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WAITING FOR TOMMY - DAN JURGENS
By Richard Johnston

As for security in comics...I think there's less than there ever has been. In all good conscience, I couldn't recommend it to anyone who has any kind of interest in leading a moderately normal life where they might want to have a house, a decent car and eventually get their kids through college. It's a mercurial industry right now that seems to lurch from decision to decision, without logical progression. In short, "fire the freelancer" has become THE mantra for dealing with problems.

The creator's rights movement may have won when it came to providing ownership, but it's fallen short of protecting its work force. It's been many, many years since creators were as dispensable as they are now.

Every now and then, all of us probably think we should have gone into another line of work, but I still enjoy the business of creating comics. The business of comics itself has gotten nastier, but it's still a medium I love and would hope to work in for a long time.

RICHARD: What happens when the business impedes your ability or desire to tell a particular story? You're writing commercially for big companies after all - your goals and their goals are bound to differ. If you're not in it for the money, why are you servicing trademarks? If you feel dispensable, why not change the rules and move elsewhere? It's not as if the industry's strapped for reliable independent publishers these days.

DAN: Right now, that hasn't happened. On Thor, I'm getting to tell the story the editor and I have agreed to tell. And I enjoy it. I've been able to do so for a long time and am aware I've been fortunate to have that freedom.

And while I said I never got into comics for big money, I did get into comics with the expectation that I'd be able to make a living.

Still, you bring up a valid point. Those of us working on corporate characters are servicing trademarks. We're all dispensable. Sadly, the independent game is a rough one these days. Successes are few. That's part of what makes Epic so interesting. It would seem to me there's every reason for a publisher to fill that void and become a collector of Intellectual Property that they have a proprietary right to shop, and ultimately, benefit from.

As for the future, I have a couple of ideas floating around that I'll have to explore somewhere, someday.

 

THOR #50 - SIGNED VERSION

RICHARD: Thor. Would you worship him?

DAN: No. The whole point we're making is that while Thor might solve a boatload of problems for the human race, the end result is a loss of freedom and creativity. Not my bag, bayyyyby! Control is rarely a good thing as it stifles the human spirit. It happens in relationships, business, everywhere you look.

RICHARD: So for those not feeling their getting their Authority kick from DC anymore, Thor explores similar themes?

DAN: Do you see Thor climbing into the sack with Balder? Not that there's anything wrong with that...

I'm not sure it's a similar theme because I see this as more of a character exploration of Thor. It's also an exploration of the world's reaction to these events. We're somewhat like the Hulk title in that Thor may not end up on a whole lot of story pages at times.

Not to give too much away, but if one looks at mythological legends of old, it's amazing how many stories center around the failure of the gods. They often triumph, but in the process are proven to be amazingly fallible and faulty folks. To a certain degree, this is going to be a story about failure for Thor, that I believe will deepen and enrich the character. This is an evolutionary journey for him, and we're only part way there.

And, as a disclaimer, I must say that I haven't read an issue of the Authority since Hitch left. Do they still publish the book? Cheap shot, I know.

RICHARD: Apparently they do, yes. Have you had any run ins with religious groups, or particularly minded people? What's par for the course with them?

DAN: No, and I'm mildly surprised. Though to be fair, we haven't criticized any particular religion or religion in general. We've addressed the concept of belief and faith, which I think is deeply personal for people. Those concepts are so broad that they undoubtedly mean many different things to many different people.

In some of his speeches, Thor has been quick to point out the problems with religion and politics both, but he's never asked anyone to follow him or believe in him as a deity. The religion that grew up around his actions evolved without him ever trying to create it.

RICHARD: And the perennial question you'll be sick of by now. But bring the vomit bucket up one more time, and we'll see if there isn't a chunk or carrot or two still waiting to be retched. Dan, are we going to see you back at the drawing board any time soon?

DAN: Yes, you will. I'm just starting on a new series for Top Cow that will likely be announced at San Diego. After that, I'll be drawing a DC project that's a bit too early to mention as we're still nailing down the final details.

One of my goals over the past few months has been to get back on the board in order to draw again, as it's something I've really missed.

RICHARD: From what my mailbag tells me, you're not the only one, Dan.

Dan Jurgens writes Thor for Marvel Comics. Rich Johnston writes Lying In the Gutters .

Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

The Waiting For Tommy Archive

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