Zimmertainment Category



The Return of the Dark Knight: An Interview with Adam Beechen Part 2

Written by on Oct 7, 2012
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In part 2 of our interview, Mr. Beechen touches on the roles of minor characters in his upcoming arc and what his plans for the future of the book are.

TZ: One of my favorite issues of your new run has been issue 5. It is the most emotional character-based issue you have done on another character beyond Terry. What made you want to step outside of Terry’s life for a little?

AB: Thanks.  It’s my favorite story to date.  After every story arc, we try to do an issue that more or less stands alone, under the heading of “Legends of the Dark Knight.”  It focuses on someone in the supporting cast and/or how someone other than our main character relates to the notion of Batman.  In the case of #5, we’d been working on the book for a while, and hadn’t really re-told the origin.  But we didn’t want to re-hash the origin straight up – We wanted to do it in a way that shed new light on the characters and advanced the larger story.  So all the details of how Terry became Batman may not be on the page, but if you read between the lines ,you get a good idea of what happened.

TZ: Why did you choose to revisit Bruce’s past and simultaneously link it to Terry’s? It seems like an interesting choice but nonetheless one that is not out of the Beyond-norm given episodes from the Bruce Timm-era series (Batman Beyond and Justice League) but also your runs as well……

AB: The end of the Justice League Unlimited animated series revealed a surprising and momentous link between Bruce and Terry.  We wanted to provide another one of those, and show that there are a bunch of connections between Terry and Bruce, on lots of different levels.

TZ: Will he be back to impact any upcoming stories? The ending seems to hint he will be a big part of the universe coming up along with being a hero as opposed to his past ancestor….

AB: Jake Chill will be back and very soon.  He feels like he’s gone through an important change, and now he’s on a very personal mission.

TZ: Motioning back to the current stories going on, what made you want to build the Jokerz as a giant threat? It seems definitely like unexplored territory but something new as well…..

AB: We wanted to legitimize the Jokerz as something more than an annoying distraction in the Beyond Universe.  There’s so many of them, you can’t help but wonder what would ever happen if they got on the same page, and now we’re seeing it.

TZ: Max is also currently in a moral predicament of her own. What made you want to test her as a character?

AB: As with Dana, we wanted to make Max an important character, one who can takie her own actions and generate her own stories. We wanted her to do more than be Terry’s hacker-on-call. The more full we can make all of our supporting characters, the more opportunities we’ll have to tell stories.

TZ: Will Terry find out what she’s been up to, and will her loyalties be questioned?

AB: I don’t think anything would make Max’s loyalties waver.  But she’s definitely in over her head with Undercloud, and she better hope Terry finds out about it, because it’s going to take at least both of them to get Max out of it.

TZ: Bruce doesn’t seem to be in too good shape either. Why did you decide to isolate Terry?

AB: Terry has to learn how to do things without Bruce sooner or later.  He has to find out who else he can rely on, and how he can function without Bruce constantly yelling or whispering in his ear.  From a dramatic standpoint, you want your lead character to go through that at the most desperate possible moment.

TZ: Are you trying to show how Terry will deal with the first real big threat against him by himself?

AB: It’s definitely a big test for Terry that will force him to draw on everything he’s learned so far. It’ll also force him to ask himself some tough questions.

TZ: What will be the fate of Bruce?

AB: He’ll become a dancing showgirl in Las Vegas.  No, just kidding, of course.  Again, you don’t want me to reveal too much, right?

TZ: Turning forward to the future, will the new Catwoman be making any appearances? She too had a big role in the past, and seems to have vanished as of late…..

AB: Catwoman’s coming back.  She’s too much fun to just appear in one storyline.  I’m looking forward to really exploring who she is and what she’s all about, and I think I’ve found a fun way in which to do it.

TZ: What is the fate of Selina Kyle? Is she still alive, and will the return of the new Catwoman coincide with the return of the old as well?

AB: No comment.

TZ: Finally, in your eyes, how do you view the Beyond universe? Do see it as the future of the New 52 DCU?

AB: I think it’s a possible future of the DCU.  I wouldn’t want to say definitively, because so much can happen between here and there.  I also wouldn’t want to say because by keeping it a possible future instead of THE future, we can draw on all kinds of elements of DC continuities, present and past, for our stories, which is part of the fun.

TZ: What can fans expect from your run coming up?

AB: Next up after “10,000 Clowns” is a spotlight story on Dana, followed by our next big story arc, which gets into Max’s involvement with Undercloud.  I’m right in the middle of writing it, and having a lot of fun.  It brings seven (at least) characters to the Beyond continuity for the first time, including some I’ve wanted to write for years!

Thanks Mr. Beechen!! Stay tuned next week for our interview with JT Krul, author of “Superman Beyond”!!

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Tommy Zimmer is an upcoming writer of short stories, comic books, journalism/media reviews, screenplays, and anything related to writing. On zimmert101.wordpress.com, you can view his latest work, and see what exciting things he is currently doing!!

 




The Best Friend of Terry McGinnis: An Interview with Batman Beyond Unlimited writer Adam Beechen Part 1

Written by on Oct 3, 2012
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Adam Beechen is a comic book and television writer. He has written for such shows at “Teen Titans,” “The Batman,” and “Ben 10.” As of late, he has gotten heavier into comic book writing with working on books such as “Robin” and “Countdown to Final Crisis.” Recently, he has been working on the “Batman Beyond” franchise from starting the fire with a mini-series, to a full blown series, and now an oversized digital and print monthly.

Mr. Beechen was nice enough to speak to us about his work.

Tommy Zimmer: To begin, I was curious why DC decided to halt your series that was already selling well and being raved by critics. What made them decide to wait? The New 52? And what was your reaction to that?

