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By the Power of Astra! Interview with Kevin Panetta and Paulina Ganucheau

Although my heart may have broken when the super cute, super charming Zodiac Starforce wrapped up a few weeks back, I have since been lucky enough to have a little chat with Kevin Panetta and Paulina Ganuchea. the writer and artist team responsible for one of my favorite books, and find out more about what the future holds for Zodiac Starforce, Kevin and Paulina’s favourite WWE superstars, and just who deserves the credit for all of those amazing outfits.

tumblr_nnkz51Yr2H1sp8i91o1_500So while I and most of the right thinking world are huge fans of Zodiac Starforce, could you please, for the sake of anyone who has spent the last couple of months living in the wilderness, tell us what it’s all about?

Kevin Panetta: Sure! First of all, welcome back from the wilderness! I hope things didn’t get too Revenant-y in your time out there. But, yeah…Zodiac Starforce is about a group of high school girls with magical powers! They defeated the biggest baddest evilest goddess of all time two years ago and since then, they’ve drifted apart as teammates and friends. Zodiac Starforce #1 kicks off with an unexpected event that brings them back together!

Paulina Ganucheau: Exactly. A rad magical girl team fighting evil, reconnecting as friends and teammates!

The response so far has been incredible, especially with regards to all the starsonas popping up all over twitter and tumblr. Did you anticipate that you would get such an amazing reaction?

P: Not at all! The starsonas were such an overwhelming and wonderful surprise! I loved seeing how many people jumped on to do one. I wish I could have a whole book of just fanart and starsonas from the wonderful fans!

What is it that drew you to the magical girl genre and who, pre-Zodiac Starforce, is your favourite magical girl?

P: Well, I’ve been swimming in this genre since I was a wee one and like so many other people it was Sailor Moon who drew me there! And not to be boring, but Sailor Moon is my favorite. I can’t help it! She’s so pure and genuine. Fighting with the power of love and light. I adore that bun head.

ZS_promotional_mockup_Paulina_verCompared with the majority of the magical girl manga/anime, and team books in general, Zodiac Starforce is super diverse. Not only does each character have a noticeably different personality type and style but they all have differing ethnicities and body types too. Was this a conscious decision or something that came more naturally?

P: Definitely naturally. Who wants to see the same type of girl cookie cuttered over and over. Especially in a team book. We wanted to give everyone the chance to see themselves in these girls!

Speaking of style, the costumes are ace. Was that a team effort because I need to know in which direction I should be pointing my affections?

P: I remember us both agreeing on sneakers and shorts, but the rest is just me barfing designs on the page.

While we are on the topic, which character is your favourite? And none of that ‘I love all my children equally’ stuff!

K: I do NOT love all my children equally! Kim is my favorite. She’s tough and funny, she has great taste in music and movies, and she has a cool denim battle jacket with spikes on it!

P: Ahahaha, I really do love them all, but I’m not gonna play that game. I love Emma! And I love Lily. And Molly. Okay, don’t make me pick one between those three.

Zodiac Starforce makes a few references to pro-wrestling, who is your favourite wrestler?

K: 80s – Macho Man Randy Savage, early 90s – Bret Hart, late 90s…ummm…THIS IS A HARD QUESTION. Right now my faves are Seth Rollins and New Day!


What are you reading at the moment? Any recommendations to fill the soon to be Zodiac Star28945force shaped hole in our hearts?

K: There are SO MANY good comics coming out right now! Monstress, Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, Hellcat, Paper Girls, Saga. Jem, All-New Wolverine. I LOVE THEM ALL. Oh…I also just read a fantastic comic called Another Castle. It’s drawn by the SEVERELY TALENTED artist, Paulina Ganucheau. Keep an eye on her. She’s gonna be big.

P: Kevin pretty much covered it. That’s like exactly what I’m reading right now too, haha. And YES! Please read my other book Another Castle by me and Andrew Wheeler! Issue 1 coming out March 2nd!!

So, important question – Is there going to be more Zodiac Starforce anytime soon?

K: We don’t have anything official to announce, yet, but we definitely plan on doing more!

P: Insert sailormoonwink.gif. Also when can I just answer interviews with gifs.

And because it wouldn’t be a real interview with out this question,  Kevin, what’s it like to be a man in comics?

K: I use Microns for most of my inking and a Pentel pen brush for big black areas. Wait…what was the question?

P: I just cackled. This is my favorite interview question.

And finally – Do you have any cat pictures that you would like to share?

K: No, but is a picture of my dog okay?

dog  cat

P: Here wait, I have one of my cat to match.


Zodiac Starforce: By the Power of Astra will be released June 2, 2016 and is available to pre-order.

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