Live From NFCC: Meet The Finches
The comic book world’s newest power couple David and Meredith Finch made the trek up to Niagara Falls Comic Con this year, David is well-known throughout the comics world for work on such titles as Ultimate X-Men, Batman: The Dark Knight and the last DC super crossover Forever Evil where he provided the art for Geoff Johns’s epic storyline. He’s also the current artist on Wonder Woman, that brings us to the lady of the house, Meredith Finch. Meredith is relatively new to comics working on a handful of things over at Zenoscope while also providing the writing for that same Wonder Woman book her husband draws.
Upon introduction at their panel the moderator credited them as creator of Bucky O’Hare which I remember from the NES, which would pre-date both David and Meredith’s careers in comics. It’s at this point we learned our first lesson, don’t trust everything we read on Wikipedia. The talk then turned to Wonder Woman. Meredith talked about their upcoming plans for the second arc of their run which included the Gods from Brian Azzarello’s run showing up. She teased that they’ll be rejuvenating a character from Wonder Woman’s mythos and bringing them into the book, but they assured us fans it wasn’t a beloved character so no one can be scorned that they ruined a classic villain. Finally we learned that Wonder Woman is heading back to London and this arc will be centred there and Olympus. David then took over and let us know what roles the Gods play in their run, he states that although a bunch will show up they will not be as prominent as in Azzarello’s run. He points out that that run was very much a big Gods drama whereas their run is focused on Wonder Woman and the Gods are simply a back drop. He talks about the plans for Donna Troy and goes as far to say that this upcoming arc is about 40% Donna.
The Q & A then started in full force with a question from the littlest Finch Isaac, David and Meredith’s son that accompanied them on the trip to NFCC. The question was a simple one “Why is the Flash so speedy” which drew laughs from everyone in the room. The answer from David “Because he drinks lots of coffee” drew even more, and finally Meredith’s quip “Sometimes I think we need to give Daddy more coffee” drew the most. The next question was a specific one that I’ll make vague to avoid any Justice League spoilers. Essentially it was asked whether a newly introduced villain in that book will spillover into the Wonder Woman title, which was a resounding no, they stated they don’t contradict what’s happening in Justice League, or any other books featuring Wonder Woman for that matter but that those are very much self-contained and won’t leak over to the main title. They then touched on working together as a married couple to which Meredith had a quip seemingly prepared. Her response was “I complained about deadlines before I was his writer and I’m sure I’ll be complaining to him about deadlines after I’m his writer.
Then came the origin story question, how did they break into comics. David talked briefly about growing up in Windsor, ON and his Dad wanting him to be an auto engineer but he had other plans he discovered comics when he was 20 and drew for hours in his mother’s basement before getting his first job at Top Cow on a three-month internship which was trying for him as he struggled with the rendering style that was popular at the time but ultimately survived and continued to work there for seven years before transitioning to Marvel which he called “growing up” as he left the part scene and took his comics work serious. He did several titles over his nine years at Marvel including New Avengers, Ultimate X-Men, Avengers: Disassembled. He then went over to DC to work on Batman on now he’s doing Wonder Woman, much to his surprise. He then touched on when he drew women in the past it was in a more exploitive manner because the audience for comics were men, with Wonder Woman, which he originally didn’t want to do until Meredith gave him her vision of the character, he very much draws her as of the main audience is female since that’s the way the market has grown.
Meredith talked that she started writing as a vice to help her through some difficult times and never intended for anyone to read it, once he did however he was impressed and she had been doing it for a while just had never shown anybody, but now that the kids were all in school she had some free time so she started pursuing it and at a con David approached the Zenoscope people and asked if they could look at her writing and give her a shot. She said the smaller publishers map out their stuff very far in advance so she had no clue if they’d call and if they did what she’d be doing. David then piped up and told the crowd it’s very hard to get in to the comics industry as a writer if you don’t have an “in”. He said with art you just show your stuff and if they like it they’ll get you in, it’s not the same when it comes to writing as it’s very hard to get someone to read your work so a lot go the editor route to break into the industry. Eventually Zenoscope called with a one shot that was all plotted out she essentially had to write dialogue for it but she can’t turn down any work since she’s new. Once that story was finished she sent it out to David’s agent and he advised he’d talk to DC to see if there was any work for her since he was already trying to get David’s next project as he was wrapping Forever Evil. The next thing they know she was brought in to pitch a Wonder Woman story which David quipped “It’s craziness really”. Meredith then said that David’s first reaction was to say no, that she can’t touch Wonder Woman she’s only written one book but Meredith took it as a once in a lifetime opportunity. While doing Wonder Woman she has continued to work with Zenoscope on a variety of books including some horror books which took her by surprise because she gets scared of movies her kids aren’t even scared of.