Adam Beechen: It was definitely about the New 52.  I was told from the start that our series would continue with a hiatus of a few months, because we weren’t going to be a part of the New 52 — being outside the official, canonical mainstream – and DC didn’t want our series to get lost in all the hubbub over new #1’s and such.  Vice versa, DC didn’t want anything distracting from the launch of the New 52, even a little, which was understandable.  I think the hiatus cost us some story momentum, but I think most of the readers that were with us before stck with us when we came back.  I’m not sure how many series have had three launches in an 18-month period, so maybe we set some kind of record.

TZ: Going along those lines, your main artist Ryan Benjamin did not stay on as artist for the new “Unlimited” issues…. Why did he leave?

AB: I think Ryan was ready to move on and focus on his own projects, which are brilliant.  Ryan and John Stanisci did incredible work on the series, going back to the Hush Beyond miniseries.  I miss working with them and hope to have the opportunity to do so again.  Editor Jim Chadwick secured the services of Norm Breyfogle to pick up the artistic reins, and whie I’m sure it hasn’t been easy to fill the shoes of Ryan and John, Norm is a legend among Bat-artists for a very good reason…I don’t think we’ve missed a beat.

TZ: When did you know you were going to be working with Dustin, Derek, Norm, and JT? What excited you about having more writing collaborators?

AB: I kept writing Batman Beyond during our hiatus, because I knew we were coming back in some form or another.  When that form was finally revealed to me, that’s when I knew we’d be part of an anthology series for the Beyond Universe.  I was thrilled to hear that Dustin, Derek, JT and Howard, among others, would be joining Norm and I between the same covers.  Dustin’s been an important creative part of Batman Beyond since the Hush Beyond miniseries, and I’ve been a fan of Derek, JT and Howard for a long, long time.  I love that there are multiple stories in the book.  Anything that expands the Beyond Universe enrichens the overall stories and characters, and that’s all right with me!

TZ: Will there be any crossovers with you guys working with multiple tales in the same book?

AB: We haven’t planned anything, or even really discussed it, but our characters are bound to cross paths, especially with Batman and Superman in the Justice League.

TZ: Going to the crux of your narrative, you continue (in the mini-series, first series, and now the new series) to focus on the personal life of Terry McGinnis and the issues he has with being a teenager in a society that becomes more complicated as he gets older. What attracts him as a character to you?

AB: He’s very relatable.  After all, I was a teenage boy once, way back before there was electricity and stuff.  The crossroads, challenges and questions he faces are familiar ones, even if mine didn’t come with costumed maniacs trying to kill me.

TZ: Terry has been going through some issues as of late. His girlfriend has been on and off with him, and he is at the same time having a threat growing against him. I know you have said you wanted to make Dana a bigger part of his life…. How do you think you are doing that?

AB: Well, the chief way has been through the introduction of her brother Doug, for whom you can thank our former editor, Chris Conroy.  In addition to setting up as a major villain for Terry, Doug gives us some insight into Dana’s family and the environment she grew up in.  Mostly, we’ve tried to make Dana more active than reactive, as she was by breaking up with Terry.  Doing that forced Terry to acknowledge how important she is to him, so in that sense, she became a bigger part of his life by stepping back from it.

TZ: How dark will her life get as her family is slowly falling apart somewhat?

AB: Pretty dark!  Terry’s, too.  And Bruce’s.  And Gotham’s.

TZ: The one leading the threat against Terry is Dana’s brother Doug… how will that affect the relationship between Terry and Dana? Will there be permanent ramifications?

AB: You don’t want me to give too much away, I hope, but…it will affect the relationship a great deal, and the ramifications will be very permanent.

TZ: You did a lot of universe building in the miniseries and the first series. I am wondering whether or not any of that continuity will play into future stories you have planned?

AB: Yes.  That was a big part of my goal in writing the miniseries – to expand the world the animated series created so beautifully.  I want to show more of Gotham, more of the world and universe beyond Gotham, and explore all of the characters that impact Terry’s life.

TZ: Dick Grayson had a big role in both those….. Will he make a return soon?

AB: You bet.

TZ: If so, how will he impact the life of Terry?

AB: What’s happened over the course of the miniseries and our last two monthly series is that Bruce has slowly been pulling the Bat-Family back together around him.  He’s not doing it any kind of huggy-kissy way filled with apologies, because that’s not him, but in his subtle way, he’s doing it.  He’s forged stronger ties with the GCPD, bringing him more into contact with Barbara, he’s hired Tim Drake, and so on.  The only one who hasn’t really come back under the umbrella so far is Dick.  He provides Terry with a different perspective on Bruce, one that’s not so forgiving.

TZ: Moving to that, how is Wayne, Incorporated going to be going forward under Tim Drake and Lucius Fox Jr.’s protection? Will that being playing a role as the main story continues?

AB: Sure.  There’ll always be stuff going on with Wayne, Incorporated, so we’ll have plenty of opportunities to see Lucius and Tim.

TZ: Being a big Jason Todd fan myself, I had to wonder: do have any plans for him? With Terry being a street tough kid before he becomes Batman, it seems like a natural fit for those two to have an interaction soon……

AB: No plans for Jason in the immediate future.

Thanks Mr. Beechen!

Stay tuned for part 2 later this week when we discuss more of what’s to come in the lives of Mr. Beechen and his lead character Terry McGinnis!!

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Tommy Zimmer is an upcoming writer of short stories, comic books, journalism/media reviews, screenplays, and anything related to writing. On zimmert101.wordpress.com, you can view his latest work, and see what exciting things he is currently doing!!

 

 




The Batman of Canada and member of Batman Incorporated: An interview with Detective Comics artist Jason Fabok

Written by on Oct 1, 2012
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Jason Fabok is an artist for DC Comics best known for his work on Batman: The Dark Knight with David Finch. Mr. Fabok has been all over the DCU doing variant covers for lots of different books, and is finally getting a mainstay on one of DC’s oldest (now newest) titles Detective Comics. Mr. Fabok was nice enough to speak with us about his latest coup in the comics world.

