The Denver Post - - LIFE & CULTURE -

price of be­ing hu­man. You can avoid think­ing about it for a while if you want, but it’s al­ways there.”

To cre­ate “Pretty Deadly,” DeCon­nick and Rios mostly com­mu­ni­cate elec­tron­i­cally — DeCon­nick is based in Ore­gon, and Rios works from her na­tive Spain — so they chat of­ten via e-mail, Slack and Pin­ter­est.

Rios said“Pretty Deadly” has been in­tense and re­ward­ing.

“‘Pretty Deadly’ is a dif­fi­cult book (to draw), and it’s al­ways chal­leng­ing,” Rios says. “But Kelly Sue and I are really close af­ter all this time work­ing to­gether.”

DeCon­nick says that work­ing with Rios has been an “in­cred­i­ble ex­pe­ri­ence,” and that it was her hus­band, writer Matt Frac­tion, who con­vinced her that it was worth check­ing in with Rios and to see whether she’d like to col­lab­o­rate on a cre­atorowned project.

“The thing is, this is very much a cre­ative part­ner­ship. We de­vel­oped this book in tan­dem,” DeCon­nick says. “I have the last word on words. She has the last word on pic­tures.

DeCon­nick thinks that there’s never been a bet­ter time for her to dive into cre­ator-owned works such as “Pretty Deadly.” It is im­por­tant for writ­ers and artists to own their own prop­er­ties when the op­por­tu­nity presents it­self, she says. And she con­sid­ers her­self and Frac­tion quite for­tu­nate to have a sig­nif­i­cant au­di­ence in­ter­ested in the sto­ries they tell.

“This in­dus­try is a very tricky bal­anc­ing act. Ev­ery­body has an invisible ex­pi­ra­tion date on their fore­head, and you have to plan for that,” she con­tin­ues. “You have to keep your­self hon­est. You have to keep fol­low­ing your pas­sions so you don’t get stale and they don’t tire of you any sooner than they’re go­ing to any­way.”

As far as DeCon­nick is con­cerned, the writ­ing is on the wall when it comes to work­ing in the comic­book in­dus­try; Steady work and pop­u­lar­ity are not promised.

“As much as we may love the peo­ple that we work with at Marvel and DC and the ex­pe­ri­ences that we’ve had there — and it’s been a tremen­dous honor — cor­po­ra­tions don’t love you back, and they won’t pay for your re­tire­ment,” DeCon­nick says.

Not to say that DeCon­nick doesn’t miss her main­stream su­per­hero days. She’s es­pe­cially sen­ti­men­tal when it comes to her time writ­ing “Cap­tain Marvel.”

“I love Carol Dan­vers very much. She was like a friend that lived in my head for a few years,” DeCon­nick says. “

But DeCon­nick con­tin­ues to tell her­self that now is not the time for her to re­turn to such cor­po­ra­te­owned ti­tles.

“It doesn’t make sense for me right now as a bread­win­ner,” DeCon­nick says. “I’m not the bread­win­ner in my fam­ily, but I am a bread­win­ner in my fam­ily. It’s not wise at this par­tic­u­lar mo­ment in my ca­reer.”

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