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WAITING FOR TOMMY: GEOFF JOHNS
By Richard Johnston

RICHARD: I'm also certainly with you on the continuity thing. The first comic-book that really got me into collecting comics big time was a Claremont/John Romita Jr. X-Men. Didn't know who 5/6 of the people were, wanted to find out more about what they were on about - especially what the hell Kitty Pryde was eating (turns out it was pizza... provincial English boy such as I was hadn't seen such a creature like that before). Interestingly, some of Marvel's leading ongoing books, Ultimate Spider-Man, New X-Men and Amazing Spider-Man seem to have more in common with the Levitz Matrix storytelling technique than they might themselves admit. How intrusive did you find Marvel's "recommendations" into the way you wanted to tell stories? Might the situation be a little different now, after certain employment shifts? And what was the eventual fallout over the Mature Readers Avengers issue for you?

GEOFF: Continuity again. It's the scapegoat of super-hero comics.

I think Amazing Spider-Man is a really well-written and beautiful book and it delivers on what I love about super-hero comics. Sub-plots, lots going on, costumes. DC and Marvel have a lot of great super-hero books right now. Whatever Bendis is doing is golden. As far as recommendations from Marvel when I was there, I had a great time working with Tom, Marc and Olivier. I didn't have a whole lot of contact with Joe, but he was also supportive. It was a good experience. Avengers 71? I'd rather move on. And I have no idea what it's like over there with employment shifts right now.

 

TOMB RAIDER: SCARFACE'S TREASURE #1 DF EXCLUSIVE COMIC (COVER B)

RICHARD: Both Marvel and DC seem to be going through creative overhauls at the moment. How does this kind of thing affect you, as a freelancer? How much do you have to second guess in your work? How many people, apart from the reader, do you feel you have to appeal to? Do you ever find yourself a political pawn?

GEOFF: Do I find myself a political pawn? No, not really. I quit Avengers back in March of 2003, right before the whole creative shake-up at Marvel because I started at DC, I liked DC and I knew what Dan DiDio had planned for the DCU, I knew the direction they wanted to go in, I knew the focus was going to be on the DCU monthly books. Working on Teen Titans, JSA, the Flash and everything else with Peter Tomasi, Steve Wacker, Eddie Berganza, Tom Palmer and Joey Cavalieri is what I wanted to be doing. And focusing my energies in the DCU was a dream come true to me. Especially with all the other people surrounding me. It's making me work harder! There are many unsung heroes at DC including the two punks that are Matt Keller and Fletcher Chu-fong - and Terri, Adam, Patty, Bob, Jack. It's bizarre to look at the long list of people I really like over there. I've told my wife many times, it's the best decision I've ever made in my life. Next to marrying her, of course. In all honesty, if Dan and DC asked me to sign another three years right now, I'd do it without hesitation.

The thing I miss is Tom Brevoort. He's a great editor who loves the characters he works with and he has a killer story instinct. I really hope to work with him again someday. He and I never had any problems at all. Tom's still a good friend to me and an inspiration.

As far as second guessing my work, that's what the editors and artists I work with are there for. It's a collaborative effort across the board. I don't just sit down and write a script and turn it in. I talk through the story, the direction, we do outlines and overviews. There is no time for second guessing, just for figuring out how to tell the best story. We do this every month. As far as how many people I need to appeal to? I'm not sure I understand the question. You mean at DC? The thing is, we're all in the know on where the books are going for at least the next six months, more often than not even beyond that. A good example recently is BLACK REIGN, which is the JSA and Hawkman crossover. Peter Tomasi is my editor. Peter and I talked about it, I bounced off every single idea within the story -- even the smallest detail -- on him, and we shaped the story until we were 100% content that this was the absolute best JSA story we've done to date. And I run through the story with the artists I'm working with - Don Kramer on JSA and Rags Morales on Hawkman. I talk with the artists I work with as much as possible for several reasons. 1) They all have a great ideas. And as Richard Donner always told me, it serves no one but your own ego if someone has a great idea to add and you don't use it. 2) It's their book too. They should know what we've got planned and what's coming up. Let's all be honest here. It takes an artist a month or more to pencil a book it only takes the writer between a week or two to write it. All these talented artists deserve to voice their opinion on what they'll be staring at for the next five weeks. And 3) Talking with artists brings MY enthusiasm up. When Howard Porter or Mike McKone get psyched for the next script, that feeds into the circle of creativity and energy. Everyone needs to be on the same page. Incidentally, Rags and I are leaving Hawkman with issue #25 -- but we're ending on one helluva high note.

Dan DiDio has been a huge force, obviously the main force, in the recent surge of enthusiasm at the DCU. It's because he has a goal in mind for the universe as a whole. And it's a good one.

Did I mention I like being at DC?

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

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