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WAITING FOR TOMMY - DAN JURGENS
By Richard Johnston

There is an end to the current story we're telling, which will then help define the next story. As long as we're consistent with the character and honest about it all, I think we'll keep folks entertained.

If we've had a problem that has hurt us and the readers, it's the unsettled art situation on the book. So many people have come and gone that we haven't been able to maintain the character's identity that we had when JR and Andy Kubert were on the book. I'd like to think we have that settled now with Scot Eaton on board, who's doing some incredible work for us.

RICHARD: The Lai Brothers being dropped from a comic to be replaced by Scot Eaton. Is this history repeating itself?

 

SUPERMAN: DAY OF DOOM #1 – SIGNED VERSION

DAN: If so, it's a total coincidence. I had wanted Scot on the book before I even heard the Lai brothers were a possibility, as he was just leaving CrossGen. When they didn't work out, it was natural we turn to him.

When his name came around the second time, it never even occurred to me that he'd replaced them at CrossGen.

The same thing happened to me as the guy who replaced me on Cap also took over Tomb Raider. it happens...and it's usually a coincidence.

RICHARD: Over ten years ago, you killed Superman and brought him back again. How do you feel the impact of that story affected the industry as a whole? Would you change any aspect of it in retrospect?>>

DAN: I think the main impact of the story is that it drove the Superman books, as well as other titles, to tell ongoing stories that turned into continuous, episodic storytelling for the characters. While I feel it worked for that story (and many others we did) it ultimately became our downfall as well. We ended up building a vehicle for storytelling that was impossible to stop. Instead of the story defining the format, the format defined the story. We became victims of our own success, as people kept looking for us to do the Next Big Thing With Superman.

I don't want to be too hard on us though, as I believe there were a number of nice stories mixed in over the years as conjured up by all the different folks on the books.

As for changing anything in retrospect, I don't thing so. Looking back, and taking into account that you have to measure the past by the yardstick that existed at the time, I think it all hangs together quite well. We told a story that entertained one helluva lot of people. As the whole industry, if not world, waited to see how we'd bring Superman back, we knew we were likely to disappoint more people than make them happy. Fortunately, we beat the odds with the four Supermen, and that only added to the success.

RICHARD: The last time I travelled to the US, I was asked lots of fun questions by Customs. I was going to a comic convention, he asked me just how much his black bag sealed Death Of Superman was worth. I told him about 10 dollars on a good day. It took me a while to get through Customs...

DAN: That's your own damn fault for shattering his illusions! You should have told him it was worth far more.

RICHARD: What's are the weirder things that have happened to you, regarding that mass media event?

DAN: Probably the death threats at the time. Mike Carlin and I were both contacted by bodyguard services. Not that I needed one, but I always thought it would be cool stuff to strut around with two monsters behind me in black suits who were just looking to crack skulls.

The only time I needed them was a Con in NY in which there was totally insufficient crowd control. The crowd in front of the table grew and grew until I couldn't see anything in the con hall except people trying to get at me. The table I was at was against a back wall, and the weight of the crowd kept pushing it back, until it was pushed into me so hard I really couldn't breathe. Around that time, just I was starting to freak, security cleared them and moved me to a roomier area.

Those were wild times.

RICHARD: The royalties on that event alone should have set you up a nice retirement fund. Does that give you security within the insecure world of Marvel right now - and when it comes down to it, why do you still want to work in comics and not retire to your own private island?

DAN: I'm a storyteller. It's what I do.

I never got into this business to make money. When I started, royalties were little more than a notion. The idea that great financial reward would exist alongside creating comics was basically ridiculous. I wanted to write and draw stories and that hasn't changed.

Some guys in this business actually dislike the process of working. I enjoy it. There's a certain satisfaction that comes with sculpting a good story, just like that there's a certain satisfaction that comes with drawing a really good page or panel, that can't be beat.

Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 Continued Here...

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