Interview: Beau Smith on IDW’s Wynonna Earp: The Yeti Wars

Wynonna Earp: The Yeti Wars cover

Wynonna Earp: The Yeti Wars cover

Beau Smith is the self-professed Last Real Man in Comics. He’s also written Guy Gardner: Warrior, Parts Unknown, Batman vs. Wildcat, and lots more. This month, he returns to his creation Wynonna Earp for IDW’s Wynonna Earp: The Yeti Wars. Westfield’s Roger Ash hoisted a few brews with Beau and got him to spill the beans on his new book. (Actually we just emailed each other, but that doesn’t sound near as fun.)

Special Offer! Every copy of Wynonna Earp: The Yeti Wars sold through Westfield this month will be signed by Beau Smith!

Westfield: For people who have never read one of her adventures before, who is Wynonna Earp and is The Yeti Wars a good jumping on point?

Beau Smith: Wynonna Earp is a descendant of the famous lawman, Wyatt Earp, from an affair he had with a young actress in Hollywood while serving as a technical advisor on his friend Tom Mix’s film. Wynonna is a covert U.S. Marshal of the Black Badge Division. This is a special unit created by President Theodore Roosevelt, the first President to recognize the existence of the paranormal world and the rise of organized crime within that underground society. As a covert U.S. Marshal, it’s her job to hunt down paranormal fugitives. The paranormal organized crime families include the top warring crime families of The Consortium Of Immortal and The Vampire Nation. Further down the crime tree are werewolves, warlocks & witches, The Cryptids, Gremlins, Spellcasters, Druids, the Chupacabra Clan, zombies and the list goes on and on.

The Yeti Wars graphic novel has been specifically written and designed for anyone to jump on for the first time. I wanted to give new readers a place to discover Wynonna Earp and her regular readers a new adventure to dive into. In The Yeti Wars, Wynonna and her team of covert Marshals are on the hunt for a southern-fried mad scientist, Dr. Billy Joe Robidoux who is THE master of DNA manipulation. While tracking down Robidoux, Wynonna finds herself in the middle of a paranormal range war between The Consortium of Immortals and The Vampire Nation. This leads them to a secret lab in the wilderness of Alaska during the snowstorm of the century. I also need to mention that The Consortium of Immortals has a tribe of savage Yeti that guard the lab. Wynonna has to enlist the help of a team of Bigfoot to work for The Black Badge Division to face the monstrous Yeti. In the meantime, Dr. Robidoux is looking to double cross everyone.

Westfield: Who are the main characters involved?

Smith: Wynonna is heading up the team of U.S. Marshals tracking Robidoux and the Consortium. With her are two characters that appeared in the last Wynonna Earp series Home On The Strange. (IDW Publishing.) First is her long time friend, mentor and Black Badge Weapons Master, Smitty. He’s one of the last “old school” U.S. Marshals, a throwback to the Marshals of the old west. He’s rough around the edges and doesn’t care who knows it. He holds the record for capturing fugitives that still stands today, even though Wynonna reminds him she is closing in on that record. Smitty enjoys using his “West Virginia Country Boy” act to mask the fact that he is one of the best inventive brains ever to come out of M.I.T. Smitty has a reputation of not always field-testing his prototype weapons. Usually a series of loud explosions follow. The other Marshals refer to him as “Smithereens” when he’s not around.

The semi-mysterious Marshal Holly Day is also on this team. Holly is an Immortal and Wynonna’s best friend. Holly’s past is one of the most classified files in the country and perhaps the world. Rumors have her being around since the time of the cave men to being the Princess of the lost city of Atlantis where all Immortals are thought to have come from. Holly has special abilities that make her a very useful member of The Black Badge.

Westfield: Why did you decide to do this story as a graphic novel?

Smith: It was originally going to be a four issue mini-series, but with the comic book market getting hit by our hard economic times, I thought it best to give the readers the whole story in one nice fat book with some extra features tossed in to make it fun. It’ll make the perfect Christmas gift and it’s something that can be bought and read all year round.

Wynonna Earp: The Yeti Wars

Wynonna Earp: The Yeti Wars

Westfield: You’re working with artist Enrique Villagran on the book. What can you say about his contribution to The Yeti Wars?

Smith: Enrique and I have been friends for over 25 years. I first worked with him at Eclipse Comics and he was also the artist I requested on my first DC Comics work, Green Lantern Quarterly, where I introduced Probert The Bad One, one of the first beings that the Guardians tried to bestow the power of the Lantern to. Enrique is a master craftsman and storyteller. He’s all substance and with just enough sizzle to make each panel a treat. I wanted someone who could tell a story and take the reader’s eyes on a wonderful journey. If you see Enrique draw something, you know it’s been researched.

Westfield: Do you have more Wynonna Earp stories you’d like to tell?

Smith: Of course! The world of Paranormal Crime never sleeps. The Wynonna Earp stories are my chance to give the readers some “Blue Sky” adventures. There will always be action and depth, but there will also be humor and friendship. Readers will finish a Wynonna story with a smile, not the urge to slit their wrist like so many comics hand out today. There’s fun dialogue and characters you’ll like in this book. Ones you want to hang out with, date or, say, you know. The Yeti Wars has a TV USA Network feel to it like that of Burn Notice, Covert Affairs, as well as the FOX TV series Human Target. The Yeti Wars is truly The Brightest Day story.

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

Smith: In January of 2011 Moonstone will be releasing my next team up with artist Eduardo Barreto for The Captain Action Winter Special. Eduardo and I did our first Classic Captain Action story in Captain Action #4. This time we take Captain Action to the French Alps and throw him up against a beautiful, double-crossing French spy, a huge Russian thug and a Communist controlled Yeti (I smell a theme). Eduardo and I also have something very special coming up from Dark Horse Comics that I’ll be able to talk about soon.

Westfield: Any closing comments?

Smith: Yeah, please try Wynonna Earp: The Yeti Wars. I know you’ll enjoy it and I promise you it’ll be fun. It’ll be like someone set your hair on fire and you ended up enjoying it.

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