Fellow fans of ‘Robotech‘ have probably been as eager as I have to read each te issues of Titan Comics‘ new series and today we get to pick writer Brian Wood’s brain a bit. The work is a retelling of this iconic series which was spread over 85-episodes with some slight narrative changes to spice things up.
This week the graphic novel collection ‘Robotech Volume 1: Countdown’ landed in comic shops everywhere to share the first set of issues with anyone who waits for compilations. If you loved ‘Robotech’ this was a must buy and it was also written in a way that would appeal to new readers as well!
Enough about what I think of the series though lets see what Wood had to share!
Science Fiction (SF): For those who haven’t been following the promotions, what can we expect from the upcoming ‘Robotech’ series?
Brian Wood (BW): What we’re attempting here is a modern re-telling of the American television show, the one I’d wake up as a kid super early on Sunday mornings in rural Vermont to watch, and the ones that have stuck with me ever since. I have tremendous respect for those episodes, but I think when adapting into comics and doing that several decades later, we have to look for ways to make it feel fresh and relevant, rather than a literal, slavish reconstruction.
SF: What inspired you to return to such a popular franchise and without any major spoilers what might these fractures to the timeline mean?
BW: For me personally? I’m a fan like I said, so I wanted to get into it and show everyone just how much I like these stories and how much mass appeal I believe they have. From a writer’s standpoint, I find adaptations to be a fun and creative exercise, and this also gave me the excuse to watch the episodes over and over and over again.
SF: With history being re-written were you able to include any styles of later installments in the franchise up through the Macross sagas?
BW: I’m sticking pretty close to the story as it was presented in the TV show I grew up with. I’m aware of the vast ecosystem of Macross stories that are out there, but my focus here is pretty tight on those 85 episodes. In success, though, I’d love to see it expand.
SF: With the timeline changing, will there be difference in the Zentraedi and Human relations?
BW: I don’t think I’m changing much, just tinkering with the presentation. I don’t like making comparisons in interviews, but if you look at, generally, how the new Star Trek films both mirror the originals and also do new stuff, that might give you some idea. Although I think I’m being more conservative in sticking with the original than those films did.
As far as the Zentraedi are concerned, in early issues of the comic, I’ve been keeping them very alien, letting the readers see them the way the characters on the SDF-1 are, as an unknown, terrifying threat.
SF: Did any specific era of Robotech inspire you above all others for the artwork and look of this book?
BW: Not specifically, no. I love how this book looks, I love the art, but I can’t take the credit for that. The artists themselves, as well as Titan, are handling that end of things.
SF: Fans familiar with the shows know that the Zentraedi are coming to Earth in order to try and recover their lost battleship the SDF-1, will it play a different role in the series than we’ve previously seen?
BW: No, I don’t think so.
SF: Who is your favorite character from the series, and why?
BW: As a kid, I love Max and Miriya – they were pilots, they were cool, at the time I had glasses like Max does, and their story was an interesting one. These days, I’m more drawn to Roy and Claudia – I’m really enjoying writing them.
SF: Will this new ‘Robotech’ be easily accessible for first time fans or those who aren’t as familiar with the original anime?
BW: This has been one of my number one goals from the start – I think a lot of anime-based comics here in the west do a very poor job of trying to appeal beyond their core audience, and I think readers who aren’t already familiar with the story have very little impulse to try them out. I’m writing this for everyone, and I think you can take one look at the art and see that it’s not a simple recreation of the look of the cartoons. I firmly believe that Robotech is an amazing story that has mass appeal… going back to the story of how I’d wake up at 6am on the weekend to watch it, my older sister would join me, and I always think that speaks to its appeal, that a 16yo girl who has zero interest in science fiction would get so invested in the story, wake up that early, and watch with her 10yo brother.
SF: We’d like to thank Brian Wood for his time today! A gifted writer who I was thrilled to be able to pose a few questions to who also happens to be writing a new take on one of my favorite anime series as well!