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Waiting For Tommy XXVIII
By Richard Johnston
 
RICHARD: Dreamwave have a reputation now for being a little on the tardy side - UDON seems to have the opposite. Is there a danger as you begin to grow that you'll encounter similar schedule slippage?

ERIK: I do not want to comment on DW's lateness too much. Scheduling has always been a big problem with some independent guys. It takes a lot of discipline to make things happen. A lot of "fighting the distraction".

One of the reason why I was put on the helm of UDON is because the guys here believes in my organization and management skills. And I set this whole thing up to make sure that we are to do quality work ON TIME. The on time factor always comes first. However, there is no single formula to do this time management thing. You just have to know each individual's ability and schedule the work around it. People ask how I did that. I told them it is like playing a Tetris game. I have a fix amount of time and companies always send us different jobs that are the puzzle pieces. I just have to makes sure that I stack them well so we clear books after books to get the score!

XIN #1 DF EXCLUSIVE COVER BY UDON STUDIOS!

The key to not slipping is to know what you can do. Never take on more that you can chew or else you will just choke yourself to death. I never want to over commit ourselves because it is not a good thing. We have to keep a balance of making sure that everyone has a stable paycheck while not working to a point that totally kill them. We are dealing with artists here that are on the creative side and overwork will cause them to burn out and both quality and quantity will start going down.

A business needs to grow, but should be at a gradual pace. I believe in taking the time to build a solid foundation so we don't crash when we build higher. I have seen a lot people going too fast after their first success believing that with one hit, they can take over the world. I wish them good luck, but with us, we'd rather play safe.

RICHARD: Talking of working for different companies, specifically Dreamwave, ever feel the urge to go solo like they did? Publish your work yourself and reap the total rewards?

ERIK: At this moment, no, and in the near future, no. Our main business is still in work-for-hire. We enjoy working with all these different companies doing different books. The Street Fighter project, which will be published by a third party publisher, is as far as what you would probably see as a solo UDON gig for now. We are doing SF ourselves because we have wanted to do this for so long. I have been kicking it around to a few different publishers since a few years back but nothing seems to have happened. The opportunity of getting the rights just shows up at our door again last year and we all know we will regret it if we pass on it so we signed the deal ourselves. And only one team will be doing the SF book so all the other teams will still be working on the other projects for different companies. We do have some loose plans and direction as to where we are taking UDON towards, but we will be doing it one step at a time.

RICH: Well let's look at some of your recent steps. One of your biggest supporters and more prominent co-collaborators was Gail Simone on Agent X. With the best reviews you've had on that title, there seemed to be some real creative energy. Any plans to work together again?

ERIK: We have worked with a lot of writers and Gail is always going to be the dearest to us. We talk about working together again all the time but so far, we have been busy on our own. Hopefully, we can get some pitches going soon. Other than Gail, we are also interested in working with other creators.

RICH: Start naming names. and the likelihood of them coming to pass.

ERIK: We would like to maybe guest on an issue or two of Birds of Prey. We are always talking about going back to do some more Agent X or Taskmaster, should Marvel be interested. Some Batman or Superman stuff could be cool now Gail is working with DC. But nothing solid as we are too busy on our own. Who knows what will happen later?

RICH: Who indeed? Well use that foresight and tell me. who'd win in an arm wrestling match? Pat Lee or Bill Jemas?

ERIK: Jemas. Pat doesn't stand a chance, unless maybe he quits smoking.

Thank you Erik.

Boy, that felt relatively peaceful in comparison. UDON 's work can currently be seen in Agent X. and pretty much everywhere in the near future. Rich Johnston's rumour column can be found here. See you back next week for the last in my challenge-to-get-a-free-USA-convention-trip interviews, with Jimmy Palmiotti. And learn the future of Waiting For Tommy!

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The Waiting For Tommy Archive

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