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WAITING FOR TOMMY: ETHAN VAN SCIVER
By Richard Johnston

RICHARD: Cyberfrog was your baby, but seemed to be taken away by your publisher. Your more recent seen work has been franchise. Is that easier to say goodbye to? How do you relate to your own creations? Dispassionate objectivity? Did you inject a little of your soul into each and every panel? Is it less, say for New X-Men when you were a regular replacement for Frank Quitely (and then Kordey was a regular replacement for you), or something like Iron Heights, where you seemed to have a more prominent role?

 

NEW X-MEN VOLUME 1 HARDCOVER

ETHAN: Cyberfrog wasn't taken away, I signed away the rights for a limited amount of time in the interest of making money drawing him, and breaking into comics. It's a fair trade, believe me. I loved Cyberfrog, but I wasn't able to deliver the character that was in my head on paper. I was too young, too naive, and really didn't understand anything about doing comics. I don't remember if he was hard to say goodbye too. He probably was, but the bigger thing just around the corner is enough to sooth that pain. I was about to work at DC comics on IMPULSE, a book I could make my own, if I'd just draw a little more like Humberto Ramos. Heh.

But even certain franchise characters aren't easy to say goodbye to. FLASH certainly wasn't. The characters I created in IRON HEIGHTS became franchise, but I left those babies when they were still in the crib. I would have liked to have developed them more, with Geoff Johns, so that they would survive better on their own. With X-MEN, I needed more time with Beak, which I didn't get, and of course, the Jean Grey that lives in my head is far more beautiful than Marvel has ever been able to manage. Every now and then you connect with a character, and you completely and totally understand them. It's as if you're put there to breathe more life into them, to improve them because you're the best one to do it. It's a peculiar feeling. But it's exciting, and it in itself is motivating. It happens for both writers and artists.

RICHARD: How do they still live with you? Can you talk to the 'Jean' you created?
ETHAN: Aw, you're out to make me look a little ill here. Yeah, you certainly can. Some faces I create are instantly recognizable, and when they're appearing on paper, I might sort of laugh and say 'hello, Murmur, you sick bastard.' or 'Hey Jean.' In my head. Not aloud, or my wife would think something was wrong. Just last night I was working on my second Flash cover, which is something like Wally West running and becoming Flash, you know, at the half way point between costume changes. And I FOUND Wally. His face happened, and his attitude, and I just got a little static shock of happiness. There he is. And he's exactly like I want him to be. And now he's mine.

A little like something out of Silence of the Lambs, isn't it?

Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 Continued Here...

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