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.
Vertigo editor Jamie S. Rich and artist Benjamin Dewey interview Joelle Jones, Jeff Parker and more in the returning interview series.
Vertigo Editor and comics writer Jamie S. Rich is heading back to the studio for another round of in-depth interviews with comic industry folks. “Back to the Gutters,” a follow-up to the original “From the Gutters” series, will feature both Rich and Autumnlands artist Benjamin Dewey, interviewing creators like Jeff Parker, Joelle Jones and more. The series is produced by Ryan McCluskey.
“Our intent with ‘Back the Gutters’ is to peel back the page a bit and show you the creators behind your favorite comics — both as artists and as people,” Rich said in a press release. “We’re going to dig down to uncover the motivations behind choosing comics as a profession, and the personalities that bring these stories to life, so that we can start to see the art and the artist as a singular unit.”
Rich’s hire mid-shoot as an editor at Vertigo required the team to recruit a new host mid-stream. “We started out interviewing Ben, who is just a terrific talent,” McCluskey said, “and the last three shows are hosted by Ben — because we lost Jamie to Vertigo in the middle of shooting.”
Here’s a list of who you can expect to see:
• Joelle Jones
• Sierra Hahn
• Jeff Parker
• Ibrahim Moustafa
• Robbi Rodriguez
• Randy Bowen (Bowen Designs)
• Emi Lennox
• Steve Lieber
• and Jamie S Rich … interviewed by his frequent collaborator Joelle Jones.
Get a print of the cover to ‘Incomplete Works,’ his next collection due out in April.
Following quickly on the heels of the January release of Sam Zabel and the Magic Pen, Hicksville creator Dylan Horrocks’ next work will be Incomplete Works. In conjunction, Horrocks is offering a print of the cover for $70 over on his website. Here’s the volume’s cover:
It’s due out in April from Alternative Press. In addition, Horrocks is offering original art from both Magic Pen and his classic graphic novel Hicksville on his website.
The award-winning letterer celebrates his birthday by discussing how he got his first job at DC Comics.
In grade school, a vocational test decided I should become a forest ranger. I thought that sounded okay, I loved the outdoors. In grade school I did well in math and science, but less well in high school with more competition. I didn’t head in the Art direction until senior year when I finally realized art class was my favorite, and had been all four years. I went to art school for two years, then ran out of money and had to get a mundane job to support myself. I worked at several paperwork jobs, and at one was able to use some of my art training to design air conditioner user manuals.
–Letterer Todd Klein, who turned 65 last week, explains on his blog how he broke into comics when DC Comics offered him a two-week stint filling in for a vacationing production artist. He says Vince Colletta “must have seen something in those air conditioner manual paste-ups.” Also, happy belated birthday to Todd Klein!
The Sandman and Batwoman artist says if he had never discovered Micronauts, “I seriously doubt I’d be working in comics at all.”
I’ve cited in many interviews and general conversations just how this series impacted my childhood, I grew up a bit with those comics, and read them for as long as they were published. But ultimately what hooked my loyalty was the very beginning of their adventures, created by masters Bill Mantlo and Michael Golden. They were so very smart. If I had never come across their work on Micronauts I seriously doubt I’d be working in comics at all. Their brilliance on the title forever changed my direction, much to the dismay of many of the adults in my young life. However, along the way, I proved I was right. That deep down, from that very long ago discovery of the work on the series, I knew then that I was meant to do what I do now. And so when IDW announced they had garnered publishing rights for a new Micronauts series, and Rom as well (another very influential series), I had to reach out to them to see how I could be involved, even if only a little. To make an inner child’s dream come true.
–Artist J.H. Williams III, paying tribute to the creators of Marvel’s long-running Micronauts series from the late 1970s/early 1980s. Williams will do “a run of covers” for the new Micronauts series by Cullen Bunn and David Baldeón that kicks off in April from IDW Publishing.