GateCrashers’ writer, Nachiket Naik, sits down with Jordan Clark, writer of various self-published comics such as This Skin I’m In, as well as various works with DC, IDW Publishing and Image Comics. For this interview, Nachiket and Jordan discuss his upcoming Samurai Sonja and Red Sonja Fairy Tale one-shot at Dynamite!
Nachiket Naik: What is your favorite midnight snack?
Jordan Clark: Gotta go with Reese’s. All kinds! Except for that potato chip one…we don’t talk about that one.
Nachiket Naik: How did Samurai Sonja come to be? Did you come up with the idea and approach Dynamite?
Jordan Clark: Well, Dynamite has been running some great alternate Sonja comics with Sonjaversal and Hell Sonja (both by Christopher Hastings and Pasquale Qualano).
I was lucky enough to be hit up by editor Nate Cosby who was looking for someone to keep that energy going. I got to thinking about what the next alternate version could be, and a samurai version just felt like a natural fit.
The sword and fantasy elements easily translate, but you have a new setting, new monsters, and a new way into the origin.
Nachiket Naik: We are seeing a surge in alternate takes on Red Sonja lately, with Samurai Sonja and Red Sonja Fairy Tale adding to that. What is about this character that lends to this adaptability?
Jordan Clark: Sonja is a classic hero. A defender of the defenseless and someone who won’t stand for injustice. She’s also a bit messy and a bit brash. Maybe doesn’t always think before she swings her sword. Who amongst us can’t relate?
The spirit is what endures from each iteration. Sonja brings a sense of adventure and heart no matter what form she shows up in.
Nachiket Naik: Samurai Sonja mashes together fantasy and alternate history. How do plan to balance the two aspects of the story?
Jordan Clark: My number one goal was to be as true to the history and culture as possible. From studying tea ceremonies to the different creatures from folklore that appear, I wanted to do right by them and the reader.
Obviously, this is fantasy. We had to bend things a bit, but we took great care to make sure it all feels grounded in something real. Hopefully, that shines through in the story.
Nachiket Naik: How do you keep the tone consistent between all collaborators of the project?
Jordan Clark: I try to involve everyone as much as possible. We’re a team, and everyone’s ideas and input are equally important. The more involved and trusted someone feels, the better the collaboration. I’m never too precious with anything. What’s the fun in that?
We’ve got a terrific team on this, and it’s been such a pleasure to work with them.
Nachiket Naik: You have quite a few self-published comics. What did you learn from your experience of creating those?
Jordan Clark: Really, just trusting my voice. Each project, I feel I learn something, either by success or failure. I’m always trying to see where I can improve, and hopefully, I’m getting better each time out.
I think the biggest lesson was to trust myself and my collaborators. Not getting hung up on if it’s perfect or as good as someone else’s book, but making something we all enjoy and believe in.
Nachiket Naik: Do you have a dream character/IP you want to write for that you haven’t gotten a chance to yet?
Jordan Clark: Those that know me already know the answer. Booster Gold. Hands down, my favorite superhero. All the flaws and goofiness are what makes him so relatable. He’s just trying to get it right, like the rest of us. And screwing up miserably, like the rest of us.
Besides that, I’d say Taskmaster, TMNT, Candyman, and D&D. I realize none of that goes together, haha. But it’s all stuff I’d love to work on!
Nachiket Naik: Which parts of the writing and comic-making process do you enjoy the most?
Jordan Clark: Just seeing it all come together. Coming up with an idea and then bringing it to an artist. Seeing them brings the characters and settings to life. Figuring out the puzzle. How do all these things fit together? I really love it. Each project is a chance to make something new with friends. It’s great!