This week marks the monumental 50th issue of “Crossed: Badlands” and the return of return of original writer/creator Garth Ennis to his demented world. To mark the occasion, Ennis is going back to where it all began to show how the “Crossed” virus was originally unleashed in the new story-arc “The Thin Red Line”.
Garth stepped into the line of fire to answer some questions from Bloody-Disgusting about the 50th issue, the story-arcs that stand out to him, and his long term plans for “Crossed” moving forward into 2015.
Bloody-Disgusting: Issue #50 is a landmark in today’s comic industry that very few titles make it to. What does the anniversary mean to you?
Garth Ennis: It’s that bit simpler for Crossed, remember, because we’d already established an audience before we set to work on the ongoing book. There was less of that sense of crossing your fingers and blindly trusting to luck, which I think has doomed far too many potentially interesting projects- Vertigo and Image in particular have launched dozens upon dozens of series without considering whether they might make better one-off graphic novels or miniseries. They don’t test the water first, and effectively consign the stories to oblivion- making writers, artists and readers alike the losers. Having multiple writers and a bi-weekly schedule makes reaching #50 that bit easier, of course.
BD: Looking back over the past issues of Crossed, are there any story-arcs that stand out to you as being a benchmark for the book?
GE: I’ve said this before, but I think Si Spurrier’s “Wish You Were Here” webcomic has fulfilled the potential of Crossed better than any other story. I like some Badlands arcs better than others, but they certainly make it easier for me to pop in now and again and do the stories I want to do without committing to an ongoing schedule. I’d probably single out the recent five-parter by Christos Gage and Christian Zanier as being the most ambitious.
BD: Do you have a trajectory plan for the next 50 issues? How long do you envision Crossed lasting?
GE: The individual arcs that make up Badlands are more William Christensen’s department, in terms of their creative teams and order in which they appear- I said from the start that I didn’t want to take on a particularly heavy editorial role. I’ve already finished my Crossed story for 2015, an eleven-part story called ‘Once A Warrior King’, which effectively finishes the trilogy made up by ‘The Fatal Englishman’ and this year’s ‘The Thin Red Line’. It’ll probably appear a little later in the year than March, and if all goes well it should lead into something very interesting indeed for when we hit the #100 mark. After that it’s hard to say. You may well see Crossed moving from comics into other media. Time will tell.