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WAITING FOR TOMMY: BOB MORALES
By Richard Johnston

RICHARD: Is hip hop interest a genre or subject matter that you'd like to work on for full-length comics? Might you find that kind of thing more rewarding, personally?

BOB: Kyle Baker and I do have a hip hop-related property we hope to do somewhere, and it would be really funny, but at the end of the day, you know, it'll still be work.

RICHARD: The Truth gave you, I think, your first real taste of comics fandom at its worse - in at the deep end. Are you prepared any more for your next dip, with Captain America?

BOB: When I'm writing, I think about the reader, singular, not fandom at large. You can't please everybody-that's not one of my issues. My job is to please the reader with an honest story that isn't hacked out. Beyond that, I assume if the work sucks, people won't buy it and Marvel will fire me. Which is Freelancer Darwinism.

I don't find fandom to have any different ratio of terrific people to creeps that any other group. I've found answering bullshit rumors online to be extremely effective; people just want you to be honest, and they can tell if you're full of it. The thing that saddens me about fandom, though, is the obsession with the marketplace, as if comics were sports. Comics are art and they're entertainment, boys and girls-what Strangers In Paradise sells relative to Ultimates says zilch about the intrinsic value of both, and that holds true for more comparable titles like Avengers and JLA, Batman or Spider-Man. And it should mean nothing to the reader whether Marvel or DC tops the monthly Diamond list.

As for the fan reaction to my Cap run, I think most will really like it, because what I go by is what I'd buy myself as a Cap fan. Some people might not like it, true, but they can find other things to read. There's plenty.

RICHARD: Okay, okay, maybe you're not Nixon - you don't seem to get wound up in criticism. How do you resist the possibility of hacking stuff out, especially in light with the pain you go through anyway. Wouldn't it just be easier to get it out and be done with it?

BOB: Hacking is at the automatic pilot end of craft, and you need austere hacks who can write cover stories about Justin Timberlake; that's just the nature of the business, and I love people who are good at it when I'm a working magazine editor. But if I write something it has to have some meaning to me, or I'm stuck - you could triple my word rate and I still couldn't find a thing to say about Justin Timberlake, or dog racing, or beets - which makes hacking even more laborious than work I'm already having trouble with, so what would be the point? If I want to do something easier than writing I can always go back to editing, 95% of which is hiring people that don't suck.

RICHARD: A number of people felt you betrayed the concept of Captain America, indeed America itself, in Truth with what some saw as crude exaggeration. Is your work more caricature than satire?

BOB: Those people are stupid, Rich. I'm not responsible for stupid people. I'm aware of them, though, and I plan my travels accordingly.

Most people see Truth for what it was intended to be-a deepening of the Captain America myth that looks at the racial climate in the U.S. circa W.W.II, and a melodrama about personal sacrifice. That people have seen that translates into: Truth was a success.

Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 Continued Here...

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