This past April SYFY unveiled their newest TV show, and what a show it is! Wynonna Earp tells the story of 27-year old Wynonna who is tasked with killing the same people (who are now demons) that her great-grandfather Wyatt Earp killed some 100 plus years before her. The show is reminiscent of Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Veronica Mars.
Wynonna Earp has captured millions with its wit and strong female leads. It has built up a very strong fan base in just 13 weeks! A lot of that strength is from the cast and crew who live tweeting with the fans weekly! One of those people is Beau Smith who created the comic book series that the show is based on. The book was published by Image and now IDW! We had the honor of getting to talk to the man behind Wynonna Earp, the writer and creator Beau Smith.
Variety Beat: For our readers who don’t know, can you tell us a little bit about Wynonna Earp and what’s it’s about?
BEAU SMITH: As a U.S. Marshal, Wyatt Earp hunted down fugitives from the law in the old west. His great-Great granddaughter is a U.S. Marshal for the covert Black Badge Division of the U.S. Marshals. She hunts down Paranormal fugitives running from the law in present time, as well as placing others in the paranormal witness protection program. In her world, crime doesn’t pay, it just gets weird. It’s not been the easiest adjustment for Wynonna, you see, every morning, any side of the bed she gets up on is usually the wrong side. She not only works for the law, she has Murphy’s law working against her on a regular basis. It’s what makes Wynonna fun to be around. Nothing is normal…or boring.
VB: What has it been like revisiting Wynonna Earp as a character years after the original comic? And what has it been like merging the comic universe you created and the television world Emily Andras created into the brand new Wynonna Earp comic book series?
BS: It’s been a few years since the graphic novel, Wynnona Earp: The Yeti Wars. I’ve always written Wynonna at the peak of her Black Badge career at the age of 35 to say, 45. I feel that not enough comic books, films, TV shows and even prose, give enough spotlight to women after 40. That’s a real crime, because a majority of the women I know that age, and older, are the most interesting people you’d wanna meet and hang out with. As far as what it’s like merging my comic book universe with that television world that Emily Andras has created—It’s great! I now have the opportunity to create this hybrid world of what I created and what Emily created, and develop a world where long time, hardcore comic book readers of Wynonna Earp will get this “Wynonna Earp Year One” origin landscape and the TV viewers, some who have never read a comic book, will get something brand new, yet familiar, that they can enjoy and relate to as well. I’m trying to make this something for everyone. If the sales are any indication, then I’d say we’re pulling it off very well. I am so blessed to have been able to bake this bread, called Wynonna Earp, hand it over to Emily, and she then makes thousands of delicious sandwiches out of it and serves the world. Emily and her staff of writers as well as the cast and crew, have introduced Wynonna Earp to the world, and the world has embraced Wynonna and her family with open arms. I am so grateful to Emily for her brilliant writing, for “getting” Wynonna Earp, and for expanding her world for ours.
VB: I gotta ask, cause this seems to always come up in the live tweets. Tell us about getting to play with the flame thrower?
BS: I wish they would’ve handed it to me….Oh, the fun I could’ve had. Let me rephrase that, the trouble I could’ve caused. It happened that last December was when I was on the set of Wynonna Earp in Calgary, they were filming the main confrontation between main bad guy, Bobo Del Rey (Michael Eklund) and secondary villain, Constance Clootie (Rayisa Kondracki) There was liberal usage of an uzi and a military grade flame thrower. I was lucky enough to be there to witness the use of both. Made me feel like a 12 year old boy again. It was also very generous that director, Ron Murphy invited me to help him “direct” a scene. It was a great day for me, no doubt.
VB: It’s clear that the cast and crew adores you, as do the fans! You’re even known as Papa Earp to most of them! What has it been like experiencing the fandom, now that it’s a TV show and the live tweeting? How does it differ from the comic book community?
BS: It’s quite different. In one way, it’s more innocent, more accepting. I’ve been writing comic books for 30 years and before that, a member of the comic book fandom since I was in grade school. I have to say, this group of viewers and readers for Wynonna Earp is truly like an all forgiving, all accepting family. In the last year, the cast and crew have become family members of mine. I asked Ted Adams, CEO of IDW Publishing and IDW Entertainment, if it’s always like this with TV, he smiled and shook his head No. He said this is a very rare and a very special thing. I believe him. I don’t mean to sound all Pollyanna, because I’ve seen a lot in my 30 years in entertainment, but this really is love and a very special bunch of people, from on top with all the fans of the show, to the other end with me, the cast and crew. I’m so happy that I’ve gotten to experience this in my life time. So many of the viewers of Wynonna Earp have come and bought/read the comics, old and new, and they really love it. It makes my day, every day to hear from them and know that with Emily’s help, I’ve entertained some new friends.
VB: What’s next for you? More Wynonna Earp comics, Or do you have something else on the horizon?
BS: Yup! More Wynonna Earp Comics. We’re lined up through issue #12, I hope by then, they greenlight the second season and I can start on the next round of adventures I have for Wynonna in print. Trust me, you will see new characters, old characters and more from the TV screen on pages in full color. Another one of my comic book creations, COBB, is also in development for television. David Ozer, President of IDW Entertainment, has been working really hard in making Cobb kick down the door to the screen much as he did with Wynonna Earp. Cobb is a former Secret Service agent now off the government grid, dealing with loads of political intrigue, presidential elections and behind the scenes dealings that make what going on today look like play school. I’ve also got a turn of the century western in the works called 200 People To Kill.
VB: Is there anything you would like to say to the cast, crew and/or fans as the show comes to a close for this season?
BS: To the cast and crew, I love every one of you. To the fans: I love everyone of you. I’ve got open arms and a big heart, both open to all of you. The season finale is going to be wild, but a second season…will be wilder!
Wynonna Earp comic series can be found at your local comic store or online! Wynonna Earp airs it’s season Finale on SYFY channel this Friday at 10/9c! You can connect with Beau on twitter @beausmithranch and at his website flyingfistranch.com.
WATCH THE TRAILER FOR WYNONNA EARP