Joseph Corallo and Liana Kangas are the writer and artist, respectively, behind the upcoming Vault Comics title She Said Destroy, which focuses on a lone space colony that is the last line of defense against Brigid, the Goddess of the Sun, who has conquered the entire solar system. Brigid’s sister, The Morrigan and her followers, the Witches of Fey, are all that stands between Brigid’s quest for universal domination. I sat down with Joseph and Liana at Emerald City Comic Con to talk all things She Said Destroy, which releases May 29, 2019.
Tim: First things first, Joseph I want to agree that Final Fantasy IX is the best one.
Joseph: Thank you. I feel validated.
Tim: She Said Destroy focuses on a death god who ends up having to save the universe. How did you come to that decision to turn the death god trope on its head?
Joseph: I ended up having a conversation with my friend Beth. We were trying to work on a podcast kind of thing. We were talking about the Morrigan. I think it leaped off a conversation about Wic/Div. We never see the Morrigan portrayed in a positive light, even though death is an inevitable and important thing to have happen. It’s not necessarily a bad thing. Like destruction has to happen. I pondered on that and I really wanted the Morrigan to be the hero. Well then who is the villain? You have to also spin something on its head for that. Brigid would make the absolute most sense.
Tim: Liana, what went into the design of the gods in She Said Destroy? Specifically how did you make a character like the Morrigan different from other takes on it?
Liana: We went back and forth a lot on mythology and what’s typically done. We kind of decided we would play to my strengths and pick something that was more in my wheelhouse. One of the reasons we discussed Final Fantasy is that I’m obsessed with the costume designs. On the flipside, none of them made sense if you’re actually wearing them. So how do I make these designs kind of passably cosplayable? But also fun to draw and makes sense for a woman reader. I’ve already had notes for the spikes on the arms like “I would never cosplay that.” Fair point. I had to make it look a little edgy.
Tim: What makes this take on gods different from other takes on mythology?
Joseph: One of the things we worked on to make this different is having it take place really in the far future. Part of it was to have more freedom with what we wanted with it. We could then be like “That’s how it was thousands of years ago. But we’re way in the future so stuff changed.” We can kind of cherry-pick what from mythology we want to use and expand on that.
Liana: That’s the best part with space too. You can kind of do whatever you want.
Tim: The two of you are fairly new friends and collaborators. What made the two of you instantly click?
Liana: We have a lot of mutual friends which we ended up realizing a couple months in, which is nice. We were both rising up in the ranks at Black Mask as well. It helped a little bit.
Joseph: I co-edited the Mine anthology with my friend Molly Jackson. And Pat Shand had Liana on his story. Pat is one of my oldest comics friends. I met him in like 2012 at a comic shop signing on Long Island. We had been friends since then. Pat was one of the first people I asked to be in Mine. It sort of worked out that way too.
Liana: Pat put out something on Facebook. He’s one of the first people who added me on Facebook. One, found me because I’m pretty hard to find on Facebook. Two, had mutual friends. I was like “I hear hes’s a good writer,” and I had read some of his stuff. He had asked about it. I was thrilled to start that.
Tim: What’s your working process like?
Joseph: I’ll start. I work from an outline and outline the whole arc. I break that up and figure out the page count. I write the full script, get the edits, do all the adjustments. Dialogue everything. Then Liana tackles it from there.
Liana: I think I do what most typical comic artists do, where I do all the layouts first. Actually, that’s a lie. Adrian lets me have a lot of freedom. Sometime I just directly from layouts to inks because I think my inks are more dynamic. My pencils are dynamic but I want my inks to look like that, so I kind of pencil in ink. It’s maybe less conducive to time and corrections, but I think it comes out better.
Tim: Lastly, what made you both want to work with Vault?
Liana: Do you see how charming they are? They’re so charming. We have had friends that have done series. I’m friends with Vita, who did Submerged. I think Joe is pretty familiar with a lot of the creators who have worked on books from this publisher.
Joseph: I’ve known Mike Moreci for years. I was a fan of Hoax Hunters when that first came out. I’ve been following him since then. I was already editing Kim and Kim for Mags at Black Mask. I agreed to do that before we even pitched this to Vault. It was familiarity. We could make sure it’s a cool place.
Liana: The pitch process was really down to earth. They made us feel very welcomed. It was kind of hard not to be like “Yeah, this is happening.”
Joseph: I was actually a fan of Vault when they first launched. I picked up Fissure. I was one of those guys who emailed them right when they were launching like “You know, if you want a comic writer…” They were kind of like “That’s cool… Keep checking out our products.”
Tim: I think down to earth is a funny way to describe a sci-fi publisher.
Liana: I think when weird people are friends with weird people, you get weird. Comics is very anxiety-inducing. We’re huge nerds. I think even the entire staff makes you feel comfortable because usually it’s a stressful situation and it’s been pretty nice.
Joseph: And it’s really easy to communicate with these guys.
Liana: If you couldn’t tell how they blasted me. (points to giant banner full of art.) They make you feel really valued. It’s one of the things that make me feel so welcomed.
Joseph: I also have to say they did the nice thing of announce our book before Chris Sebela’s book, so that way it wouldn’t have been like “Chris Sebela has a book. Also these guys do…” So that was really nice of them too.
Liana: Chris is a nice dude and we were both like “Chris we have a book coming out next to yours.” He was like “Yeah, nice.”