Kevin Panetta is a comics writer who has a lot of hype swirling around him this week. He is the co-creator of Zodiac Starforce the latest and greatest magical girl comic book to hit shelves (you can check out my advance review here), in a long time. Panetta has worked on Bravest Warriors, The Amazing World of Gumball and Regular Show in the past along with Zodiac Starforce in it webcomic incarnation.
Kevin took some time out of his busy schedule to sit down with Major Spoilers and share his insight on the magical world of Zodiac Starforce and it amazing cast of young women.
MAJOR SPOILERS: First off, where did the idea for Zodiac Starforce begin?
KEVIN PANETTA: Paulina and I created Zodiac Starforce together as a side project at first! We were working on a longer comic and Starforce was a fun little side thing, but that didn’t last for long. Before we knew it, it was a webcomic, then a mini-comic, and now a series from Dark Horse!
KP: Not at all! The book isn’t even out yet and we’ve been getting fan art and cosplay already. It’s crazy and I love seeing people getting so excited about it!
MS: Zodiac Starforce is a team of magical girls – did you feel any pressure as a male writing an entirely female team?
KP: Maybe a little bit haha. Mostly I just wanted to make sure I got it right. Working with Paulina is great for that, though. She’ll DEFINITELY tell me if I get something wrong haha.
MS: How do you find the characters individual voices?
KP: They’re mostly based on people I know. Either now or in high school. I also try to be true to Zodiac character traits, as well.
MS: Which character’s voice to enjoy writing in the most? Who is the most challenging?
KP: Kim/Taurus is definitely my favorite. People say don’t pick favorites but whatever. I LOVE KIM! She’s funny and she loves all the same stuff as me like Godzilla and professional wrestling. I’d say the most challenging at first was Savanna/Pisces. Her personality eluded me for a while, but now I feel like I know all these characters so well, I don’t really have a hard time writing any of them!
MS: What is your Zodiac sign? Will that influence a character moving forward?
KP: Capricorn! We’ll definitely see a Capricorn in the future. I can’t say much except that she’s quite different than the girls we’ve seen so far.
MS: Are readers going to learn what broke the team apart or is the Zodiac Starforce series more focused on the team moving forward?
KP: We learn a little bit about what broke them apart, but this first arc is very rooted in the present. It’s all about the girls moving forward after a long time apart.
MS: Zodiac Starforce is poised to have a mass appeal – what are you hoping that children and adult audiences can take away from the story?
KP: Oh, Jeez. Mostly I hope they can relate to the characters. Even though these girls have magical powers they all have very real lives. So whether you’re an adult that’s been through some of this stuff already or a kid that’s going through it now, hopefully you’ll see some of yourself in the characters.
KP: Emma/Gemini’s relationship with Astra (the goddess that gave the girls their powers) is something I’m really interested in and I’m excited to explore it as the series goes on.
MS: Can you give us some spoilers for upcoming Zodiac Starforce issues?