Zdarsky and Loo Discuss the Future of The All-Nighter

The first five issues of Chip Zdarsky and Jason Loo’s 2021 ComiXology series The All-Nighter tell an enthralling superhero story featuring zombies, supervillains, and the staff of the weirdest diner in comics history. A group of vampires struggling with the boring elements of immortality decide to become superheroes and end up with more excitement than they bargained for.

Zdarsky and Loo just announced that they’ll be returning to the world of The All-Nighter this month. The All-Nighter # 6 will follow Cynthia, Alex and Joy as they struggle to run the diner and fight evil in Ian’s absence. Before they can adjust to their new situation, they discover a series of mysterious disappearances and encounter a new team of heroes who threaten to add even more chaos and confusion to the lives of these heroic vampires. CBR recently spoke with Zdarsky and Loo about their experience working together on the series and what the future might have in store for their characters.

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CBR: You’ve been working with this creative team for a while now. How has your collaboration changed over the last few years?

Chip Zdarsky: Weirdly it’s a bit like dating? You’re on your best behavior on those first few dates, maybe a little nervous? But by now we’re like an old married couple except there’s five of us and we can just cut right to the point. Like when Jason says “This dialogue sucks. Change it. ”

Jason Loo: Our editor Allison O’Toole also works as our marriage counselor during the production of season two.

How do you two collaborate on the character designs?

Zdarsky: I really just leave it up to Jason! He’s amazing at character design and is so good at trying out different variations. My direction is usually pretty minimal, I think? Jason might say otherwise! Am I stifling, Jason ?!

Loo: When it came to volume one, I just drew a cast of characters I wanted to draw for the story and Chip would pick which ones would work for the series. That’s how Alex and Joy came about. Chip left enough descriptions for the rest of the cast for me to play around with and I would draw out a few casting choices of each character for Chip and Allison to choose from. But in volume two, I would just get a name and maybe one line of description of a new character and the rest of it is on me. So, I’ll be mostly to blame … if readers don’t like … the new character designs …

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Do you think of The All-Nighter as more of a Superhero story or a vampire story?

Zdarsky: I think of it as more of a human story (turns to the camera, gives loving, knowing wink).

I’m actually not sure! I think we’re really coming at it as both! Maybe the fact that the characters are vampires first, superheroes second makes it more of a vampire story. But realizing them they can’t hide anymore and need to help save people is also at the heart of this, and what makes for a good superhero story.

Loo: The series is full of layers of identity!

How has your view of the characters changed heading into the second season?

Zdarsky: I’m more comfortable with them, I think. Especially Ian and Joy as we reveal more about their previous lives. It’s the trick of an ensemble cast, shining the spotlight on each of them. We had more insight into Alex and Cynthia with our first arc, so it was time for the others.

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The first season of The All-Nighter features classic characters like Frankenstein and Dracula. Can fans expect to see any new literary figures in the new season?

Zdarsky: Sadly, no. We’ve got a pretty large cast and conflict right now, so Frankenstein and Dracula are definitely the literary characters who get the focus here! Or am I lying? Maybe I’m lying!

What can you tell readers about the new superhero team that arrives in town in The All-Nighter # 6?

Zdarsky: Ah yes, The Justice Angels! With the door wide open for supernatural superheroes, they’ve joined the fight against evil! But what’s their real agenda? I’m seriously asking, I haven’t finished writing the arc yet please help.

Loo: For research, I googled and looked up in the dictionary for “Justice Angel” before drawing them out. I’ll just say they wear white capes and have a halo as their chest emblem. I think I nailed it.

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Has knowing that an adaptation of the series is in development at Amazon Studios impacted your approach to writing the new arc?

Zdarsky: Nope! It probably should? But Jason and I have had the rough shape of the story figured out since before Amazon Studios came on board. The team doing the adaptation is fantastic, with some great, original ideas that build off of the comic. But I think Jason and I are super focused on the comic itself. But I’m actually going to be reading the pilot script this weekend so maybe that will change and I’ll get to yell, “hold the (digital) press” and rewrite parts of Season Two!


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In the press release for the new season, Jason Loo describes Dracula as “the original Batman.” Do you see the two characters as similar?

Zdarsky: Absolutely not.

Has your time working on The All-Nighter influenced your work on the upcoming Batman series?

Zdarsky: Absolutely. I consider Batman to be “the modern Dracula.”

Loo: Chip’s all about aristocrats who turn into bats right now.

The All-Nighter # 6 is due out May 17 from Comixology Originals.

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