Paulina Ganucheau is a triple threat: illustrator, designer, graphic artist and not only has she lent her talents to Adventure Time: Pixel Princess and Crystal Cadets, but she is the artist of the highly anticipated magical girl comic Zodiac Starforce from Dark Horse Comics. You can check out my advance review of Zodiac Starforce #1 right here.
Paulina gracious took the time to sit down with Major Spoilers and talk about the beautiful world she has created inside the pages of Zodiac Starforce and what readers of all ages can expect from the series.
MAJOR SPOILERS: Tell us where and how Zodiac Starforce all began.
PAULINA GANUCHEAU: Initially Zodiac Starforce was supposed to be a break from a bigger comic Kevin and I were planning together, but after we got going with it, and we saw the interest people had, we discovered that this was the big idea! I’m really glad that it was because I couldn’t be happier and I’m definitely fulfilling a lifelong dream!
MS: What was the design process for the four magical girls in Zodiac Starforce like?
PG: The first pass at the ZS girls was for the first incarnation of them where they were still a sillier “jem-esque” rock band. I think of them as a Hanna Barbera version of Zodiac Starforce. They were pretty different. Once we figured out we wanted to do something deeper and more based in reality I updated them from there. Now they’re cute fashionable teens most girls can hopefully see themselves in! They’re honestly still evolving too as I continue work on the comic. I love seeing myself settle into these characters!
MS: Which character is your favourite to draw? Who is the most challenging?
PG: Oh this is tough. I really really enjoy drawing all of them! My favorite though it probably Emma. I love her sweet cloud hair and she’s a lot like me so it’s almost cathartic drawing her going through her issues. None of them are particularly challenging. Hardest hair to draw is probably Savanna though. I’m still figuring out how it works from certain angles, hahaha.
MS: What is working with Kevin Panetta like? Do you have freedom in the design/story in each issue?
PG: Working with Kevin is AMAAAZING. He’s the best dude. Our creative relationship is really fantastic. We’re always honest with each other and always open to critique. It’s a really good give and take. If I don’t agree with something he writes I always have a say. And yeah I definitely have freedom of design in each issue. He trusts me. Just like I trust him!
PG: Most of my published works so far have been on model gigs of pre-existing properties. So finally having a chance to show who I really am as an artist is amazing and very different. In a lot of ways it’s scary, but it’s also incredibly thrilling. I put so much of myself into this book. Into the art. It’s all of me. My approach to ZS is just to put my heart on the page and grow alongside it.
MS: We only get to see Astra toward the end of Zodiac Starforce #1 – are we going to get to see more of Astra and her magical world as the series goes along?
PG: Definitely! I’m excited to see more of her myself. She’s incredibly satisfying to draw. Giant goddess with flowing space hair? Give me a break. Loooove.
MS: On your twitter you mention having a Zodiac Starforce playlist – what are some of the tunes you draw to?
PG: Haha yes I do! I made it for fun, just for myself, but a bunch of people showed interest so I shared it online! Lately I’ve been really into chill electronic music. My favorite album right now is “Dive” by Tycho. It’s sublime and wonderful. Makes me feel like I’m softly floating down the banks of a flower lined river. So lovely. Highly recommend. I’m also a huge kpop music fan. Wonder Girls’ new album is my jam.
MS: What is your Zodiac sign and will she appear in the series?
PG: My sign is Scorpio! Watch out I’m gonna sting ya!! Not really. Unless a hug is considered a sting. But yes they will definitely appear if we get renewed for more than 4 issues! Please support us world! Heart emoji.
MS: Are there any Easter Eggs or hidden gems that readers should look out for in Zodiac Starforce #1?
PG: If you follow my twitter you know I love Sailor Moon a LOT. So that’s all I’m gonna say. WINK.
MS: Can you give us some spoilers for upcoming Zodiac Starforce issues?
PG: YES! Wait no. No I can’t. Oh wait yes I can here: the girls will do some super awesome stuff and will only get more amazing. True fact. True spoiler.