Tommy Zimmer: To begin, how did you find out you’d be working on Detective Comics?

Jason Fabok: Soon after I had finished the Batman Annual with Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV, Mike Marts had asked me if i was up for a “big project”. I replied back, “what does ‘big project’ mean?”  Never would I have guessed it would have been Detective Comics.

TZ: What was your reaction to getting this opportunity? I know you’ve expressed interest in working on a Bat title in other interviews…..

JF: I was in shock really.  Maybe in my wildest of wild dreams did I ever think I would get to work on such a legendary title.  To think that my name will be on the cover of Detective Comics is an great honor for myself.  This is something that comes as a surprise and a great blessing.  My main goal in my career was to work my way up towards working on a “Batman” title of some sort.  I’ve done little fill in’s with David Finch’s The Dark Knight before the New 52 and the Batman Annual but this is a whole new ball-game.

TZ: You are working with writer John Layman…. what does his story allow you to draw?

JF: It’s interesting when you start working with a new writer.  You never really know what you are going to get and how you will fit with them.  From my perspective, John’s scripts are an artist’s dream.  The man writes such clear, easy to understand and translate scripts.  He has a very cinematic quality to the way he approaches a story and as I read through the scripts, the images for each page just pour out.  This makes the life of a monthly artist much easier!    I also love his story telling style.  He uses alot of jump cuts in his work so myself as an artist is never bored.  Things are happening all through the story that give tiny clues to what’s coming in both the end of the book, and the larger story as a whole.  I couldn’t ask for a better writer to work with.

TZ: Batman’s world has always been a dark and crooked place but your cover to issue one almost has a feel of Batman: Gotham by Gaslight…. how do you plan to present Batman?

JF: Personally, I’m just trying to draw Batman and his world as I’ve always liked it to look.  I used to stress about how I would draw Gotham and Batman and how it would have to be my own unique take.  I’m finding though that by relaxing, and letting my influences flow out of me, I’m getting what I want.  Artistically, lots of shadows, blacks, grime and grundge is where I naturally go to so this sort of book really works well.

TZ: What are you influenced by?

JF: Great question!  This allows me to gush about my favorite artists!  My biggest influence has to be David Finch.  Some know the story already, but David has been my mentor and good friend for these past few years.  He personally put me through the “David Finch Super Intense Boot-camp of Comics” back in 2010 after I sent a portfolio to him and asked for a few pointers.  We both live in the Windsor/Essex County area in Southern Ontario, so I was able to meet with him for 6 months and learn the trade.  I can’t sing his praises enough.  He helped me make a break into a terribly competative field, helped me to find work and continues to give me great advice on where to take my career.  My wife and I are so thankful to him and his wife for their time and sacrifice to help me reach my dreams.  Artistically, his work and style is a massive influence on me but I feel like I’m starting to find my own thing now after a few years in the trenches.

My other big influence would be Jim Lee, who’s Batman:Hush artwork was the thing that made me want to even strive for the job of being a comic artist.  It was so awesome to meet him a few years back at NYCC.  He’s always been and will always be a huge influence to my art.

Artistically others include Steve McNiven, Travis Charest, Mike Mignola, Tim Sale, Gary Frank, Lee Bermejo, Greg Capullo, Ivan Reis, John Cassaday, Frank Frazetta, Bernie Wrightson, Joe Benitez, Darwyn Cooke, Frank Quitely….the list could go on and on and on.

And a special shout out to a good friend and local Windsor artist Tony Gray who has had a big impact on both my wife and I and our careers.  He’s got wisdom beyond his years and is always pushing me to strive for the best.

TZ: With the Penguin, you seem to present him almost as royalty? Why is that?

JF: My wife and I watch a lot of BBC Masterpiece Mystery. I pull a ton of my story telling influence from shows like Sherlock, Wallander and Poirot.  I love murder mystery and BBC detective shows so I feed alot off of them. Personally, the Penguin reminds me of an Edwardian Lord or land owner you’d see in one of those shows.  Very regal, dressed to the nines, that sort of thing but also greedy and power hungry. I’ve tried to make him resemble a character you’d see in Sherlock Holmes, or Hercule Poirot.  I’ve even given him those big sideburns that was in style in that time period.  I’m also trying to make him a bit more human than a weird penguin monster. I’m pulling from both the Danny Devito and Burgess Meredeth versions but I’m trying to create something in the middle

TZ: Does it have anything to do with the “Emperor Penguin” stuff in the solicitation?

JF: We’ll have to wait and see now, won’t we?

TZ: How are you going to approach illustrating Poison Ivy?

JF: Poison Ivy is a fun character to draw.  She’s sensual, so you have to get that in there, but she’s also confused about where her allegience lies.  Issue 14 has alot of Poison Ivy and I’ve had a blast drawing her!

TZ: What do you feel is important to get right about her character visually?

JF: It’s in the face.  She can change so quickly just by drawing her face with a changed emotion.

TZ: Clayface has been illustrated a bunch of different ways…. are you going to present him more in his clay form or more as other people (having transformed into them)…?

JF: I’m aiming for a more monsterous form than human.  I really love the version of the character when he looks big and angry and wants to break stuff.  Clayface has always been one of my favorites ever since Batman: The Animated Series when I first learned of the character.  He’s a fun character to draw.

TZ: You have the opportunity to draw the Joker….. are you going to try to set him apart from the other Jokers or will you stay close to what Mr. Capullo has done for the upcoming “Death of the Family” event?

JF: I’m going with Greg’s design on this one.  Greg is one of my favorites and I look up to him and his Batman art.  The Joker is such an iconic figure going back to the early days of Batman that I really want to get him right.  So far I’ve only drawn little glimpses of the character in the pages I’ve done so far, but starting with issue 16 I hope to dive right in with some scary Joker art.

