Assassin’s Apprentice: Jody Houser and Robin Hobb Break Down the Launch of the ‘Farseer Trilogy’ Adaptation
Dark Horse Comics is set to bring Robin Hobb‘s ‘Farseer Trilogy’ to comic book fans as they release the new adaptation titled Assassin’s Apprentice. The six-issue miniseries will bring life to Hobb’s first novel of the same name. It will be exciting to see the best-selling and influential series reach fans in new ways.
Fantasy novels are a perfect genre to dive into and bring the visual guidance and level of artistic flair we see in comics. As a fan of the novel series, it will be a welcome new adventure to revisit this wonderful world that Hobb created with new roads paved by the superstar creative team made up of writer Jody Houser, artist Ryan Kelly, colorist Jordie Bellaire, and letterer Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou.
Houser and Hobb took the time to answer some of our questions about the series. Check it out below and be sure to pick up your copy of Assassin’s Apprentice #1 when it arrives at your favorite local comic shop and digitally on December 14, 2022.
GN: Robin, the series has been such a big part of you creatively. What has been your overall feeling seeing the series adapted into a comic?
Hobb: In the course of this interview, you will discover that Jody and Ryan did all the heavy lifting, and I sat back and admired their work! So, for me, the adaptation has been virtually effortless. It’s been a pleasure to watch it all evolve, and I’ve seen drafts and rough sketches along the way. But my overall reaction has been enjoyment at watching it evolve.
GN: Jody, on your end, you’re no stranger to adapting other mediums and stories into comics. Anything about this series that stood out to you or really excited you?
Houser: While I’ve adapted a few novels before, I haven’t gotten to really dig into a fantasy book world before. I’d randomly found and read Assassin’s Apprentice years before, and loved how deeply the history and politics were woven into the the world and its particular magic. It’s also not very often I get to speak directly with the creator of the characters and the world I’m working on, to make sure I’m not ruining everything!
GN: Can you share a bit about your process? Specifically how you balance turning this series into an entry point for a new wave of fans and also staying true to longtime fans and readers of the series.
Houser: There’s a bit of comics wisdom that says every comic is someone’s first. I’ve found that especially true with titles like this, that inspire fans to check out a new medium. So I always try to balance the fact that some readers will be new to the story, and some will be new to reading comics. The objective is to create something both groups will understand and enjoy.
Hobb: Oh, I like Jody’s answer. And I will say that from my glimpses, she and Ryan have done a remarkable job of following the story as I wrote it. I think readers who enjoyed the novels in the original form are going to be greatly pleased by that. And I think readers who have been with me are going to be interested to see how Ryan sees Fitz and Buckkeep.
GN: Were there any elements of the series that you felt were key to include in the comic series and on the other side of things, were there any elements that proved challenging when trying to implement them in the comic adaptation?
Houser: I was especially excited to write the Fool, and really play with the visuals of such a strange character imparting wisdom and warnings in often unsettling ways. Working out how to visualize two different forms of magic is definitely a challenge, but luckily Ryan and Jordie are an amazing team.
Hobb: There is so much in Assassin’s Apprentice that is referenced later in the other two books of the trilogy, and of course much farther down the line in The Liveship Traders and in, well, all of the Realm of the Elderlings books that followed. I think the Dark Horse team has done a great job of touching on all those bits and pieces. There are a lot of bits that don’t seem significant in this first book, but in the later pieces of the story, they are important. Keeping those in was essential. I think they did a great job.
GN: There is a vast universe to explore within the series, any plans or intrigue to explore or expand with the original spin-off series, possibly try your hand at writing comics, Robin?
Houser: My focus is currently on this book, but can’t wait to see how far this world can expand into comics!
Hobb: I know that some novelists also excel at screenwriting or comics or even drawing and painting. But me, I’m a one-trick pony. I write books and short stories. I have so many ideas for those in my brain and in short summaries on my computer that I know I will never be able to write them all. So, rather than try to learn a new skill set (and I consider writing for comics to be a very specific and intricate skill set) I’m going to keep doing what I do best.
GN: Anything you’d both like to share with both longtime readers and newcomers about Assassin’s Apprentice?
Houser: I hope longtime fans will feel we’ve done justice to the world, and newcomers will find a new story to love!
Hobb: I think I can whole-heartedly assure readers of the novels that the story and the characters are in good hands for this adaptation, and they will not be disappointed. To newcomers, welcome! And I hope you enjoy yourself in this world.
Source: Dark Horse