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Interview: Scott Snyder and Sean Murphy talk THE WAKE

Find out what the series is about and if there's a chance we can talk them into doing more than ten issues. Plus check out a preview for the first issue.

Back in October at New York Comic Con, Vertigo announced that Scott Snyder and Sean Murphy would be teaming up once again on a new book, THE WAKE. The first issue is due on May 29. Even though we've been waiting since October, it still feels like a ways away.

We recently got the chance to talk to both creators about the project. Check it out to see if you'll be diving into the series.

The Wake #1
The Wake #1

Comic Vine: I assume Lee Archer is the main character. What can you tell us about her?

Scott Snyder: Yeah, she's the main character. She's a marine biologist who specializes in Cytology, which is the study of aquatic mammals. She also specializes in Vocalization. She's really really a fun character to write. She's someone who's been fascinated by the ocean and the mystery of the ocean and the call of the ocean since she was a little girl. The story is really about her coming face to face with this mystery that has taunted her since she was young. In it, it has some of the answers, horrifying or not, that she's been looking for forever.

CV: Sean, what's your take on her visually? Did you come up with her look?

Sean Murphy: Scott shot me some notes and usually he'll direct the ideas out but mostly he'll say, "Whatever you think will work." So I appreciate the trust. I based her off Emma Watson. A little older maybe, brown eyes and blonde hair. I put her in this futuristic work out gear, green pants and stuff. She's still attractive but still functional. I really like how she turned out and the way Matt [Hollingsworth] is coloring her is really bringing her together.

SS: [to Sean] I love how you made her, she looks tough when you see her but she's also really really vulnerable at times. Which is she's at a point in the story where her personal life is falling apart. Her professional life has too but she's really good at what she does. She just had something happen to her in her past where she wound up shunned by her scientific community.

CV: How far along are you guys in the series now?

SS: The whole series is mapped out, the ten issues. It's pretty much all outlined but we left a lot or room in the second half to have fun. In terms of what happens in the first part, we have an outline that we follow but we also sort of make things up as we go along. We're used to working together and having fun coming up with a story. Sean just finished the first issue.

The Wake #2
The Wake #2

SM: I've done twenty-five pages so far and the first five covers.

CV: Has anything changed as the pages start rolling in?

SS: [laughs] Yeah it changes. I just spoke with Sean yesterday about changing some stuff for fun. One of the great things about a book like this is it's our world so if we come up with a better idea for a small thing or a sizable thing, we can kind of change it as we go. We're trying to play it a little spontaneous on this one, I think. I hope it reads that way and people enjoy it for a different kind of energy rather than something that's really rigidly plotted out like I do other things.

SS: I like how it's not strictly mapped out and we have some leeway on where we can take it. I can throw Scott some ideas and he usually manages to squeeze them in there. It's not rigid at all but there's definitely a line Scott's aiming towards.

CV: The released information on the series gives hints of a horror story but also mentions "exploring the origins of human history." Can you elaborate on that?

SS: Yeah, it's about a discovery on the bottom of the ocean that unlocks the key to a lot of sea folklore, stories and myths about the ocean. That discovery is both kind of exciting, I think, but also really terrifying. It has a lot of underwater/claustrophobia/haunted house qualities. It definitely has its scares but we want it to be something big and epic in scope. There's a big science fiction element to it as well.

CV: Sean, did you change your art style to fit the setting of the story? Is there going to be a lot of underwater scenes? Does that affect the way you approach the project?

SM: Yeah, I had to sort of learn how to draw water again. It sounds kind of funny but water is like another character in this book. I looked at a lot of other comics and noticed a lot of people don't draw water. They'll just draw lines and the colorist just makes it blue. I really tried to figure out a new way to handle water, to draw an actual wave crashing, a tidal wave surging through a city, there's all different ways that water works. I'm trying to learn about that. Towards the beginning I sort of struggled with it but I think towards the end I started to get a better grasp at how I want to handle that. As far as everything else, I had to pull back on detail a lot because now that I have color, I don't need to use all the little tricks I used on PUNK ROCK JESUS to make up for the lack of color. So I tried to not go too far and leave things more open so Matt could do his job.

SS: The color looks amazing, man. I saw it this morning. Matt sent over the first issue.

SM: Glad you got, it's insane.

SS: It is.

CV: I know ten issues isn't going to be enough for me, is the series still firmly set at ten issues?

SS: Well the first big storyline is. We've talked about it. It's a really big expansive world and there's really a lot of fun we could have if we decide to return to it. I'm open to it and I love working with Sean more than anything. It would be fun to do but this one is meant to be one big volume that at least opens the world. It raises and answers her questions, giving us more room for stories if we want.

SM: Yeah.

The Wake #3
The Wake #3

CV: Could there be a story beyond those ten issues?

SS: [laughs] Let's make sure you guys really enjoy what we have first. And if you do, hopefully you'll like it as much as we do and then we'll see.

SM: I know it's too soon to say but I would always love the chance to do another one.

CV: Anything else you guys want to add?

SS: For me, I just hope that you guys enjoy the fact that we're both trying to do something outside of our wheelhouse with this one. We're doing it together because it's a project we've wanted to do for a long time. Just the two of us, as friends. I hope that energy comes through in the book. It's something were flexing our muscles creatively, trying things we haven't before. We're also trying to deliver a story that has a big epic scope and character work, themes and ideas that you find in PUNK ROCK JESUS and the stuff I've tried to do in AMERICAN VAMPIRE.

SM: My hopes for the series is that it shows people that Vertigo is still strong and with all the titles we have planned. With THE WAKE, I hope it puts people's eyes back on Vertigo. I hope it sets their concerns at ease because, you know, we're not going anywhere.

Are you interested in the series now? Check out this first look at THE WAKE #1, on sale May 22.

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