December 12, 2017

 




Interview:
Greg Rucka

By Michael Sullivan



 

You were a novelist first. Do you foresee a time when you won't be interested in writing comics anymore?

I like comics. I love writing them almost as much as I love reading them. The biggest factor in anything is time. If the situation arises where I'm getting paid truckloads of money for writing and that writing is taking up lots and lots of my time, then obviously other things are going to have to be cut back upon. Right now I'm extended very wide in comics, so comics would be the logical place to cut back, but I don't actually see a point where I'm never going to be writing a comic book.

There's stories that can only be told in comics. You can't tell them anyplace else. You can't tell on screen and you can't tell them in prose. You can't tell them as short story and you can't tell them as a poem. They have to be a comic, and for those stories, you're going to have to go to that medium.

You said you love writing comics as much as you love reading comics. What comics are you reading?

Pretty much anything Bendis is writing right now.

I'm pretty lucky in that I get to see a lot of the Oni stuff in advance. POUNDED I think is outstanding. There's a book coming, SHOT CALLERZ, and another one, SKINWALKER. Both of which I think are just great.

I'm kind of a Warren Ellis junkie, I'll pick up just about anything he's done.

I really like what's going on with the Hulk right now.

I really like Brian Azzarello's stuff.

I'm really leery to say I'm reading this-title-only or that-title-only. I tend to pick up stuff based on who is writing it and what I've heard.

And it's not all mainstream. I think one of the best things I've read this last year was THE GOLEM'S MIGHTY SWING. I think it's just beautiful and I think it's just elegant as hell

I love AGE OF BRONZE, but with me being an Ancient greek junkie...you know?

It really is a question of what wanders across my desk or what I trip over.

To me in Chicago, it seems that Portland, to comics, is very much like Athens, GA or Seattle was to music.

Or if you're a literary snob like me, it's like Paris after the first World War.

I don't know what it is, maybe it's in the water. Or maybe it just rains so damn much that there's nothing left to do but stay inside and draw and write. We seem to be a magnet city for comics professionals right now. I love this city. (in a drawl)

Us comics types really seem to like it here.

Has anything professionally resulted from living in this comics Mecca?

It's where I met Matt Clark (FELON). Matthew Clark's local. That's entirely due to Portland.

GRENDEL: PAST PRIME. Matt Wagner's here in town.

Steve (WHITEOUT) Lieber lives all of 15 blocks from me. Despite that, we never see each other.

Since the Bendis' have moved up here, we've had the opportunity to get to know them.

I like the fact that I'm this close to Oni. Because they're a smaller press, they tend to be hands on and that makes it a lot easier, just in proximity. I can get a call from Jamie (Rich) and he'll say "okay, we have pages. I'm going to bring them by," and in five minutes he's over and we look at them and have coffee. That's fantastic. I love that. That rocks, as opposed to having to wait for the Airborne Express pack from, say, DC with a note saying read ASAP, which is annoying.

Since you mentioned Matt Clark, what's the current state of FELON. It was originally an ongoing until difficulties at Top Cow cut it down to eight-issues. Is that still the case?

No. Over at four. Putting the bullet in at four.

When Matthew and I had set out, we had a long story. It was going to run 20-25 issues and it became clear that at most we were going to be able to do eight issues and we went around and we went around and realized that eight wasn't going to be enough to tell the story we wanted to tell. Doing an issue five-six-seven-eight wasn't going to help, because where that would bring us to in the overall arc wasn't going to bring it to a conclusion and trying to conclude in eight issues was going to shortchange the story horribly. As a result, he and I had a long talk about this and decided that four is a break issue. It focuses on the FBI agent, it doesn't focus on the felon. We looked at that and this is as good a place to take a breather as any.

If FELON gets up and walks again, be it at Top Cow or somewhere else, I don't really know if it is possible that it could go somewhere else, we'll look at that, but I didn't want to string the reader along. "Here buy another four issues of this comic and then be dissatisfied." That was the biggest issue when we found out it wasn't going to be as long as we thought it was... It wasn't an issue of job security. It was "God dammit, how are we gonna tell the story we wanted to tell!"

We spent a lot of time trying to figure out if there was a way we could tell it in eight-issues, rather than in 25, and the answer was no. Top Cow was really good about it. They were accepting and understanding about the decision.


And then things devolved into unimportant chatter and Greg presumably set about finishing the Black Widow mini-series.

How's that for a close?





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Spider-Man: Tangled Web

Black Widow

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