The Adventures of Aero-Girl is both a charming and visually stunning comic from writer/creator DeWayne Feenstra and artist Axur Eneas. I had the opportunity to have an amazing interview with DeWayne about the series, his inspiration for the story, the kickstarter for issue #2 and much more, Check it out!
Michael: Ok, so I want to thank you once again for doing this with me.
DeWayne: No worries, love talking about Aero-Girl.
Michael: Starting off, what can you tell us about “The Adventures of Aero-Girl” for the people who have yet to read the first issue?
DeWayne: Aero-Girl is fun, action packed all ages comic that everyone will enjoy. It’s the story of a young girl, Jacqueline Mackenzie, who is being trained by superhero father to take his place one day. Battle Jack is powered by the Battle Spirit (which gives him super strength, invulnerability and super leaping) and is the Superman for Foxbay. Unfortunately, tragedy befalls Battle Jack and the powers get passed to Jak-Jak, a silverback gorilla. Jacqueline now must not only deal with the loss of her father & mentor but also the loss of destiny.
Michael: Yes, that ending was definitely an emotional one.
DeWayne: We don’t shy away from the drama. [Laughs] The ending has surprised some people but I remind them that Disney movies often deal with paternal death. Lion King, Finding Nemo and Bambi all start with the death of a parent.
Michael: That is an interesting way to look at it and a great approach to have regarding the story. There seems to be a fantasy and a fairy tale vibe to the story. What was your inspiration behind this story?
DeWayne: I’ve been a fan of Young Adult novels since I was a young adult and wanted to write a story that showed a “real” girl going through a difficult part of life. The jetpacks and super gorilla are so I don’t go full on emo and go to dark. [Laughs] The kids I work with as a substitute teacher have amazing depth and resilience. They deal with such heavy things and people tend to over look that because they think kids only care about cellphones and other material things. I have seen young teens deal with such things as the death of friends and even pregnancy better than many adults would. I want to show adults, as well as younger readers, that teens can rise to the challenge if we let them.
Michael: Wow, that’s really respectable. I commend you for that. It’s nice to see someone looking from the outside in for a change.
DeWayne: Thanks. It sometimes feels that kids in comic books are like child actors on Soap Operas. They are either cute and cuddly birth-about age 8 and all of the sudden they jump to age 18 and now act and speak like adults. I’m trying to keep Jacqueline as real as I can. As real as a 34yr old man can write a 14yr old girl, I guess.
Michael: The Battle Spirit seems to have a deep history behind it. Are we going to learn more of the lore behind it as well as the previous wielders of the Spirit?
DeWayne: Eventually, yes. The splash page shows the glimpses into the entire history of the Battle Spirit. I have the origin of the Battle Spirit written up and can’t wait to explain how it ties into the larger world we are building. The plan is to put Aero-Girl out as a collection of miniseries, like Red 5 is doing with Atomic Robo. Each miniseries when collected will have a tale from the Battle Spirits past included. Issue #2 actually will have a never before seen classic Battle Jack story from his early days of superheroing.
Michael: That’s pretty awesome and brings me into my next question. With how the first issue ended, I feel there can be more to tell about Battle Jack. Will Battle Jack have any further role in the story?
DeWayne: No plans at the present to bring Battle Jack back to the main story. The story is about Jackie dealing with her dad’s death and I think bringing him back Obi-Wan Kenobi style takes away from that. That being said, this is a comic book and time travel and other dimensions are tools of the trade. The relationship Jackie has with her mom will be focused on as Diane assumes both parental roles and has to take the added burden of running the family business. Provided we get past the first trade, of course. [Laughs]
Michael: I’m definitely rooting for you guys.
Michael: Now I really loved Axur Eneas’s art style. What brought you guys together and has his style in any way influenced your story, the world or the characters? Because your writing and his artwork seem like the perfect fit for each other.
DeWayne: I met Axur through one of Nate Cosby’s #artisthunts on twitter. Nate periodically needs artists for all the projects he is in charge of and people will send him links to their portfolios via twitter. I was bored at work and was just checking out his feed when i found Axur. His art is unbelievable and has completely changed the tone of the book I had written. I had originally pictured Aero-Girl as more realistic looking book (you can see Ray Heights & David Feenstra’s takes for what I was originally picturing on the Aero-Girl Facebook page), but Axur’s art brought a lot of life and a feeling of hope to the book. The tone was closer in tune with the Buffy TV show, originally. A lot of sarcastic wit to mask the heavy subject matter. Axur’s art evolved it to a story about how a young person’s innocence and optimism can shine through the darkest of situations. Axur has crafted a beautiful vibrant world and I love playing in it.
Michael: For fans of your other title “Midnight Tiger”, what similarities does that title have with Aero-Girl and how they can enjoy this new series?
DeWayne: They both star teen heroes dealing with real problems. Midnight Tiger is definitely for a slightly older crowd because it deals with gangs and violence. Midnight Tiger can be preordered at your local LCS for its August release today!
Michael: Awesome, definitely going to look out for that one. And lastly, your second issue of “The Adventures of Aero-Girl” is currently on kickstarter and is doing pretty well. What can you tell fans or future fans, what they can expect from issue #2 and the rest of the series?
DeWayne: In issue #2 we see the effects of the end of #1 on Jackie as well as Diane. Jackie is wracked with guilt and is angry at the world. Lucky for her a certain super powered gorilla shows up and helps her start the grieving process. The series tells Jacqueline’s journey from sidekick to full fledged hero and all the trials and tribulations that are part of that journey.
Michael: That sounds like a great series I can enjoy and get behind. Thank you very much for your time today.
DeWayne: It was my pleasure.
And there you have it! DeWayne was awesome enough to give us a link so you guys can check out The Adventures of Aero-Girl #1. And if you enjoyed that, (which you should) then go and give your support to the kickstarter to make issue #2 a reality!