Sina Grace has made quite a splash at Boom! Studios with Ghosted in LA and as co-writer on Go Go Power Rangers. Both books are firing on all cylinders, although with very different elements. One has a young woman finding herself in a big city while hanging out with ghosts and the other has aliens, giant robots, and so much teenage drama. I caught up with Sina about both titles and where they’re heading.
James Ferguson: With Ghosted in LA, Daphne’s struggles speak to me personally as she’s struggling to figure out who she really is a person. How did this character come about?
Sina Grace: Daphne came to me very quickly. I wanted to create a character that at face value, you think you’ve seen before. She’s the bookish new girl in town. I wanted to prove that I know how to do my job and give her so much depth to explore how that person finds themselves in a big city like LA. I also wanted to use that to contrast with the city of Los Angeles itself through her lens. It was fun having this chatty Jewish girl from Montana hanging out with a bunch of ghosts from different eras. She’s also from a generation that thinks differently than say a woman from the 1930s. It’s all about finding these contrasting personalities and putting them in a house together.
JF: That’s where the ghosts come in. They’re all from different time periods with different personalities. How did you decide which ones you wanted to highlight?
SG: A lot of where that came from was being selfish and thinking about what chapters of Los Angeles history I wanted to look into. I wanted to avoid the Hollywoodland of Los Angeles as much as possible, but at the same time, I love it and everyone else loves it. That’s who the Aggie character is. I get to do all this cool research as to what life was like back then. I picked characters that came from specific chapters in our culture where their perspectives would be linked to an identity I wanted to speak to. Bernard was a gay lawyer in the late ’70s / early ’80s when AIDS was right about to pop out and being in the closet was still accepted.
JF: I love the interaction between Bernard and Ronnie in issue #4 because you can see the insecurities within each one as they’re figuring things out. Bernard died before he really came out, correct?
SG: Back then, you could be out in certain scenes. He wasn’t out at work, but if he went to a bar in West Hollywood, he would be totally out. That’s why his boyfriend at the time was super pissed with him. He was able to be selective about his identity. We talked a lot about this when I was doing Iceman with the Morlocks because they can’t hide what makes them different. With Ronnie, he chooses not to hide his difference. It will be really fun to see those two grow and bond and see how they help or hurt each other. [Laughs]
JF: How long is the series planned for?
SG: We have twelve issues. I’m really excited for them. If there’s more, there will be more. I want people to read it. I have at least three years in me if not my whole life. I love these characters so much.
JF: I feel like there’s so much to explore between these characters and that building.
SG: There’s a mythology too. It keeps getting hinted at passively with a sentence here and there, but we’re really going to learn about the house in the next story arc. We’re going to start finding out answers about why things are the way they are. I’m excited about it.
There’s an interaction between Aggie & Daphne in issue #4 where you start to see there might be blood in the soil.
JF: Awesome. OK, so Power Rangers! How does it feel to jump into a franchise like this? You’ve dabbled in the Marvel Universe, but Power Rangers is its own kind of animal with its own rabid fan base.
SG: I thought Marvel was going to be the best kind of training for Power Rangers. It was not. The fans are awesome and super vocal and passionate in a way that even X-Men fans are not. I realized I need to be watching every series, not just rewatching Mighty Morphin and getting myself abreast because there are so many things we’re talking about especially with Shattered Grid.
It’s been an exciting challenge because I’m co-writing. I’m really learning a lot from Ryan Parrott. Coming to him with these things is like being with a Beatle. He’s doing such a great job so I’m just kind of leaning on him as much as possible. He’s already mapped out this really beautiful story so I have a lot of nerves about sticking the landing. I was never worried about that with Iceman. With Power Rangers, I know what it means to fans and to me, so I put a lot of pressure on myself.
JF: How has the collaboration with Ryan work out? I’m always fascinated by co-writing experiences.
SG: It’s getting very organic. He knows when and where things happen. He’ll send me an idea of what he wants and what ideas hit in every issue. From there, I’ll do a beat sheet, breaking it down page by page, then I wrap about that with our editor Dafna Pleban who is the best. Between them, we get the story nailed down. I do a draft. Ryan does a draft. I do a draft. It goes like that. By the end, we have this awesome marriage where I don’t even know what’s mine.
There was a joke where Kim was trying to figure out why everything was so weird and she says “This can’t be because Mercury is in retrograde.” Ryan was telling me that he didn’t know what that meant, so he had Jason say that in the book. [Laughs] It turned into this nice interplay. It’s created a nice blend where you can see my DNA and Ryan’s DNA in it. It feels very equal at this point.
JF: Anything you’d like to tease going into the next phase of Necessary Evil?
SG: We found some awesome emotional and story moments that were just jammed through with the emergence of Tommy. I really like what we did. It came together in a great way. You get to see a side of not only Tommy and the rest of the cast, but we’re really expanding on Lord Zedd and getting into his head. He’s particularly nasty in this arc. Similarly, we found an angle with the Blue Emissary that’s super touching that balances so well when you read Mighty Morphin and Go Go at the same time. All I can say is, having no stake in the Mighty Morphin game, I do recommend that readers play the monthly game with it, grabbing both books as they come out. You’re seeing two sides of a coin with every chapter that passes. We reached some peaks that we didn’t even know were available to us.
Ghosted in LA and Go Go Power Rangers from Boom! Studios are available now at your local comic shop and come highly recommended from yours truly. Comicon would like to thank Sina Grace for taking the time to speak with us.