Nancy Collins and Phil Hester talk a little about their involvement with Fable for Japan.
PH: I don't, but like everyone who witnessed the event, I was devastated by the disaster. I think everyone is gripped by a sense of helplessness when something like this takes place, but when you're an artist it's even worse. Doctors, firefighters, soldiers, nurses and the like all have something concrete to offer in these emergencies, but comic book artists are particularly useless. I'm grateful Jason cooked up this format for us to express our desire to help in our own voices.
NC: No, but I have been published in Japan, and there is a prog-rock band named after one of my characters, Sonja Blue (featured in her own series and originally in the novel Sunglasses After Dark). So I feel a certain connection to the nation, as tenuous as it might be.
KV: Was there a piece of folklore that inspired your contribution to Fables for Japan?
PH: Yes. Nancy, who actually wrote my first penciling gig on Swamp Thing many years ago, adapted a piece of Japanese folklore. She told it in her assured style, but remained faithful to the source material. I just tried to select images from Nancy's script that I could make shine with my high contrast style.
NC: My story Kitsune was inspired by the folk story of Kuzunoha the Fox Woman and one piece of artwork by Yoshitoshi called The Fox-Woman Kuzunoha Leaving Her Child. The original legend about a mystical fox-spirit posing as a human woman and falling in love with a samurai was the inspiration for numerous kabuki and bunraku (puppet) plays over the centuries.
KV: What are your artistic and literary backgrounds? Do you have any projects you are working on at the moment?
NC: I've been a professional writer for 25 years now, writing 20 novels as well as numerous short stories, mostly in the urban fantasy/horror genre. I also worked in the comic book industry for a few years during the 1990s, writing Swamp Thing. Right now I'm working on the 3rd book in my new Golgotham urban fantasy series from Penguin/Roc, entitled Magic and Loss. I currently have eBooks available from Premier Digital Publishing and Biting Dog Press, including my award-winning vampire novel Sunglasses After Dark.
PH: I've been writing and drawing comics forever now. I've drawn Swamp Thing, Nightwing, and Green Arrow for DC, and I also did a writing stint on Wonder Woman for DC Comics. I drew The Irredeemable Ant-Man for Marvel. I wrote The Coffin, Deep Sleeper, The Anchor, and Firebreather (which wound up on Cartoon Network) for indie publishers. I currently write The Bionic Man for Dynamite and Guarding the Globe for Image and I am drawing a digital Batman book for DC Comics.