Interview: Dan Jolley

by Josh Lipowsky,
Dan Jolley, Writer for the new Voltron: Defender of the Universe comic series took a few moments to talk with us about his new adaptation of an old classic.

ANN: How did you get involved with the Voltron book?

Dan: I had done some work for Josh Blaylock at evil's Due on the series "G.I. Joe: Frontline," and one night I was chatting with him on the phone about something... I don't even remember what. But he casually mentioned, "Yeah, we just picked up the license to do a Voltron comic book," and I just about had a seizure, that news excited me so much. So, trying not to sound like a *total* goon, I said, "Hey, if you're looking for a writer for that, I'm your man." And I told him how much I loved the show when I was a kid, and how much potential I saw in it. So a couple of days later he wrote me an e-mail with the subject line, "Will you form the head?"

ANN: Did you watch the original series? What was our opinion?

Dan: Yes I did, every day after school. I absolutely loved it. I didn't love every part of it; even around age eleven or twelve, I wasn't crazy about a lot of the silly, campy elements (such as dancing mice). But there were so many things about it that were so incredibly cool, I just couldn't get enough.

ANN: Did you watch V3d? What was your opinion?

Dan: Nope, sorry. Never did. That whole series just passed right by me.

ANN: What sort of changes to the story can we look forward to?

Dan: We're mainly doing a lot of things to streamline the story as it was presented in the original World Events series. The American release featured a lot of story-related weirdness, since not only did they have to edit it heavily to make it acceptable for young American audiences, but it was also a series spliced together from two completely unrelated Japanese series ("Hundred Beast King GoLion" and "Armored Armada Dairugger XV"). We're combining the two stories a little more smoothly, and making it an all-ages book, rather than a story exclusively aimed at young children. Both my parents and my six-year-old niece can enjoy it, I think.

ANN: How long is the series expected to run? Some websites are saying only 5 issues, will it run longer?

Dan: I think the first five issues will be a stand-alone mini-series, but we'll be doing another mini-series after only a one-month gap; and if sales really take off, maybe it'll just turn into an ongoing. In any case, as long as there's a demand for it, we'll keep producing it.

ANN: Are you a fan of anime? If so, how has/will that influence your writing, if at all? Will there be other anime references in the series beyond the names?

Dan: I am indeed a fan of anime in general; I "discovered" it when I was in college, and really, really enjoyed things like "Fist of the North Star" and the first "Crying Freeman." These days I get a huge kick out of "Cowboy Bebop," which I think is just brilliant. As far as other anime influences and references showing up in Voltron, time will tell; truth be told, I'm just primarily interested in telling a good, solid story -- not necessarily an "anime-style" story, just one that a lot of readers will enjoy. Judging by reader response from issues 0 and 1, so far so good!

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