Words with Charity Nerds
Volume 1 – Meredith Finch
November 8, 2017
Welcome to the first issue of Words with Charity Nerds where we interview our favorite famous nerds! Our first interview sets a high bar as we pose nerdy questions to the creator of Rose, Meredith Finch. You can find the first six issues of Rose compiled in Rose Volume 1 TP today at www.imagecomics.com/comics/releases/rose-vol.-1-tp
CN: Rose is published by Image Comics. Did they come to you to create a new series or did you pitch Rose to them?
M: After I finished up with Wonder Woman I spent a few months knocking on editorial doors without really finding a project that fit. It was at that point that I decided to do a creator-owned comic. I wrote the script, hired the artist and colorist and had the first issue basically ready to go when I approached Image. Every day I feel incredibly grateful not only for the fact that they took a chance on me, but also for the incredible amount of support that they have given me.
CN: You’ve mentioned that you enjoy the world-building aspect of writing Rose. As a result, do you find that it takes longer to write Rose than it took for Wonder Woman or other established characters?
M: I really don’t think that it does. When I’m writing any character, as long as I’m feeling the emotion of a scene or the direction I’m taking the script can come together fairly quickly. The hardest part for me is always the initial getting to know you stage of the character and coming up with a story that I believe in and want to share. Once I feel like I have a good grasp on how a character thinks and I’ve come up with the story, things happen fairly easily.
CN: You’ve talked about Tolkien, McCaffery and Eddings as your writing influences for Rose. Who are some of your comic book writer influences?
M: I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to audit one of the DC writer classes taught by Scott Snyder. While our style of writing is very different, I learned a lot from him about crafting your first issue and developing your character. I would have to say that he is my biggest influence.
CN: Did you have other concepts you were evaluating at the same time as Rose or were you ‘all in’ on Rose from the beginning?
M: I was definitely all in on Rose from the beginning. Probably because her story was one that I had been thinking about for many years and originally thought that I would write as a fantasy novel. I thank Dave every day for introducing me to comics because I think that what we have been able to do from a visual perspective is beyond what I could ever have imagined.
CN: Triona Tree Farrell uses a very unique color palette. Was this entirely her choice or did you collaborate?
M: Triona is such an incredible talent and I am so fortunate that she answered the call when I was looking for a colorist. I firmly believe that it is my job as the writer to get out of the way and let the experts do what they do best. My only contribution was a request that the colors around Rose always be very vibrant to reflect the life force that she is for the land. The way Triona has separate Rose and Drucilla from a color and visual perspective though are all her. She is so incredible with light and mood. I often say that there is no Rose without Ig, but that goes for Triona as well. The two of them have created such an incredibly beautiful visual world for the reader.
CN: After you finish your overall story arc for Rose, would you be open to another writer taking a run at her?
M: Where I am at this point in her story, I really can’t even conceptualize the idea of someone else writing or drawing or coloring Rose. She is like one of my children and just as I couldn’t image someone else raising my child I just can’t imagine someone else writing Rose. Ask me that question again in five years and maybe my answer will be different, but I still have so much I want to do with her and her amazing cast that I feel like we have only just scratched the surface.
CN: You’ve written Ariel, Catwoman, Wonder Woman, and now Rose. Are you interested in writing a story with a male lead or are you more comfortable writing a female lead?
M: My very first Zenescope story was Tales from Oz: The Cowardly Lion and I had so much fun writing that character. I would definitely be interested in writing a male lead again at some point. I really just had so much to say about women and their relationships during my time on Wonder Woman and so many of those ideas were still with me after leaving that I felt compelled to carrying them over into my new work and Rose was the perfect foil to express those ideas. I think that my choice of lead has less to do with a conscious decision about gender and more to do with who best epitomizes the values and characteristics that I want to explore in a particular story.
CN: Has an artist’s interpretation of your work ever caused you to see part of your story from a completely different perspective? If so, have you gone so far as to change your writing on a particular page or panel based on that new perspective?
M: I have yet to write an issue where the artist’s interpretation of my work has not caused me to rethink how I’m approaching my story and I consider that a blessing. I think that is what makes comics so great. You have a team of people each putting their own interpretation and life experiences onto the pages and it’s that collaborative process that elevates a story. I always view dialogue in the artist’s draft as nothing more than a place holder. After the pages are drawn I go back and write to all the character subtleties and nuances that the artist has given me to play with.
CN: You work with some amazing artists like Ig Guara and, of course you are married to legendary artist David Finch. Have you ever tried drawing? Maybe sketching in a storyboard style while writing?
M: I have tried drawing and I gave it up when I got my mandatory art credit in high school. It is definitely not in my wheel house. I know that there are writers out there who can sketch, but if I need something laid out for me visually, I go to the master.
CN: Earlier this year we saw the #makeminemilkshake trend supporting women creators in the comic book industry. Do you feel that you are a role model to young female creators and aspiring young girls?
M: I don’t know how comfortable I feel with the idea of being a role model. I feel like that distinction should go to women who have been pioneers in the industry like Gail Simone, Louise Simonson or Trina Robbins. I have never felt like being a woman has held me back from doing anything in my life that I have put my mind to and I hope that all young girls grow up feeling that way too.
CN: If any of your kids want to pursue a career in the comic book industry what is the most important piece of advice you would give them?
M: At this point it is really too early to tell if any of our children will pursue a career in comics. Instead I really try to focus on them understanding that in real life there aren’t awards for showing up and if you want something badly enough you have to be willing to work hard and sacrifice for it. I strongly believe that the gift of perseverance in the face of adversity is the very best legacy we can leave our children.
Our thanks to Meredith for taking the time to answer our questions despite her busy schedule as mother, wife and wordsmith. And thank you for reading Words with Charity Nerds.