Thursday, September 9, 2010

A "thrilling" interview with Stefan Petrucha

Today is the time of the thriller writer Stefan Petrucha.

Stefan Petrucha is born on 27th January of 1959. Since 1980s, he writes stories for Comic-books and, in 1993, he writes his first Disney story, called “Culture Shock” and drawn by Jaime Diaz
Studio. Stefan is married to Sarah Kinney, another Disney Comics writer.

Stefan has also invented his own fantasy and sci-fi titles as “Counterparts”, “Meta-4”, “In the Dark, Squalor).
He's also begun his career as a technical writer for the computer industry in the mid 1980s. His work for Egmont is ended. Recently, he drew a Harry Potter's parody called “Harry Potty”.


THE INTERVIEW
                                 by Simone L. Cavazzuti


What kind of stories you prefer writing?

Stefan: With Egmont/Disney, the characters are so well known, I tried to focus on things that, at
least as far as I knew, hadn’t been done before. I do prefer the characters who have clear flaws,
which makes it easier to build stories around them.

What's your favorite Disney story you wrote?

Stefan: I don’t remember the name, but it’s a very short one, and completely bizarre. Mickey and
Goofy find a piece of Mickey’s wall behind the couch that comes loose like a puzzle piece. There’s
a big void on the other side. Mickey is frantic to plug the gap, but Goofy can’t help himself and
starts pulling puzzle pieces out. Soon all Duckburg is crumbling into puzzle pieces, leaving an
existential abyss behind. I liked it, anyway!

What Disney character do you like the most?

Stefan: I’ve always had a soft spot for Horace, he’s a bit of a rake, morally dubious at times, but not
as bright as he thinks, which lends itself nicely to some very funny situations.

Have you ever tried to draw Disney charachters?

Stefan: Nope!

In your "Back In The Box", they're shown many Barks' and not evil characters, is that an your
idea?

Stefan: The artist, Flemming Andersen, may have stuck in all sorts of evil characters in the scene
where the villains bid on the box, but I don’t think that was in my script. I liked that story a lot,
since, like my other favorite, the problem come right out of a very human/Donald Duck quality –
curiosity.

We can see in "The Goldenfish Rule",  "With A Duck-Duck Here" and other stories by you that not-antropomorphized animals can speak. In the second case is thank to a meteorite, in the first not. Why
is Mickey in the second surprised about that and in the first instead, all Mouseton believe in the
Golden Fish speech?

Stefan: Animals don’t generally speak in Mickey’s world, so of course it’s always a surprise. But
when an animal does talk, why wouldn’t you believe it?

Talk about your "Steamboat Willies" idea.

Stefan: Mickey has a very rich history and has changed in subtle and not-so-subtle ways. Because
he’s so incredibly famous, I like to play around with his image. As a result, I’ve done various stories
where he’s “met himself” in different forms, from clones (All of Me) to twins (Through a Mickey
Darkly). Along those lines, I thought it’d be fun to contrast him with his original “self” from his
first B&W cartoon, Steamboat Willy. After that, the story just suggested itself.

Talk about your idea of Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck.

Stefan: I have to admit, Mickey has always been the toughest Disney character for me to write. I
think the best stories are based on weaker personality traits, so you can show some growth or
change in the character. Mickey, well, he’s a pretty nice guy who likes adventure, kind of an
everyman. That made it tough for me to put him at the emotional center of a story. Donald on the
other hand, has parenting issues, money issues, self-worth issues, arrogance issues, all kinds of
things that can get him into odd spots, making it easier to build a story arc. That’s one of the reasons
a lot of the Mickey stories I did played more with his image than his personality. My Donald stories
are the other way around.

How would you define Goofy and Fethry?

Stefan: Goofy is a hoot – my editors have told me he’s not dumb, he just thinks differently from
everyone else. Okay, yes, he does think differently from everyone else, but let’s face it, he’s also not
the brightest person in town. That combination lends itself to a lot of fun and surreal ideas. Put
Mickey in a room with a glass of water and not much will happen. Put Goofy in a room with a glass
of water and he may decide that there’s a microscopic civilization in the water and it’s up to him to
save it.

If  Horace is a greedy version of Goofy, then cousin Fethry is pretty much Goofy with a political
agenda. He’s a true believer, more in love with believing something than with what he happens to
believe at the time. From all their personalities, it’s very easy to see what kind of stories would
work with them.

The questions got to an end, but if you want to tell us something about your career or your
biography, you're absolutely free...

Stefan: My work with Egmont is at an end, but I’m still doing a lot of exciting material. In terms of
comics, there are the Nancy Drew Graphic Novels from Papercutz. I also have a Harry Potter
parody coming out this month – Harry Potty and the Deathly Boring.

But my book writing is really taking off. Also this month, Paranormal State: My Journey Into the
Unknown is coming out. It’s based on the hit reality series on A&E, and co-written with the star,
Ryan Buell. I’ve also been appearing on a few episodes for the new season, helping the
investigators with some research, so it’s like a whole second career. Last but not least, my first
vampire novel, Blood Prophecy, is coming out in October from Grand Central Publishing – and it’s
already earned a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly. So…. I’ve been keeping busy!

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