It’s been a little while since we’ve had one of our Multiversity Comics Presents features, but that is mostly because we were so excited about our next interview opportunity: The Luna Brothers. The Luna Brothers are the creators of such titles as Ultra, Girls, and Multiversity favorite The Sword, plus have been featured as the artists on Spider-Woman: Origin (a title written by Brian Michael Bendis). They’re major names in the industry and the fact that they have created one of the titles that Gil, Matt and myself all love makes them one of the only fully Multiversity approved titles out there.
Not only that, but this is probably our favorite interview yet as the brothers are quite cool guys. If you enjoy this feature, please make sure to leave a comment.
What is the creative process like for the two of you? I know you both come up with the story, with Joshua handing the scripting and layouts while Jonathan handles pencils, inks and colors, but on a day-to-day basis what is the creative process like?
Josh: I basically obsess about the story at all hours of the day, every day, but spend only a few hours of the day actually typing. There’s nothing I hate more than staring at a blank page on my monitor and forcing myself to write something when there’s no inspiration behind it.
Jonathan: Every morning, Josh gives me a thumb of the page I’ll be working on. Even though I’ll have had read the script, I’ll read the page again, and discuss it with Josh. Once there’s an understanding of how to go about things, I start penciling, then inking, then coloring.
Where did you get the inspiration to work together to make comic books? Or more specifically, at what point did you realize you could collaborate and make such great stories?
Jonathan: We grew up reading comics. We naturally tried to make them, stapling lined paper together to make comic books. From there, working together was just a natural thing. It wasn’t a conscious decision.
Normal brothers fight. I fought with my brother all the time. Doing something incredibly creative and something that you present to the world is stressful to begin with, but to collaborate on that project with your brother is a pretty intense wrinkle to throw in there. Have you two ever really gotten into it about any particular scenes or decisions within any of your projects?
Josh: Sure, it’s only natural. But at the end of the day, we both want what’s best for the story.
You clearly have a very specific style with your artwork. Are there any artists that were particularly significant influences?
Jonathan: Personally, it was Jim Lee, Adam Hughes, and Bryan Hitch. I think it’s funny because I don’t think my style is very similar to theirs.
What books do the two of you personally read? Anything in particular that you think is woefully under read and could use some publicity on our site?
Josh: Hmm…The Sword? Kidding. Honestly, I don’t know what it’s like for other creators, but ever since I started making comic books for a living, the less time I’ve had to actually read comic books. I literally have stacks and stacks of unread books.
Jonathan: Same here. I have two bookshelves worth of unread graphic novels. But they’re all full of more mature stuff. Vertigo-type and indie stuff. Few superhero and manga. Basically, I think everything non-superhero is under read–most of it doesn’t sell as well.
If there is one specific character or creator you could work with, who would it be?
Jonathan: I have a lot of creator-owned ideas I’d like to pursue, so it’s tough to think about other projects. But if I had the opportunity, it’d be great to do something with major characters like Superman, Batman, and Spiderman.
I really just have to know this: how did you come up with the concept for Girls? That book absolutely blew my mind. I mean, the Sword is a classic fantasy adventure with a modern update, and Ultra is your take on what super heroes would be like in the real life, but Girls? Where did this come from?Continued below
Josh: Being young, red-blooded males, we encounter various issues with the opposite sex just like everyone else. So, we wanted to explore these issues in a very, very extreme way. What if men actually had a chance to have their “fantasy woman”? But what if these fantasy women started killing off the real women? Would the men protect their wives and girlfriends from these beautiful monsters? So many stories and characters instantly came to us, just from that basic concept.
For the most part, you seem to like to do your own thing. You did, however, work with Brian Michael Bendis on the very popular Spider-Woman: Origin. How did this happen, and what was it like to work on a character who was not 100% your own and one that was skyrocketing in popularity at the time?
Jonathan: Bendis called me up out of nowhere. I guess he had just read Ultra or something and liked how I/we handled women in storytelling. It was tough not having 100% control. I remember offering comments or suggestions on the script and it took me a while to learn that it really wasn’t my place to do so.
Whenever I pick up a book (The Sword, for instance), I think to myself it can’t get any worse for the protagonist, and then it does. Most creators forsake substance for thrills. How do you maintain a good balance?
Josh: We just make sure the shocking aspects move the story or develop the character and the world in a logical, meaningful way. We avoid shock for the sake of shocking the reader.
Just out of curiosity, are all your works somewhat set in the same world? Some creators like to subtly connect all their stories in a single universe, so did the events of Girls happen in the same world as the Sword?
Jonathan: Actually, no. Ultra is set in Spring City, a fictional city replacing New York City. Girls is set in Pennystown, a fictional city is some random, rural area in the U.S. In The Sword, all the locations are real.
So where exactly did the idea for the Sword come from? What gave you this idea to put (wo)man against elemental gods with a magical sword caught in-between them?
Josh: We knew we wanted to create a story about revenge and power. And a sword represents both themes so perfectly. We also knew this sword had to have an epic back story and mythology–in the spirit of other mystical objects in literature such as the ring in Lord of the Rings, Excalibur, Holy Grail, etc. Everything else basically snowballed from there.
Jonathan: It was a very long process. We knew that we wanted things to be very grounded, so it took a bit of research to make it fit in with current and past cultures. There were some ridiculous ideas that The Sword started with, so I’m very happy with where it’s gotten to.
The Sword has been incredibly cinematic so far, full of many rich and very intense scenes. What would you say is your favorite moment in the book so far?
Josh: It hasn’t happened yet, but it will be near the end of the book.
One thing I’ve noticed is that you often pick a set end spot for your stories. The Sword isn’t exactly an ongoing character series, and neither were Girls or Ultra. Do you prefer writing stories that you know have a set beginning, middle and end?
Jonathan: Absolutely. We think of our books as movies, somewhat. We like there to be a payoff.
What’s the next big plan for after the Sword? More of your own projects or perhaps another project like Spider-Woman: Origin?
Josh: We’re still in the process of figuring that out ourselves, so stay tuned!Continued below
Jonathan: Yeah, it’ll most likely be something creator-owned.
If you’ve enjoyed this interview, make sure to check out more of the Luna Brothers assorted works. See below for links to where you can purchase them, along with their website.