Novelist Delilah S Dawson has teamed up with Ashley A. Woods to bring a new series to us via Boom! Studios called Ladycastle. Issue #1 (of 4) made its debut at the beginning of this year on January 25 and Issue #2 is on shelves today, March 29.
The synopsis for Ladycastle is this: When King Mancastle and his mighty vassals ride off on crusade, the women left behind are not at all put out-that’s a lot less armor polishing for them to do. Of course, when the men get themselves eaten by a dragon and leave a curse that attracts monsters to the castle…well, the women take umbrage with that. Now the blacksmith’s wife Merinor is King, Princess Aeve is the Captain, and the only remaining (and least capable) knight Sir Riddick is tasked with teaching the ladies of the castle how to fight, defend, build, and do all manner of noisy things the men had been doing while the women assumed they were just drunk.
Issue #2 will feature Becca Farrow on interiors instead of Woods, but we’re excited nonetheless (Becca is a fantastic artist).
We had the opportunity to ask a few questions to Ms. Dawson, which she graciously took the time to answer. Check out our Q&A below:
Rogues Portal: In issue #1, all the men of Mancastle were killed by a dragon, the kingdom is cursed by a wizard, and the women were left to defend it. What can you tease about issue #2?
DELILAH S. DAWSON: The cover pretty much covers it: WEREWOLVES! Along with homages to Prince, musical theater, and Braveheart.
RP: What makes Ladycastle special to you other than being the creator of it?
DAWSON: I wanted to write a comic that would catch my eye and affection if I stumbled upon it in a comic book store. Ladycastle has adventure, heart, laughs, and women of all ages, sizes, and races lifting one another up. It also has medieval curse words, which can enrich any sarding vocabulary.
RP: What is it about the fantasy genre that draws you in?
DAWSON: The escape of it. I was a lonely, bullied kid, and books were the only place where I felt at home. Narnia, Arthur’s Britain, the warrens of Watership Down—I went there to dream and have adventures. I still do.
RP: Are there any stories from real life that you infused into the characters or plot?
DAWSON: My father died last April after a long battle with colon cancer, so Ladycastle mirrors that experience and helps the ladies find ways to face and move past their grief to become the women they were truly meant to be. So… that hits home.
RP: What is one thing about the comic book industry or writing for comics that you love more than any other medium?
DAWSON: Seeing my characters come to life visually has been a real treat. Ashley A. Woods designed them based on my descriptions, and it was fascinating to see how she interpreted my words. I had originally intended Ladycastle to be more playful and childlike, but my writing had to rise to meet the determined women she created.
RP: Which of the characters from Ladycastle or any other of your other works do you feel most closely connected to?
DAWSON: Aeve in Ladycastle, definitely. Her father traps her in a tower—and his expectations—which is how I felt growing up. Setting her free to become who she really is helped me move more fully into who I want to be.
RP: How was creating your own world in comics compared to dabbling in a crazy established universe like Star Wars for The Perfect Weapon?
DAWSON: Very different! In Star Wars, I’m playing in someone else’s sand box, working with established places, people, and stories and constantly checking the Wookieepedia. In Ladycastle, I can do basically anything. I did have to level up my script writing, and I’m so grateful for the team at BOOM! for helping me get there. But they’ve let me do homages to modern media like T2 or Hamilton as well as play with language. It feels very free.
RP: You’re in charge of putting together an all-female group of action heroes for a Lady Expendables. What fictional female movie characters would you choose for the team?
DAWSON: Oh, dude. Buffy the Vampire Slayer—from the TV show—as the paladin. Beatrix Kiddo from Kill Bill as the tank. Kaylee Frye from Firefly/Serenity for tech. Natasha Romanova as the rogue. Hermione Granger for magic and library usage. The leader would be Dame Judi Dench as M from the new Bond. I could keep going…
RP: What was the last really good book or comic that you read?
DAWSON: I just finished the upcoming fantasy A Plague of Giants by my friend Kevin Hearne, writer of the Iron Druid Chronicles, and I can tell you now that it’s the best book I’ll read this year. It’s going to be the next Name of the Wind. It’s out in October.
RP: What books, comics, and other projects can we expect to see from you in the coming months?
DAWSON: I have a short story in the upcoming Hellboy: An Assortment of Horror. Then the third book in my Shadow series is out in October, Malice of Crows. I recently sold a three-book series called The Tales of Pell and starting with Kill the Farmboy, which will be out next year and is pitched as Discworld meets the Princess Bride—which I co-wrote with Kevin Hearne. And there are still a few announcements on their way.
Full info on me, my books, and my upcoming events (like WonderCon this week!) can be found on my website, http://whimsydark.com.