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A Train Called Love 1 NM Dynamite Garth Ennis Mark Item Name:
A Train Called Love 1 NM Dynamite Garth Ennis Mark
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A Train Called Love 1 NM Dynamite Garth Ennis Mark Dos Santos Cover A 1st print

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WRITER Garth Ennis
ARTIST Mark Dos Santos
SERIES of 10
PAGES 32 pages
COLOR Full Color

Valerie's getting dirty phone calls, but when she goes to take revenge she meets Myles, the man of her dreams. But Myles is up against Emil and Gustav, mentally unstable guns for hire. And Valerie's sister Penny's friend Marcy just wants to play her own songs, but no one in the bar tonight cares- least of all Penny's loser boyfriend Marv and his buddies Chip and Jev, who want their homeboy Mike to play the race card in a dubious scheme to get rich. But Mike has just fallen foul of a certain organisation with a lot of Ks in its name. And then there's Mister Fluffy.

"A Train Called Love is a story I've been wanting to tell for some time, largely because people keep asking me about doing a romance comic and the idea just wouldn't go away. This is what I came up with: guns, gangsters, mayhem, big white hoods, dubious films with horses, mad Germans, obscene phone calls, crazy ladies, total losers, hot chicks, dishy guys, movie stars, lots of narcotics, terrible bands from Williamsburg, taxidermy, incontinence, unrequited crushes, a big fluffy white rabbit and a rather unpleasant scene involving an escalator. Thus shall I explore the highs and lows of love." - Garth Ennis.

CBR News: In as much as it’s possible to describe, what’s the starting premise of “A Train Called Love”? Who are we following as the story kicks off?

Garth Ennis: Marcy can’t sing her own songs instead of the stupid list of covers they make her play, which is a damn shame because she’s quite a talent. Her best friend Penny’s loser boyfriend Marv has come up with a plan to get rich, but Penny just caught him doing something god-awful and his friends are all douchebags too — except maybe for Mike, but Mike’s just had a run-in with a certain hood-wearing organization with a lot of Ks in its name.

Penny’s sister Valerie has gone seeking vengeance for a mortal insult, which brings her face to face with handsome stranger Myles — who, sadly, has crazed German bastards Emil and Gustav Schmitt breathing down his neck. Mister Fluffy just wants a carrot. And waiting in the wings are Call-me-Dave, Huck Yeager, Beverly the horse-wanker and the not-very-nice Mister Monsta — the latter, bringing things full circle, is about to utterly ruin the lives of Marv and his goofs.

CBR: With an ensemble like this, it feels like there’s a huge, wild row of dominos for you to knock down — what kind of people are Valerie and Myles going to have to deal with as the series moves onwards?

GE: There’s the brothers Schmitt and their singular brand of Teutonic terror. There’s Mister Monsta, with his huge band of thugs, worryingly intimate FBI connections, and interest in taxidermy. And complicating things even further are Marv, Jev. Chip and Mike, the biggest bunch of no-hopers ever to bungle their way through a crime caper.

CBR: I suppose the character I most want to know more about is Mister Fluffy. This possibly counts as a “spoiler,” but… are you able to guarantee the personal safety of the bunny, for us?

GE: I don’t normally do this, but I’ll go as far as saying that it eventually comes down to Mister Fluffy or Mister Monsta. And one shall walk away.

CBR: Many of your characters in the past have held to the idea of love at first sight — is this the case here, as well? Once they meet, what are they like as a couple?

GE: That phrase does indeed come up. For it to work out for the couple concerned, they have to be slightly unbalanced — fortunately, that’s exactly what they are.

CBR: How’ve you found working with artist Mark Dos Santos?

GE: I was first introduced to Mark’s work at the Baltimore con last year. I was shown a rather nifty space hero poster he’d done, complete with square-jawed and barrel-torsoed protagonist, unspeakably vile baldy villain, drop-dead gorgeous heroine, rocket ships and blaster pistols, and I thought — that’s it. I’d actually already finished “A Train Called Love” at that point, pretty much written the whole thing without knowing who would draw it or in what style (I figured the right artist would come along later, because they usually do). So lo and behold, here was the artist I wanted, with just the style I immediately realized that the story needed. 

Mark’s work falls into a tradition that I’ve always enjoyed but have never really found the right project for. I think he was a bit surprised at first, because being a multitalented sort of chap he can draw in several different styles, and he thought I’d want something much more realistic. But I soon convinced him that this was the way to go. As I type this he’s halfway through issue #5, and I couldn’t be happier with what he’s done to date.

CBR: How do you plan structure of a series like “A Train Called Love”? Do you have ideas for characters and scenes separately which you weave together, or do you plan out the entire story ahead of writing the first page?

GE: A little of both. You have the broad structure planned out, but you want to leave yourself some breathing space for all the odd little ideas that the characters inspire as they develop.

CBR: Was returning to romance something you’d had in mind for a while?

GE: People kept asking me if I’d ever do a romance comic, some joking, some not. I’d usually say I already had and it was called “Preacher,” but secretly I did actually want to do a romance comic — it was just a case of waiting for the idea to develop. I suppose “A Train Called Love” has been cooking away at the back of my mind for the best part of five years now.

CBR: What is it about a romance story which works so strongly as a central narrative, do you think?

GE: Two people finding each other, as Billy Butcher said in “The Boys.” You want to believe that the characters in question will to be able make it work, probably because in your own life you want to do the same thing — or keep making it work if you already have.

CBR: There’s been a resurgence for romance comics recently. Do you think there’s a growing market out there for comics which return to more traditional genres like romance?

GE: I’ve no idea, you’d have to ask someone who keeps a better eye on the industry than I do. I’d imagine that whenever a romance comic appears someone asks that question, and if you cast your net wide enough you’ll find enough other examples of the genre to justify a yes.

CBR: You have books with a number of publishers at the moment, but Dynamite seems to be where you focus many of your creator-owned projects. Is that a conscious choice you make, to keep your comics independent?

GE: I tend to split my creator-owned projects fairly evenly between Dynamite (“Red Team,” “A Train Called Love,” “Battlefields,” “The Boys”) and Avatar (“Rover Red Charlie,” “Caliban,” “War Stories,” “Crossed”). As far as I can tell there are no real mainstream options for creator-owned work anymore; even if Marvel still does Icon, I think you have to be writing half a dozen of their regular books to get the deal, and Vertigo’s contracts are apparently a shadow of what they used to be.

I am exploring a couple of other homes for my creator-owned work, so watch this space.

CBR: How’ve you found working with Dynamite’s editorial? Do you find you have freedom to tell the story you want to tell, in the way you want to tell it?

GE: That’s pretty much what I do wherever I go, although I still encounter the occasional hiccup at Marvel and DC — not the indies, though. As far as Dynamite go; by this point we can pretty much read each other’s’ minds. Everyone trusts everyone else to simply get on with it.

“A Train Called Love,” by Garth Ennis and Mark Dos Santos, is scheduled to debut in October from Dynamite Entertainment.


Near mint, 1st printing.

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