TZ: How long do plan to stay on the title?

JF: For as long as they allow me too.  I’d love to stay for a long time, but who knows.  I’m just thankful for this opportunity and I hope I’m able to grow with each book, and present something that fans enjoy viewing.

TZ: What do hope fans will take away from your run on the book?

JF: John and I really want to make sure these books are accessible to a large volume of readers.  To me, these stories feel a lot like the Batman: The Animated Series episodes I grew up with as a kid and that’s what I’ve always wanted to work on with Batman. The first issue is really just a intro to the story as a whole.  It’s a fun, race against time issue featuring some cool gadgets, some great action and introduces some of the characters in the plot.  From there, things start to ramp up and lead into some great “Layman-esque” stories starting in 14.   Each issue has its own story, it’s own core mystery that Batman must solve, but each part plays into a larger tale.  Every issue I get from John really makes me want to ramp things up.  I hope that fans will give us a try with issue 13, 14 and 15 because John really has some killer stories brewing in his head.

TZ: What else do you have coming up?

JF: Right now I’m just focused on making these books the best I can make them in the ammount of time I’ve been given.  I’m doing a few variant covers here and there, but right now it’s just Detective from morning til night!

Thanks a lot, Mr. Fabok, and check out later this week for another interview with someone from the new Detective Comics team!!

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Tommy Zimmer is an upcoming writer of short stories, comic books, journalism/media reviews, screenplays, and anything related to writing. On zimmert101.wordpress.com, you can view his latest work, and see what exciting things he is currently doing!!

 

 

 

 




Shooting arrows and a life of thievery: An Interview with Ann Nocenti

Written by on Sep 19, 2012
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Ann Nocenti is a critically acclaimed writer, and has written for both Marvel Comics and DC Comics. She is best known for her runs on the Daredevil, Spider-Man, and Classic X-Men books. She is currently the ongoing writer for Green Arrow, and is taking over Catwoman from Judd Winick. She was nice enough to speak with me, and answer some questions I had concerning the two ongoing books.

Tommy Zimmer: To start off, let’s talk about Green Arrow. You have focused a lot on the character’s ability to jump into action without thinking about the consequences sometimes like an arrow being shot at a target. What made you decide to take this approach to the character?

Ann Nocenti: The New 52, which was a great idea, and if I understand it correctly, it was about taking characters with 40 or 50 years of history and stories, and starting fresh. To me, starting fresh meant younger, with less experience, less seasoned, and yet somehow with all that experience and talent latent inside. Kind of like genetics—I have my grandfather’s farming blood in me, without his experience of running a farm, but it’s there, I feel it in my DNA. So Green Arrow/Oliver Queen would not have the years of street experience of his entire mythology—but he has the bones and blood for it. He’s heading towards having a stronger conscience, he’s evolving towards understanding repercussions, but he’s just not there yet. The seasoned Green Arrow of Denny O’Neil and Mike Grell’s era, a man who can have a mature relationship and fights for social justice… this new Oliver Queen is still to green (pun intended) to be that mature. But I wanted all my stories to have that subtext and tension: with the Skylarks, he felt the first shudders of repercussions for shooting off recklessly on a whim. With the Dark Arrows, he started to sense that if you are going to protect a city—don’t jet off and abandon it. He meets a girl in a bar and talks about Occupy Seattle—he’s curious, but he doesn’t rush off to fight social justice. But the seed is planted.

TZ: You have emphasized the duality of his life. Not only showing Oliver Queen in his superhero persona, but also him in his normal life. He seems to be struggling with women a lot. Is that why you chose to introduce the Skylark trio?

AN: With the Skylarks I just wanted to set a honey trap. I wanted to have a satiric story about fame and fans and celebrity—then twist it in a dark way. The Skylarks want to please him—then they want to own him. And Oliver Queen STILL doesn’t know that the one Skylark that did care for him didn’t betray him after all. So the door is open for another visit from the Skylarks.

TZ: Going forward, will that be in the back of his mind as he goes off on more adventures? Will that loss of love haunt him at all?

AN: In the China stories, he falls for Suzie Ming, China’s favorite superhero. She is everything the Skylarks were not—she’s modest, she has a vision for China, the country she loves. The corruption and pollution of China hurts her to her core. She is to China what Captain America was to the US, in his heyday. Queen recognizes a goodness in Suzie Ming, and a sense of putting your country before yourself. She’s the opposite of what you’d expect him to fall for: she’s not dark, she’s not a femme fatale. But she falls for Green Arrow, not Oliver Queen, which could become a problem.

TZ: Continuing with that idea, he seems to have had a real heart to heart with Pauline in the issue Steven Kurth did… will we see more of her as she seems to have vanished….?

AN: I love the issues that story raised: it was all a metaphor for modern pharmaceuticals as a way of leveling emotions rather than dealing with them, hence, Pauline Pearl thinks she’s robotic. She WANTS to be a robot. It’s kind of a flipside to that great book and film, “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep” that became “Bladerunner.” In that story, the replicants craved humanity. In today’s world of leveling extreme emotions, being a robot is seen as a good thing. Not FEELING too much is seen as a good thing. Or at least that’s what I was trying to say in the story. Then the ending… when Queen goes to see what her “Robots Anonymous” club is like, and he meets people, like himself, that like the feel of metal on their skin, he’s a bit shocked. I’d like to do more with that notion of an underground help group for people that wear metal.

TZ: For you, do you think Oliver found something in her he could relate to? Maybe the inability to control his own life?

AN: That’s a good question, and yes, I think you are right. He’s moving too fast to THINK. He never pauses. He flings himself from battle to battle. I specifically don’t show him relaxing, don’t show him doing anything normal or routine. But because of his recklessness, and repercussions, he’s finally beginning to reflect a bit on his actions.

