Gail Simone Talks About Her First Vertigo Series--CLEAN ROOM

Avatar image for gmanfromheck
Posted by gmanfromheck (42524 posts) - - Show Bio

There's some new and exciting things coming to Vertigo. One of them includes Gail Simone's first Vertigo series, CLEAN ROOM. With art by Jonathan Davis-Hunt (2000AD) and covers by Jenny Frison, Gail is ready to delve into a tale of psychological terror.

When we heard what the premise of this new series was, we jumped at the chance to ask Gail some questions about it.

No Caption Provided

COMIC VINE: The premise for CLEAN ROOM is both intriguing and creepy. What was the inspiration behind the concept?

GAIL SIMONE: It’s a question of what’s scary right now. I’m not afraid of vampires, no one is really afraid of vampires anymore, they’re the stuff of cartoons and bad romance novels. What’s scary to me at this point is the loss of control. Think of the power we give, the information we share with people who do not have our best interests at heart.

Some of these people, these people who offer help and advice to people in emotional need, they have no qualifications, no measure of success that can be seen. We make fun of tent revivalist faith healers, and then go buy some kale shake made of bee farts that drives out our imaginary toxins…what's the difference at that point?

I’ve always been fascinated by this. Why do we believe extraordinary claims without extraordinary proof?

And worse yet, what if we scoff at this stuff, and it all turns out to be true?

The basic story is a self-help guru named Astrid Mueller runs an organization that believes sinister things are controlling our world, and that only she can see the strings. But she's managed to get a journalist named Chloe angry, and Chloe has nothing to lose. These people operate partially on fear.

But Chloe is not afraid. She has nothing left to be afraid of.

CV: How did you decide that Vertigo was the right place for this story?

GAIL: There was a time when Vertigo was publishing the only comics I wanted to buy. After talking with Shelly Bond, my fabulous editor, and hearing her vision for a renewed sense of wonder in the imprint, I wanted in. I could have taken this elsewhere, but Vertigo called it to them, somehow.

CV: At what point did Jonathan Davis-Hunt become part of the project?

GAIL: That’s the amazing thing, and why we felt this book had a destiny to it.

We looked at dozens of artists, big name people you would know well. But we didn't get the feel we wanted, something that was charming and real-world, but with a terrifying fantasy to it. That’s not easy stuff.

Jon is relatively new to comics, he was making big money doing video games, but he came aboard and just destroyed every page, every character. Every change he made was an improvement. I couldn't love him more if he was made of butterscotch.

We saw his pages and just said, THIS IS THE GUY.

CV: Has seeing his art changed anything in the tone or story you had originally planned?

GAIL: Oh, yeah, you quickly learn what your artist is capable of. Jon allows me to write anything, no matter how subtle, because he will draw it. But also, he has a thirst for horrifying imagery, so we are busy supplying him nightmares.

The funniest thing was, I specifically asked for Astrid not to be a redhead, because I have a bit of a reputation for that, as you may know. But when Jon turned in the designs, he said, “I really felt she should be a redhead.”

He was right, too, dammit.

No Caption Provided

CV: How would you describe the characters Astrid and Chloe?

GAIL: Astrid is darn near unknowable, and untouchable, in that way that major CEOs are not QUITE like the rest of us. They are today’s royal families, and nothing we do will ever make them see us as their equal. She's dangerous and smart.

Chloe is a small-time, small-town reporter, who had a tragedy happen and feels her life is over anyway, so she decides to take down the monster.

No Caption Provided

CV: How much of the story do you have mapped out so far?

GAIL: Pretty close to twelve issues, we are well ahead.

CV: Do you find yourself in a different mindset when working on this book compared to your others?

GAIL: Oh, yeah, it's dark and unsettling. My editor literally reads some pages with her fingers covering her eyes. We deliberately put in a bunch of actual nightmares, and they gave us all some new ones.

CV: What’s your favorite thing so far about CLEAN ROOM?

GAIL: Well, the art is a revelation. But additionally, there is no other book like this out there right now. And we're all very proud of that.

CLEAN ROOM #1 is on sale October 21. Be sure to let your comic shop know you need a copy!

Avatar image for lagozzino
#1 Posted by lagozzino (555 posts) - - Show Bio

Yes YES YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEES
The Vertigo revitalization is the most exciting thing coming down the pipeline as far as I'm concerned.
Now Comicvine, just see if you can get an interview with the team that'll be doing Art Ops!

Avatar image for deactivated-57af58bda2d61
#2 Posted by deactivated-57af58bda2d61 (5409 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm already on board ^-^

Avatar image for tattacus
#3 Posted by Tattacus (2520 posts) - - Show Bio

Been waiting on this since it was announced!

Avatar image for quinnofthestoneage
#4 Posted by QuinnoftheStoneAge (3663 posts) - - Show Bio

I am so checking this out

Avatar image for bonzi161
#5 Posted by Bonzi161 (129 posts) - - Show Bio

This actually sounds really good... also Kale and Bee farts sounds amazeballs

Avatar image for adriana_huntington
#6 Posted by Adriana_Huntington (534 posts) - - Show Bio

Super excited for this!

Avatar image for hempknight757
#7 Posted by HempKnight757 (169 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm in. Something to read in between scary movies.

Avatar image for deactivated-5d3f071d30d9f
#9 Posted by deactivated-5d3f071d30d9f (5172 posts) - - Show Bio

Pretty cool. I was already sold before this.

Avatar image for captainmarvel4ever
#10 Posted by CaptainMarvel4Ever (9890 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm not normally and indie guy, but Vertigo is putting out some really intriguing stuff.

Avatar image for deactivated-097092725
#11 Edited by deactivated-097092725 (10555 posts) - - Show Bio

Jenny Frison...those covers...(faints)

(edited to add: and of course, the whole enchilada, haha)

This edit will also create new pages on Comic Vine for:

Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

Comment and Save

Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Comic Vine users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.