COTTON CLUB: GAME ON!
Neil Gaiman talks about the biggest secret in comics, 1602
as well as why the highly-anticipated series became such a
big mystery over the last 18 months
COTTON: Do you think fans will be surprised by 1602? It
is a different sort of project for you.
GAIMAN: I think that a certain amount of surprise is perfectly
legitimate in that this is sort of.no one knew what we were
doing, mostly, for a very, very specific reason, which was
that I didn't want.I knew that the biggest problem was doing
something of this length is quite simply that you start out
and do it and the publishers start publishing and you turn
around one day and episode one comes out on time and episode
two comes out on time, and episode three comes out two weeks
late, and episode four comes out a month late, episode five
comes two months after that, and episode six comes out at
about the point your next child turns twelve, and you sort
of go, 'Oh my God, episode six just came out, what was this
thing again,' and we were really trying to avoid that thing
happening. We wanted to get as far ahead as we possibly could
before it started. I had theories when I began that I would
be able to write incredibly quickly and I discovered that,
'No, I really can't.' I write at sort of the same speed that
I used to write 'Sandman', and Andy [Kubert] is drawing in
this pencil style that takes him an age. He's doing all the
work and it takes him several days a page, which means that
he can't bang out twenty-two pages in twenty two days either.
That was the main thing, and it was like, 'Okay, let's wait
until episode one comes out.' It was never meant to be this
giant secret, but it sort of became this secret and then,
we looked around one day, and no one knew what it was, and
everyone wanted to know and at that point, it was sort of
like this evil grin, and we were like, 'Okay, then we'll just
not tell them,' and we just carried on working on it.
Was it all different or were there things that you didn't
expect to enjoy about it, but you did or things that were
different in terms of working with Marvel?
Well, I'm trying to think of things that were different. It's
incredibly quiet and a very sort of pleasant working relationship.
I write the scripts, Andy [Kubert] draws them. It's just very
odd, and very interesting and very quiet.
1602 does actually tie into the current Marvel Universe, right?
Oh yeah, no, it really does, unlikely though that may seem.
There is a very good reason why the world is like this and
why everything is trying to happen five hundred years early,
and by the end of episode six, maybe by the beginning of episode
seven, I think that everyone will know what it is. There's
lots of strings. It's fun, and originally, my first thought
was that I'd do it almost like a 'Sandman', like, make it
incredibly complex and I'd have people talking like they were
at the time and I would make everything as historically accurate
as I possibly could. As I started getting into the ramifications
of A) a Marvel Universe in 1602 as opposed to our universe
in 1602, and B) a Marvel universe in which serious damage
was being done to the time stream, and I started to realize
that there was actually no way that I was going to be able
to keep things or go for historical accuracy anyway. So, we
let it wander the other way, and now there are sort of very
odd little things like tiny dinosaurs around which are really
fun. Everyone loves tiny dinosaurs, and there's actually a
reason why.they haven't done much more in the way of colonizing
America because of all of the dinosaurs that are wandering
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