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WAITING FOR TOMMY: JAY FAERBER
By Richard Johnston

Jay Faerber was one of those writers who seemed to break into comics with a bunch of others - Steven Seagle, Joe Kelly, Joe Casey, fresh with talent and distinct voices, they all seemed to emerge in a kind of flood. Typically they'd work on a Marvel book, then an X-book, then when Joe Quesada and Bill Jemas took over, something for DC, then kinda fade away a little from the public eye.

Jay has kept up his little bit of fandom however. His Image book Noble Causes has created a small but loyal following, and kept his name around the industry just that little bit more. And now he's reviving one of Top Cow's old titles, Strykeforce. But does Strykeforce need him more than he needs Strykeforce? Is this the start of Jay's move towards the A-list? Let's find out!

 

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RICHARD JOHNSTON: Strykeforce. As image books go, they're not exactly the most memorable superhero team. Hell, even Cyberforce whom they were off of aren't exactly the most top-of-mind comics property. What is there to be gained reviving a past obscure property? You don't own it, but you don't get the sales benefits of working on a high profile name. Mind you, it worked quite well with JMS and Supreme Power. What are your expectations for the book, creatively and in sales?
JAY FAERBER: I think you'd be surprised at how many Strykeforce fans are out there. Remember, a lot of today's fans got into comics during the period when Codename: Strykeforce was being published. I'm not saying it's going to be a top ten book or anything, but put it this way -- *I* was surprised at how much of a following the book has. Creatively, the book's fun to write. That's pretty much all I was looking for. It's a hardcore action and adventure book, which is something of a departure for me. As far as sales go, all I really care about is that the book is successful enough for Top Cow to commission more stories from me. I recently finished the script to Strykeforce #4, and we're only guaranteed for five issues. We're expecting to get pre-orders in on issue #1 in the next couple of days, and those orders will go a long way in determining whether or not I write issue #5 as the big wrap-up, or whether it will lead into a second story arc.

RICHARD: Given the. um. intensity certain fans can feel for a project, especially one they loved that it seems everyone else has forgotten, have you had any. fun correspondences? People insisting you cover off certain bits of continuity that were left hanging? Demanding a respectful treatment for a certain character?

And have any of them come round your house yet?
JAY: Not yet, fortunately! But it's probably a good thing that I'm moving soon. The feedback I've gotten hasn't really been bad at all, just people expressing their desire to see the return of Kill Razor, or whoever.

RICHARD: Hey, don't we all! Kill Razor, why he, um, er, you were notable as a creator who broke into mainstream comics during Bob Harras' reign at Marvel. When he was ousted, it appeared, so were you. How did you deal with that at the time, how did the new regime deal with you, and what's your take on the current state of Marvel?
JAY: Well, it's not like I was a big hit-maker at Marvel. I was fired from Generation X to make room for the Counter X launch, and New Warriors was cancelled after ten issues. So I can understand not being at the top of anyone's list when it came time to develop new projects. But, sure, it was disappointing, at first. The new regime hasn't really dealt with me at all. I'd get the standard "Yeah, we'll keep you in mind"-line from the editors, but it's pretty easy to read between the lines there. It'd be one thing if I simply had no outlet in comics anymore. I think I'd be really bitter, in that case. But my most successful (in terms of personal satisfaction) work has come out from Image, in the form of Noble Causes, and, soon, Dodge's Bullets.

As for the current state of Marvel, I think they're still sort of finding their footing now that Dan Buckley is in the picture. I like that they appear to be moving a little more towards classic super-hero books, since that's what the existing fanbase -- the fans who frequent direct market shops -- seem to want. Just look at the success of Jim Lee's Batman. It's all about recognizable super-heroes. Fans want the "classic" super-heroes that they grew up with (whether that's Batman, or even Strykeforce). They don't want new stuff. As a creator, it can be frustrating, but I can't blame Marvel for trying to appeal to those fans. And, I'm glad they've still got the Marvel Knights imprint, so we still get books like X-Statix and Daredevil.

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

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