Interview: Chris Warner on Dark Horse’s Barb Wire

Barb Wire #1 cover by Adam Hughes

Barb Wire #1 cover by Adam Hughes


Chris Warner is the Senior Books Editor at Dark Horse Comics and is also a writer and artist who has worked on such books as Aliens vs. Predator, Black Cross, Ghost, and many more. Now, he returns to Barb Wire, writing new stories starring the popular character. Westfield’s Roger Ash contacted Warner to learn more about this upcoming series.

Westfield: For those unfamiliar with the character, who is Barb Wire?

Chris Warner: She’s a lonely young woman who falls in love with a handsome, well-mannered vampire–no, wait, that’s something else, my bad. Barb Wire is the owner of the Hammerhead Bar and Grille, a rock ‘n’ roll bar in Steel Harbor, USA, a former industrial powerhouse gone down the crapper. Barb’s bar has a rough time making ends meet, so to pay the bills, Barb moonlights as a Bail Enforcement Agent, i.e., bounty hunter. Like many troubled cities, Steel Harbor has a gang problem, but Harbor crews are headed by OGs who can throw cars around like so many empty beer cans. Bounty hunting here can be lucrative, but life-threatening. Barb has a dream, but the dream is the club, not cuffing creeps. Like a lot of us, Barb is willing to do just about anything to keep the dream alive.

Barb Wire #1 preview page 1

Barb Wire #1 preview page 1


Westfield: What about the character appeals to you as a writer?

Warner: Barb is just so much fun. She’s a hardass and a wiseass and a bit of a steamroller—her determination creates as many problems as it solves. She’s also old school, which is a source of conflict in an ever-changing world. She works hard, but she’s not really getting anywhere. Her dream is constantly on the brink of disaster, and the thing she’s best at —bounty hunting—is something she doesn’t really relate to. The heart of fiction is conflict, and Barb is pretty much all conflict all the time, and that’s before she has to tangle with the worst badasses Steel Harbor has to offer. One of these days I’m going to have to write her a nice vacation.

Barb Wire #1 preview page 2

Barb Wire #1 preview page 2


Westfield: Who are some of the other characters readers will meet in the book?

Warner: There are some characters familiar to Barb Wire readers: Barb’s brother Charlie, slacker bass player/bar cat Alonzo, Hammerhead bar manager Lacy, gang leaders Mace Bltizkrieg and Wolf Farrell (a.k.a. Hunter), radio-talk voice Barry Braunschauer. New faces: bounty hunter sidekicks Bruno and Meaola, cable TV guys Guy Mann and Tony Tanaka (who are filming a Barb Wire reality show), new Steel Harbor mayor Victoria Castle, drunken homeless super-villain Wyvern Stormblūd. I know I’ve left some out, but luckily comic-book characters can’t give you grief later on.

Barb Wire #1 preview page 3

Barb Wire #1 preview page 3


Westfield: What can readers look forward to in the story?

Warner: A good time, I think. Mainstream comics are supposed to be fun, and too many of them take themselves too seriously. They’re so bound up in continuity and obsessed with oh-so-serious superhero business that to me, reading them feels like jury duty. How can something potentially so fun be so tedious? I want readers to have a kickass good time, not contemplate this week’s impending apocalypse.

Barb Wire #1 preview page 4

Barb Wire #1 preview page 4


Westfield: You’re working with artist Patrick Olliffe on Barb Wire. What can you say about your collaboration with him?

Warner: Pat’s a rarity: talented, smart, dependable, and a cool guy. He draws like nobody’s business, particularly female action characters—kind of a priority here—and he really knows how to tell a story visually, a skill that’s getting more rare by the day. He makes my job easier and makes my crappy writing way less crappy. Along with comics titan Adam Hughes on covers—the amazing cover concepts are all his, by the way—and inker Tom Nguyen, colorist Gabe Altaeb, letterer Michael Heisler, and that Stradley editor guy, I couldn’t ask for a better crew. Without a doubt, the most fun I’ve ever had in comics that hasn’t included alcohol, handguns, and clowns.

Barb Wire #1 variant cover by Adam Hughes

Barb Wire #1 variant cover by Adam Hughes


Westfield: Are there other projects you’re working on that you’d like to mention?

Warner: Well, I just finished obsessing over the 2015 NFL draft, so now I can start obsessing over the 2016 NFL draft.

Westfield: Any closing comments?

Warner: We ride!

Purchase

Barb Wire #1

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