The following is an interview with David Wilburn regarding the recent release of his comic book series, Plainer Jane, and its second issue. In this interview, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief Barbra Dillon chats with Wilburn about his creative process in bringing the story to life, how the story may impact readers, what readers can anticipate in upcoming issues, and more!
Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: Congratulations on the release of Plainer Jane #2! For those who may be unfamiliar, how would you describe the series’ premise, and what inspired you to tell this story?
David Wilburn: Plainer Jane is the story of Jane Pearson, a seemingly ordinary teenage girl who becomes a brutally efficient killer for hire. She’s young and unsure of her direction in life, but if there is anything she is sure of, it’s that she has a deep desire to murder, all she’s lacking is a reason.
Having grown up here in Manchester, I am especially good at finding ways around the city that are largely ignored. We have a network of canals and back alleys, and even on a busy day you can work your way all the way around the city avoiding the crowds if you know where to walk. On a walk a couple of years ago, it occurred to me that these dark spaces would be a godsend to a killer that hides in shadows and something just spawned from there.
BD: What can you tell us about your shared creative process in bringing this story to life, and what (or who) have been some of your creative influences?
DW: There’s probably a huge list of writers and artists I could point to, but I think the most important influence are the cities of Manchester and Salford themselves. The book is as much a story of those twin cities as it is a story of a young women that sets out on a path of death.
In particular, the music of Manchester has also been a huge influence. We tend to create sounds that are stark and direct, with nothing left out. It’s a very honest music scene and while it often feels quite underground and dirty, it’s always still very progressive, just like the city itself. Where Manchester leads, the rest of the world follows, and I wanted to reflect that.
BD: At Fanbase Press, our #StoriesMatter initiative endeavors to highlight the impact that stories can have on audiences of various mediums. How do you feel that Jane’s story will connect with and impact readers, and why do you feel that this story was important for you to bring to life?
DW: Some books are there to educate or to inform, some are there to offer escapism. I think mine firmly falls into escapism. I would consider myself a very political person, and someone who deeply cares about the many issues we deal with every day. But I don’t write from that perspective. Writing is as much about my own escapism as it is the readers.
If you come to it expecting to find some sort of moral, you’re probably not going to find what you are after, but if you are hoping for something fun, dark, and escapist, I think you will be more than happy.
BD: How many issues do you have planned for this story arc of the series?
DW: There are 7 issues in total. Running to approximately 150 pages.
BD: Are there any upcoming projects on which you are currently working that you would like to share with our readers?
DW: Yes! Issue three of Plainer Jane is currently funding on Kickstarter. If anyone missed issues one or two, a free PDF copy of them will be provided with all rewards. Printed copies of issues one and two can be added to all physical rewards. The campaign can be found here.
BD: Lastly, what is the best way for our readers to find more information about Plainer Jane?