In The Montague Twins: The Satan’s Music by Nathan Web page and Drew Shannon, which is offered now from Random Home Graphic, the teenage heroes of Port Howl return for one more supernatural-fueled thriller… they usually study extra about themselves and the historical past of magic alongside the best way!
The Beat received the prospect to meet up with Web page and Shannon over Zoom to ask all in regards to the musical influences behind the sequel, to debate creating the magic of the sequence, and to seek out out what went into such an trustworthy depiction of coping with troublesome psychological well being challenges.
AVERY KAPLAN: What was it like tackling the second quantity of The Montague Twins? Did the expertise differ considerably from the creation of the primary quantity?
NATHAN PAGE: It was fairly wildly totally different, in a whole lot of methods. We had a lot time engaged on the primary ebook, and simply ideating. We spent years earlier than we even put the comedian on our web site, conceptualizing the story. There was simply a lot. Actually what the primary ebook was extra making an attempt to slot in each considered one of our concepts, and simply being like, “Oh, sure, we wished this and we wished this.” Whereas the second ebook was like, “We’re ranging from scratch. That is all new. That is uncharted territory for us.”
It was slightly daunting however when it comes to the writing course of, it truly got here a lot faster for me I feel as a result of I wasn’t making an attempt to filter in 5 to 6 years value of ideas into it. After I was truly writing it, it got here quite a bit faster nevertheless it was fairly daunting.
DREW SHANNON: From my perspective, I converted from largely conventional linework to all-digital. At first, it took slightly getting used to as a result of I wished it to nonetheless really feel like the primary ebook seemed but in addition, I had much more management over it now. There was a little bit of simply looking for that excellent stability between making it seem to be it suits throughout the similar narrative type that I’ve already began utilizing after which additionally it being all digital now and I’m having slightly bit extra management over it. I feel in the end, I actually like the best way it turned out doing it digitally.
KAPLAN: I observed the inclusion of a number of acquainted songs in The Satan’s Music (with my private favourite being The Archies). Are you able to inform us slightly bit in regards to the real-world musical influences on the graphic novel?
PAGE: Sure, completely. In fact, The Satan’s Music, it was a reasonably large affect in a number of alternative ways. Not simply when it comes to what I used to be listening to but in addition with the subject material as effectively talking of a whole lot of my favourite artists and their struggles with despair, and dependancy, and eager to pay a specific amount of homage and like to them, like Nick Drake, completely. On the time round, outlining, I feel considered one of my favourite artists the lyricist and singer, essential songwriter from Frightened Rabbit was discovered after having killed himself. There was a component of eager to carry that love into the ebook.
Then when it comes to the precise songs that had been picked, that course of was a bit extra enjoyable and a bit extra durations related. The Archies was one as a result of I wished to perform a little hyperlink as a result of generally folks would say, “This ebook is a bit like Riverdale, it’s supernatural.” I’m like, “Oh.” It wants slightly little bit of a hyperlink to that. Then simply a few of my favourite songs and likewise actually making an attempt to precise music like people expressing themselves by way of their musical tastes. Like by way of the one scene when Charlie goes to work and her boss is like, “Rock and roll isn’t my factor.” Then you could have Glen Campbell’s Wichita Lineman taking part in, so additionally utilizing it as a software to precise individualism throughout the story.
SHANNON: Music has all the time been a method for us I feel within the story to additionally assist solidify the time interval. Even within the first ebook, we reference Woodstock and there’s some references to music in that as effectively which are vital. Then I feel additionally as a result of Nathan and I, our friendship was born out of our love for music and bonding over comparable artists and comparable tastes so I feel it was solely pure that that was going to make its method into the textual content as effectively.
PAGE: Every bit, each web page has a soundtrack. Each panel, there’s all the time only a music to accompany it.
KAPLAN: Are you able to inform us in regards to the creative influences for The Montague Twins typically, and particularly The Satan’s Music?