The talk then turned to Meredith’s coping mechanisms when she’s struggling writing, she said she tries to write everyday since if she takes some time off it makes it difficult to get the writing mindset back, even if she doesn’t have a book to write she’ll just write about her day. She also said she writes better with a pencil and paper so when it’s not working on the computer she’ll use that and that tends to get the creative juices going when you touch a pencil to paper. She said it’s also nice working with David since she always had him read her stuff anyways and quipped that he gets kicked when he doesn’t like something she wrote. David then responded saying he often gets abused and Meredith said it’s mostly for deadline reasons. The conversation then turned to whether the Gods would appear the same as in Azzarello’s run which Meredith said yes, contextually speaking. David said he and Cliff Chang (old Wonder Woman artist) have different styles so they would look different in that sense but he likes a certain sense of continuity in Wonder Woman specifically. Meredith then talked about being able to relate to Wonder Woman as a woman, and she said she hopes that comes through in her writing and she very much wanted her to be this super strong female hero but she also needs to feel the flaws all women face. She talks about writing scenes where Wonder Woman is emotional, crying even, she said being a woman helps relate to those aspects, but she’s quick to point out that she believes a man could do the same thing and that women could also write strong male leads it shouldn’t be a case of people need to write characters that are their own gender. David agreed but also pointed out he doesn’t think he would’ve drawn Wonder Woman if a man wrote it just because the industry has changed so much and he feels it needs a shake up.
Asked their dream works, David quickly responded he wants to work on Batman again. He felt he made a big mistake by writing it the first time and he’s not a writer. Felt he didn’t get across all the good he could’ve done with it, but said he doesn’t think he could do it monthly since he’d want to take more time on it since Batman, and his world, Gotham especially, is incredibly detailed versus say Wonder Woman. He also said he’d like a do-over on all his work since there is always something he finds that he doesn’t like but Batman especially. When the question went to Meredith, she said she can’t think anywhere but Wonder Woman right now. She then talked about meeting David and learning about his comics work since she was originally thinking Newspaper comics or Archie comics. David gave her an issue of Avengers: Disassembled and she opened it up to a scene where She-Hulk was ripping apart The Vision. She worried he may not be the best fit for her and her two kids given that but was glad it all worked out. David later said that they had already hit it off so to speak so he was comfortable sharing the comic book part at that point. He also pointed out that when he met her parents he had just started doing Moon Knight and the very first panel her parents seen was Moon Knight ripping some guy’s face off. Meredith touched on The Little Mermaid story she was doing at Zenoscope and said she loved that character and hope they continue to utilize her since the mini-series just wrapped up.
When asked about the challenges of creating Wonder Woman when there is such a rich history with the character and her mythos, David explained it’s good and bad. On the plus side they have so much to draw inspiration from but in his case he was also worried he wouldn’t do all the great history justice. Meredith chimed in that she only read The New 52 stuff so she didn’t much worry about the history of Wonder Woman, she just wanted to do a good job continuing that story in the New 52 canon. Her difficulty is making sure she hits all the points in a given arc that she wanted to but she’s happy to have David and her editors to help/push her. She also said she enjoyed knowing well in advance that she was doing Wonder Woman so she had time to flesh out the character. David then talked about how difficult writing really is. He explains that you need to be focused solely on your writing and can’t have any distractions… All he does is draw pictures. He does that watching TV. Isaac Finch started the panel and he ended it asking how to bees get to school, finally David and Meredith were stumped so he gave his answer “On the school buzz”. Meredith summed it up perfectly with her remark of “how can you not end on that?” So kind readers I will also end on that, but stay tuned lots more NFCC coverage coming your way!