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[personal profile] laughing_tree


You’re the second person to call it an ambiguous ending, and I’ll admit, I didn’t think it was ambiguous. Underplayed, perhaps, but it’s the kind of story that wouldn’t work as well if we made a big statement about Michael’s choices. But I think they’re clear, if you read the story carefully. -- Kurt Busiek

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[personal profile] laughing_tree


If you don’t know what the characters do when they’re not fighting, you don’t really know who they are. This is my big complaint with the gods of Asgard and Olympus and such. When they’re not standing around in the Boss God’s Throne Room, what the hell do they do? There’s always a schemer, but what about the others? Do they have lives? Same for the Paradise Islanders. What do they do when they’re not training? Do they grow crops? Make art? Study history? Pirate TV signals? Cultures that don’t seem to have much texture beyond standing around in drafty halls aren’t convincing. -- Kurt Busiek

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[personal profile] tripodeca113
"I’m quite happy with it, so far. There are various different kinds of deals, and I think we’ve run into a fair number of approaches over the years, from the producer who loves the series but isn’t that interested in working with the series creators to approaches where they want us to be hands-on with the project. And this one, clearly, they want us hands-on.

Having me co-writing the pilot was a selling point for Fremantle, and they - along with Rick Alexander and Gregory Noveck - have been…I was going to say “welcoming,” but it’s more than that. Every time I’ve come down to Los Angeles, it’s been a terrific experience, and it’s been fun to be in the room to help work things out. I have the advantage of being able to say, “Well, we did this in the comics for this reason, but the main point we’re trying to get at here is this other thing, so if we play it a different way for TV, we’re still serving the spirit and intent of the series.”

And they’re not trying to steer away from what the comics are about - they’re steering into it, trying to bring it to life in a way that makes sense for TV, but which is very strongly rooted in the comics."

It’s also a treat when Rick says something like, “Hey, if we take this piece of the comics and that piece and that other piece over there, and we bring them together, it accomplishes this whole new thing.” And I’m sitting there going, “I made up every piece of that years ago, and they’re still the same pieces but the result is very current, very much a story about today. How’d that happen?”

Kurt Busiek Kurt Busiek

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[personal profile] laughing_tree


Just saw someone complaining that they’ve been a Marvel reader for over 40 years, and they have no interest in the books today because of the politics, that the books should go back to like they were, with no politics. Which makes me wonder what he was reading 40+ years ago. I mean, if he doesn’t think the current books are well-done, that’s one thing, and he’d certainly be entitled to his opinion. But if he’s been reading the books for over 40 years, that means he started before 1977. So we’re talking the stridently feminist MS. MARVEL, Captain America having been Nomad (where Nixon and Exxon were the villains) before taking on entitled elitists who wanted to rule over the little people. Thor took on banana-republic dictators, there were multiple stories inspired by the Watts riots, the Sub-Mariner was in a permanent ecological snit, and more. We’re talking the heyday of Englehart, Gerber, Moench, McGregor and others, of reflexive anti-corporate stories, of flat-out anti-racist feminist stories where even Tony Stark was a liberal. You can like or dislike what you want, but the idea that the Seventies were apolitical is mind-boggling. -- Kurt Busiek

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[personal profile] laughing_tree


Everybody buy THE FIX. Everybody read THE FIX. It’s hilarious. And mean. And excellent. -- Kurt Busiek

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laughing_tree: (Seaworth)
[personal profile] laughing_tree


I originally conceived it in the wake of Trinity, when Dan Didio invited me to do something else for DC and encouraged me to come up with some sort of dream project.

I was exhausted from the weekly treadmill of Trinity, and my “dream project” ideas got pretty weird - at one point, I had this outline for an interlocking series of mini-series involving the Dreambound, Tomorrow Woman, and a few others, including an old Steve Ditko hero named the Odd Man. And my idea was to make him odder still, a character who wasn’t quite connected to his reality, to the point that he could see ours, and was using it as part of a plan to coordinate all these other heroes in some epic struggle that was happening on an unimaginable plane of reality.

Anyway, I really didn’t have the health to pursue any of the ideas I’d come up with, so they all fell by the wayside. But I realized that the ideas I’d cooked up for the Odd Man would fit some thematic elements that had gone on in the background of Astro City, and some characters already in there. So we built the Broken Man out of that, and he fit into Astro City wonderfully.