TZ: In the #11, you introduced the Dark Arrows. What makes them tick in their view of Queen? You obviously were inspired by the Occupy movements and Tea Party-type stuff occurring around the country?

AN: The Dark Arrows were calling him out. They were traditional Robin Hoods, stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. They were asking him to pay attention to things like the home foreclosures in his own city. The ironic point in that story is that Queen Industries was in the process of being “foreclosed” on. Green Arrow had vanished, Queen been declared dead, his company stock plummeted, and was taken over by a Chinese businessman. In a sense, he’s about to be in the same situation as many in America: foreclosed. And there is a hint that the female Dark Arrow is a disturbed rich girl, and had a very different agenda than the Occupy Movement.

TZ: That issue seemed to rush their entrance into his life as you seemed to use that as a springboard for the Chinese adventures? Why is that? Will they be returning?

AN: I wanted to show that Oliver Queen has his eye on things much larger and more international than what’s going on in Seattle with social justice issues—again, in the New 52, heroes have a clean slate, are younger, and so have some maturing to do. Plus, I think right now America and China are at odds with issues of copyright infringement, free press, pollution control, labor laws, etc, and Oliver Queen having advanced surveillance technology to sell behind the firewall of China, it seemed like a good place to take him. Seattle’s largest immigrant population is Chinese, so I’m also seeding the future there. He now has an ally in China in Suzie Ming, and a nemesis in Jin Fang.

TZ: What made you decide to place Arrow in China? Is is the ongoing financial competition between American and Chinese companies for domination of the global economy? How much will he sacrifice to get his company and to what lengths?He certainly seems he won’t be giving up any of his technology….?

AN: Yes, exactly. The resolution to that story isn’t out yet, but yes, he is grappling with how far he should go to save his company. In issue #13 you see what he does.

TZ: A theme that seems to resonate in all the New 52 runs on Green Arrow but most strongly in your’s is Queen’s public persona. How much will he continue to be able to get away with? Will people start to wonder who he is and why he chooses the decisions he does?

AN: I think it is a lovely conceit in comics that characters can strut about with their public personas just a shade away from their secret identities. When Clark Kent whips his glasses off and becomes Superman, is anyone really fooled? His face is exactly the same, but the delight in that character is how he’s developed his bungling body language so beautifully that people buy it. Oliver Queen, like Bruce Wayne, plays up the womanizing, socializing persona in their civilian form, in order to throw people off. Do a pair of green goggles really alter your face so much to make you unrecognizable? No. Do we love the conceit that they do? Yes.

TZ: As your run continues, will you start to delve into his background much more?

AN: I skipped the Green Arrow #0 issue, I didn’t write that one, and don’t really have plans to delve into his background, other than that I think his father was far more complex than even Oliver Queen knows. His father, in putting Emerson in charge of the company, was telling his son he didn’t trust him. He didn’t think his son was ready. But when Emerson tried to take over Queen Industries, using the supposed death of Oliver Queen to get rid of him, it backfired. Queen’s father had put a “good will” clause in Emerson’s deal: hurt my son, and you’re out. I think Queen’s father is going to rise as the key to young Queen’s core.

TZ: With the new continuity relating to his background, did Queen ever date Dinah Lance? Will Black Canary ever appear in the upcoming issues?

AN: As far as I understand it, no, he’s never met Black Canary. I imagine that yes, he will meet her in the future.

TZ: Finally, what do you feel Harvey Tolibao brings to the book?

AN: Harvey’s detail is extraordinary. It’s just gorgeous. I love the way designed the Skylark Triplets, and his design on Jin Fang and his Tong thugs is just masterful. And now Freddie Williams is doing a few issues, and his Suzie Ming is perfect. She’s got a mix of tradition and sass. She has her eye on the horizon—on the future of her beloved China, and he’s captured that perfectly. Now we’re doing a Hawkman story in Green Arrow #14 that is dedicated to Hawkman creator Joe Kubert, and it is a war story, also in honor of Kubert, and the shots Freddie’s done of these big men pushing themselves in battle, then the dark moments, the pause in the battlefield when they wonder if they made the right moves, Freddie is capturing the glory and agony of those moments with enormous power.

TZ: Moving into Catwoman, how did you become the writer on it? Did you send a pitch or did Judd choose you to replace him….?

AN: Bob Harras called me up and told me the book was open, and he asked me to write it. I was thrilled, Catwoman has resonated with me for a long time. I was obsessed with Irma Vep from the old Feuillade series, he had a woman in a catsuit creeping around stealing jewels… and then Michelle Pheiffer’s Catwoman was, for me, a divine feminist moment, when she quit her wage slave job and ripped up her feminine lonely-girl home and hit the rooftops. I mean, wow.

TZ: Mr. Winick has emphasized Selina Kyle’s sexuality more than most writers. As a female writer, do find that he was ever misogynistic? Did you find he was true to the character in your view?

AN: Catwoman is sexy. That’s just the way it is. It is her decision to pour herself into skin-tight leather with one long zipper, no one elses. It’s a key to her character and her mythos, that comes out of her orphaned and foster care beginnings. Her being sexy and portraying her as sexy is not at all misogynistic to me, it’s fun, it’s who she is. Is there a darkness underneath? Sure, I think so, and that’s something I’m going to explore.

TZ: In doing that, he focused on her dual life and went back to her use of disguises which goes back to her first appearance in the comics. Will your Catwoman be using such tactics or will she mostly be using the cat suit?

AN: Theives use everything in their arsenal… and that includes all the hustler’s skills of pretending to be something you’re not. It’s the beauty of the long and short con. And growing up the way she did, she probably tried out various personas to give people what they wanted, and cloak who she really was. She’s a natural deceiver, but always for the goal of a score. I don’t see her deceiving friends, or those around her, unless it is unconscious. But being deceptive does flow around and affect your manner– you are what you do– so that’s something we’ll play with.

