FOR TOMMY: BOB MORALES
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?
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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?
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
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?
Those people are stupid, Rich. I'm not responsible for stupid
people. I'm aware of them, though, and I plan my travels accordingly.
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.
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| 7 Continued