SHANNON: I like Tintin. I feel it’s fairly apparent from the type that there’s a European French comics factor to it. I’m additionally a giant fan of a Canadian comedian artist named Michel Rabagliati. He has a sequence of books a couple of character that’s fairly carefully resembling himself referred to as Paul. I really feel like after I first began making an attempt to inform my very own tales, I took a whole lot of affect from that storytelling and that type too. I feel even he himself is just about influenced by older classic types. I feel for colour and stuff, I don’t actually have some extent of reference apart from movies.
I simply need it to look cinematic, I assume so I’m all the time making an attempt to create evenly lit scenes versus considering of particular person colours or that type of factor. I simply need it to really feel like I’m making a scene that has fairly constant lighting. I take a look at movie quite a bit for that as a result of I really feel like movie makes use of colour to determine temper and environment after which it distinguishes that scene by way of scene. I really feel like I get a whole lot of affect from that. In any other case, I’m simply taking a look at ’60s stuff making an attempt to ensure that I’m additionally doing interval stuff related or appropriately and ensuring that all the pieces suits the time interval with out being too excessive.
Arlo, the journalist’s condominium, there’s a shot of his condominium… I feel I similar to lifted that from Mad Males. Each time you Google Sixties condominium or one thing, it’s all the time this actually mode trying or mid-century fashionable type of factor that’s like solely a designer would have made, however there isn’t simply what folks’s residences would have seemed like. I used to be like, “Effectively, Mad Males is nice with that when it comes to its set, manufacturing design,” and so I’ll have simply… I feel it’s Peggy’s condominium. I simply took it. I used to be like, “I’m simply going to attract it.”
KAPLAN: The Montague Twins has an interesting and recent magical world. What led into constructing out such an in depth backdrop?
PAGE: A whole lot of enjoyable analysis like books, a whole lot of podcasts, and stuff. Actually it got here right down to discovering the appropriate magical system that was not similar to… I respect it in books when you’ll be able to inform the writer is obsessed over a magical system. From my perspective, it doesn’t really feel human. It separates a magic person from simply me. It all the time seems like a little bit of a departure. What we had been hoping to do, was make it a bit extra common and pure and attempt to make it a bit extra natural on the earth quite than in different issues. Whereas it’s supernatural, we actually wished to attempt to discover a solution to make it naturally supernatural.
SHANNON: I feel too the magic system, all the selections we attempt to make are often character-driven selections, so it additionally wanted to make sense with who the characters had been and what we wished to say with our characters. I feel we tried to make use of it to assist inform what selections they’re going to make. I don’t actually know precisely the way to clarify it apart from that’s one thing we remember, I assume. I really feel like once we’re making an attempt to provide you with the magical stuff and the concept too that nobody has all of the solutions. There isn’t any system. There’s no ebook you’ll be able to open and simply reference any previous spell, after which now you know the way to do the spell. It’s not this factor you can pin down fairly so simply.
PAGE: It comes right down to the person.
KAPLAN: Talking of backdrops, are you able to inform us about creating Port Howl? Was it troublesome to create a fictional setting or did it come fairly shortly?
PAGE: I don’t assume it’s essentially troublesome as a result of even now, it’s nonetheless one thing we get to maintain doing. If there’s one thing that we forgot, we will simply choose up the place we left off, just like the grocery retailer, for instance. There’s no reference to that in ebook one, however then I used to be like, “Effectively, after all, there’s a grocery retailer, and naturally, it will have its proprietor.” Once more, it simply actually comes right down to, the place are the characters going? The place do they have to be subsequent? That’s what we’ll trend in. In fact, that’s to not say we’re simply making all of it up on the spot. Port Howl has received a really wealthy historical past.
SHANNON: It additionally is admittedly good at serving no matter plot we would have liked. I feel that’s truly a cool factor about Port Howl is that it will get to be not like plot armor or something however there’s a method for it to exist extra for our wants, versus simply current by itself. Possibly that’s undoing a whole lot of what you simply stated. I’m considering particularly of the library the place the college headquarters is. It’s like, we get to only consider cool locations, and why not? Why can’t it’s in Port Howl, particularly if it’s a mysterious type of place. I consider the museum within the first ebook.
