DC Comics has announced a new line of prestige format books. They are based on the mystical and magical realms of the DC universe and are taking some of our favorite magicians like Zatanna and June Moon back to school in the new series MYSTIK U.

Alisa Kwitney focuses on the complex relationships and a side very much untouched in the magical part of their universe. There will be lots of great appearances as the book comes out every six weeks! The books are hitting comic book stores this November. Also, news about her upcoming book Cadaver and Queen coming out soon!

ComicsVerse: Cool, so what can you tell me about your new series, MYSTIK U?

Alisa Kwitney: Okay, so it’s a mini-series, and it’s got a lot of the occult characters with a slightly different take on them. There’s Zatanna, there’s Sebastian Faust, the son of Felix Faust, the evil magician and he’s a sort of bad boy of the group. There’s a different take on June Moon/Enchantress and David Sargon, who’s of Iraqi origin and my own character. Pia Morales who’s, yeah, so she’s sort of a new character to the mix.

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In addition, there are other characters. There’s Rose Psychic, who’s the dean of the School of Magic and has some little bit of dispute regarding leadership with Dr. Occult, whom she shares a body with. You’ll ask me another follow-up question, and I’ll go into each of the characters a bit if you would like.

ComicsVerse: What got you so interested in this cast of characters to throw them into a book?

Alisa Kwitney: Well, I wanted to do a magical take on university just because thought it would be really cool and when I found out I could have Zatanna as a student, I kept thinking, they’re going to tell me in a minute that was a mistake. They’re not going to let me have Zatanna as a student because, you know, the students have the biggest arc. I wanted even the professors to have an arc as well, but it gave me a lot more freedom to do stuff that I found interesting with her.

Regarding the other cast members, I wanted either characters where I was allowed to play with them and do a slightly different spin or characters who they’d been left alone for long enough that you could just simply revive them, characters like Sargon the Sorcerer, and do your own thing.

Sargon, if you look up the name, is originally from that Iraq area which was ancient Sumeria, Akkad. I wanted a character who had that connection with ancient Sargon and all of that with a ruby.

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With June Moon/Enchantress, I always feel like in college it’s a kind of theater where people improvise themselves, and they try on these masks and these personas to sort of both disguise who they are and to reveal a deeper sense of who they are. Instead of thinking of Enchantress as a possession that she has no control over, I wanted to tie it in with the college experimentation with identity and self.

Let’s see, with Zatanna I wanted to explore this idea of what do you do if everyone thinks you’re going to be amazing, you’re going to be the chosen one, and then you get to college, and you are not performing to your own expectations and certainly not to everyone else’s.

ComicsVerse: Nice. That sounds like a wonderful group for doing all that too.

Alisa Kwitney: Thank you.

ComicsVerse: Are we going to see a university Constantine thrown in there too somehow?

Alisa Kwitney: You know I wanted to sort of show that Zatanna was always drawn to bad boys and so we get to see how she is with Sebastian Faust. Do you know anything about the backstory of Sebastian Faust?

ComicsVerse: I did a little now but not too much. Yeah, tell me about him.

Alisa Kwitney: Well, they say his father sold his soul to the demon Nebiros in return for powers, except the demon kind of screwed him over, if I’m allowed to say that, and instead gave Sebastian the powers, and so there’s this complicated relationship with magic, with his father, with his own abilities. And I created a little bit of my own backstory with him, which is that when he first gets the powers he actually ends up accidentally harming his mother, who’s the parent who raised him. He’s sort of a tortured, moody, brooding, Heathcliffian, bad boy hero.

ComicsVerse: That’s awesome. Where’s this all going to take place?

Alisa Kwitney: MYSTIK U is, in my mind, it takes place at least, in a mystic New York, which is a place that that does not exactly exist, but it would be somewhere between Poughkeepsie and Red Hook, New York. It’s an area that I do know, and I feel like it fits into the DC universe, you know, greater Gotham area.

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ComicsVerse: Yeah. That’s super cool. You said it’s going to be a mini-series too, so do you have a limit on how many issues are coming out already?

Alisa Kwitney: The first one’s coming out in November, and it’s 48 pages, and I think the next one is coming out six weeks after and then six weeks and each is 48 pages.

ComicsVerse: They’re kind of more in a prestige format?

Alisa Kwitney: It’s a prestige, yes, so it’s going to be beautiful. Mike Norton, one of the things about Mike Norton as an artist is that he, not only does he show great acting, you’ve got the characters and you can see the nuances of their flirtation, of their insecurity, of their — all of the stuff that makes it emotionally relatable, but he creates this amazing location.

I feel like if it were a TV show, you’d say the production values are amazing. You’ve got these mullioned glass windows and gothic architecture you’re really sucked into. You will come along to this prestigious magical college.

ComicsVerse: That sounds awesome.

Alisa Kwitney: You will be drawn in.

ComicsVerse: Nice. You also mentioned earlier you have a book coming out too.

Alisa Kwitney: Yes.

ComicsVerse: What can you tell me about that?

Alisa Kwitney: It’s kind of ironic. Cadaver and Queen, which is my feminist Frankenstein meets Grey’s Anatomy, it started life as an idea that was a YA, Vertigo, Minx idea back when there was that YA line with DC comics. At that time it wasn’t meant to be, but the idea wouldn’t go away and finally, I thought, I’m just going to write it as a prose novel.

ComicsVerse: Nice.

Alisa Kwitney: It’s coming out with Harlequin TEEN in February.

ComicsVerse: Oh great, well that sounds awesome. We’ll be looking forward to all of this.

Alisa Kwitney: Thank you.

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