Smash Pages Q&A: Johnnie Christmas on ‘Crema,’ coffee, romance and ghosts

The creator of ‘Firebug,’ ‘Sheltered,’ ‘Tartarus’ and other comics discusses ‘Crema,’ his collaboration with artist Dante Luiz for comiXology Originals.

Johnnie Christmas is best known for his recent work like Catbird Angel, a collaboration with Margaret Atwood, and William Gibson’s Alien3, which he drew and adapted from Gibson’s original film script. Christmas has also made comics like Firebug and Sheltered, and is currently writing the comic Tartarus, which comes out from Image Comics.

Crema came out recently from comiXology Originals, and the romance comic involves coffee – no surprise, given the title. A romantic ghost story, it involves Esme, a New York barista who can see ghosts, and Yara, a Brazilian model who is the heiress to a coffee plantation. It is a love story set in New York and Brazil involving Yara’s family and legacy. The collaboration with artist Dante Luiz is charming and sweet and strange and beautiful, and as we talked about, there’s a lot happening that’s unsaid and under the surface of events.

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Coffee, ghosts + romance: Christmas + Luiz team for ‘Crema’

The graphic novel by Johnnie Christmas, Dante Luiz and Ryan Ferrier arrives from comiXology Originals next week.

ComiXology Originals will drop another new graphic next week titled Crema. The digital release is by the creative team of Johnnie Christmas (Tartarus), Hugo-Award finalist Dante Luiz and letterer Ryan Ferrier.

“I wrote most of it in coffee shops around Vancouver, pounding copious amounts of caffeine and listening to hours of cafe talk,” Christmas said. “Dante’s art is beautiful. We were going for magical realism and fabulism in the modern context, utilizing color shifts in places to further heighten romance and ghostly terror.”

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