True Blood Takes A Bite Out of Comics

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MC: Was there something Alan Ball nixed because of something that came up this season?

DT: I think there were some revelations about the origins of Bill and Sookie’s relationship that came out in the final episodes of this season that I think  in our original proposal we had touch on a bit, and Alan walked us through it, and we were able to skirt around it. Both were able to still be really powerful. They revealed what Sookie is this season and that opens up a whole lot of stuff that could be cool to explore.

MH: We kind of just stuck on one story line, and it just hit and gelled. Usually you have to go through a bunch of them, but that hit pretty quickly. But that’s true, it was just like little things that as a storyteller, you go, “I think they’re going to go there, maybe we can hint at this. And, it’s like, “Oh no, maybe we should pull back.” The Bill-Sookie stuff was definitely one of those.

MC: The finale of the last season, Sookie disappeared. How did you deal with that in the comic book?

MH: Since our story takes place before that we didn’t have to worry because that’s kind of a big moment like Bill disappearing. We take place before those events so we don’t mess up anything that’s been done. But that’s one of the reasons that it’s great to have Alan involved because he could tell us, yes this can work or no this can’t work because this is going to happen without giving away too much of their story. It was easy for us to coordinate everything, which is nice.

(More on Techland: A Drop of True Blood: Minisode #6)

MC: Is he ever going to reference anything in the comic books on the show?

MH: I don’t know.

DT: We hope!

MH: He did this great piece talking about the comic books and what’s going on with them. He was honestly, sounds like a thing to say, he was so great and so gracious. I think he had such a fun time with it. I think he just enjoyed the process because it’s different than TV. They were all just really cool about it. I think, I hope, it would be fun if they did. But, we’ll definitely reference things in the comic.

MC: What was your favorite character storyline?

MH: I’m really torn. One of the nice things we got to do, because in comic books you can chance up the art style so all of the different stories have a different style focusing on each character so that the Sookie story has a different art style, and it’s from the perspective of her as a child. It has a different quality than the other story. It’s really hard to pick. I think that the Lafayette story is really my favorite.

DT: An interesting thing abut the Lafayette story is going into this season we had all heard they were going to introduce Lafayette’s mother, and they did a lot of stuff with that this season. I really think that by working with Alan, our story, really dovetails beautifully with what’s on screen.

MH: His mom is in the story, and it also deals with his homosexuality. To me, without giving away the whole story, that was really important to me because it was something that we got to do in the comics because it’s something that is so important to the show of being able to deal with different sexualities with the vampires, and I didn’t want the comic to lose that quality. I wanted to make sure those were things that stayed true. If you’re going to do a Lafayette story, you need to have that acknowledged somewhere. It was nice to be able to tell a younger story about that because he’s one of my favorite characters. It was funny because we didn’t know that much about the mother going into it but they gave us information. It was nice what we thought was work really did work, and it fits nicely with what happened this season.

DT: Another thing was with working with Alan and focusing on sort of these emotionally core moments of the characters, as you get into season two and three and coming up season four, it really enables us to go back and distill what is unique about those characters. In Bill’s story, again without giving away specific details, it really goes to the humanity in Bill and the struggle that he has. I think, for instance, in Eric’s story his sort of on again off again relationship with humanity and how he feels about human beings and women specifically. Sookie’s story about her parents.

MH: The Sookie story especially. The first time I got to see it with the art – there was the main art style and then the one for each story. The Sookie one, it’s such a beautific, soft palate kind of story from her perspective as a little child and your emotions are heightened and she’s dealing with her abilities. It’s hard to write for a child. You don’t want to sound too grown up, but you don’t want to sound too immature because you want to get to where you need to go, and you get to see Gran in that story, which is nice to see her back because obviously that character got horribly murdered.

DT: It’s the only place you’re going to see her!

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