Recently we were able to provide you with an exclusive first look
at the brand new Marvel Tsum Tsum series from Marvel Comics, thanks to the amazing staff at Marvel itself. Today, we are very proud and honoured to share with you an exclusive interview that we took part in with the books' writer Jacob Chabot and artist David Baldeon! (See our blog post from yesterday
for a preview of Issue 1! --ED.)Answers below are denoted by the persons' initials: Jacob Chabot (JC) and David Baldeon (DB).1. Whose idea was it to bring Disney Tsum Tsum to the Marvel Comic Universe, and what was the driving reason or decision behind that? Anyone a particular fan of the Tsum plushes, or was it more of a random thought of, "hey, those would be cool!"
JC: From what Devin told me, the folks up at Marvel fell in love with Tsum-Tsums and someone said, “Hey, think we can do a Tsum Tsum comic?” Calls were made, and the rest is history.
2. The first issue is very nondescript with regards to a timeframe or how the story fits in with the main Marvel Comic Universe. Do you consider these stories to be canon with the main comic line, or are they purely a fun spinoff that do not necessarily have to fit into the current universe?
JC: One of the big concepts in this series is showing how the Tsum Tsums fit into the Marvel Universe, so for however that much counts, it all happened! For real! Seriously! You can see that this story happens in the context of the world by the fact that it features Amadeus Cho Hulk, Jane Foster Thor, and Sam Wilson Captain America, among other current Marvel events. So, expect to see the Tsum Tsums picking sides in Civil War II soon! Ha ha!4. Which Tsum was the most interesting and fun to bring to life in this comic, and why?
JC: Hulk Tsum Tsum is a blast. He gets a lot of funny moments. He's basically a big fluffy Hulk baby.
5. When coming up with the concept and ideas for this series, did you find that you had a very specific view of how it would work out already, or were there many ideas before you came to a final decision? Are there more ideas that could turn into more miniseries in the future?
JC: It took several drafts of pitches before we honed it down to one that worked with the Tsum Tsum brand and the Marvel flavor. In fact, the story in the book is pretty different from the one I started with. I doubt any of those ideas can be used in future stories. That said, I'm sure we can come up with something fun if a sequel comes up!6. In the upcoming Marvel Tsum Tsum mobile game, Bill Rosemann said in a recent interview on Marvel.com that the Tsums in that storyline are toys in a toy shop who believe they are really the characters that they represent, much like Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story believes he is a space ranger. Why did you decide to take a different direction for the comic? Why are the Tsums alien species and not toys that are somehow brought to life on Earth, and will we find out more about their origins?
JC: Nobody said that they weren't toys from space! All we know is that they're found in a crate that fell from the sky! At this point we know very little about the specific origins of the Tsums. Maybe it will be explained and maybe their origins will continue to be a Wolverine-size mystery!7. In the Letters section at the back of the first issue, Jacob suggests that we might see Ultron in an upcoming issue. Can we look forward to seeing any other Marvel villains in Tsum form in the coming issues?
JC: Oh, you betcha!8. David, this is the first time Tsum Tsums have appeared in comic form. Where did you get your inspiration for how they looked and acted (beyond the actual plush)?
DB: I’m not going with any particular set of references or inspiration. The way Jacob writes the Tsum Tsums, they’re not just one-trick characters, and depending on which one they are or what’s the situations, they have pretty sophisticated reactions. Iron Tsum is more of an old stick in the mud, Captain Marvel is a daring kid, and so on… So I just let every scene go the way it feels right, and sometimes they’re more like kids, other moments call for a fish-out-of-the-water alien attitude.9. David, since the Tsum Tsums don’t really speak, it is a lot more reliant on the art to convey what they are thinking and feeling; is that something you liked about this series?
DB: Sure thing! It’s quite a bit of a challenge. They’re great designs, but it’s not like they have a lot of elements to play with to convey all the different thoughts and feelings and emotions. You have to make the best of your bag of tricks, and then some, particularly when we go into comedy ground. So yes, it’s nice to stretch those muscles and see how far we can go with as little tools as one can get. But I would say we’re making the most of them, and we’ll be giving quite a few surprises regarding what the Tsums can do and convey.
Marvel were also kind enough to provide to us the covers for the upcoming issues 2 and 3 in the series, which you can find below.
Issue 2. Cover by Chris Samnee.
Issue 3. Cover by Chris Samnee.
Special thanks go to Chris D'Lando and Devin Lewis of Marvel Comics for this interview.