-- Kurt Busiek

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[personal profile] laughing_tree


We always need new superheroes. But actual new ones, reflecting the modern day, rather than reflecting yesterday. Unless reflecting yesterday is the point of the story. But the idea that we don’t need new superheroes is like not needing new romances or new detectives. The moment you don’t need new characters in genre stories, the genre is as dead as Latin. It’s not a crime that superheroes don’t age, but it’s a problem that superhero series don’t more often age and die and get replaced. Imagine if Kinsey Millhone and V.I. Warshawski and other modern (well, relatively) PIs couldn’t get an audience because Sam Spade and Race Williams were taking up all the shelf space. If you’re writing X-Men and your metaphors are about Martin Luther King and Malcolm X, that’s not all that much more modern than if your metaphors are about the Red Scare and McCarthyism. Ask yourself new questions, and put the results in your stories. Steve Englehart juiced up Captain America by asking what Captain America meant to the early 1970s. What does he mean now? What does Superman represent to the world? How does that, whatever it is, fit into the world today? Same for Batman, same for Wonder Woman. Tell stories you couldn’t tell ten, twenty, fifty years ago. -- Kurt Busiek

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[personal profile] laughing_tree


Comics don’t rip off pop culture anywhere near enough any more. Krypto and Ace the Bat-Hound happened because of Lassie and Rin Tin Tin. Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD happened because of James Bond and the Man from UNCLE. Comics used to omnivorously devour whatever was popular and make it part of the mix. Usually two years too late, but they were in there trying. Kung fu popular? Have some kung fu heroes! Blaxploitation? Gotcha covered. But at some point, greedily chasing trends started to be frowned on. And the Big Two comics got to be a lot more about maintaining the old stuff than chasing the new. I think that was a point when comics lost a lot of vitality. If Pokemon had happened in 1965, there’d be a Spider-Man villain today named Monsteroso, who hunted & trapped monsters he used to do crimes. -- Kurt Busiek

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[personal profile] laughing_tree


Too many first issues think it's enough to tell you who the characters are, and the immediate situation, but assume you already know the world, the context, the overall foundation. Particularly at Marvel and DC. A first issue that walks you in to the world, like a good novel or movie, that tries to be a foundation, rather than just the next chapter, feels like a rarity these days, all too sadly. [...] Too many first issues, though, are like "Here's the names and powers, you know the drill." Well, no, maybe we don't. Walk us in, give us a place to stand, a sense of the setting, the foundation. -- Kurt Busiek

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[personal profile] laughing_tree


'Western Detective Fiction thinks Dupin important as he was formative to the genre but does not consider him the paragon of the type. Imagine a world where we could say "Apollo is a more interesting character than Superman" rather than "Apollo is derived from Superman."' -- Kieron Gillen

'I’m trying to imagine a world in which Apollo is more interesting than Superman. No knock on Apollo. But yeah, in other forms, inspiration is a legitimate springboard to creation; in comics it’s looked at askance.' -- Kurt Busiek

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[personal profile] laughing_tree


"I seem to like playing with form, and the superhero genre has an awful lot of formula to it. It has a lot of formula to it that I don't think it should be limited to. So it's fun to take a piece of formula and go someplace else with it and see what happens." -- Kurt Busiek

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[personal profile] laughing_tree


"Too many modern superheroes just superhero all the time. They don’t have a context in which their life has texture and connections beyond the adventures. Heck, Batman is often like that, treating Bruce as an afterthought that doesn’t much contribute to stories. But if you decide — hey, Bronze Age Batgirl became a Congresswoman, so her thing that makes her different is politics, you’ve got a direction to send her whether she’s an adult, a college student, whatever. She’s an activist as Barbara; that gives her texture. Kara/Linda being an actress, or being in education, is texture, it’s specifics. You can pick one and run with it, even if it’s just an interest, not yet a career. It gives the character roots outside the action, outside the superpower kabuki show." -- Kurt Busiek

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[personal profile] laughing_tree


'When I was first pitching ASTRO CITY, Lou Bank at Dark Horse described it as "Like WATCHMEN...but cheerful!" I don't think cheerful was the right word, but I appreciated the sentiment.' -- Kurt Busiek

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[personal profile] laughing_tree


"We set out to create a Ditko-esque hero when we created him, without duplicating any existing Ditko character." -- Kurt Busiek

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