Saturday, September 10, 2011

Terry Moore interview.

Terry Moore has written and drawn many different comic books but is best known for his work on "Strangers in Paradise" and "Echo". He has a new title coming out called "Rachel Rising". His work has been lauded by Kevin Smith and Harlan Ellison as well as his being the subject of strips in webcomics such as "Devil's Panties" by Jennie Breeden. He graciously agreed to answer some questions for me.

You are starting a new series, "Rachel Rising", and I would like to hear more about that. Current descriptions basically state that Rachel is standing over her own grave. What else can you tell us about this series?

TM: Rachel Rising is a comic book series based on the mystery of Rachel Beck’s murder. The story opens with Rachel climbing out of a shallow grave in the woods to investigate her own murder. It’s creepy.

You give credit for "Echo" to your wife, Robyn. Where did the concept for "Rachel Rising" come from?

TM: I wanted to write a scary murder mystery, so I was thinking along those lines when I got the idea for Rachel. I want to write a story where a victim goes after the predator.

 "Strangers in Paradise" lasted for 3 volumes and 15 years. "Echo" ran for 30 issues. How long do you see "Rachel Rising" lasting?

TM: Longer than Echo, but less than SIP. I’m guessing 50 issues or so?

 "Echo" dealt heavily with physics and Quantum Mechanics. How much research (if any) did you do for this series?

TM: I drove by a graveyard. (smile)

One theme I see running through both SIP and "Echo" is the danger with obsessions. Darcy Parker was obsessed with power and  scientists at HeNRi pursued scientific knowledge with no regard for people or consequences. These characters came to bad ends in their respective series. Is this an intentional statement? Will we be seeing this in "Rachel"?

TM: Probably. I write about the things that puzzle me.  Now the topic is death. There’s a mystery.

Tell us more about the cast of this new series.

TM: It’s a creepy little town. Everybody’s a character. The rest you’ll have to find out for yourself as the story unfolds.
I read you have a movie contract for "Echo". Congratulations for that. How much control will you have over the script?

The last panel of "Echo" was surprising. Do you have plans to return to the series one day and show the ramifications of that revelation?
TM: Some, in the beginning. As more people come in my role will quickly diminish, same as always with any writer. When it becomes 250 people working on a $150M project, the book writer is not a VIP. It becomes something else and I was just the surrogate father.

TM: Yes, I do actually. I already have the sequel in my head. It’s very cool.

I would like to talk about SIP.
 Without Emmie, would Katchoo and Francine been a couple? Emmie seems to be the motivating factor for those two's relationship.

TM: Katchoo and Francine made their connection in high school, so Emma stepped into something that already existed on the back burner. Katchoo’s experience with Emma was very helpful in healing Katchoo when Francine wasn’t around, though.

Was it hard to write Darcy Parker? She has very few redeeming qualities. She was manipulative and abusive to those around her. Was she aware she was abusive towards others and did it consciously?

TM: Some people behave that way because they are lashing out in pain, some people behave that way because they have no empathy for others. Darcy teetered between the two.

Why did Darcy focus on Katchoo so much? I understand Katchoo was good at what Darcy had her do. Is it possible Darcy saw Katchoo as Darcy's replacement in the future?

TM: Darcy was in love with Katchoo and she admired Katchoo’s toughness and sharp mind. Once Katchoo left Darcy, Darcy was a scorned lover; bitter, jealous and hurtful.

Freddy started out as a real jerk (and stayed that way throughout the series) but became comic relief later as well. Was this a natural progression for his character, to be both things--jerk and funny?

TM:  Yes. There’s nothing funny about winning. So, a loser like Freddie is naturally funny. The fact that he accepted his place in life so…. gracefully… just made it all the funnier.

Francine seemed to buy into her mother's idea that a woman gets married, has kids and stays married. Francine was unhappy and her mother (where Francine got her ideas from) is the one who calls Katchoo to come help Francine. When did you decide that mom is going to be the one to call and not Francine? I think that is one of the powerful moments since Francine's mom put her daughter's needs ahead of what mom is comfortable with.

TM: It’s about a mother’s love. She cared more for her daughter’s needs than for her own needs. That’s the kind of love we all wish we could experience.

SIP ends with after David's death and "Echo" (apparently "Rachel Rising does as well) begins with death. Which do you find easier to write--a story ending with death or a story beginning with death?

TM: They both take a toll. A story that begins with death is a mystery to be unraveled. A story that ends in death is just sad, so ultimately the human story is always a heart-wrenching experience. Mozart is dead. What a waste. David is gone, and we can only imagine how wonderful he could have made life for Katchoo and Francine.

Darcy was killed and David died in the course of the series. Did you always intend for that family to seem cursed in some way?

TM: Yes. Starcrossed.

SIP used poetry and songs heavily. "Echo" used quotations from scientists. What are we going to see in "Rachel Rising" (if anything)?

TM: A lot of green and red.

Tambi was a fixer of sorts just like Ivy was in "Echo". I found it interesting that Ivy was someone Tambi listened to in "Echo". Are we going to see these two together in a future series?

TM: It’s possible. They know each other. Who knows what their future needs might be?

Any chance of seeing Little Lizzie Borden from "Paradise Too" in the future? I enjoyed reading your strips with her in that title.

TM: Thank you. I like her a lot too. I do want to continue cartooning. I love making cartoons.
Terry Moore's website can be found at or to read more about SIP, go to

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