ZOEMG #3 art by PJ Kaiowá

InterPop Comics Q&A: Danielle Paige Brings the Teen Angst to #ZoeMG

Danielle Paige is the series writer for InterPop’s fun teen-oriented digital comic series, #ZoeMG. She’s best known as the NYT bestselling author of the Dorothy Must Die series among numerous other fun fantasy novels. She’s also written the Mera: Tidebreaker original graphic novel for DC. Learn more about what she brings to the table for InterPop (spoiler: she brings quite a bit!) as well as her influences and favorite works!

InterPop: You’re best known for more mature and gothic transformations of characters like Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz in Dorothy Must Die, so #ZoeMG feels like quite a tonal shift for you. How were you able to get a handle on this upbeat, inquisitive hero?

Danielle: I got my start writing soap operas like Guiding Light and Days of Our Lives, both of which had their share of curious heroines. But I think for me Zoe comes from all the amazing kids I’ve gotten to meet as an author of Young Adult books, including bookstagrammers and Booktokers who really have taken the social media space and used it for good. I really loved getting to help shape Zoe. The spirit and tone of #ZoeMG shares some DNA with one of my favorite young superheroes, Peter Parker. Figuring out her power, and along the way discovering that what seems like a small gift might be the thing that saves the world. I think there is something so empowering about showing kids that they have more power than they ever imagined.

#ZoeMG #3 art by PJ Kaiowá

InterPop: How different is it for you to write comic scripts versus the prose that you’ve written up till now? Is it getting easier as you go?

Danielle: Scriptwriting was my first love. So comics feel like returning to that. But instead of having actors and actresses bring characters I write to life, I have PJ Kaiowá.

#ZoeMG #3 art by PJ Kaiowá

InterPop: No spoilers, but what can we expect will be challenging Zoe in upcoming issues?

Danielle: I think Zoe’s ultimate battle is with herself. Does she really want to be a hero? Is it okay to use her particular power considering that she is tinkering with free will? She’s also trying to figure out how to balance her real life with her hero life. Does she have to keep it a secret, when every emotion in her life has been written in her emojis?

#ZoeMG #3 art by PJ Kaiowá

InterPop: How has it been working with a rising talent like PJ Kaiowá?

Danielle: I am so in awe of PJ. His work is just so gorgeous and he brought Zoe to life with so much humor and heart.

#ZoeMG #3 art by PJ Kaiowá

InterPop: What attracted you to InterPop and its universe initially?

Danielle: Brian David-Marshall and I have been friends for years, and long before I wrote my first comic. We’ve been talking about finding something to do together, and when the Emergents Universe came up, I was thrilled to be invited to play a part. And I am so glad that Brian trusted me with Zoe.

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