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Fanboy Comics Interviews Jody Houser, Writer of IDW’s ‘Orphan Black’

The following is an interview with Jody Houser (Womanthology, Cupcake POW!), writer of IDW Publishing’s upcoming Orphan Black comic book series. In this interview, Fanboy Comics Guest Contributor Sebastian Kadlecik chats with Houser about what fans of the Orphan Black TV series can anticipate from the comic book spinoff, whether the series will provide a solid jumping-on point for those new to the property, and the additional projects on which she is currently working, including Marvel’s Avengers: No More Bullying!

Sebastian Kadlecik, Fanboy Comics Guest Contributor: The Fanboy Comics staff and I are very excited about your upcoming work on the Orphan Black comic book.  What initially intrigued you about taking on this series in the comic book medium?

Jody Houser: I’m a huge fan of the TV show. It’s a fantastic sci-fi series that raises a lot of great questions about what makes us us. And, of course, the fact that it’s a show built around the female characters is refreshing to see in the world of genre TV. When the opportunity came up to write the comic, saying yes was a no-brainer.

SK: For fans who have been following the television show, will the comics take place at a certain time within the show’s continuity? (Inquiring minds are curious if we will get to see Donnie getting his own adventures or Mrs. S back in the day.)

JH: The comic book does fit into the show’s continuity and while each issue focuses around a clone and her history, characters like Donnie and Mrs. S do play important roles in the pasts of these women. So, we’ll definitely see more of them and their pasts, even if they aren’t the focus.

SK: Do you feel that the comic will provide a solid jumping-on point for readers unfamiliar with the TV series, while also providing additional mysteries and revelations for seasoned viewers?

JH: We’re definitely working to make sure that the comic reads well for those who haven’t seen the show yet, but I think the fans of the show who already have a love for these characters and are hungry for more of them will get the most out of it. It’s really because of the fans that comics like this even get made, so making sure that there’s plenty for them to chew on only makes sense.

I realize that answer makes it sound like comics are food. Please don’t eat the comics.

SK: Will you have the opportunity to coordinate with the television show’s writing team to work in tandem on upcoming storylines?

JH: I’ve actually had quite a few phone meetings with the production office. The writers on the show have the backstories for the characters worked out far beyond what’s been seen on the screen, and they knew what elements of these they wanted to come into play in the comics. They’ve been really great about letting me know tidbits about the upcoming season to reference in the books and answering my backstory questions (how did one character meet another, for example) to make sure I don’t write anything that conflicts with details that may come up later in the show.

SK: Are there any other projects on which you are currently working that you are able to share with our readers?

JH: Besides Orphan Black, I have a story in Marvel’s Avengers: No More Bullying coming out in January, my ongoing webcomic, Cupcake POW!, and a few other things in the works. Nothing else I can talk about yet, but hopefully soon!

SK: Being that we focus on all things “geek” at Fanboy Comics, would you care to geek out with us about the comic books and/or graphic novels that you are currently following?

JH: There are so many great comics out there right now that my to-read stack is about to fall over and kill me. I’m enjoying a lot of the new/revamped Bat-books coming out now (Batgirl, Catwoman, Gotham Academy, Arkham Manor, etc). Ms. Marvel is killing it, and I’m excited about the new Spider-Gwen book coming out next year. Also caught up on some recent runs that I really enjoyed, especially Ellis and Shalvey’s Moon Knight. Other books I’m digging right now are Saga (obviously), Sex Criminals, Velvet, Lazarus, The Fade Out, Memetic, Lumberjanes, and a few dozen others I need to catch up!

SK: Lastly, what would you like to tell fans who want to learn more about your work?

JH: My website, (Better/stronger/faster website coming soon!), has a list of the comics projects I’ve worked on. I can be found frequently on Twitter at @Jody_Houser, and I have a Tumblr Ask box open at




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