TZ: As she deals with the Joker in the upcoming “Death of the Family” event, why does he choose her? What’s his gripe with her?

AN: I’m following Scott Snyder’s lead on this. He pitched a wonderful little psycho-dilemma that has to do with the symbiotic relationship between Batman and the Joker, and gave us that psycho nugget to play with. It has to do with the core love/hate relationship between heroism and villainy, and I chose to have the Joker intuit the root pain in Catwoman and torture her with that. I can say that it’s has been a blast.

TZ: Selina has had a troubled past. From growing up in a broken home to becoming a stripper to a cat burglar, what will be her origin story in the New 52 #0 issue?

AN: I think the origin of seminal, mythic characters are shifty things. You go back to the ground, to the original moment, like a mining expedition, and shift through the clay and find some new layer. So she has a new origin in Catwoman 0, but it resonates and harks back to various origin stories in her past. It’s a re-telling, in a new way, that I hope adds another layer of pathos and power to the thing that drives her.

TZ: What themes from that issue will resonate in your upcoming run? 

AN: She’ll have a powerful, obsessive, existential and a practical desire to know who she is.

TZ: How much confrontation going forward with Batman will there be? Do believe they are meant to be together as some versions of her story have portrayed?

AN: He’ll be in and out of her life, and yes, I agree that they have an intense connection, but I don’t think they need each other so much as they need to know the other one is there, out there somewhere. They will never have a traditional relationship, but they understand what makes each other tick, and he will continue to pull on her conscience and she will continue to resist that pull.

TZ: Will she be undergoing any changes such as maybe a change in her uniform or return to her long hair? 

AN: I don’t think so, I’m thrilled with the way Rafa is drawing her, and he’s nailed the sassy, singular style of Selina Kyle. If he or my editor Rachel suggest visual changes, I’m sure I’d be game.

TZ: What do you think she is seeking as she continues to steal? Will she ever find it?

AN: That’s a great question. She is seeking something unattainable: to truly know who she is. It’s an unanswerable existential question, and no matter how many babbles and glitter she fills her life with she remains in the empty nest she was born in. It’s deep, but that’s all the more reason she’ll be breezy and flighty and fun-seeking– she’ll continue to skate far, far above the pain.

TZ: Who will be the main artist on the book? Rafael Sandoval and Adriana Melo seem to be doing an issue each as your run begins? Do you have any input on artists as a writer?

AN: Rafa Sandoval is definitely the permanent artist on Catwoman going forward. He’s genius, my jaw drops when I see the pages come in. He has the essentials: Great storyteller, great characterization, but what he spins beyond that is just magic. That Rachel got him for the book is a major coup that I am soooo grateful for.

TZ: Going forward, what characters will remain supporting staples in your run? Will Detective Alvarez or Spark continue to show up? I adore continuity, so the death of Lola continues to haunt Catwoman, her heist connection Gwen is still around, and I plan on bringing back Detective Alvarez, because I think there is a thin line sometimes between cop and con, and I’d love to play with that tension. Then going forward, I want to do some homework, read early Catwoman’s and find new things in her past to play with, come up with surprises from her past.

TZ: Finally, what adventures do have planned for her going forward? What do want readers to take away from your run? How long do plan to stay on the book?

AN: My next batch of stories I’ll be playing with continuity a lot, crossovers, playing inside the Bat Family, and then after issue 18 I’ll be taking her in a new direction, hopefully creating her “Joker,” her symbiotic nemesis, her arch villian. I hope my run with Catwoman is very, very long!

Be sure to check out Ms. Nocenti’s debut issue of Catwoman #0 which hits stores today. We would like to extend our thanks to Ms. Nocenti for her participation in this edition of Zimmertainment!!

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Tommy Zimmer is an upcoming writer of short stories, comic books, journalism/media reviews, screenplays, and anything related to writing. On zimmert101.wordpress.com, you can view his latest work, and see what exciting things he is currently doing!!

 

 




The City of Dearborn in Green Lantern #0

Written by on Sep 10, 2012
Filed in: Zimmertainment  |  No Comments »

I know I am going to get pummeled for this. I know what I am about to do is going to be sacrilegious to the clan of Geoff Johns fans out there which I count myself among. However as a citizen of the town he portrayed in Green Lantern #0, there are very little truths regarding the city of Dearborn in there.

I’ve lived in this town outside of Detroit my entire life, and it was an interesting day on 9/11. On that day, Dearborn Muslims were cheering in the streets. Now, there were probably Muslims who found the actions of Al Qaeda horrific but the majority of the Muslim population in my city was cheering. Now, I found that major detail lacking from the comic which featured the new Green Lantern Simon Baz.

As a White Dearborn resident, I found Johns’ portrayal of us a bit offensive. While I’m sure there’s been racism shown towards them, I can honestly tell readers I have never experienced Muslims being treated that way nor have I participated in such foul behavior. I have some Muslim neighbors, and there have never been any quarrels between any of the other White families and them. I actually have seen our neighbors all get along together quite well, and continue to contribute to the neighborhood.

White Dearborners have actually been nothing but accepting of our Muslim neighbors. Dearborn Public Schools actually teach Arabic to students who are not as accessible in English. A recent federal mandate also has given Dearborn the ability to provide interpreters for Arabic students or parents who do not (or again have trouble speaking) English. I say that’s nothing but generous to the families in this city, and there are no benefits like that given to other racial groups in the city.

My main criticism of Johns was that in portraying a city he grew up near, I would’ve expected him to do more research. I mean he should’ve contacted other members of the community such as White and Black Americans in the city who have also been getting along peacefully. He went to the Arabic American National Museum for research on a city that’s a bit more complex than he realizes I think.

This is the city where Henry Ford grew up, and where it actually used to be quite a racist city (not from the citizens but from the political representation). Mayor Orville Hubbard would tell the city garbage men not to pick up the trash of African Americans who moved into the neighborhoods after the Civil Rights movement took place. However, once he was called by them, he said it was a mistake, and he immediately sent them back there to resolve the issue. That was political corruption and racism but it doesn’t happen anymore.

