By Ani Bundel
Doctor Who the TV series may be on hiatus, with Season 12 still filming for an expected 2020 debut. But at the Titan Comics Doctor Who panel featuring Jody Houser, the news was pouring out all over the place. The big story of the day was that there’s a brand-new crossover Doctor Who team-up coming to the Whoniverse at the start of next year. The Tenth Doctor and the Thirteenth Doctor will team up to save the universe from the Weeping Angels, with a little help from Dr. Martha Jones. It will be the main storyline kicking off Doctor Who Year Two, starting in January 2020.
But that wasn’t the only major reveal on the panel. Titan Comics Senior Creative Editor David Leach joked that the TV series might be moving away from the yearly Christmas Specials, but Titan is staying true to the New Who tradition. There will be a Doctor Who “The Thirteenth Doctor Christmas Special” edition coming this holiday season. All the dialogue boxes were removed from the artwork shown to preserve spoilers. But there was a glimpse of some very cross-looking toy soldiers ready to mess with anyone who got in their way.
Houser wasn’t the only one in the house to talk about her process of creating Doctor Who comics. Illustrator Roberta Ingranata and colorist Enrica Angiolini were also with her. As moderator, Leach took the audience through the process to explain how all three women worked together to create the comics. From Houser’s script pages to Ingranata’s pencil drawings, to Angiolini’s finalized images, there’s a lot that goes into the creation of these works of art.
And yet, these are works of art made under the license of the BBC. Therefore, everything comes with constraints. For Angiolini, that crops up mostly when it comes to the color of the character’s outfits, or the TARDIS. These are costumes and set pieces that must maintain a measure of quality control no matter what medium they appear in. Houser, too, finds sometimes she gets mysterious notes when she’s wandered off in a direction she wasn’t supposed to go. The BBC will tell her a specific character can’t wear a particular thing. She’s left wondering what precisely the show is up to that such a detail matters.
When it comes to their collaborative process, Houser loves to get both the illustrations in pencil and the colored panels as the process goes. But that’s partly because she just loves getting art in her email. But she admits that sometimes things have to happen sight unseen because of time constraints. Also, all three women run on completely different schedules. Houser is a night owl who has trouble working when the rest of the world is awake. Angiolini mentions she’s settled down at her computer by “half-past eight” in the morning with her tea, ready to rumble. Ingranata, it turns out, is a total morning person, admitting she can sometimes already be working by 6 a.m.
They also all have different favorite Doctors. Houser started with the Eighth Doctor, who she loved despite the movie being what it was. For Angiolini, it’s Peter Capaldi who is her favorite. “Well, if we’re going by favorites,” said Houser, “then mine’s the Tenth Doctor.” Well, that explains the upcoming crossover, now doesn’t it?
Doctor Who The Thirteenth Doctor: Year Two begins in January 2020.