The amazing writer, Nick Abadzis, very generously took some time out of his busy schedule to answer some questions for us. He is famous for his work on 2000a.d. as well his independent works, such as Laika. But now he is writing for Titan Comics as he brings the Tenth Doctor back to life.
MJ: Thank you very much for taking the time to have a few words with our readers. We’ve really been enjoying the continuing adventures of the Tenth Doctor.
You’ve made quite a name for yourself on such great works as your Eisner-winning graphic novel Laika. Will we see you illustrating at some point?
NA: Thank you!
You’ll certainly see a cover by me – I’m doing a variant sometime soon. Well, I’ve already drawn it – I think it’s scheduled for issue #15. Otherwise, I’m not sure if there’s enough time for me to write and draw a whole story. Maybe on a short strip, we’ll see. Stay tuned!
MJ: These adventures take place during a pivotal, dark period in the Tenth Doctor’s time. Do you intend to address any foreshadowing of the impending “end of the Doctor’s song”?
Well, there’s a little of that in this first volume – just a hint. Thing is, I believe every Doctor lives a lot longer than everything we know about, everything that’s documented on TV, in audio plays and in novels and comics, so the idea of the Tenth Doctor’s life coming to end “soon” is relative. There are adventures pocketed inside moments in other adventures – the life of this wandering Time Lord is truly labyrinthine. He could literally have a century of life or more left in this incarnation between “The Waters of Mars” and “The End of Time”, but that would be “soon” to him. It’s all wide open, all relative.
That said, he was prone to these – shall we say – more human characteristics. There are elements of the Tenth Doctor’s life that are a bit of a downer. In keeping with what’s been established about him, he won’t escape these.
MJ: Gabriella Gonzalez seems like such a well-rounded, three-dimensional character. Was she based on a real person?
Thank you. Gabby was named (sort of) after a real person, the artist and teacher Gabrielle Gamboa, simply because I’m friendly with her and I like how her name sounds, but Gabriella Gonzalez the character isn’t directly based upon a real person, no.
MJ: Issue number 4 brilliantly used the medium of the comic book to its fullest extent, telling much of the story through artistic renderings from Gabby’s journal. Will we be seeing more of this anytime soon?
Yeah, you’ll be seeing more of that. Gabby’s tendency to draw stuff she sees is a trait of my own and other cartoonists I know who always keep a sketchbook. It seemed like a very good way to avail ourselves, as visual storytellers, of the strengths of the medium of comics, by giving her a way of directly recording and interpreting her experiences so that the reader could see it. It’s a way of making the storytelling more direct and immersive. That was a very collaborative exercise between myself, Elena and Arianna. I drew some sketchy roughs, a basic layout, which Elena and Arianna took as a “blueprint” for those pages; Elena did the “real-life” sequences and it was Arianna who actually created Gabby’s own drawings, so it was sort of a three-way collaboration between all of us.
MJ: The illustrations in Gabby’s journal suggest that the Doctor took her to Peladon. Will we ever get to see this story?
That was kind of an accident! I asked for an Alpha Centauri and an Ice Warrior in a big crowd of aliens – some Ais or robots too. Arianna went and researched these, and we got a White Robot in there for good measure! A Quark too. I guess now I’m going to have to come up with an “in-story” reason why they’re there. It’s entirely possible the Doctor took Gabby to Peladon.
MJ: Are there any monsters from the classic series that haven’t made a return to television yet that you would like to bring back in comic form?
Yes, expect to see Revenge of the Krotons soon. Seriously, I know I am not the only person who thinks the Draconians are cool. Or the Raston Warrior Robot! Even the Teripleptils. I used to go on about Zygons a lot, but then Steven Moffat had the great wisdom and grace to bring them back for the 50th anniversary.
MJ: There is some debate about the merits of more than one companion in the TARDIS. Could you see anyone else joining the Doctor and Gabby for a while?
I can see that, yes. It’s possible it may happen. I think the best dynamic is, generally, the Doctor plus one, but I like to shake things up for myself and the reader, so don’t hold me to that. I do have a fondness for the first and second Doctor stories that feature more than one companion – I happen to think that the Second Doctor, Jamie and Zoe is one of the best TARDIS crews ever. The Fourth Doctor, Sarah [Jane Smith] and Harry, too. Just for good measure, in the era I’m dealing with right now, I always liked the Tenth Doctor, Martha [Jones] and [Captain] Jack dynamic, too. Utopia – what an episode!
MJ: Doctor Who is rather unique in that it can tell stories in virtually any genre. It can tell huge, epic stories of pure bombast, or it can tell quiet, emotional stories. Have you been able to play around with other genres as much as you would like? Or would you like to push the medium even further?
So far, I’ve written two (published) stories and one (as yet unpublished) epic so I feel like I’m only just beginning – flexing some muscles, as it were. There’s definitely a lot of room to take things in all sorts of interesting new directions. We want to make great Doctor Who, and great comics, stories you’ll want to read more than once. Pushing the medium is definitely a part of that remit. The Tenth Doctor is a living breathing character, and we want his story to continue, for his fans to enjoy his new adventures, some time to come.
Thank you again, Nick, for your time and insight. Readers, as always we welcome your comments. Feel free to take a moment and enter them below.