Writer's Commentary – Marc Guggenheim Talks Swashbucklers: The Saga Continues #3

Dynamite has sent us a new writer's commentary from Marc Guggenheim for Swashbucklers: The Saga Continues #3, which has covers by series co-creator Butch Guice and Andrea Mutti with interiors by Mutti.


Believe it or not, I asked artist Andrea Mutti to be inspired by David Mazzucchelli's splash page for Daredevil #229 to depict Raader waking up in the middle of an alleyway.


It tickled me to have Servitor raise Raader up in the air and have her complain, "This be mutiny!"


I love the close-up of the little critter in Panel 2. It wasn't scripted, but makes me think of how Star Wars will occasionally highlight a nondescript random alien in the frame.


There wasn't a lot of reference for Hyve, the Colonizer Homeworld, from the original series, so I really appreciate how Andrea managed to design things like the Colonizer Royal Palace in a way that still feels consistent with the visuals of the original series.


Panel 3. Have I mentioned how much I love Chris Sotomayor's work?


More Sotomayor goodness here as well. We're six pages in at this point and I know there's been a lot of talking. But things are about to heat up. There were just a lot of things I had to set up to get the action going. This is very much a "transitionary" issue. Issue One was all about putting the pieces back on the board after Bill Mantlo very definitively (and literally) blew up the series at its conclusion. Issue Two focused on dealing with the emotional consequences of those events, mainly for Raader. This issue pivots our cast into the "main adventure" which will occupy us for the remainder of the series.


I never tire of seeing Raader stand up to Logik.


In writing the dialogue, I'm trying to find a balance between enough "pirate patois" to maintain the flavor of the book while keeping it from becoming overwhelming and/or arch. Bill really did a masterful job of striking that balance when he wrote the original series.


Finally, some action.

PAGES 10-11:

Action means a double-page spread, don't'cha know?

PAGE 12:

Panel 5. When I was writing this issue, it felt like there was a bit more humor in it than in previous issues. I'm not sure why. I think I was in a playful mood while I was writing it. In case you're curious, this issue was written the week of February 19, 2018. It's being published nearly five months later, on June 6, 2018. The lead time on this series is longer than most of the comics I've worked on.

PAGE 13:

This page gives us our first look at the Sidari. The Sidari actually appeared in flashback in a handful of panels in the penultimate issue of the original series (Swords of the Swashbucklers #11).

Because so much time has passed in our continuity — millennia, in fact — I felt it permissible to take some artistic license with the look of the Sidari themselves and their ships, which were originally drawn by Colleen Doran. Andrea updated the look of the ships while still keeping to the spirit of Colleen's original designs. Butch Guice did the same with the Sidari themselves.

Fun fact: Colleen's original designs reminded me of Dave Cockrum's Sidri from Uncanny X-Men #154, so the name I chose, "Sidari," is a tip of the hat to that.

PAGE 14:

Again with the action. Love that first panel especially.

PAGE 15:

The last panel depicts the "death" of Servitor. I love how Andrea decided to go all-silhouette here. It makes dialogue and narration unnecessary.

PAGE 16:

"Lippy skel." "Merciful Lokar." "Ye midge." I really enjoy writing for Collos Gallen.

PAGES 17-18:

In my other comic work, I don't generally make use of third person omniscient narration, but I'm using it in this series because it's what Bill originally established. I will say, it's very useful for sequences like this one and makes explaining what's going on much easier than trying to do so via dialogue (which could easily come across as overly expositional — e.g., "Fear not, my faithful friend, I will use what remains of my godlike powers to restore you to life!").

Plus, that first panel on Page 18.

PAGE 19:

There's a typo in Collos' dialogue in Panel 1. There should be a period after "be." Can you add it in your minds? Thanks.

PAGE 20:

Turns out, Ort's a telepath. Convenient as all get out, but he's a new character, so…

PAGE 21:

Hey, an extra page! My way of making it up to you for putting up with all those talking heads in the beginning of the issue. But you have to admit, a lot happened in this issue, didn't it?

Thanks for reading!

About Dan Wickline

Has quietly been working at Bleeding Cool for over three years. He has written comics for Image, Top Cow, Shadowline, Avatar, IDW, Dynamite, Moonstone, Humanoids and Zenescope. He is the author of the Lucius Fogg series of novels and a published photographer.