on the pictures to enlarge them
you introduce yourself to the Italian readers?
wife Randy and I have been writing comics since the mid 80s, with
a variety of titles, both at DC (Teen Titans, Blue Beetle) and Marvel
(What If, Doctor Strange). The most recent work we've done has been
the German Cinema Elseworld with Ted McKeever for DC, Superman Metropolis
and Batman Nosferatu. We wrote the Airtight Garage series based
on Moebius' graphic novel, and two Hellraiser based on Clive Barker's
story. We also created Tongue*Lash with British artist Dave Taylor,
published in Italy by Punto
Currently we're writing comics for SEMIC in France.
We've also written animated television and books.
are your influences?
terms of comics, the classic writers like Stan Lee, Roy Thomas,
Marv Wolfman, and of course editor Julie Schwartz for whom we were
privileged to work on a Superman title.
comics do you currently read? Which authors do you follow?
everything by Alan Moore, but my favorite title is The League of
Extraordinary Gentlemen. I love Kevin O'Neill's art. I also follow
the works of Jay Stephens, Mike Manley, Frank Miller, Stan Sakai,
Steve Rude. In France, I follow XIII, Largo Winch, Lanfeust de Troy
but also the works of Tardi, Andreas, Boucq, Loisel and Didier Conrad.
What can you reveal us about your Robur? It seems a sort of a steam-punk
sci-fi ... This looks like a sort of new trend in comics, I mean
we have Alan Moore's The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, the
upcoming Image series Clockmaker, the Victorian ... in Italy we
have a very interesting miniseries titled "Giulio Maraviglia"
set in a steam-punk hypothetical Rome at the beginning of the XX
notion behind Robur began in the late 1980s when we were supposed
to do a book called EMPIRE OF THE DINOSAURS for artist Mark Nelson
for Dark Horse. It was going to be about Earth in 1912 being attacked
by a race of intelligent dinosaurs from a parallel world. The heroes
were Flash Gordon, Mata-Hari, etc. with lots of Verne & Wells
notions. Then the project was abandoned because Mark Nelson had
a disagreement with Dark Horse. Later, I did another steam-punk
series, the DC Elseworld Superman Metropolis series, because I like
the genre. So when Gil Formosa
said he wanted to do something in the science fiction genre that
was unique and different, I remembered the old dinosaur project,
except that this time, we changed it to aliens from the Moon.
do you know about the Italian comics market? Would you like to collaborate
with any Italian artist?
very fond of all the Bonelli and EsseGEsse comics I read as a kid.
Also Diabolik, Kriminal, Killing, etc. Right now, I work with Luciano
Bernasconi for SEMIC -- we just finished WAMPUS which was a series
he began in 1969! In fact a lot of the characters we're revamping
for the Semic Universe were initially designed by Italian artists
such as Giorgio Trevisan, Lina Buffolente, Franco & Fausto Oneta,
etc in the 1960s. I would live to write for Bonelli. I am a great
fan of Martin Mystere, Nathan Never, Dylan Dog, etc. If you know
them, tell them I'm available! :-)
in Italy there is a never-ending discussion about "the crisis
of Comics". I am really curious to know your opinion regarding
the following topics:
Comics: a real Art form?
indisputably Comics is a special art form, just like Film, or Opera,
or Animation. From LITTLE NEMO to TINTIN to MOEBIUS to AKIRA, I
think it cannot be argued that comics as a medium has not produced
some real masterpieces of art & story, in a unique combination.
The future of Comics as a mainstream product in the same entertainment
market of movies, CDs, DVDs, videogames ... which way to reach a
wider audience? maybe on the Web?
future of Comics, I am less optimistic because it is true that children
and teenagers have far more demands on their time and pocketbooks
today. When I was a kid, the only thing we could spend money on
were movies, music and comics (before girls! :-)) Today there are
also movies (a lot more movies) and music, but also games, Internet,
action figures, and even designer clothes, etc. So there is less
time and less money to buy comics. So comics is becoming a "niche"
market. It makes it harder to the authors to live.
TO THE GIL FORMOSA INTERVIEW