Hex Wives Interview w/ Ben Blacker and Mirka Andolfo | NYCC 2018 | NowThis Nerd

DC Comics recently announced a relaunch of Vertigo, their groundbreaking ‘90s imprint that was once home to ‘Sandman,’ ’Swamp Thing,’ ‘Animal Man,’ and other works that broke boundaries and shattered the perception of what a comic book could be The smash hit ‘Border Town’ was the first of seven new series to be released under the new Vertigo, and coming up next is ‘Hex Wives

’ We spoke to writer Ben Blacker and artist Mirka Andolfo about their upcoming comic book, and why their story of suppressed suburban witchcraft is more relevant than ever in 2018 Hex Wives is ‘Bewitched’ meets ‘The Stepford Wives’ It is about a powerful coven of witches who is being held as suburban housewives against their will and knowledge What it's really about is the insidious ways that fearful men try to control women Blacker, known as the co-creator of the ‘Thrilling Adventure Hour’ and for his work on shows like ‘Supernatural,’ was inspired by the lack of logic in one of his favorite ‘60s sitcoms, ‘Bewitched

’ I happened to be flipping through the channels and I caught an episode of 'Bewitched,' and I got to thinking that it's crazy that Samantha Stevens, Elizabeth Montgomery's character, was this super powerful witch who was married to a suburban ad man, and she was so worried about getting dinner on the table for her husband and his boss, and her mother would come around all the time and tell her she married beneath her And it's true! She married beneath her! Like, she could have been running the world In today’s tumultuous times, Hex Wives is deconstructing the imbalance of power that exists between genders, imagining a world where a coven of immortal witches battled the all-male Architects for centuries, only to be stripped of their memories and forced to live a humdrum suburban life, unaware of the power they possess The gender politics of Hex Wives addresses something that's always been there We have this built in patriarchy

I'm not writing about violence, I’m writing about the more insidious ways that men try to control women And you know, maybe four or five years ago I started really recognizing that my wife, my sisters, my mother, the women in my life were dealing with this stuff every single day, and they weren't experiencing the world, obviously, in the same way that I was As a way to counter the same inequality that exists within the world of comics, Ben ensured that his story would be told by voices with different perspectives than his own: When I pitched the book I did tell Mark Doyle, the Vertigo editor, that it was important to me that, in order to tell the story honestly, we have as many women's voices on the books as we could, and that started with our editors Molly and Maggie were incredible collaborators, and they brought in Mirka who has made the book even better than I could imagined Italian artist Mirka Andolfo’s expressive European style brings a level of emotion and sensuality to the story: 'Hex Wives' is a great book because the story is very appealing, and because they are very strong women and very interesting characters

They are very particular, and those women are very common, girls like me, like others in the streets, and so I think I can feel very near to those characters, and it's very fun to draw, also! With the witches and that kind of stuff, it's very cool! Vertigo is all about challenging norms It was one of the first comic imprints to tackle sex and queerness in a mature way, and 'Hex Wives' is no different Sex in this world was something that I was afraid of tackling, and Mirka loves to draw sexy stuff, and so she really emboldened me to address that issue I mean, these are women who are being controlled by these men They're literally brainwashed by them

And so we had to sort of figure out what that means in the day to day To the men, these witches are not even objects, they’re monsters So to the men, it would be disgusting to have sex with them So we had to figure out a way to sort of navigate that relationship, while also keeping up the appearance of this 1950s suburban household The original Vertigo’s impact is still felt in nearly every mainstream comic today, and as vanguards of the new relaunch, the creators of 'Hex Wives' are well aware of the promise and possibilities that label brings with it

Before this comic, I started with Vertigo, and now it's like I've come back in some way and it's very nice Vertigo has so many cool characters Vertigo has always been known for ambitious storytelling You know, I love ‘Fables’ I love ‘Preacher

’ I love ‘Sandman’ ‘Y the Last Man’ is one of my all time favorites And I think what the new relaunch is doing is taking that that ambitious storytelling that the original line was known for, and letting writers who are passionate about a story to tell, tell those stories I think that's why we're seeing otherwise maybe marginalized groups or underrepresented groups being represented in the Vertigo line, because finally these creators are getting the chance to tell a story that they are passionate about Black and Andolfo have big plans for 'Hex Wives,' and if you’re interested in diving into the world and supporting their story, the first issue will be available at your local comic shop on, appropriately enough, Halloween

'Hex Wives' is out on Halloween Get it via ReadDCcom, get it on Comixlolgy, or visit your local comic book shop They need your business, and we do too because we want to do 100 issues of this book So please pick it up!

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