Interview With Rebecca Donner (Burnout)

Rebecca Donner, writer of Burnout, was kind enough to answer some questions about the book.

Rebecca Donner

CWR: So, a logging town in Oregon. Why that setting? Any personal connections?

RD: Years ago I went on a road trip with friends, and one of the places we stopped was a small town in the coastal mountain range of Oregon. It made an indelible impression on me.

CWR: What’s your take on eco-terrorism?

RD: When an act of vandalism is considered an act of terrorism, an important distinction has been lost.

CWR: What made you want to write a comic? And how did you come to Minx?

RD: I was working on my second novel and kept reaching this kind of cul-de-sac. So I decided to put it away for a while and write something radically different. I sent Shelly Bond at DC Comics a pitch for a graphic novel that I’d been kicking around my head for a while. The genre is so imaginatively expansive — I found myself both dizzied and inspired by all the possibilities.

CWR: How were you paired up with Inaki Miranda? How was working with him?

RD: During my first meeting with Shelly, she plunked down a stack of illustrators’ portfolios and said, “Who do you want for Burnout?” All of the illustrators were talented and technically proficient, of course, but Inaki had an amazing ability to convey subtleties of emotion through facial expressions and gesture. So I picked him. He lives in Spain, and we communicated solely through email. He’d send the breakdowns after receiving my script pages and I’d email back my comments and suggestions and so forth. I’m incredibly fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with such a prodigiously gifted artist.

CWR: How did you deal with writing for a teenage audience? Any changes or particular choices you made?

RD: I didn’t change my approach at all, in terms of crafting the narrative. A good story is a good story, regardless of who a publisher markets it to.

CWR: Given the open ending, any plans for more stories with this character?

RD: Definitely. Is Haskell alive or is he dead? I want to find out what happens to him!

CWR: What’s your favorite comic? What did you find helpful as research?

RD: Daniel Clowes, Alison Bechdel, and Lynda Barry were inspirations, to name a few. I came across a wonderful graphic novel called Mother, Come Home by Paul Hornschemeier, about a son struggling to come to terms with the death of his mother. The prose is beautifully spare, yet so powerfully invested with this palpable sense of longing and loss. In writing Burnout, I wanted to craft a narrative with spare, laconic prose, and anchor it with that same sense of longing and loss, even as there’s this surface play of teenagers’ games and foibles.

CWR: Do you have plans to write more comics?

RD: Absolutely…!

One Response to “Interview With Rebecca Donner (Burnout)”

  1. Journalista - the news weblog of The Comics Journal » Blog Archive » June 20, 2008: Casual Friday Says:

    […] Johanna Draper Carlson interviews Burnout writer Rebecca Donner, and reviews her collaboration with artist Inaki […]




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