Category: interviews

Why I’m glad I quit reading Captain America in one sentence

From my google reader today:

“CBR spoke with ‘Captain America’ writer Rick Remender about his protagonist’s battle to recover his foster son from the villainous Arnim Zola and escape the nightmarish reality known as Dimension Z.”

Click here if you want to read the interview. Maybe it’s good.

(If you’d like to read about why I quit reading Captain America in many more sentences, there’s this.)

That Is All

John Hodgman, minor televison personality, PC, and Resident Expert of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, recently did an interview with newsarama to promote his new book of complete world knowledge, That Is All. He had some interesting things to say about DC’s New 52 iniviative, including the following:

As I say, I don’t want to mean about all these books. I just don’t understand why Rob Liefeld on Hawk and Dove… he’s not my cup of tea. I don’t understand how he’s allowed to continue to draw things. My brain cannot process these impossible figures that are considered to be appealing by other people.

Well said, John. Well said.

Q & A – Miss Lasko-Gross

I discovered Miss Lasko-Gross quite by accident. Escape From “Special” was kind of jutting out from the shelf at my library, and I picked it up as an afterthought. It had been previously discussed by Van Jensen, a.k.a. Jean Claude Van Doom, but where he didn’t take something from it I, on the other hand, was captivated by the off-beat art and seeming mundanity of day to day life … if your parents are dead heads who send you to alternative schooling, at least. Still, though, it had the cathartic highs and lows of being the weird kid in class.

A few weeks ago at Small Press Expo (where I got to have some Chinese food with the ever illustrious Mr. Jensen), I stumbled across the table for Lasko-Gross and, seeing that there was a sequel to Escape from Special, decided to give it a go. Here, we find the weirdness subdued, segueing into the illusive quest for identity. The worldview felt different.

Miss Lasko-Gross was kind enough to answer some questions for Doomkopf about her style, her work and her work to come:

How did you develop the artistic style that went into Escape From Special and A Mess of Everything? Was the way you do more muted colors deliberate or just something that naturally evolved? Who are your own influences in comics, and what drew you to the medium? (more…)

Q & A: Van Jensen of Pinocchio: Vampire Slayer

Van Jensen was one of the original five posters here – then going under the name Jean Claude Van Doom. Together with Jim Doom and Fin Fang Doom, he comprised the bulk of the first few years of posts before Doom DeLuise joined our ranks. I was too busy posting twice a year, and Colonel Doom doing less than that.

Anyway, Van is releasing his debut graphic novel, Pinocchio: Vampire Slayer, and it’s been getting a lot of play in the latest issue of Previews. Slave Labor Graphics is airdropping it into stores in September, so be on the lookout. I sat down with Van, on the Internet, and discussed his upcoming book and other projects on the horizon, and what a horrible person he is …

Doominator: What was the genesis of “Pinocchio: Vampire Slayer”?

Van: I was working as a crime reporter, and one of my coworkers, Dusty Higgins, an illustrator at the paper, jotted down a doodle of Pinocchio killing vampires and showed it to me. I laughed, then forgot about it. Then a couple years later Dusty called me out of the blue and asked if I wanted to script a story out for him about this vampire-slaying Pinocchio.

Did you read the original Pinocchio story before launching in?

The concept in and of itself is essentially a one-panel joke. “Pinocchio kills a vampire with his nose, ha!” So to expand on that, I immediately went to Carlo Collodi’s original story, which is very dark and weird.

Q&A: Mike Carey

To many people who read this blog, Mike Carey needs no introduction. At first known for his work on Lucifer, spinning off out of the Sandman mythos, he’s been seen lately putting his own spin on X-Men and Ultimate Fantastic Four. Never straying far from his Vertigo work, he’s got a new series coming out called The Unwritten, reuniting with Lucifer artist Peter Gross. It tells the story of a man forever trapped by his father writing him into his old novels … and then finding that world crashing in on his reality.

Mr. Carey was kind enough to answer some questions for Doomkopf, even divulging that he did, in fact, once write a Pantera comic book …

What was the inspiration behind “The Unwritten”?

It was a lot of things. Peter and I both came on board with ideas for what seemed at first to be entirely different stories – and then somehow they ended up colliding at a high velocity and became The Unwritten. One of the strands that fed into it was definitely the real life experiences of Christopher Robin Milne – the son of A.A.Milne, who became the Christopher Robin of the Winnie the Pooh books. He then grew up having to bear the burden of being famous as a fictional character created by someone else. As he said later in life, he felt as though his childhood had been appropriated by his father for his own purposes. That situation is mirrored in the experiences of our protagonist, Tom Taylor.

