Steven Universe may have long breaks between new episodes, but fans now have a way to get their Crystal Gem fix courtesy of KaBOOM!
The BOOM! Studios imprint will be publishing an ongoing comic series based on the popular Cartoon Network show, written by Melanie Gillman (As the Crow Flies), with Katy Farina (The Amazing World of Gumball) doing the art.
And much like the show, the comic will follow the adventures of Steven Universe, the youngest member of the Crystal Gems, a group of gem-themed beings who save Beach City from the various troubles that befall it.
With the new series set to launch Feb. 8, EW caught up with Gillman and Farina to talk about the new series, and what it’s like writing a Steven Universe comic.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How familiar were you with the show before you started working on it?
GILLMAN: Very familiar. Like, singing “Stronger Than You” in the shower familiar.
FARINA: My partner and I watch the episodes as they’re aired and have been following all the comics as well!
When in the TV series’ timeline is this ongoing series set?
GILLMAN: We’ll be keeping it roughly within the same timeframe as the newest episodes. The new stories we’re writing for the comics are more like little vignettes about the lives of the characters, rather than big important plot points that will have a major effect on events in the show.
What’s it like creating a comic based on this show in particular?
GILLMAN: It’s a lot of fun! The show has such a huge, great cast; there are a lot of possibilities for telling new stories about them. As a queer, nonbinary person, too, I’m over the moon that I get to write so many canon LGBTQ characters, especially for a kids’ series.
FARINA: I have to echo Melanie here. It’s a total blast. As a queer woman, it’s an honor to work on a series that means so much to so many people. This is the kind of content I needed as a kid, and I’m so glad to work on a series that already is helping kids out there.
The show tackles tough topics amid all the adventures. Will that be something you’ll be doing in this ongoing series?
GILLMAN: For some of the comics, absolutely. One of the things I love about Steven Universe is the way it manages to balance the tough, painful topics with fun, affirming stories. That’s something I’m working to replicate in the comics. The stories in the comics are all primarily character-driven, so I’m seeing the series as an opportunity to delve a little deeper into many of the relationships in the show—good and bad and in-between.
Considering the show sometimes has big reveals every now and then, do the show’s writers keep you informed of things like that so you can factor it into your stories?
GILLMAN: [Laughs] So far, no! I keep up with new episodes as they’re released to the public. I do my best to make sure the stories I write in the comics won’t step on the show writers’ toes, though, or cover any territory I think they’re going to want to tackle themselves down the road.
How would you describe this series to new readers who might not be familiar with the show?
GILLMAN: To borrow an excellent summary or sales pitch from counselor to the president, Kellyanne Conway: It’s a cartoon with a bunch of lesbian moms, and people like her think you shouldn’t let your kids watch it.
FARINA: Melanie nailed it!
Steven Universe #1 goes on sale Feb. 8. You can get an exclusive first look at the covers and the first few pages right here.