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Sir Apropos of Nothing comes to comics

 height=(WoW SEP 08)

By Roger Ash

Sir Apropos of Nothing, the anti-heroic, often unchivalrous, knight from writer Peter David's fantasy novel trilogy comes to comics this month from IDW. David is spinning new tales of Sir Apropos, not adaptations of the novels.

"It's a wholly original story that I've designed specifically to take advantage of the comic book format," says David. "Not to mention that, since it's IDW, I tried to throw in various references that IDW fans would like. There are Joss Whedon in-jokes, and a general vampire theme, plus a cameo appearance by the Fallen Angel. And just to broaden our audience base, the first issue features a send-up of The Dark Tower (with Stephen King's personal blessing, I should add)."

Joining Peter David on the book is artist Robin Riggs. How did he become involved? "It was as simple as Peter calling me and asking if I wanted to do it," Riggs replies. "He was already familiar with my work and had seen some pages from a short story I did with my wife, Elayne, a while ago that was in the style he wanted for this title. Peter described the opening scene, I said I'd love to do it, and we were off and running."

Is it necessary for people to have read the Sir Apropos novels to understand the series? "Is it mandatory? Absolutely not," says David. "Any of the Apropos novels stand alone, and the comic book mini-series is no exception. Would it help? Sure, if for no other reason than that the reader would be able to experience 'first hand' events that Apropos mentions in passing in the comic. But I've written it to make it fully accessible to non-Apropos readers."

 height=That said, what can people look forward to in the mini-series? "There's our titular anti-hero, of course," David replies. "Apropos of Nothing, born the bastard son of a tavern whore, the product of one violent night when a group of violent knights had their way with her. Owing his existence to the dark side of chivalry, Apropos wanders his world watching out for his own best interests, always looking to score a fortune while putting his own safety above all else. He remains flawless in the latter endeavor, but fortunes have a habit of slipping through his luckless fingers. In the course of the series, Apropos finds himself falling in with a tribe of gypsies, made their unwilling protector, and eventually becoming chief advisor to a total wimp of a prince whom Apropos must toughen up lest the land of Intravania becomes completely overrun by its enemies."

This book is a bit of a departure for Robin Riggs. He is best known as an inker, but is providing both pencils and inks here. Doing that has been very enjoyable for him. "Breaking the story down into images is the best part of the job for me. I grew up in the UK where they followed the European tradition of one artist doing the whole job and that's what I've always aspired to. Back in my Marvel UK days, Paul Neary was helping me to improve both my penciling and inking, but he was able to offer me paying work inking and once I'd fallen into it, it became the path of least resistance. I hope I can live up to Peter's faith in me and do justice to his very entertaining story.

"I've wanted to draw one of Peter's scripts since I first worked with him back on the Hulk in 1993. I sometimes used to thumbnail the plots just for fun while I was waiting for the first batch of pencils to come through. It's very nice to be doing it for real this time."

Describing their collaboration, Riggs says that "Peter writes a full script and emails it to me. He's very quick to answer any queries I might have but, basically, everything I need is right there in the script. Peter's already a couple of issues ahead of me so I can see where things are going and the images for those issues are already forming in my head as I work on the current one."

"It's a terrific arrangement, because - quite simply - I know Robin is a great story teller who will do a terrific job of presenting the ideas on the page to the readers," adds David. "His Prince Valiant-esque style is exactly what I was looking for, and I think fans will be blown away by it."

If fans are blown away and demand more, could there be more Apropos in the future? "Sure," David states. "I love writing about Apropos. It's great to get into his head and snark on all the fantasy tropes that people have come to accept without question."

 height=In addition to Sir Apropos of Nothing, David is also the writer/creator of IDW's Fallen Angel. When asked about what's happening in that book, he replies, "We're in the midst of a kick-ass storyline featuring a grand battle for Bete Noire and, by extension, the world. It all comes to a climax with issue #33 which will feature changes in the status quo that will rock the foundation of the Fallen Angel's world. And following that, we're doing a three-part storyline featuring a rare guest appearance: Illyria from the Joss Whedon Angel series. I figure a fallen goddess from Angel should fit right in with a fallen angel from God."

If you're looking for a book that has an attitude, has fun with fantasy, and is different from other books on the shelf, give Sir Apropos of Nothing a try. You're sure to have a good time.

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