Quoted: J.M. DeMatteis on Keith Giffen

The “Justice League International” and “Hero Squared” co-writer talks about his co-writer.

It’s the late 80’s. We’re standing in the halls of DC Comics on a Friday afternoon. Keith is telling me his idea for a new story: the secret origin of one of our most ridiculous characters, the brain-dead Green Lantern named G’nort. Keith spends five or ten minutes spinning the entire tale, in detail. You can see he’s excited. He likes this wonderfully goofy story and he wants to do it—just the way he’s envisioned it.

The problem is, I don’t like it. And I tell him that I don’t.

Does Keith get angry? Does he tell me I’m a talentless jackass who has no right passing judgment on his incandescent genius? No. He just looks at me for a second, takes a breath, shrugs—and then launches into an entirely new origin of G’nort, which he’s creating on the spot. And it’s perfect. I can’t think of many people who could switch creative gears like that, but Keith has more raw creativity than just about anyone I’ve ever known: a tsunami of stories and characters and odd, brilliant notions.

Writer J.M. DeMatteis on his frequent collaborator Keith Giffen.

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