Ghostbusters are coming back to IDW with a brand new story that takes place directly after the first film, but something is really different here. IDW takes some of their biggest books and gives the stories a bit of a twist. Deviations is a 5-week event, starting in March, taking place through numerous books and we chatted with Kelly Thompson and Nelson Daniel, the creative team behind GHOSTBUSTERS DEVIATIONS.
COMIC VINE: What's going on in this story?
KELLY THOMPSON: Lots of jokes. Some action. Mostly jokes.
CV: What deviation does this take from the regular Ghostbusters series?
KELLY: The premise of our story is “what if the Ghostbusters didn’t cross streams”…and thus did not save the day, so the story picks up about a month after that happened -- after The Ghostbusters failed -- and shows a Manhattan as it is now – as it would be with Gozer in the Stay Puft Marshmallow man as its ruler. Obviously this changes everything in The Ghostbusters’ world and from a very early point in their “continuity.” One of the many things that’s fun about that idea is that you don’t have to know ANYTHING about the Ghostbusters except to have seen the first movie to understand everything that we’re doing…I love that our book is that new reader friendly and accessible for everyone.
CV: Who is currently on the Ghostbusters team and will there possibly be the return of the New Ghostbusters like Ortiz, Alexander, etc?
KELLY: Since this takes place literally in the days that follow the original film it’s just the classic team—Peter, Ray, Egon, and Winston. Janine makes a cameo—there was a whole funny subplot I wanted to do with her but 24 pages is just not enough to get everything you want! Dana and Louis are also in the story a bit in what I hope people will find to be a fun twist.
CV: What returning villains will we see in this book? Which ones were your favorites?
KELLY: Well, Stay Puft/Gozer plays a major role in our story and in an unexpected way. Stay Puft has always been my favorite “villain” and seeing him this way is a particularly unique and fun take I think that hasn’t really been done before with the characters.
CV: Is it safe to say that Dana and Louis are still Gozer's minions, Zuul and Vinz?
KELLY: Nothing is safe to say! Haha. Both Dana/Zuul and Louis/Vinz make appearances but as mentioned above, they appear with a bit of a twist. The roles are pretty minor unfortunately, just due to lack of page real estate. I would have loved to write a whole spinoff issue with these versions of Dana/Zuul and Louis/Vinz, so much potential!
CV: What will the tone of the story be—light-hearted or dark?
KELLY: Well, it’s a little bit of both in that Manhattan has been plunged into a dystopia of sorts since our heroes have “failed to save the day.” But Ghostbusters is, at heart, a comedy and thus so are we. Dystopia usually means “grim and gritty” but our new world is a “post-apocalyptic dystopia” ruled by the soft delicious fist of the Stay Puft marshmallow man…so how dark can it really be? It’s impossible for that concept to not have a lot of fun to it and springing from comedy as Ghostbusters does it’s a pretty natural fit.
CV: Will we see any casualties or consequences to not stopping Gozer?
KELLY: We will definitely see the consequences—and for more than just of our heroes—of their failure save the day. But we’re a comedy book so don’t expect a lot of death. Mayhem, sure. Death, not so much.
CV: Are there bigger threats than Gozer and Stay Puft Marshmallow Man roaming around?
KELLY: Well, Gozer IS Stay Puft, so they’re one and the same and definitely a threat, though in a new way. While I wouldn’t call them a “bigger threat” than Gozer/Stay Puft, we do have some new minions in this book that are maybe my favorite element…but I don’t want to give away the surprise…so you’ll just have to tune in to find out what their deal is.
CV: Nelson, you've done quite a bit of work at IDW, especially in the Judge Dredd department, did you find taking on the Ghostbusters to be intimidating?
NELSON DANIEL: The Ghostbusters are my childhood heroes, why would I be intimidated? It’s the opposite. I had always wanted to draw them, and of course they are very different from Dredd, although both have really cool weapons and vehicles, but I'm really happy to be part of this team and to draw these great characters, I mean, who wouldn’t? I love the Ecto 1, the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man and Sigourney Weaver, where else can you get all of that together?
CV: Nelson, when tackling the color work did you want to follow the movie more or Luis Delgado's work on the other IDW series?
NELSON: It will be a mixture. It’s impossible to overlook the great work of Luis, and this story really goes back to some iconic movie locations, but that’s just the starting point, I always try to go a little further with my color work. I like risks.
CV: For both of you, what excites you to work on this series?
KELLY: Well, I’ve loved Ghostbusters since I was a kid so it was really fun to play in that pool and get a crack at those iconic characters. And it was especially cool to get to do something a bit different with them in a “deviations” story. I’m a big fan of alternate reality type tales as I think it’s a great opportunity to see characters we love in a slightly different light/circumstances, so this was kind of perfect for me. Also, between writing IDW’s Jem and The Holograms and Marvel’s A-Force and Captain Marvel & The Carol Corps I’ve been writing a lot of “all women” teams/books, so it was fun to write an “all men” team/book…maybe someday I’ll get to write something with an integrated team! Dare to dream!
NELSON: Almost all of it honestly. If you don't know the Ghostbusters that means something is wrong. Working with these icons means I can cross it off my list.
Thanks to Kelly and Nelson for answering our questions and make sure to check out GHOSTBUSTERS: DEVIATIONS in March from IDW.