it hard to give a face like that emotion and make him relatable and expressive? Actually, you can do everything with a just a few lines. It's amazing how easily we can read the human face, no matter how minimal it may be. Earl is so distinctive looking, isn't he? I want the cast of Rachel Rising to be distinctive looking. If there was an action figure line of the main characters, you'd want them to be singular looking and easily recognizable. I never had that with Strangers in Paradise, everybody was so ordinary looking. They were boring to look at compared to say, The Addams Family. It's something I learned when I had the chance to make Strangers in Paradise figures. If I ever get the same chance to do Rachel Rising statues or something, they will look like nothing else out there, and they're mine. All mine. (exits with maniacal laughter).