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WAITING FOR TOMMY: PETER DAVID
By Richard Johnston

RICHARD: Warren Ellis is doing his Year Of Whoredom. If even that mad bastard can do it just for the money, I expect to see Dave Sim on Transformers, I really do. So spell out your decision making process - what are the projects you've turned down? Given that, right of now, no non-aligned DC series has yet made it convincingly as an ongoing series fro a very long time, is there really merit in taking a Don Quixote stance? And couldn't Wolverine fight Don Quixote? Might make a good Origin prequel...
PETER
: Last thing I turned down was some years ago when I was offered "Thor." Haven't passed on anything recently, since I've had the good fortune to be interested in whatever was offered to me. As for merit in taking a Don Quixote stance...there' s always merit. Hopeless battles are the ones most worth fighting.

RICHARD: Military generals may disagree. Is that any more than a truism, handy to end a rousing speech on Buffy? Surely hopeless battles are the ones you run away from, regroup and have another go at when there's actually some hope going spare?
PETER: Do you have any idea how many people (including, to some degree, me) told Harlan Ellison that his legal fight against AOL was hopeless? That they had far deeper pockets, that they could paper into oblivion, that there was no way he'd get what he wanted. He couldn't win. It was hopeless. And we were all wrong. Not bad for a hopeless fight. If others can soldier on in the face of overwhelming difficulties, so can I.

RICHARD: Well. maybe the tide's turning. Why do you reckon Joe Quesada asked the San Diego audience if they'd like to see you back on the ongoing Hulk series? Is his mind aglow with whirling transient nodes of thought? Or is he teasing you from afar?
PETER: Well, I was hardly afar; I was in San Diego. Best thing to do is ask Joe for the whys and wherefores. Me, hey, I'm doing the mini, I'm content. Now granted, when Joe asked the fans if they wanted to see me back on Hulk, it got a huge roar of approval. But I've been to these Joe panels. If Joe said, "Hey, my wife's thinking of taking up all the carpeting in our house and we're switching entirely to hardwood floors, whattaya think of that?" he'd get a huge roar of approval. Fans aren't that discriminating in these situations.

RICHARD: I think any two points in San Diego were afar this year.I don't know, there were a fair few mumbles and grumbles in response to some calls for responses. And there was a increasing degree of difference in response between asking about your current Hulk project and the thought of you returning to the series. Kind of like if he's asked them "and after the flooring, how about we get Elektra to come round for a date?"

Still it seemed a good con... hey, you got name checked by Sarah Michelle Gellar. And it was probably a line that Freddie wrote for her. With the whole tattoo thing going on down as well, did you get a few more ego puff points this year than usual?
PETER: Name checked by SMG...yeah, that was nice, although I wish I'd heard it. On the other hand, I've had lunch with Amber Benson, been kissed by Mercedes McNab, and hugged by James Marsters, so, y'know...

But yeah, the old ego got seriously stoked this year. The one frustration was all the people who told me eagerly, "We love all your work. We love everything you write." And I'd say, "Are you reading 'Fallen Angel'?" And almost every single one looked at me blankly. Had no idea what I was talking about. It wasn't just that they ignored it; you have to know about it to ignore it. They simply hadn't heard of it. The number of untapped readers for this series is just staggering.

RICHARD: Yeah. You know, right now, there are thousands of people screaming your name in jealous hate? Are your ears burning (because someone may be dropping acid onto them from above you).

Ever thought about wearing a sandwich billboard at these events?
PETER: That says what? "Hug me, girls. It's one step away from hugging Spike."

RICHARD: I bet you'd get a queue. Would you fancy writing any tie-in novels with the Global Frequency TV series? Ever channelled Warren Ellis before?
PETER: You know, fans always said to me, "You always write Star Trek novels. Why don't you write for the TV show?" And that never happened. So when I wrote episodes of Babylon 5, I figured, Okay, well at least that's a question I won't get asked this go-around. So what did fans ask me? "When are you going to write "Babylon 5" novels?" Which I eventually did, but the point is, if a new TV series is starting up, I'd rather write for the series itself than novel spin-offs.

RICHARD: Do you think the image people have of you as a novelisation/novel spin-off writer is a fair one? In numbers and output alone, it seems to be a fair reflection... is it a distorted one? Do you believe you have the public image you deserve? Have you ever actively tried to change it?
PETER: Yeah, it's a distorted one. I've written over a dozen "New Frontier" novels...but also over a dozen original fantasy and SF novels, not to mention I co-wrote over twenty episodes of "Space Cases," a Nickelodeon TV series I co-created with Bill Mumy. I've written a bunch of movie novelizations...but so has Max Allan Collins. Have I written tie-ins with a major SF franchise? Yes. So has Kevin Anderson and Timothy Zahn. Nobody tags them as novelization/spin-off writers. I've written episodic TV, created a TV series, written for film, SF novels, fantasy novels. Gee, why doesn't Peter David write an ongoing comic series with original characters. Hello? "Soulsearcher and Company," ten years running. It's like the more I've dedicated myself to be in as many writing venues as possible, the more determined some people are to pigeonhole me. They literally have to go out of their way to ignore my track record.

I mean, comic book companies ballyhoo that they have a comic being written by a "New York Times bestselling author." How spiffy for them. Me, I'm merely New York Times bestselling, Locus bestselling, USA Today bestselling, Eisner Award-winning, Wizard Fan Award-winning, CBG Fan Award-winning, GLAAD Media Award-winning, International Haxtur Award-winning, Cable Ace Award-nominated author Peter David. So it'd be nice if people started thinking of me as something other than "that media tie-in guy."

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

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