Christopher Hastings is a comic book writer and cartoonist who hit the scene with his web comic Dr. McNinja. He is now writing one of Marvel’s most exciting, and fresh books The Unbelievable Gwenpool, and will be writing I Am Groot. I had the pleasure of asking him about these books, and more.
Jonathan Aravich: First off I just have to ask, how often are you asked if Gwenpool is Gwen Stacy as Deadpool?
Christopher Hastings: Haha! Not often. We really tried to clear that up pretty early in the process. People who would know to talk to me about Gwenpool know she’s not Gwen Stacy. That said, I know that people who don’t read the comic think she’s a Gwen Stacy Deadpool, which is fair! That sure was the idea behind her first appearance as a Deadpool variant cover. But you know to make an comic series about her, we had to make her something else entirely.
Aravich: So, I know Gwenpool is still going strong. Right now she’s teaming up with Kate Bishop (Hawkeye) and Robby Reyes (Ghost Rider) also Cecil, her hacker friend, is kinda back from the dead. What can we expect next from Gwenpool?
Hastings: The next arc of Gwenpool is one of the most ambitious things I’ve written, and I’d have never done it if I didn’t have total faith in our artist duo, Gurihiru to completely nail everything. We finally get into what Gwen’s life was like before she entered the Marvel universe, and then we take this “Gwen knows she is in a comic” thing to a whole new level. I’ve been calling it “Weaponized Scott McCloud”.
Aravich: 15 issues in and it’s only getting even better, how much more Gwenpool do you think you have left?
Hastings: Thank you! It’s an absolute delight to write. I just turned in the script for issue 21, and I’ll keep going as long as they let me.
Aravic: So I know you have I Am Groot coming out on the 24th. Do you feel that the success of the films makes it easier to write a book like this, or adds more pressure for it to be good?
Hastings: That’s a great question! I am definitely aware that the success of the films will have people check out this book that wouldn’t ordinarily, and I know they have a tremendous mainstream appeal, and I may have to try to court a different audience than I’m used to. I’m very aware of the interpretation of Groot that is being sold here, there is a certain amount of a promise that I have to fulfill in the story.
But… all that said, the only thing I can do is tell the story I think is right, to do it the way I like to tell a story, and use my own sensibilities. And quite honestly, this book has a certain amount of departure from the films, and from the main Guardians book. But it’s still got an adorable and funny baby Groot running around, dealing with danger and being silly, so at it’s core, it’s still the Groot you know.
Aravich: Will I AM GROOT be tying in with Duggans All-New Guardians of the Galaxy book?
Hastings: Our first arc is only really minimally tied into the main series. The Groot we see is affected by certain events in the main book, but a lot of this is about separating him from his “family” and having him try to find his way back to them.
Aravich: Is there any chance we get some sassy teenage Groot in this book?
Hastings: Oh that would be great, I would love to do that so much. That said, I think Groot’s larger story is going to be determined by Gerry Duggan, so we’ll see.
Aravich: Thanks for taking the time to answer some questions! Where can people find you online and see what’s coming next?
Hastings: The best place to keep up with what I’ve got going on would be my twitter, @drhastings, and my personal site, which you can find at drhastings.biz, drhastings.horse, or christopher-hastings.com.