ECCC 2019: Sean Dillon Talks Action Lab’s Sweetie, Part 1

by Tito W. James

At ECCC 2019 I was able to chat with writer/artist Sean Dillon about his Saturday morning superhero comic Sweetie.

Tito W. James: What is Sweetie about?

Sean Dillon: Sweetie is an action adventure comic about this girl named Maggie who grew up loving action movies, cartoons, and comics. She teaches herself how to fight by just copying what she sees and just figuring it our through trial and error. I mean who hasn’t seen an action movie then tried to do a backflip? Or tied doing the “kamayamaya” from Dragon Ball Z.

Maggie has this intuitive ability and tenacious attitude, so she becomes a self-taught superhero. But this is an origin story so the book is half about her getting into High School and finding a friend group and the other half is her and her friends fighting bad guys.

TWJ: I also grew up loving action movies, cartoons, and comics so I can immediately empathize with a character like Maggie. She is such an appealing character because Maggie taps into that little part of us that wants to become and action hero for real. I remember trying to learn parkour because it was in the Prince of Persia games.

SD: Yeah! Part of this book is written from my own experience. I remember going on YouTube and seeing these awesome fight sequences and then trying stuff myself. I got a little bit far and taught myself frontflips and backflips. But Maggie takes it to a whole other level.

The comic is also self-aware in a lot of ways because the characters are comic fans and they are aware of the comic tropes. There’s one character, Marlon, who’s convinced that everything around him is a comic narrative. So in his own way he can predict what’s going to happen.

TWJ: That’s a very interesting gimmick. Because these are powers that could only really exist in a comic. It’s a little bit meta. So this character is precognitive in that he recognizes clichés.

SD: I think everyone has thought of their own “average superpower;” where it’s not breathing fire or super strength it’s just one little thing they can do which nobody else can.

TWJ: Like catching toast in your mouth as it pops out of the toaster on your way to school?

SD: Yes exactly! So a lot of the characters in Sweetie are just people with a special talent that’s stretched a little bit.

TWJ: Do you have an “average” superpower?

SD: Umm, if I’m working neck-deep in comics I will never get sick. I know this because I used to get sick six times a year. But when I started to my comics full time I just became too determined to get sick.

I’d like to thank Sean Dillon for this interview. Sweetie is available now from Action Lab Danger Zone. Stay tuned for part 2 of our chat.

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