Q: How are you feeling, now that after 12 years you’ve finally reached the most exciting arc in “Romance of Three Kingdoms” – the Battle of Red Cliff?
A: “The Battle of Red Cliff” arc has long been playing on repeat inside my head, so I know how it works. Maybe because I’ve plotted it out so early that it could no longer surprise nor move me. The Red Cliff arc is rather long, and its major battles will span multiple chapters. Hope everyone will like it.
Q: “Romance of Three Kingdoms” makes Zhuge Liang the main character of the Red Cliff arc, whereas Zhou Yu takes that role in the historical text. So… who will be the main character in the Ravages version? Will the addition of Sima Yi make it a triangular power-play?
A: After 12 years of syndication, the readers of Ravages should’ve realized that every character in the story is an important character – if merely differed in amount of screen time. Zhou Yu and Zhuge Liang will of course show up more for the Red Cliff arc, but as for any possible third party influence… just wait and enjoy the show.
Q: Even though many people clamored for the Red Cliff arc, there are also those who felt the Battle of Guandu deserved more chapters. Why did the Battle of Guandu seemed to end following Guo Jia’s death?
A: The Battle of Guandu might’ve been an important campaign in the Three Kingdoms epic, but even the most hardcore fans would get impatient with me if I had depicted its every single event. Ending it with Guo Jia’s death is not only because of my personal bias (preference?), but it also serves as a transition for the Cao camp toward the Red Cliff arc. One thing I’d like to share with you here: Yuan Fang’s monologue at the bottom of the cliff has been my best writing in recent years. The words flowed and it was beautiful. (self-praise, haha)
Q: Has Ravages deviated from your original creative plans after all these years? Or… has everything been within your calculation?
A: It went from my early commercial consideration to the now character-POV thinking, and from Wuxia to literature, yet all based on my own wishes. I noticed that the readers, following my every step, not only accepted how Ravages borrows from ancient wisdom and philosophy, but that they actively discuss them in various forums. I may hope to express such views through writing, but I must restrain myself since comics is a product for the masses. You can say that some are within my expectation, but I have my worries too.
Q: Will Unhuman’s character Wei Yan and the “unrevealed” wife of Zhuge Liang make an appearance in the Red Cliff arc?
A: The rule is still “only if the story calls for it.” These two characters have been requested the most in fanmail, and especially because Seventh has entered the scene. If they’re such long-awaited characters, then there must be a good act to accompany them. So please wait a bit longer. I’ve actually deleted many characters due to story’s demand, but fan favorites are lining up to make their appearance. Rest assured, fans of Lu Su and Wei Yan!
Q: When will there be the next in the light novel series written by Wang Yi Xing? Can you reveal the protagonist’s name?
A: The side story light novels have achieved both high praise and sales figure. Therefore Yi Xing and I are in agreement that we rather take a break until we find an exciting subject to write about. I know that the fans of the light novel series have been starved for the next book since last year’s premiere of “Feng Xiao”. We’re hoping to premiere the next in the series at this year’s book show (comic convention?). The outline is done, and I’ve asked Yi Xing to start writing as soon as he can. To the fans, we would like to make it worth your wait.
Q: Can you say a few words regarding the Ravages’ time travel novel “Lady Chan” (“Girl Chan”? “Female Chan”? “Chan the Girl”? “Girl Lovely“?) that’s about to premiere? Is it full of rumination? Or mostly a traditional romance story?
A: Over the years there has been a slew of fan creation for Ravages on the internet, and I was in awe of their high quality too. I believe Ravages belongs to everyone. Since many of the readers have creative and original ideas, why not go for a pleasant surprise that has never been done before? Xue Ji’s (“snow lady”) “Lady Chan” was born under such circumstances. It’s an epic that caters to a group of fans with “hardcore” taste (yaoi? sexual fantasy?)… This is only a beginning, a very interesting and brilliant beginning.
Q: Have you began to groom your son to follow in your footsteps?
A: I’m so glad that this question has now replaced the must-ask question of “who is the Eighth Genius.” Unfortunately I have yet to discover any artistic ability in him. Pity. (sigh)