Michael Avon Oeming Interview

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(WoW #295)

Michael Avon Oeming is the popular artist of Powers, and has worked on such titles as Hammer of the Gods, Ares, and Stormbreaker: The Saga of Beta Ray Bill. He is currently the writer on D.E.'s Red Sonja. Westfield's Roger Ash recently caught up with Michael to learn more about the book.

Westfield: What attracted you to the Red Sonja comic?

Michael Avon Oeming: Well, its got a rich history. Robert E. Howard, Roy Thomas and John Buscema... that's an amazing train to be hooked onto. Plus, she is an amazing character, and I think it's only these more recent times that we can really delve into those specific characteristics, so I couldn't wait.

Westfield: What do you think people need to know about Red Sonja before they pick up issue #19?

Oeming: Nothing. Sonja is a relatively self explanatory character. There are deeper levels there, but readers will catch on quickly after reading an issue or two.

Westfield: Issue #19 begins the celebration of Red Sonja's 35th Anniversary as well as a new storyline and features a new artist. What can you tell us about this new issue?

Oeming: We wanted to part from what we have done up until this point. We've established Sonja as a three dimensional character in a real working world, where each issue, she counts on her brains and her sword to get her through situations of war, revenge and rebellion. We wanted to break from that a bit and do something with a very different tone, where Sonja would not be overthrowing a city, delving into vengeance or fighting a god or wizard. I also wanted to pay homage to those trippy Roy Thomas issues. Once we are done with this arc, we return to what could possibly be the darkest Sonja arc yet - World On Fire.

Westfield: Is there anything you'd like to say about what's on the way in future issues?

Oeming: Imagine if Frodo had failed in Lord Of The Rings and Sauron had won. This is the world Sonja will be returning to. We are changing the maps, totally divorcing ourselves from any shared Conan topography. Sonja's world is turned upside down. Lots of seeds we have sown will grow roots, characters hinted at and seen in the past will return. Some big things man.

Westfield: What challenges does working on a licensed project present?

Oeming: I think we are past those. It was mostly about finding a rhythm with the owners. Now it's simply getting everyone's notes in at the same time.

Westfield: Would you like to say anything about the other projects you're working on?

Oeming: Right now Cross Bronx is my creator owned project from Image with co creator Ivan Brandon of NYC Mech. We are writing that together and I'm drawing the best work of my life in there. Powers continues strong and I'll be bringing back Alpha Flight as Omega Flight in 07 for Marvel!

Westfield: Any closing comments?

Oeming: Just that I've had a great time working with Mel Rubi and Dynamite on Red Sonja, and look forward to lots more!