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WAITING FOR TOMMY: MICAH WRIGHT
By Richard Johnston

I first encountered Micah through his website . He'd been talking about re-launching StormWatch at Wildstorm. I duly reported this only to have him plead for me not to, as he hadn't quite realised that Wildstorm might not want him to talk about it yet.

But StormWatch was indeed published, as was Back The Attack, a book of rejiggled US propaganda posters satirising the current US government's policies, and then Micah started to get some attention around the place. Like Epic Comics.

His blend of politics, drama and action is rather unique right now, and it's a voice that more people are interested in exploiting. After all, why get Michael Moore to write comics for you, if Micah Wright is already here? And he's cheaper to boot.

 

STORMWATCH: TEAM ACHILLES TPB

RICHARD JOHNSTON: From day one of StormWatch, you brought military realism to superheroes. Do you think you went far enough? Are there consequences of events that you've been unwilling or unable to explore?

MICAH WRIGHT: Topics I'm unwilling to explore? No, not really. I mean, we've had a casualty on the team already, one permanently disabled team member, and the pace of that will probably accelerate as time goes by on the book. I'm just waiting to make sure everyone REALLY likes the characters before I snuff them out. Then I'll bring in the cherries and make you love THEM and then gut them as well.

RICHARD: So... can we say a regular revolving team makeup? How do you feel this approach affects the book - changes the structure of, say, the traditional superhero or action-adventure story?

MICAH: Well, comic book companies aren't really publishing efforts any longer... the idea being that publishing comics isn't a very good Return On Investment, the primary measurement of a company's business. It's simple business: if as an investor, I can put a dollar into a prescription drug company and earn back $1.43 every year, why would I want to invest in making $1.01 with Marvel, DC or Dark Horse comics? I think CrossGen is a great example of that grim business logic at work. Soon there won't be enough readers to support publishing as a primary business model any longer... the investor wouldn't even be able to make that $1.01! The comic book companies HAVE to look at film and product licensing as their primary reason for existence. I'd be willing to bet that Superman bedsheets, toothbrushes and other assorted ancillary products made more for Time-Warner last year than actual Superman comics. That number will EXPLODE if a film ever gets finished. That's the holy grail for comics companies now... and therefore, there is NO WAY ON EARTH that DC would ever seriously think about permanently killing Superman. I mean, when they did that back in the 90's, everyone knew that it would be one year maximum before he came back to life. It's just not conceivable.

Luckily, my book is so new and the characters so unsettled that I can kill them off every six months and no licensing company would scream bloody murder that he's got Blake Coleman T-shirts in the marketplace and I just killed the character.

RICHARD: Mind you, there are many people, non-comics readers, who think Superman is still dead in the comics. They saw the story that made the papers and never saw the follow-up. I was just wondering if you write any built-in redundancy to characters. That you create them for a story knowing that you might not want to rely on their existence in future story lines in case you get a little trigger happy? Do you create characters knowing that others could take over for them in a story's role if you decide to push them in front of a Baghdad bus?

MICAH: Yeah, I never thought about that... there probably ARE tons of normal non-comics readers who think that Superman IS still dead. I find that rather sinister, actually... the idea that millions of people just had their spirit crushed that little bit more by being told that Superman was dead, then never finding out that he came back from the dead. It's not like they killed Firestorm or someone like that, there were four Superman movies and two TV shows... people know the character... and now many of them think he's dead.

Wow. That's kinda sad. Thanks for bringing me down, Rich.

Well, I try to craft characters who are entertaining. When I run out of entertaining ways to utilize them, I kill them off. I killed Blake Coleman because he was worth more to me story-wise dead than he was alive. I took away the support network for my lead character, Ben Santini -- his best friend, his only confidant, the only person he trusted without reservation. We've seen the effects that's had on Santini, and we'll see more. I try not to grow too attached to my characters to the point where I'm not willing to sacrifice them. I'm writing a story right now where someone is going to go and it's very tough for me because they're one of my favorites. But again, they're worth more to the characters still alive if they're dead.

RICHARD: Until the bottom drops out of the cadaver market of course. But looking at your recent propaganda-parody work, married with the international outlook of StormWatch, if you could create genuine, sincere propaganda, what cause or beliefs would it serve? What would it say and how would it look?

MICAH: I thought that's what I did! :) Seriously, fully half of what I do is genuinely sincere: I -DO- believe that all foreigners are evil and need to be put in camps in Cuba.

Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 Continued Here...

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