A Leap Of Faith – Jody Houser On Valiant’s Faith: Dreamside Series

by Tony Thornley

Faith Herbert is a hero for today. Thought she existed in the old Valiant Universe, the character really got her due in the universe’s relaunch back in 2012, and her popularity boomed. Jody Houser has chronicled her adventures in several series, returning this fall with Faith: Dreamside. We got a chance to sit down with her and talk about the series, the character, and creating a new realm for the Valiant Universe. And we have an exclusive extended preview of the first issue, which you can check out below the interview!

Tony Thornley: For those who might be picking up a Faith book for the first time, who is Faith Herbert?
Jody Houser: Faith is a lifelong geek and comic fan who found out that she is a psiot and has superpowers. She’s modeled her life on the fictional heroes she grew up reading and watching ever since, first on several superhero teams, and then on her own. She’s currently based in Los Angeles.
TT: You’ve been writing her adventures for a few years now. What’s your favorite thing about writing Faith?
JH: I love how she could be any of us. She grew up with the same pop culture influences we did, and that informs her moral choices and optimistic outlook. She could be anyone we meet at a comic convention or a gaming table. She’s relatable to so many people in the same way that characters like Peter Parker and Kamala Khan have been over the years.
TT: So what’s going on in Faith: Dreamside?
JH: Faith has been staying somewhat hidden since she was framed for murder at the end of her ongoing series. But when a friend comes asking for help, she rises up to the occasion.
TT: What’s the Dreamside, and how does it differ from Valiant’s other supernatural realm, the Deadside?
JH: The Dreamside is actually a part of the Deadside! Saying much beyond that would be a spoiler…

TT: Where did the idea of the Dreamside come from?
JH: The idea was to create both an area of the Deadside that differed from anything we’d seen before, and one that felt like it belonged in a Faith book. I think [artist] MJ Kim and [colorist] Jordie Bellaire are the perfect team to bring the Dreamside to life.
TT: Faith is joined in this series by two fan-favorite guest stars. The first is Animalia. Why is Faith invested in her well-being?
JH: Animalia is a fellow psiot, and a kid at that. But beyond that, they have dealt with similar tragedies in their lives. Faith can relate to Animalia more than most other heroes who she hasn’t spent a lot of time on a team with. And when someone asks her for help, of course she’s going to say “yes”.
TT: The second guest star is Doctor Mirage. Why is the good doctor along for the ride?
JH: When dealing with the supernatural, Shan Fong is the obvious person to call. Additionally, Faith is a fan of hers, and is excited to work with her. Whether Shan feels the same way, we’ll have to see.
TT: The Faith stories have always had serious stakes, but they’re also been really funny. Why is humor important in her adventures?
JH: At the end of the day, Faith is a positive figure, a hero who believes she can make a difference and sets out to do just that. She’s also the rare hero who isn’t at all tortured about her heroic journey. She’s having fun! And the audience should have fun with her.
TT: Thanks Jody!  Faith: Dreamside #1  is available from Valiant Entertainment on September 26th!
Check out our exclusive extended preview of Faith: Dreamside #1 below!

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