All races get along in Dearborn since I’ve grown up here. We have never had any racial problems like the major city Detroit has.  If you ever come back to Dearborn Mr. Johns, please do your homework. I think we would all benefit from that…..

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Tommy Zimmer is an upcoming writer of short stories, comic books, journalism/media reviews, screenplays, and anything related to writing. On zimmert101.wordpress.com, you can view his latest work, and see what exciting things he is currently doing!!

 




S+WW and Justice League of America

Written by on Aug 28, 2012
Filed in: Zimmertainment  |  No Comments »

Dear all Zimmertainment column fans,

It’s been a busy summer, and I am back!! Between interning and being between jobs, it was a tough summer but your captain of comic and movie coverage is back. His topic this week will be two items of interest to DC fans:

Wonder Woman and Supes smooching in this week’s issue of Justice League by Geoff Johns and Jim Lee and the new Justice League of America comic by Johns and David Finch at Toronto’s Fan Expo.

Wonder Woman and Superman are in love!!??? WHAT!!??

The importance of the WW/S relationship is one I do not want to tread on lightly. This will have major implications in the DC Universe, and may be one of the causes of the new League forming up. However, I do not see their new found love to be anything to write home about. They did the same thing in the DC Comics Presents: Superman and Wonder Woman #32, Superman Annual #11, and Action Comics #600 in the eighties while it made reappearances in 1997’s Kingdom Come and  2002’s The Dark Knight Strikes Again. It is nothing special which will go away with time.

However, thinking who would make more sense for Wonder Woman to be with would be Batman. He is a character defined by tragedy that has lost a lot while Wonder Woman is a character proud of her legacy and is a character who has received a lot. Naturally by their differences, they would be able to fit into each other’s lives better based on their psychological profiles.

This was done in WB’s animated show Justice League Unlimited where Wonder Woman began to admire Batman for who he was and not just for his strength. She saw in him a soldier who has to continue on his tragedy for the good of Gotham City and the world. There, she develops empathy and compassion that evolves into love as their working partnership develops into something different.

This shocked DC fans who expected the usual but got something different. The most DC fans would normally see would be WW/S which we are getting now. However, it was different on that show, and the pursued relationship makes me wonder about what will happen to Lois Lane?

She is the main love interest of Superman, and it does not make a lot of sense to me that if he has her, why does he care about Wonder Woman so much? That has yet to be seen.

However, another big development occurred over the weekend with the emergence of a new Justice League of America series set to replace the great and unfortunately cancelled Justice League International.

This team includes characters like Martian Manhunter, Catwoman, the new Green Lantern Baz, and Green Arrow. It seems like quite a promising book especially with its cast of characters surprisingly including Steve Trevor since given his status in Johns’ and Lees’ current Justice League arc. I hope Johns (who is according to rumors leaving Aquaman for this) is able to handle himself given his writing three books including Green Lantern.

Yet, time has proven again and again Mr. Johns can, and my hat’s off to him. My hat is off to the entire DC team that given the recent incident caused by Mr. Liefeld that they are trooping forward. Current Batman writer Scott Snyder is an excellent writer, and does not deserve to be bullied by those insecure about themselves. I hope Mr. Liefeld gets the help he needs, and he certainly seems to need it if he goes after a friend of his who is apparently a champion of his work.

Best to all current friends of Fanboy Buzz, and hoping you stay tuned to my columns set for the coming weeks.

Sincerely,

Tommy “Zimmertainment” Zimmer.

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Tommy Zimmer is an upcoming writer of short stories, comic books, journalism/media reviews, screenplays, and anything related to writing. On zimmert101.wordpress.com, you can view his latest work, and see what exciting things he is currently doing!!

 




MOTOR CITY COMIC CON 2012: Interview with “Billion Dollar Batman” author Bruce Scivally

Written by on Jun 9, 2012
Filed in: Zimmertainment  |  No Comments »

Mr. Scivally was quite an interesting man to speak with about our mutual interests...

Bruce Scivally is the author of the acclaimed book titled Billion Dollar Batman. He has also written books on Superman, James Bond, and is a professor at Columbia College in Chicago, Illinois. He was enthusiatic about speaking to me when I asked him if he could fit me in.

TOMMY ZIMMER: Of all the topics you have written about (Batman, Superman, James Bond), which is your favorite?

BRUCE SCIVALLY: I like all of them. I was more of a superhero fan and a big fan of Bond. I was a fan of the Batman 60’s series as a kid, and watched Superman as a kid.

TZ:  What attracted you to Batman as a kid?

BS: In my teenage years, I loved his fancy ears. I loved his whole persona. Whatever he wanted, he had.

TZ: How did you become a fan of James Bond?

BS: I was a fan but got into him in college. There, I met John Cork who produced featurettes on James Bond DVDs with me.

TZ: How did you prepare for writing a book on him?

BS: Since I did so many interviews, I got Bond. I usaully do as much research in news and media archives.

TZ: How did you decide you wanted to write a book on Batman?

BS: Promoting Superman drew me to writing about him.

TZ: What do you feel is the difference between the two heroes?

BS: Superman represents hope, goodness, and all we aspire to be. Batman represents revenge and who we are.

TZ: Who is your favorite James Bond?

BS: My favorite’s Sean Connery. Connery’s Bond was of his time. He was the classic James Bond. George Lazenby was the more vulnerable. Roger Moore was more of a disco-Bond. After him, Timothy Dalton played up a more angry Bond. When Pierce Brosnan took over, I thought he was the best since Connery but he was an emotionally needy Bond. Finally today, Daniel Craig is just a hard, cold bastard.

TZ: Who is your favorite Superman?

