Superhero stories often focus on the grand, epic battles between heroes and villains. Brawls across rooftops and showdowns in the stars bring readers unbelievable sights of wonder and action. While these tales certainly have their place, sometimes stories that take things back to the ground are better suited to deliver the catharsis readers need. Such is the case with IDW's miniseries Crashing, written by Matthew Klein with art by Morgan Beem. Following ER doctor Rose Osler, the series takes readers into the high-stress environment of a hospital dealing with the fallout of heroes fighting villains.

The focus on the ordinary person and their struggles and triumphs against the larger backdrop of superheroes makes this series shine. Crashing brings the familiar feel of a medical drama to the world of superheroes. In an interview with CBR, writer Matthew Klein discussed balancing narratives, the collaboration process, the importance of book tours, and more.

Promo image for Crashing trade paperback

CBR: First off, congratulations on the upcoming TPB release of Crashing! What is it like being on this end of the release, and how did you take in the reception?

Matthew Klein: It's been humbling being on this end. The reception has been really overwhelming. I did a signing tour for the first couple of issues across seven states, got to meet folks from all different walks of life, and to see the ownership they took of Rose's journey was so gratifying. The whole team put together a beautiful book.

You're about to embark on a signing tour for this. What made it important to do something like that for this series?

I think it's important to support the industry. Especially as a new creator, pounding the pavement is a must for helping a new series like this not only survive but thrive. Stores are always looking to find a way to get more awareness for new titles like Crashing and having a creator come in, meet their customers, [and] help give them a reason to promote this one book out of the five hundred that seemingly get released monthly [is] a big boon. I wouldn't be doing the rest of the team, Morgan Beem, Triona Farrell, Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou, and Heather Antos, justice to their efforts by doing anything less than this to promote the incredible work they did. We want to grow our audience, and that audience is at the local comic shops.

How has working in sales and marketing helped you prepare for the release of Crashing and the planning of this tour?

I think it's given me a "no excuses" mentality. For years, I've been begging creators for promo videos, in-store events, [and] social media promotion, to get publishers to make posters or exclusive prints, so if I don't do all those things, I'm just a hypocrite! It's absolutely informed my approach to the series, though. Having not just been in sales and marketing at a publisher, now a major distributor but also working as a retailer have all provided me lessons. For instance, working in a shop week in and week out, I always heard from customers that series would be written for the trade. So the whole team felt it was incredibly important to build cliffhangers at the end of each issue. I saw firsthand how a great poster could elicit a customer asking about a series. I got to understand how the power of hand selling can help find an audience, so I created easy one-sentence pitches, and I talk to the hand sellers at every shop to give them the tools they need. I feel like my entire twelve-year career in comics has been creating this path that I didn't even realize, and I'm now finally walking it.

Different colored pills with images inside them

You've stated that superheroes and supervillains may be the plot of Crashing but that Rose's journey is the story. How do you go about balancing those two elements?

The story of Crashing is Rose's personal journey. The journey of an everyday hero who is addicted to saving everyone else because she doesn't believe she deserves to be saved and how she learns to take care of herself. The plot is that she's a doctor who treats superheroes by day, moonlighting treating supervillains, and on the most difficult day of her career, is about to relapse after being seven years sober. That's the difference. As far as balancing, it's to make sure that Rose's personal journey is the A story. Everything that happens with the superhero plot has to serve her story. If it didn't, it didn't make it into the final scripts. And I mean, I had seven or eight drafts of Issue #3, mining the story. The B story is the story of Boston's Powered citizens having their basic rights threatened, but that all feeds into the central relationship between Rose and her husband, Don, who's the lead crusader for this "reform." It all revolves around Rose. If any aspect felt like it was taking away from Rose's story, Heather Antos would help make me aware, and we'd either find a way to rework it so it fit, or we'd cut it, and I'd come up with something different. What's great about that process is you're collaborating in a way that helps you distill what the story is at all times and where you are in the telling of it.

You've expressed how much you love the process of collaboration. What's something one of your collaborators taught you while working on this?

I learned so much from all of them! In my first published comic out of the gate, I was working with Triple Crown winners. Heather, I can't say enough about her. She's the best editor in the business. She was incredibly patient for a newbie comics writer learning how to tell a story in this medium. She taught me the importance and craft of the page turn. She taught me how to put a proper pitch together. She challenged me when she saw me leaning on aspects of my writing I felt comfortable in, pushing me to play with time, add more locations, and experiment with structure. I'm a better writer, having worked with her.

Morgan showed me how to create a visual story. I'm not visually minded at all! All the stick figures I draw come out curvy. Morgan [Beem} really walked me through how each page focuses on one major beat and needs to lead to the next beat on the next page. From Triona [Farrell's] work, I learned how to bring atmosphere and how to track the emotional story, page to page. She does this amazing technique where every time Rose is getting tempted to use again, the panels become a shade of metallic blue, and as the temptation increases, so does the blue's contrast, and you'll see it page to page in the series. Again, she taught me how color is used to tell the story, not just the plot.

Hassan [Otsmane-Elhaou] is a master at bringing forth the inflection of dialogue so that there's legit acting on the page. You can hear the whisper versus the shouting. I will never be able to thank them enough for making this story what it is. Everybody took a sense of ownership. Everyone involved believed we had something special to say with Crashing that isn't reflected in anything else on the shelves.

RELATED: Crashing: Matthew Klein Unveils a Searing, Alternative Take on Superheroes

Various characters on the cover for Crashing

How did you and Morgan Beem work together to build the world of Crashing?

First off, let me say if you can get Morgan to work with you on your comic, get Morgan to work with you on your comic! She was so open and willing to collaborate. She read the pitch, and I think I even had a draft of the first issue script by the time she came on board. Immediately, we talked about getting the look for the characters nailed down. We started with the characters, and she built the world around them.

What would you tell someone who's about to read Crashing for the first time with the TPB?

It's the medical drama of House meets the gritty superhero storytelling of Daredevil. This is the story of an everyday hero who has the power of life and death over superheroes and supervillains, but in her quest to save everyone, puts herself and the people she cares most deeply about at risk. This is a nail-biting, heartstrings-pulling superhero medical drama like you've never read before, and you get it all in one collection.

The Crashing TPB goes on sale on July 4th.