David Walker, writer of Shaft: Imitation of Life #3, talks with writer Corinna S. Bechko about Lords of the Jungle #2, both on sale now from Dynamite. Cover by Felipe Massafera with interiors by Roberto Castro and Alex Guimaraes.
DAVID WALKER: What was your introduction to the characters of Tarzan and Sheena? Do you have any nostalgic connection to either?
CORINNA S. BECHKO: Sheena is pretty new to me, but I have a connection to Tarzan going back to when I was a kid. I’ve always been interested in the natural world, so of course I felt drawn to him. But I think I identified most with Jane, to tell the truth, since she had more of a choice than Tarzan did. He was raised in the jungle, but she saw it as an adult and fell in love, ultimately choosing it, and Tarzan, over the culture she was born into.
DW: Were there any tricks you employed to make the characters more appealing to a contemporary audience?
CSB: I think there are timeless qualities to both Tarzan and Sheena that continue to appeal to audiences across the decades. Those include loyalty, self-sacrifice in the name of a good cause, commitment to protecting their homes and loved ones, and bravery. I don’t know if it’s a trick, but I lean into those as much as I can.
DW: What did you find to be the biggest challenge in doing a crossover book of this type?
CSB: In this case, it was that Tarzan and Sheena are alike in many ways. Both are heroic, understand animals and nature, and are willing to fight tooth and claw to protect what they believe in. Finding the drama and tension between them was challenging at first, until I realized that it was really their attitude and approach that defined a lot of their worldview. Maybe they both end up at the same place, but there’s not much of an overlap between how they get there.
DW: If you were stranded in the jungle, and could only have one person at your side, Tarzan or Sheena, which one would it be?
CSB: Hmm, tough question! I’m going to go with Sheena, because she seems to have more rapport with more kinds of animals. I have spent most of my life working with animals too, so I think we would understand each other.
DW: Any projects on the horizon we should be looking for?
CSB: Thanks for asking! I’m currently also writing Miss Fury for Dynamite (art by Jonathan Lau), which I’m really happy about. Invisible Republic, my Image book with co-writer Gabriel Hardman (art by Gabriel as well), is ongoing, and about to enter its third arc. Then there’s Court of the Dead: Chronicle of the Underworld (created by Tom Gilliard, co-written with Landry Walker), out from Insight this month. In addition, I’m working hard on a Court of the Dead comic, out this summer from Heavy Metal.
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