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Michael Avon Oeming & Taki Soma interview (MAR 09)

 height=Michael Avon Oeming is the popular creator whose works can be found in such titles as Powers, Mice Templar, and Hammer of the Gods. Taki Soma's work includes Silent Devil and her online strip, You'll Never Die... Together, they've crafted Rapture, a new comic from Dark Horse. Westfield's Roger Ash recently contacted the two creators to learn more about the book.

Westfield: What was the genesis for Rapture?

Michael Avon Oeming: Rapture goes back to our early days of dating, back in 07. I have a history of working with other creators and when Taki and I started seeing each other (long distance, mind you, she was in Minnesota and I was in NJ) I knew I wanted to work with her too... but this was different, we were dating, so it was a big deal for me to ask her to work on something. I wrote it in mind with her to draw it. I had a basic idea and then tossed in as many story elements that Taki liked as I could. When I showed it to her, she got right down to questions and editing. We drew a lot from our own experiences in building the characters and story. This is not us disguised as Evelyn and Gil, but there are certainly experiences in there.

Taki Soma: Yeah, at first Mike had zombies instead of cannibals. I mean, can you imagine? Cannibals are so much more real than those flesh eating... oh wait..

Westfield: What can you tell us about the story? Who are the main characters?

 height=Soma: The world practically ends when the "champions", our super-powered beings leave the earth mysteriously, leaving it in a rapture-like state. Evelyn Town, our sarcastic protagonist has been chosen by a mysterious being called the "WORD" to take over the mantle of protecting the dying world filled with religious cannibals and diminishing population. Except that Evelyn has only one selfish agenda in mind instead, to find her boyfriend, Gil Borden who she broke up with right before the 'Rapture' and to get back together with him.

Westfield: How do you two work together on the writing?

Oeming: I wrote a loose outline, we rebuilt it together. Then we sort of ping-pong off each other on the scripts and dialogue. Being married we get to talk a lot about the characters, scenes and the world, it's pretty awesome.

Soma: Yep, we work so well together it's really not fair.

Westfield: Michael, when you're doing the art for the book, since you're co-writing it as well, are you working from a plot?

Oeming: Full scripts that Taki and our editor David Land has polished off. David is great at keeping us focused while giving us the freedom of doing our creator owned thing. Taki is also doing layouts for me, some of which I keep exactly the same, others I change but for the most part, we have similar creative tastes. Taki has really pushed my layouts making me take more daring choices.

Soma: Yep. Our scripts are written thoroughly which works well with our editor Dave Land, colorist Val Staples and letterer Thomas Mauer; they know exactly what to do when the art comes in then.

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

Oeming: The return of Powers and Mice Templar this year. We have a big announcement for Mice that should excite people. Powers will return monthly. I'm spending time drawing about 4-6 issues before we solicit so when Powers returns, it will be monthly again... for the first time:)

Soma: I'm working hard to help Mike out as much as possible to get through this very tight schedule for now, and will be working on some pitching.

Westfield: Any closing comments?

Oeming: I want to thank all of our friends and readers who are helping us promote Rapture. Check out the Rapture myspace stuff - "Friend" Rapture here for more updates - http://www.myspace.com/rapturedarkhorsecomics

Read Rapture here on Dark Horse Presents http://myspace.com/darkhorsepresents?issuenum=19&storynum=3

Soma: To Dark Horse and Dave Land, thank you for this opportunity to get Rapture out, and thank you to everyone who has had anything to do with the book. I'd really like to mention to retailers and readers alike that there are incentive covers by amazing artists for each issue of Rapture like Alex Maleev, David Mack, Mike Allred, Eric Powell, Matt Wagner, and the sixth artist TBA.

To link to this interview, use this link (right click and copy)

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