Rachel Rising's Terry Moore: How Many More Times Can I Kill This Character?


Terry Moore, creator of Strangers in Paradise and Rachel Rising, has more on his plate after twenty years in comics than he's had probably at any point during that time.

Celebrating twenty years of Strangers, the writer/artist/letterer/publisher is releasing the full series to a massive paperback edition, and recently had the first issue of his original miniseries colored for the first time and reissued as a San Diego Comic Con International exclusive. He's also reworking the Strangers in Paradise Treasury Edition, a kind of handbook to the series he originally published in 2004.

At Comic Con, he spoke with ComicBook.com about the TV adaptation of Rachel Rising that's in the works, as well as the future of Strangers in Paradise, which he's working on as a prose novel, and more.

ComicBook.com: Now, let's just begin by pointing out that you've killed Rachel again in the most recent issue of Rachel Rising.

Terry Moore: [Laughs] How many more times?!

Actually I always conceived of this "dead girl" character as dying often and then coming back--it's just part of the story.

strangers-in-paradiseComicBook.com: You've got a lot of stuff going on right now and usually I get very nitty-gritty about Rachel Rising, so let's just take a look around what else you've got going on. What's the status of Strangers in Paradise at the moment?

Moore: The big thing right now is the omnibus is arriving from China next week so we're going to fill all of those preorders and get the books out to the distributor and out to the stores so the rest of the month--the next four, five, six weeks will be totally involved with just getting that omnibus out.

In the meantime we had this color book come out for San Diego and we colored our #1 issue. It looks really pretty--it's colored by Steve Hamaker who did Bone--colored Bone--so it's really gorgeous.

ComicBook.com: Where are you at with the novel?

Moore: I don't want to talk about it too much because I don't want to put the jinx on it. I was working on it and realized that I would have to totally dedicate myself to it in order to get ready for this year and I just couldn't do it because I had to get the Omnibus ready and then the treasury ready and the color book and then keep Rachel in line so I put it off on the back shelf until I get past the convention season and get the treasury out.

When I go home, I can't start it; I have to start on the Treasury and that will take me a couple of months to finish that out and get that out in the fall so hopefully in the off-season (you know, it's so strange to think we have an off-season), I'll go back to it and try like hell to have it for 2014.

retailer-printComicBook.com: And...well, I've noticed that the girls have been wearing wedding rings on the last few pieces of art you've done...

Moore: I have never said anything but in all the pin-ups that I've done in the last couple of years there's been wedding rings on them. The fans have noticed and they've said, "Wait, wait, what's going on?" And I've replied tongue-in-cheek that this is what you've missed while you were gone. In my mind, they continue to live and prosper and do cool things and that was one of them. So we've missed the wedding and we've missed some other things. That gives me something to write about when we come back.

ComicBook.com: And now--with Rachel Rising, you've got the TV deal in place. That was something you teased last year, but was that the same people or did it fall through and then come back around again?

Moore: No–actually it was acquired last year and it takes a while for them to ramp up and then earlier this year the company announced that they were going to move forward with it–they’re going to make a pilot and work it.

So they are and I had a meeting with them today. Things look great and more power to them. It’s in its early stage and they’re working on a pilot.

ComicBook.com: And does that put you in a holding pattern with the book? I know you've talked about potentially leaving this book behind and moving onto something a little less dark and depressing...

Moore: If the TV worked, I would be crazy to stop the book, right? [Laughs] Which is actually going to work out fine because this whole original first 24 issues of Rachel was really just a setup. I always pictured her character as what she does beyond this setup, once everything is established. So it’s kind of like a Bill Cosby thing; 'I told you that story so I can tell you this next story.' So that will work. I'm okay. And if I keep going, I could go to however many.

ComicBook.com: You've been working so many hours this year because of Strangers. When that's done, what are you going to do with all that time?

Moore: Time? I cannot imagine having spare time! I guess what I would like to do at some point is get off the deadline schedule of having to make a book every six weeks. I've been having to make a book every six weeks for twenty years and that schedule--living on a deadline, a lot of guys don't do it past ten years, so I've gone twice as long as that. None of the other self-publishers that I know of have done that and it's not a point of pride, it's just how stupid I really am! [Laughs]

strangers-in-paradise-jetComicBook.com: So do you think your next project would be an original graphic novel or what?

Moore: I think going straight to trade, you would have to be a self-made millionaire.

You would have to be wealthy to only work in trade format because you're not going to make a dime when you're working and then when you make the trade, it will sell a lot for a month and then you won't see a dime after that. So how could you live for a year or two years on one month of income? I don't know how anyone does it. Obviously those guys are very wealthy and I just don't come from that family but I envy the guys who work straight to trade.


ComicBook.com: So what have we got coming up for Rachel? You said you have #24 planned out? I mean, you not only killed the main characters--but as we found out last month you just killed a character who appeared in Strangers in Paradise!

Moore: You know, there's a link. All three series are all in the same Terryverse. It's all in the same United States in the same time period, so I like that. Somebody could show up--and if somebody shows up in Rachel's world, they'd better be careful. I think that the story is more interesting if the risks are real--nobody's immune.