“It’s something that’s always puzzled about vervain,” DC comics writer Colleen Doran told Wetpaint Entertainment. “It’s something that’s been left open, and I filled in that gap. I hope I did! [Laughs]”
We chatted Colleen and fellow writer B. Clay Moore about exploring the mythology of The Vampire Diaries, bringing Alaric back to life, and why Stefan is simply misunderstood.
Wetpaint Entertainment: How does the digital comic fit into the mythology of The Vampire Diaries?
B. Clay Moore: Initially, it’s parallel to the stories they’re telling on television. We tried to fill in some backstory based on little hints and clues that they’ve dropped throughout the show. With 200 years of history between Damon and Stefan, there’s a lot to explore. They referenced all of these little points. I watched the show even before I was working on the book, and there were moments when I was so curious about that history. What might have happened when they ran into each other there? There are a lot of moments throughout the show that have given us inspiration for these stories.
Did you have to run your ideas by Julie Plec?
Colleen Doran: What we do is we sit down, we write a pitch, and we send it to our editor, and our editor feeds it to the Powers That Be, and they look over it and let us know what works and what doesn’t. Fortunately, they’ve been extremely open and extremely receptive to our ideas. They’ve liked a lot of the stuff we’ve done!
Clay: And Colleen and I have both seen every episode of the show and are fans of the show. The writers and the actors do such a great job of establishing the tone and the mythology and the history, so it’s really pretty easy for us to jump into that world.
That’s great to hear that you’re both big fans of the show!
Colleen: We really are! It was so funny because we went to New York Comic Con for interviews, and we were both like a couple of kids talking about our favorite characters and storylines. [Laughs]
Clay: It was pretty dorky.
That being said, what was your favorite storyline to dive into for this comic?
Clay: The first story I wrote was a story about Alaric, and that was when I realized how much fun I could have because he left the show, and he was one of my favorite characters! So it was really fun to have a chance to bring him back on my own and realize how easy it was to get inside his head based on the way they had established him on the show.
Colleen: Alaric is one of my favorite characters and so is Caroline, and interestingly enough, I’ve done nothing with them yet. [Laughs] I actually think the characters I like the most are perplexing me the most because I want to do something spectacular, and I get intimidated, so I back off. But I’m tending to do things with a historical element. I’m a civil war buff, so all of the stories I’ve turned in so far have had something to do with that time period. I actually live in the area where Mystic Falls is supposed to be, so I’m trying to bring quirky little elements from the real place where we live into the story. So that’s where I’m going, but you know, anything with Damon in it is a good day.
There are probably characters on the TV show that you doesn’t necessarily love. Did you find that through this process you began to like certain characters more?
Clay: I think Stefan is a good example because Damon is such a charismatic and compelling bad boy that sometimes Stefan gets the short end of the stick. But getting into his head, and how he relates to Damon, it was interesting. You realize how frustrating it would be to be Damon’s brother, where every plan you have is thwarted. It’s almost like that’s the only reason Damon does some of the stuff he does. So that was interesting to write a story with both those characters because you almost have to sympathize with Stefan once you break it all down. You have to also write it without making Damon look like the bad guy. As I went through the story, I was like, “Man, I don’t blame Stefan for losing his cool all the time.”
Colleen: It’s a total bummer my brother is a psychopath. [Laughs]
Are you guys watching Season 5? Because Stefan and Damon are very different this season than they have been in the past.
Clay: Oh, yeah!
Colleen: I’m actually going to wait until I re-watch Seasons 1 through 4, and then I’m going to catch Season 5 on Netflix.
Clay: No, I’m in the middle of it now. My wife and I are watching it every Thursday night. I think it’s great, though. I love Stefan in Season 5. I like it when they give him a chance to stretch out a little bit and prove that he can be a little bit more.
Are there any stories with the Originals yet?
Colleen: Not yet.
Clay: I love the Originals. They’re great characters, especially Rebekah. Right now, you got to pick your poison. But that opens all kind of doors, story-wise.
Colleen: We’re working about six months ahead, and everything we’re going to do in the future will be based on how well everything we’ve done has been received. If the fans like what we’ve done, then we will continue, and we will have a lot more stories to tell because, believe me, I could do this all day.
What was it like getting into Elena’s head? She might be the most difficult character to write for.
Clay: I agree, actually! I just used her in the last story I wrote, and she’s a complex personality. She wasn’t necessarily the main character in the story I wrote, but I was a little surprised when I started writing her because as we’ve said, these stories take place at different times in her history, and Elena has gone through the most change over the course of the show. It’s interesting to try and write her and still keep all of the stuff that’s coming in mind. So you know that she’s more complex than she appears.
Colleen: So far, I can’t tell you because my only story with Elena is still under approval. But I have written Katherine, and that was fun. She’s an amazing character to write for.
Chapters of the comic will be available every other Thursday at readdcentertainment.com. And don’t worry, TVD fans, printed collections of the chapters will be available beginning in January.
Catch the next episode of The Vampire Diaries on Thursday, October 31 at 8 p.m. ET on the CW, followed by an episode of Reign.
Crystal Bell is an editor at Wetpaint Entertainment and our resident fangirl for all things The Vampire Diaries. Follow her on Twitter and Google+!