Dark Horse Month was too big and exciting to contain in just one month, so we’re closing it down with a “visit” from the one and only Felicia Day, creator/writer/producer/star of The Guild, her wildly popular web series focusing on a misfit group of gamers. We chatted with her about the upcoming The Guild: Zaboo one-shot, her Free Comic Book Day comic (a flip-book paired with Buffy the Vampire Slayer!), her latest web series, Dragon Age: Redemption, and more.
We’ve also got an exclusive six-page preview of The Guild: Zaboo–enjoy!
TFAW.com: Now that you’ve completed both The Guild miniseries and several one-shots, how are you enjoying the process of making comics?
Felicia Day: I feel like I’ve really hit a personal stride, that I actually look forward to working with the format and thinking more visually. The process is a lot more fun now that I’ve gotten my own methodology down.
TFAW.com: Can you give us any hints about what we’ll discover about Zaboo in The Guild: Zaboo one-shot?
FD: Sandeep [Parikh, her co-star and co-writer of the one-shot] is a director, so I think this issue is much more visual, similar to the Bladezz issue (which I did with Guild director Sean Becker). The cool thing is that Sandeep is a big gamer as well, so we tried to infuse a lot of gamer ideas into the script and the visuals. There are homages to everything from FPSs to Mario Kart. I’m excited for people to read it.
TFAW.com: Does this take place before or after Season 5?
FD: As are all the one shots of the core characters I’ve done this year, this one is pre-season 1, with the timeline catching up to the web series by the end of the issue.
TFAW.com: Dark Horse just announced there will be a Guild comic for Free Comic Book Day–as a flip book with Buffy the Vampire Slayer. How do you feel about that pairing?
FD: SUPER PSYCHED. Ahem, sorry about the caps. I didn’t know they were going to do that, and to be paired with such a great title is an honor for sure. I was excited to be able to get word about the series out and support such a great event.
TFAW.com: What can you tell us about the storyline for the FCBD comic? Will it tie into Season 6 of the web series at all?
FD: It’s a stand-alone for people who might not be familiar with the show and it’s sort of out of time with the series, but canon.
TFAW.com: Have you considered expanding your comics work–writing a Buffy story, or a superhero book?
FD: I would love to fit in other comic projects, but I am really stretched thin right now. Next year is going to bring some big changes though, and I hope to fit in more writing alongside with all the web series I’ll be doing. The idea of creating something new is really appealing to me though.
TFAW.com: Cyd and Zaboo’s relationship has been through several twists and turns: she took a second look at him romantically in Season 5, but that fizzled after a brief experiment. Where will they be in Season 6?
FD: I can’t tell, and if I could I wouldn’t anyway :). The show is still not picked up, so we have a lot of options with what we can do with the show, actually. I might be interested in doing something different with the format. We’ll see what the new year brings!
TFAW.com: A lot of characters made a quantum leap in Season 5: Tinkerballa (ahem, April Lou) opened up to Cyd, Vork fell in love, kind of, and most importantly, it looks like Cyd has an actual job–with The Game! Are we going to see a more “functional” Guild in Season 6?
FD: Of course not, functional is boring! I am having fun bringing the characters out of their shells a bit, though. Their friendship is making them better people, which is the central story of The Guild, really.
TFAW.com: I just rewatched Dragon Age: Redemption and really enjoyed it. How did you prepare for such a physical role?
FD: It was monumental will power that got me out of bed at 6 am every day for three months, doing two hours of working out, then going to work for eight hours and working on the script and The Guild and everything else I have to do, then training again before I went to bed. I think I almost broke myself, but it was 100% worth it. It definitely made me respect big action heroes more, who literally make that process their life. I don’t think I’ll ever be in that good shape again, to be honest.
TFAW.com: The end of the web series left a lot of room for a sequel–is anything currently in the works?
FD: Nothing planned now, but Tallis is, awesomely, a part of the Dragon Age universe. I could only hope she appears again!
TFAW.com: What were the biggest differences (besides budget) between producing The Guild and Dragon Age: Redemption?
FD: I think scale was the biggest, we had so many more crew on Dragon Age, it was hard to even look at it like a web series; it was TV-sized. Also Dragon Age had a huge post-production process with special effects and color timing and transcoding, etc. etc. That was a huge learning lesson, how complicated post-production can be when you do a lot of special effects and involve so many people on that end of production.
I think the biggest lesson I took was that I kind of enjoy shooting things with three people more, haha.
TFAW.com: You’ve acted in projects by others, and those you produce yourself. When you’re creating your own material, do you think you make fewer compromises, or just different ones?
FD: Filmmaking is, by definition, a compromise art form, I think, whatever the scale. You never quite realize exactly what is in your head–sometimes you fall short, sometimes other people’s input and talent help you exceed it. That’s the beauty and the frustration of making films.
I certainly have a bit more control over what I produce personally, but wearing so many hats tends to round out the perfectionist corners because it’s simply a lot to take on, especially when we have such low budgets. So really, the challenges always vary from project to project, which is why I love what I do. Variety I what I live for.
TFAW.com: What do you think is the key to creating realistic female characters, both in comics or for web or TV series?
FD: I think creating a character, not a type. We all read characters that jump out as, “MOM,” “GIRLFRIEND,” “GEEK GIRL”–they start from cliches and never overcome them. Moms aren’t always kind, teen daughters aren’t always rebellious. Start creating a character with a unique perspective, interesting past experiences, and then make her female. Then something awesome will hopefully happen.
Our thanks to Felicia for taking the time to answer all of our questions. Make sure to order The Guild comics and graphic novels here at TFAW.com.
Are you curious about The Guild Season 6? Have you watched Dragon Age: Redemption yet? Post your reactions below!