FOR TOMMY: BOB MORALES
So, despite the hell that comics puts you through, you're
happy with the finished project from the other side?
Let's say I'm pretty satisfied that readers were greatly touched
by the end of Truth, that some found it funny in places it
was meant to be funny, and that others caught some of the
more obscure references - like the mention of Philip Wylie,
a highly versatile, popular American writer whose novel Gladiator
was a major influence on Seigel and Schuster's creation of
Superman. Truth's real life, however, will start once it comes
out as a graphic novel next February. That's the format for
which it was ultimately intended.
I heard your take on Captain America described in terms of
Peter Sellers' character in Being There. Can you elaborate
at all on that?
Well, it's in the sense that everybody in Being There projects
their own issues onto the Peter Sellers character; their projections
are the character. There should be a glamour to someone who's
a superhero, and if you'd interviewed as many celebrities
as I have, you'd see that they consciously use the projections
of others as a tool. Cap's no different. He knows he has this
larger than life quality that he wields as skillfully as his
shield; in many ways, that glamour is Steve Roger's shield.
A great example is what Greg Rucka's currently doing with
So would you argue that Captain America, and indeed America
itself, are only the project of perceptions? Are there no
innate overriding qualities?
Certainly Cap, as an entity, is more self-aware of what people
project onto him than America is as a whole. America really
doesn't put too much thought into how it comes across to the
rest of the world, egregious only in so far as it declares
itself a benign superpower. The Russians and the Chinese are
far less conflicted about not giving a damn what others think.
a free spirit that's identified as culturally American, but
we're economically and industrially demonized. Cap has much
more to do with the former.
Captain America stands for Governor of California. What ticket
would he stand under, would you vote for him, and would he
have a chance against Arnie?
Both major parties in California are so hopeless, Cap would
have to run as an independent. I'd vote for him as a fellow
New Yorker, but-as is obvious by now-Arnold would have the
lock, and good luck to him.
You're a freelance creator in a niche environment that still
seems to be shrinking. Are you mad to want to work in it?
Well, only the superhero part of it seems to continue shrinking
from the sales it enjoyed a decade ago - "independent," non-superhero
comics finally have a promising future in bookstores. That
doesn't mean you should completely abandon superheroes, only
the marketing gimmicks that created the demented speculator's
market, where a mint copy of some title that's sold in the
hundreds of thousands is as collectible as used black vinyl
chaps. I don't see superheroes disappearing from the pop consciousness,
but they need good, accessible stories that are fun and exciting
without wallowing in their fetish value.
to do some non-superhero stuff. But it's an interesting challenge
to write Captain America in a way that has human meaning without
resorting to political dogmatism, all the while employing
real world political content. As one of the classic superheroes,
Cap has a pop vitality I think translates easily to, say,
a Terry Moore- or Hernandez Bros.-approach, where the fantastic
elements are judiciously used to amplify human drama. I mean,
one of the early Superman stories has him going after a wife-beater!
Or you have Batman going after hoods, etc. Most people outside
the comics mainstream can handle stories where the villains
or situations are easily comprehensible. That is, continuity
if it's to attract any new readers, I see the future of superhero
comics as one where most of its dense continuity will have
to be discarded or retooled, which will greatly upset this
diminishing generation of hardcore fans. Lots of secondary
characters consigned to oblivion; there's no way to avoid
1 | 2
| 3 | 4
| 5 | 6
| 7 Continued