Interview: Vita Ayala Talks ‘Livewire’ #1 [NYCC 2018]

Vita Ayala Livewire, Livewire #1, Valiant

(Courtesy of Valiant Entertainment)

Straight from New York Comic Con 2018, Villain Media has an exclusive interview with writer Vita Ayala discussing the upcoming Livewire #1 (Valiant Entertainment). Discover how Amanda “Livewire” McKee will become Valiant’s most important player in her first-ever solo series!

Accomplice. Mentor. Savior. And now, Enemy of the State. Seeking to protect other vulnerable super-powered psiots like herself, Livewire plunged the United States into a nationwide blackout with her technopathic abilities, causing untold devastation. After choosing the few over the many, she must now outrun the government she served — and those she once called allies. With the whole world hunting her, what kind of hero will Livewire be…or will she be one at all?

Before Livewire #1 hits stores on December 19th, writer Vita Ayala reveals how the new ongoing project came about, collaborating with artists Raúl Allén and Patricia Martín, and what readers should expect from the first installment. Make sure you check up on our review after the interview!

LIVEWIRE #1 – Cover B by Harvey Tolibao

Villain Media: How did the project come about?

Vita Ayala: I knew [former Valiant Executive Editor] Joe [Illidge] from his days at Lion Forge. Joe always wanted us to work together. Joe reached out to me after going over to Valiant, “I can’t guarantee anything at all but I’d love to hear what you would do with the character.” After sending over a pitch, “All right, we’re looking into some people.” They ended up liking the pitch, the direction. 

VM: Tell me about working with artists Raúl Allén and Patricia Martín.

VA: They’re amazing; absolutely amazing! We correspond over email because they’re over in Spain. They are always up to talking about detail stuff. They ask me questions. I ask them questions, talking about future issues. I’m writing something now. It’s a really collaborative and supportive relationship. They’ve been working on the character for a while now. They know Livewire very well. They are very open to what I want to do.

LIVEWIRE #1 – Interior Art by Raúl Allén & Patricia Martín

VM: There was a preview of Livewire #1 being passed around at New York Comic Con. What’s that like having your work seen by literally thousands of New Yorkers?

VA: It’s awesome! I’m New York, born and bred. It’s surreal to have such an important character being featured at my hometown. Like, that is so cool! People are walking around with the preview! I wrote that! They have it in their hands!

LIVEWIRE #1 – Interior Art by Raúl Allén & Patricia Martín

VM: Having read the first issue, the opening pages has so many layers. It’s a conspiracy thriller with a strong yet flawed female protagonist. What excites you about readers picking up the first issue?

VA: What you said is what I’m really excited about! I’m really excited for people to see a title character like her, who is flawed and complex. There are no simple answers in this universe. I’m really excited for people to connect with Livewire because of that.

VM: How did the first issue change you as a writer?

VA: That’s a really good question! It definitely made me more aware of using the space to the maximum. I’ve written a lot of short stories. It wasn’t completely unfamiliar. Joe and that issue taught me about the value of each page, its placement in the issue. Page one has to be this. Page two has to be this. Page three really has to be this. It taught me a lot about pacing and a lot about where to put the emotional beats physically.

LIVEWIRE #1 – Interior Art by Raúl Allén & Patricia Martín

VM: Livewire #1 comes out in December. Do you recommend the first issue as a Christmas present for new readers?

VA: Yeah! It’s very new reader friendly! We really wanted to invite people who never read Valiant books, or comics before, to come into our universe and get to know this character. If you’re already familiar into the character, it’s still going to be rich and really meaningful. If you’re interested in the stories that we’re telling, come and pick it up!

VM: What other projects are you working on now?

VA: I’m working on Magic Gathering for IDW. I’m working on Black AF Devils Dye, which is a spinoff of the BLACK series, for Black Mask. And I have my two creator-owned series, The Wilds and Submerged.

LIVEWIRE #1 – Interior Art by Raúl Allén & Patricia Martín

Livewire #1 hits stores on December 19th, 2018.

[Writer’s Note: This interview has been edited for clarity. Links are highlighted in bold.]

By Jorge Solis

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