The Weirding Willows Have you ever wondered what would happen if Mary Shelly and Kenneth Grahame ever had a love-child, together? Huh? What do you mean 'No!'! I have. And so has my mate, David Elliot. You know. That rather mixed up creator who I spoke to only the other day, about his rather mixed up and spectacular comic book...

The Weirding Willows

1) What are your own origins, Dave? Plus what path did you take in life prior to getting to were you are today?   I was but a simple child, drawn to scribbling with crayons and dreaming up silly stories rather than studying numbers and equations. My parents just left me be while they focused their efforts on my more academically minded siblings. I studied Printmaking and Illustration at Thurrock Tech college under the mindful eye of tutors, Jeff Morgan and Steve Colby, and went out into the world doing short stints with Richard Williams and Alan Parker, doing storyboards and such.

The Weirding Willows
Chucking it all in for a while to do some work on a farm, a betting office, a software company, and window display for John Lewis, I re-entered the art world as an artist and inker for Marvel UK and 2000AD. It wasn't long before I was bored and with Garry Leach started 'A1'. Since then I worked on Deadline, Heavy Metal, Penthouse magazine and Comix, Omni magazine, was the publisher for Tundra UK, started Radical Studios, developing Hercules, Caliber and Aladdin, and now returning to me roots of dreaming up silly stories.

2) What inspired you to create ‘The Weirding Willows’? And what compelled you to use this intriguing combination of literary characters?   It started nearly fifteen years ago when I wrote an outline for a story called SHERLOCK HOLMES and the Case of the OPERA GHOST. It was basically the story of the Phantom of the Opera but with Sherlock Holmes and DRACULA fighting under the Opera house. It was that mash-up that eventually led to the Weirding Willows as I made a long list of all the books that were written around that period and the idea of layering some of them together first formed.

3) In your own words how would you describe this story?   A small beginning for some far bigger stories. :-)

The Weirding Willows
This is a book about some people from different places and cultures meeting and making their first steps to becoming friends. Good friends can argue and agree to disagree and still be friends. If friends who are Republican and Democrat and can still survive a general election then they are true friends indeed. This book is the start of those friendships and a start to some being enemies as well. Only time will tell which they will be.

The characters all meet in Willow Weir, a magical place that has been this way since the beginning of the Earth, a place where animals walk and talk and act like humans. The magic in the area is also affecting the walls between our universe and several others. They are all linked and through portals between them it is possible to pass from one world to another, something Alice has done quite frequently. 

In this first book, Alice's father (Doctor Moreau) is asked to recreate some flying monkeys by Margareete Marche (the Wicked Witch of the West), an undertaking that inadvertently brings our characters together...

4) What song would you say best represents this project and why?   "Bring Me Sunshine" as sung by Morecambe and Wise.

“The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it” -- Albert Einstein

Alice and her friends don't start out to be heroes but heroes they will be because they will not be able to stand by and see bad people do things that will affect their friends and families. They want to shine light into dark places. They want to bring the Sunshine!

Kate Upton
5) If you could get a celebrity – either living or dead – to promote your wares, who would you choose, and why would you want to choose this particular person?   Kate Upton or Stephen Colbert. Either Sexy-sexy or Sexy-smart would both help sell more copies. Or maybe Keanu Reeves... Just because he seems such a great guy. 

6) What have you learnt about yourself through this endeavour? And were their any unforeseen obstacles you had to contend with along the way?   Self publishing? What could possibly go wrong? ;-)

7) During your time in this field, what is the one thing that has kept you in good stead?   Putting the creators I work with first has been both whats kept me in good stead and stopped me from being a millionaire. I've met people who would sell their own mothers for a deal (I've even partnered with such people once) and it leaves a slimy feeling in your soul just being with them. <shudder>

[ The Weirding Willows ]
It also helps I've always been pretty adaptable in what I do whether it be for comics or any other media. World-building is what I love doing and it is just so much fun.

8) If ‘The Weirding Willows’ had a motto, what would it be?   Truth, Justice, and the Willow Weir Way!

So there you have it, dear reader. My mate David and his great new comic book series, 'The Weirding Willows'. For any updates on this amazing adventure please check out the Titan's twitter page, OK? Cause one click, and you'll definitely be as distracted as that picture of Kate Upton provided.

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