PAGE: It’s truly probably the greatest elements about it, and I hadn’t actually considered it till you requested it. It’s come so naturally. I’ll say from myself, I grew up in a spot referred to as Kingston, Ontario, which is surrounded by water on a lake, and really, very previous and it’s haunted. I pulled quite a bit from Kingston. I haven’t been to New England.
SHANNON: Me neither. Neither of us have.
PAGE: A lot of it has been pulling from, even simply taking a look at a map, after which additionally like, “Oh, this place appears fascinating.” Then going right into a map from the ’60s, or totally different Google Pictures and being like, “This completely feels prefer it.” It’s been one of the enjoyable elements about writing the books, I might say.
KAPLAN: The Satan’s Music addresses psychological well being in an fascinating and trustworthy method. Was it vital so that you can embrace this factor within the sequence?
PAGE: Sure, it was. I’ll be fully clear. Despair, nervousness is one thing I’ve struggled with my entire life, proceed to battle with. On the time when conceptualizing the second ebook, I used to be not in a fantastic place and I wished to precisely replicate that feeling as a result of I stored excited about after I was the age of those children, the issues, the experiences that I used to be going by way of, and I used to be deeply depressed.
There are a whole lot of methods of making an attempt to re-write this ebook the place it doesn’t work but when it was going to, it wanted to return from an trustworthy place. I drew upon my experiences, even down my pals used to say after I would simply disappear, “The place’s Nathan?” “Effectively, he’s gone to Narnia.” That was their method of understanding that I used to be nonetheless there, however I wanted that house to attempt to come out of what I used to be going by way of on the time. That ties into the music side as effectively and the artists and the music. I knew it needed to come from a truthful place or it wouldn’t work.
There’s a whole lot of ache, and there’s a whole lot of hope. No less than I hope that comes by way of.
SHANNON: One thing vital to Nathan and I throughout the course of was that it’s not the music that makes folks depressed, or it makes folks harm themselves, that was not what it was. Rowan reiterates it afterward within the ebook, however there’s a latency inside people who find themselves affected extra deeply by it, of emotions that they’re harboring. We wished to ensure that there was a distinction between it being actual and never, despair just isn’t brought on by magic as a result of that’s not, for us, an correct or trustworthy depiction of what we thought we wished to say.
PAGE: On the flip facet of that, no magical resolution. There might be no spell, potion, or something that might take these emotions away. That may simply be so false. That’s one thing that Drew was actually good at holding me trustworthy about as a result of generally whereas writing I’d be like, “Oh, perhaps I can simply do that.” He’d be like, “No magical resolution, man, that’s simply not how that works.”
KAPLAN: Are you able to give us any hints about ebook three?
PAGE: Effectively, technically no. Solely as a result of we weren’t contracted for a 3rd ebook presently. That stated, we’re engaged on the define for one more. To provide something away… I don’t need to make any assumptions. That may be a dangerous proposition. We had been signed for a two-book deal. We delivered a two-book deal. The hope is that there might be loads of extra Montague Twins. I’m sorry that’s not a fantastic reply.
SHANNON: The quick reply is, we’d like to inform you extra however sadly, we can’t right now.
PAGE: Once we can, we’ll speak.
KAPLAN: Is there the rest that you just’d like me to make sure and embrace?
PAGE: I feel for myself it’s simply hoping that individuals who learn it really feel seen and beloved. Additionally, whereas it could replicate some painful emotions but in addition supply them a little bit of an escape by way of these 300 and considerably pages.
SHANNON: Effectively stated. Probably not certain I’ve the rest so as to add to that.
The Montague Twins: The Satan’s Music is offered at a comic book ebook store and/or public library close to you now. In the event you’ve had an opportunity to learn The Satan’s Music, let The Beat know what you thought, both right here within the remark part or over on social media @comicsbeat.