Natacha Bustos and Brandon Montclare introduce a unique new character!
Fans of MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR know that Lunella Lafayette has had a crazy ride since hitting the scene as “The Smartest There I”s in the Marvel Universe. Her story will get even wilder soon, as she meets Girl-Moon, who might just be the daughter of a famous Living Planet you may have heard about, in issue #19, due out May 24.
We caught up with artist Natacha Bustos and writer Brandon Montclare about their experience creating this truly unique character.
Marvel.com: Natacha, could you tell us a little about your process designing Girl-Moon’s overall look?
Natacha Bustos: Girl-Moon doesn’t have the typical appearance of a moon. At first glance, she appears directly inspired by that extraordinary Georges Meilies movie “A Trip to the Moon.” But I also needed to give her more details since she orbits a very special planet in the Marvel Universe. So, in addition to the plains and craters characteristics of our moon, I added some alien planet imagery, which was super fun to draw.
Marvel.com: In the artwork we’ve seen, she seems to have very tranquil expressions, and Lunella doesn’t seem particularly intimidated by her. Would you say that’s an accurate description of her personality? How do you go about conveying that visually?
Natacha Bustos: Girl-Moon has the personal qualities typical of a child. I see her as kind of a naive and innocent girl, and sometimes naughty—and I wanted to reflect that visually. We decided that Girl-Moon’s face should look like that of a girl about the same age as Lunella. Sometimes she is smiling, but sometimes not. There’s a mystery behind her complicated family situation, and she feels very scared when Lunella first meets her. Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur will try to figure out how to help her.
Marvel.com: We’ve seen the Kree appear in MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR, but most of Lunella’s story has actually taken place in New York, and specifically around Yancy Street. How did you go about making this very different setting fit visually with the rest of the story?
Natacha Bustos: As the issue opens, Christmas is coming and we find Yancy Street full of ornaments and snowy roads. Then everything changes and we see all those alien visuals, typical of science-fiction. This transition occurs smoothly and naturally because we set this story arc in the winter, giving some of the magic and wonder of the season and providing the opportunity for extraordinary things to happen. I find it very refreshing to see these changes of scenery, and it makes the story very entertaining.
Marvel.com: Would you like to tell us anything else about this upcoming issue?
Natacha Bustos: I’ve always wanted to draw space stories because I am a big fan of the genre. I’ve especially always liked the scenery of space operas like “Flash Gordon” and “Barbarella.” With MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR, I wanted to do something similar, something between reality and the imaginary.
The space suit designs also play into this topic. Lunella’s suit takes inspiration from the aesthetic of the 70s and may be more or less “standard” if you compare it to the one Devil Dinosaur wears, which by the way is the most hilarious thing I’ve ever drawn!
Marvel.com: Brandon, can you talk about creating Girl-Moon—who could possibly be the mysterious daughter of Ego the Living Planet?
Brandon Montclare: In a funny way, she has a lot in common with Devil Dinosaur. A monstrous giant who can teach Lunella a lot about herself. And a lot like Lunella, I see her as a bit weird. Actually—really, really weird. But as Lunella tries to learn patience, hopefully the two of them can get along!
I also consider Girl-Mon precocious, and sometimes bratty. And she will present Moon Girl with her biggest science challenge yet.
Marvel.com: Lunella wants to take on big challenges right now, despite her age. So having her meet a living planet feels perfect; did that factor into the story for you at all?
Brandon Montclare: Yes! We have to go bigger to keep showing the readers that Lunella Lafayette truly lives up to the title of “The Smartest There Is.” But in a lot of ways, this arc tells a smaller story. After this whirlwind tour of the Marvel Universe that climaxes in issue #18, we’ll focus a lot on Moon Girl—and Devil Dinosaur—and take the time to reflect on how much she has changed since her introduction to the world.
Marvel.com: Girl-Moon seems like someone who could relate to Lunella, both sort of larger than life characters who may feel underestimated in some ways. Do you see any parallels?
Brandon Montclare: Girl-Moon is not subtle. I see her as a mirror of Moon Girl. Again, this encounter will give Lunella a chance to reflect on herself as a maturing hero. But as much as a mirror image is identical, it’s simultaneously the opposite. Plus, sometimes having too much in common with someone else leads to conflict instead of harmony. Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur are opposites who attract; her interaction with Girl-Moon, however, might result in some fireworks.
Get to know Girl-Moon in MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR #19 by Brandon Montclare and Natacha Bustos, coming May 24!