But there were other things feeding in, too. Peter and I had talked a lot about the paradox of suspended disbelief – the fact that so many Vertigo writers, ourselves included, are resolute atheists who nonetheless choose to write extended stories built around religious themes. We became fascinated by the two kinds of faith – the faith you have in a system of belief, a religion, and the faith you have in a story while you’re reading (or writing) it. (more…)

Q&A: Bob Hall

Armed and DangerousBob Hall started moonlighting drawing and writing comics in the ’70s to subsidize his career in the theater. Between the ’70s and ’90s, he’s drawn and written comics for Marvel, DC, and Valiant Comics, including Spider-Man, The Avengers, Batman, Shadowman, and “Armed and Dangerous,” an original series. His art is currently on exhibit at the Project Room in Lincoln, Nebraska.

How’d you get into comics?

I was in New York wanting to be in theater and realized I needed a marketable skill. I’d always drawn, done posters for the theater department and the student union. Somebody suggested, “why don’t you take a lot at comic books?” This was 1972, it happened to be a particularly great time for comics. There were some brilliant people drawing. I decided I wanted to do it, I worked at it for a couple years trying to learn the craft.

John Buscema, one of Mavel’s top artists (Silver Surfer, Fantastic Four, Conan, pretty much every Marvel book) in two years he taught a class on how to do comics. John liked what I was doing and got me a job at Marvel.

When I got to New York I realized people spent their lives doing two careers. Most people never made a major breakthrough. They would work; they’d have a life in theater, I didn’t want to be a career waiter. I saw a lot of people who’d get a day job in the office and slowly they’d never continue with their main desire. The day job would take over their time, the security would make them afraid to go out and look for work. Maybe I could balance two things? Comics being contract labor, theater being intermittent.

Q&A: Jim Munroe

“Therefore Repent!” is one of the coolest books you’ve never read. Set in the midst of the end times in Chicago, it’s about a few things – how to deal with the rapture, and what exactly is going on. Why is George Bush making appearances with Jesus Christ, and why are armed angels patrolling the streets? Well, you’ll just have to read the damn book, especially now that a follow-up, “Sword of my Mouth” is coming to your nerd store in May.

I got the chance to ask some questions of the writer, Jim Munroe, about where “Sword” fits in, why he can’t seem to sit still and the advantages he’s found in making his books free online …

Considering the ending of Therefore Repent!, how does Sword of my Mouth figure in?

It’s set a bit after the ending of TR!, but it’s set in Detroit rather than Chicago. There are rumours about what happened at the end of TR!, but magic still works and the world is still changed.

Q&A: Jeffrey Brown

Jeffrey Brown inhabits that corner of comics that goes straight for the life tales, eschewing spandex for flannel, and never settling into the overwrought. In books like “Unlikely” and “Clumsy,” he showed a warts-and-all sentimentality about relationships. His writing and art have matured over the years since he started, and it’s obvious in seeing his newer works. It’s gone from relationship-focused to life-encompassing, and even campy and ridiculous, as seen in certain backup stories in “Feeble Attempts.”

This summer, he’s got a new book on the horizon, and is enjoying being “past” the days when all his stories were about love or lack there-of. I started my request by telling Jeffrey my secret identity, and then my codename, which I referred to as “dorky.” I thought I was in good hands when he said, “Thanks! I don’t think ‘Doominator’ is all that dorky …”

Q&A: Julia Wertz

Since 2005, Julia Wertz has been writing the autobiographical, misanthropic strip known as The Fart Party. But recently, she released I Saw You …, an anthology of comics based on real life missed connections from Craigslist and other sources. Funny, sad, creepy and just weird, the anthology assembles works by knowns and unknowns, including the very known Peter Bagge and the somewhat-known Jeffrey Brown.

Now that the book is out, Wertz seems not so sure of what she’s unleashed on the world, apologizing for the negative tone some of her answers took. But maybe she’s just sick of all the interviews. Regardless, the answers are, in the least, funny and crass … sort of like Fart Party.

Decem Quaesiti of Doom:
10 Questions with Ethan Van Sciver

He was a big part of making The Sinestro Corps as great as it was. He’s half of the creative team restoring Barry Allen to the DC Universe. He’s also writing a regular column for Newsarama. And now Ethan Van Scriver has taken some time out of his schedule to participate in Doomkopf’s Decem Quaesiti of Doom, a list of completely unpersonalized form questions for comic industry insiders.

1. What was the first comic book you remember reading?

The first one where I was conscious of the title and number was MAN OF STEEL #1. Before that, comics were just there for me to draw in and use silly putty on. So I was 16 before I actually read one.

And I’m kidding.

2. Who were your favorite comic book characters as a kid and why?

Superman, because I saw the movie! I don’t remember why I may have liked him more than Batman, but Superman seemed like the “boss”, and he was my favorite.

3. What did you originally want to be when you grew up, and at what point did you think you wanted to do this for a living? (more…)