RICH INTERVIEWS: Joshua Malkin Co-Creator/Co-Writer for Unikorn

First Comics News: Why Unikorn and not Unicorn for the title?

Joshua Malkin: In our story, a Unikorn is a Unicorn that has had its horn removed, so that it can be hidden from those that would harm or exploit it. We got the idea after researching anti-poaching measures, specifically the removal of rhino horns and elephant tusks in Africa.

1st: How did you and Don Handfield come up with the abilities a unicorn has?

Joshua: The abilities evolved as the story evolved, little by little. We knew from the beginning that healing properties would be involved, which are associated with a lot of the underlying mythology. But we also knew we wanted to create a few surprises, and those were still coming together during the polishing/fine-tuning process.

1st: Who is the villain in the story?

Barca has been around a long, long time… and owes that extraordinary longevity to Unicorns.

1st: Why do all the pin-ups in the book have the unicorn being white while in the actual story he is black?

Joshua: We encouraged multiple artists to pursue their own takes, and honestly we’re surprised that so many of them gravitated toward a white horse. Maybe it’s because that seems to align with a lot of contemporary unicorn imagery… which in turn likely propelled us in a slightly different direction.

1st:What type of reader will love reading “Unikorn”?

Joshua: We certainly designed the book with younger/middle readers in mind, but think there’s something in there for everyone. The books we loved most as kids – Watership Down, Charlotte’s Web, Black Beauty – genuinely spoke to young and old alike.

1st: How did writing “The Source” differ from writing “Unikorn”?

The Source mythology allowed deep dives into as many geeky-rabbit holes as we could find. Reference after reference. With Unikorn we really grappled with keeping things functionally and mythologically simple.

1st: Will “Unikorn” ever become a movie and how would you feel about that?

“Ecstatic” would be an understatement. The film is currently in development, and we have a dreams-come-true director attached, Debbie Berman – who edited Captain Marvel and Black Panther. She has been a fantastically additive element, not just to the movie adaptation but to the story and experience overall.

How do two people write a comic book?

Joshua: Patiently! A lot of conversation. A lot of careful planning, outlining, and pre-writing. A lot of “divide and conquer.” A lot of late nights on the phone.

1st: How is writing “Knightfall” different than working on “Unikorn”?

Joshua: I didn’t have the opportunity to collaborate on Knightfall.

1st: How would you react to seeing a real live unicorn?

Joshua: I would ask it lots and lots of questions. But first I’d wonder how I managed to find one, it’s no easy feat!

1st: What will you be working on next?

Joshua: More Unikorn! There are two additional volumes planned – and we’re incredibly excited to keep the story going.

1st: How has writing enriched your life?

It has made me a better thinker. A better partner. A better parent. Heck, a better human being – more patient, more observant, and far more grateful.

Do you have anything to say to the readers of this comic?

Thank you so much for giving our book a chance, and I’m so hopeful that it resonates!

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