Wednesday, May 23, 2012

4 Questions, 4 Answers

Ben Z. asks...

1) Supposing you are in the deep woods of Michigan, how are the ticks this year? Do you have struggles with ticks, and if so, how do you approach the struggles? 

That biographical information about me on my website was not entirely true. I did live in Michigan for a time, but not in the deep woods. That photograph that allegedly is me was chosen because it looked nothing like me and that man looked like a real character. I live in New England now pretty well surrounded by woods and the ticks are a huge annoyance. You can't walk outside without picking at least one of them up. The deer ticks are not much bigger than this: .  so it's not easy to find them on you and they are the ones to worry about. I blame the mild winter. 

I usually deal with them by staking a small child down to the ground and once all of the ticks have attached themselves onto he/she, I know it's safe to go outside. 

2) Do you feel the scripts for Kobalt #17-19 could be successfully reconfigured to feature new characters (other Company characters or ones that you own)? Or were the scripts only viable with the Kobalt character and in the context of the 16 other issues?

I don't think it would be impossible to reconfigure those scripts for other characters, but there isn't as much point to doing it. They were really meant to serve Kobalt. One of the stories I did reconfigure as what would have been Midnight, Mass. #9. Sadly that series ended with issue #8. It worked really well for Midnight, Mass., and was probably truer to that particular series, but it was actually a stronger issue of Kobalt. I've taken the villain for that story and decided to include them in a young adult novel I've been slowly pulling the pieces together for. Don't look for it anytime soon. 

3) Have you ever considered a creator-owned series that used your ideas for the post-Morrison Doom Patrol as a starting point? 

Not really. Most of the ideas I had for that series were very specific to the Doom Patrol and its characters. Some of the material was cannibalized for Xombi, and some of it was going to wind up in Midnight, Mass., had that series continued. Some of it may end up in something else I'm working on, but it's really pulling out bits and pieces and applying them to other material rather than using them as a starting point to develop new characters and a new series around. 

The way I approach writing a comic book series is to start with the characters first and then come up with plots that bring out some aspect of the characters, or serve to change or develop them. Because of this, most of the plots I come up with are designed to be strong stories for the characters that would be taking part in them and not necessarily plots that could easily be transplanted to another character. 

When I come up with a new series I usually start completely fresh, developing characters that will serve the idea I have for a series, and then coming up with stories that will drive both the idea of the series and the characters created for it. If an old unused plot happens to be something that can serve that purpose, I'll retool it and use it on a new project, but usually it's in a form that is very different from the original plans for it.

4) Would you be able to endorse any current comic series being published outside of The Big Two?

I don't have a comic book store closer than about an hour away, so I'm not really seeing anything unless it's collected in book form, and most of what I'm buying that way are archival reprints such as the Creepy and Eerie archives, the Little Lulu collections and the Dell/Gold Key material such as Turok: Son of Stone and The Mighty Samson coming out of Dark Horse or the Carl Barks and Mickey Mouse reprints coming out of Fantagraphics. I have been keeping up with Hellboy/B.P.R.D. in book form, which I am always happy to recommend.

I'm also regularly following Drazen Kozjan's  The Happy Undertaker which I also really like. 

I see so little new stuff that I couldn't even recommend anything from the big two at this time. 


Liberty Management Services said...
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Ben Z said...

I have some minor brain problems. A fair amount of them involve thoughts of ticks, but that's nothing compared to fixating on comic-book could-have-beens.

Solid recommendations too. I'm on the "Frog Boy and Other Stories" volume of "Little Lulu's Pal Tubby". "The Happy Undertaker" is completely new to me, and it looks good.

Thanks for the thoughtful replies!