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Interview: Witness The Uprising in 'Animal Castle'

Interview by Troy-Jeffrey Allen

Animal Castle from Ablaze 

On the farm, all animals were equal. In the Castle, some are more equal than others.

Arriving this December from publisher Ablaze, Animal Castle (OCT211041) picks up where Orwell's Animal Farm left off. But don't assume too much about where this four-legged uprising is going, because Animal Castle is determined to surprise you. 

In the following interview, series writer Xavier Dorison explains to us why this long-gestating passion project is perfect for anyone who loved Stray Dogs, We3, Beasts of Burden, or Animosity... 

Animal Castle from Ablaze

PREVIEWSworld: So what is Animal Castle? Immediately, the concept brings to mind Animal Farm or Charolette's Web. What can you tell us without spoiling it? 

Xavier Dorison: One could say that Animal Castle begins where Animal Farm ends.  The characters and setting differ but the struggle against a dictatorship ruled by an iron fist –sorry, “a steel hoof” – by the bull Silvio and his dog militia is familiar.  For our main character Miss B, a mother cat, and all the other animals, the days come down to work, work, and more work resulting only in exhaustion and an empty stomach. While the story opens with a revolt being put down violently, it sets the stage for the appearance of Azelar a stranger to the Animal Castle with a new message of revolt.  Inspired by Azelar, the animals decide to launch a revolution absent of hatred or violence but led by humor, non-violence…and civil disobedience!

PREVIEWSworld: What made you want to focus on a world that man has forgotten? 

Animal Castle from Ablaze

Xavier Dorison: The world of the “Castle” is that of a fairy tale, by focusing on a world outside humans paradoxically it allows one to comment on our human society, creating a story that is representative of everyone and as universal as possible.

PREVIEWSworld: Tell us about Azelard. Why do we follow this rat through this story?  

Xavier Dorison: What makes the character so fascinating is his ability to shed light on human truths, especially in his understanding of the fears in all of us, including his enemies, and his talent for smashing clichés and lies around the use of "force" as the only tool of social regulation.

Animal Castle from Ablaze

PREVIEWSworld: What about “President Silvio?”


Xavier Dorison: He is the archetypal political leader who needs to bulge out his chest, crush the weak or threaten others with his power.  Basically, his methods and beliefs only condemn him and prove to be a pathetic way to hide his own fears and frustrations...  He is a leader who, curiously, is becoming more and more fashionable these days...

PREVIEWSworld: It sounds like Silvio is destined to encounter a conflict with Alezard. Is this a clash of ideals or something else entirely? 

Xavier Dorison: What chance does a tiny mouse have against a huge bull?  None. And yet...

PREVIEWSworld: How did you and artist Felix Delep get involved with Animal Castle? Did you both come up with the idea together or did one person approach the other?  

Animal Castle from Ablaze

Xavier Dorison: I wrote the script and searched for an "ideal" artist for years. I refused many offers before discovering Felix's work and immediately fell in love with his art. From that moment, we have worked together to create the world of “Animal Castle”.

PREVIEWSworld: Looking forward, what can readers expect from Animal Castle

Animal Castle from Ablaze

Xavier Dorison: Laughter, tears, worries, and excitement! But beyond that, a story that shows a slightly different way of approaching and confronting situations where injustice seems to prevail.

PREVIEWSworld: In terms of audience, who is Animal Castle for? 

Xavier Dorison: The series includes some violent moments, necessary to depict the danger faced by our characters. It is, therefore, contrary to what one might think at first glance, not intended for young children. However, for a 12 or 13 years old, it is suitable and for older readers!

Animal Castle from Ablaze

Keep an eye on PREVIEWSworld.com's TwitterFacebookYouTube, or Instagram for more.

Animal Castle (OCT211041) hits comic shops on December 1st from Ablaze. Preorder your copy today with PREVIEWSworld Pullbox!  

ABLAZE
ANIMAL CASTLE #1 CVR A FELIX DELEP MAIN CVR
(W) Xavier Dorison (A/CA) Felix Delep
On the Farm all animals were equal.
In the Castle some are more equal than others.
For fans of the bestselling Stray Dogs and the Eisner Award winning Beasts of Burden comes an animal fable at once familiar and surprising!   You may think you know the story but set aside your assumptions, this animal uprising is unlike any you have read!
Nestled in the heart of a farm forgotten by men, the Animal Castle is ruled with an iron hoof by President Silvio. The bull and its dog militia savor their power, while the other animals are exhausted by work, until the arrival of the mysterious Azelard, a traveling rat who will teach them the secrets of civil disobedience.
In Shops: Dec 01, 2021
SRP: $3.99
PREVIEWS Page #210

ABLAZE
ANIMAL CASTLE #1 CVR B DELEP MISS BANGALORE & KIDS VAR
(W) Xavier Dorison (A/CA) Felix Delep
On the Farm all animals were equal.
In the Castle some are more equal than others.
For fans of the bestselling Stray Dogs and the Eisner Award winning Beasts of Burden comes an animal fable at once familiar and surprising!   You may think you know the story but set aside your assumptions, this animal uprising is unlike any you have read!
Nestled in the heart of a farm forgotten by men, the Animal Castle is ruled with an iron hoof by President Silvio. The bull and its dog militia savor their power, while the other animals are exhausted by work, until the arrival of the mysterious Azelard, a traveling rat who will teach them the secrets of civil disobedience.
In Shops: Dec 01, 2021
SRP: $3.99
PREVIEWS Page #210

ABLAZE
ANIMAL CASTLE #1 CVR C BLANK SKETCH (MR)
(W) Xavier Dorison (A) Felix Delep (CA) Blank Sketch Cover
The Blank Cover Edition - available as a variant for ANIMAL CASTLE #1 - features the same great story and art, but with a blank wraparound cover for you to get your favorite artist to draw their own cover!
On the Farm all animals were equal.
In the Castle some are more equal than others.
For fans of the bestselling Stray Dogs and the Eisner Award winning Beasts of Burden  comes an animal fable at once familiar and surprising!   You may think you know the story but set aside your assumptions, this animal uprising is unlike any you have read!
Nestled in the heart of a farm forgotten by men, the Animal Castle is ruled with an iron hoof by President Silvio. The bull and its dog militia savor their power, while the other animals are exhausted by work, until the arrival of the mysterious Azelard, a traveling rat who will teach them the secrets of civil disobedience.
In Shops: Dec 01, 2021
SRP: $10.00
PREVIEWS Page #210

****

Troy-Jeffrey Allen is the producer and co-host of PREVIEWSworld Weekly. He is also the Consumer Marketing Manager for Geppi Family Enterprises. Troy's comics work includes MF DOOM: All Caps, Public Enemy's Apocalpyse '91, the Glyph Award-nominated Fight of the Century, the Harvey Award-nominated District Comics, and the Ringo Award-nominated Magic Bullet.

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