BS: George Reeves is my favorite. I saw Christopher Reeve in high school, and thought he did Clark Kent/Superman best.

TZ: In the same fashion, with The Dark Knight Rises coming out, who do you think the best Batman has been?

BS: It’s between Keaton and Bale. To think about Batman, he’s crazy……

TZ: What do plan to write about next?

BS: I don’t know……. maybe on the 60’s or old Tarzan.

Thanks Mr. Scivally, and I hope you all enjoyed my coverage of MCCC 2012!!!




MOTOR CITY COMIC CON 2012: Interview with actress Alaina Huffman

Written by on May 31, 2012
Filed in: Zimmertainment  |  No Comments »

Alaina Huffman is pure awesomeness.

Alaina Huffman introduced herself to American audiences portraying Cherry in Indefinitely. However, after many different roles, she would find herself portraying characters in two cult universes: Black Canary in Smallville and Tamara Johnson in Stargate Universe.

Tommy Zimmer: Were you a geek growing up?

Alaina Huffman: I grew up, and I was a model in Tokyo. I was fascinated by Japanese anime but never got into it. I then got Painkiller Jane, and got a taste of it. Later, I did Black Canary but I never earned my geek cred.

TZ: What made you want to become an actress?

AH: I remember being a kid watching Annie, and wanted to be what that left the audience feeling emotionally.  I said that’s something I want to do. I did children’s theatre, and did pilots.

TZ: How did modeling differ from acting?

AH: Modeling was totally different. I was never a big one, and I worked a lot in Tokyo.

TZ: What was the role that broke you into the film/television industry?

AH: A combination of all three [Painkiller Jane, Smallville, and Stargate Universe]. That’s how I was seen.

TZ: How did you end up getting the role of Black Canary?

AH: I just auditioned. It wasn’t that I was going to be a hero but I got sides.

TZ: How did you end up working on Stargate Universe?

AH: Smallville attracted Stargate Universe.

TZ: Do actors in Hollywood usaully have to audition for their roles?

AH: Even at the uppert level, there’s an awarteness there in your genre. However, we always have to prove ourselves.

TZ: Since you have gone from being a blonde bombshell to playing a brunette former DEA agent, what is the true color of your hair?

AH: I am a little in between. I don’t really know. It’s dirty blonde with red highlights.

TZ: What’s it like to be a sex symbol?

AH: It’s shocking. It’s part in parcile in portraying sexy characters.

TZ: What do have coming up?

AH: I am attached to an action movie taking place in Bangkok. I cannot talk about it but can say it’s not sci-fi. I just wrapped NCIS LA, and am also working on a dark romantic comedy

Thanks Mrs. Huffman, and stay tuned for our final interview from Detroit’s MCCC!!




MOTOR CITY COMIC CON 2012: Interview with actress Yvonne Craig

Written by on May 29, 2012
Filed in: Zimmertainment  |  No Comments »

Yvonne Craig was nothing but nice to speak to me about her past working on Batman

Yvonne Craig is an actress who appeared in such films such as Kissin’ Cousins and Mars Needs Women. However, she is best known for her role on the 1966 Batman show as Barbara Gordon/Batgirl. She was nice enough to loan me some of her time to speak to me about her past acting career.

Tommy Zimmer: Why did you decide to do the Batman series?

Yvonne Craig: I wanted to do a series. I had been doing pilots. They called, and I said I was interested. If you are a guest on a television show, people recognize you. By doing a series, they connect you with your tale. When I read the original five minute presentation, I thought she was strong, independent, and spunky.

TZ: Did you read comics as a child?

YC: I read one comic as a kid. It was an Archie comic. I got an allowance each week, and could only buy certain thing. I could read a comic in record-breaking time. Books lasted longer for me. I never swaped comics with other kids.

TZ: What was your reaction to playing the role?

YC: I am really happy. I couldn’t believe to play this wonderfulrole. People said I was a role model. A man said he chose his wife based on my role.

TZ: Was their an attraction to the duality of the role?

YC: I thought duality made it more rounded than other roles.

TZ: Was there a difference in the way you approached playing Barbara Gordon versus Batgirl?

YC: No. Not really. She did not have much a difference. She was more proper because her father was the commissioner. She was just fun-loving. How much fun do have as a librarian?

TZ: How does it feel to have left a mark on the character and franchise as a whole?

YC: I am pleased to have inspired them. If I hadn’t, they are so talented, and they would’ve found a way. It’s inspiring but people have their talents too.

TZ: Was it fun working with Adam West?

YC: He was. I don’t see much of him today. He was very welcoming, and I always was appreciative.

TZ: Who was your favorite actor to work with on set?

YC: Alan Napier and I had our dogs. Both were set dogs, and would never make a noise. My favorite guest was Vincent Price. He was a very smart and sophisticated man. He had trained as a fine artist, and was an artist. He was curious about everything to his dying day.

Thanks Ms. Craig, and stay tuned for my final interviews this week from MCCC!!




MOTOR CITY COMIC CON 2012: Interview with writer Todd Dezago

Written by on May 23, 2012
Filed in: Zimmertainment  |  No Comments »

Through my meetings with Mr. Dezago, I have become more and more interested in reading independent comics

 

Todd Dezago got his start in comics writing for Marvel and DC. As he progressed through different projects such as as X-Factor and Impulse, he moved into independent comics through Dark Horse and Image Comics. Known recently for his work on the series Perhapanauts, Mr. Dezago was kind enough to lend me some of his time.

Tommy Zimmer: When did you realize you wanted to write comics?

Todd Dezago: I always loved comics. I always told stories, and did comics as a kid.

TZ: How did your writing career begin?

TD: I went to school for theatre. I acted in and directed a lot of plays. Everytime I write, I feel like I am writing a lot of plays.

TZ: What was your first project that broke you into the industry?

TD: X-Factor was my first story I ever wrote an end to. It wasn’t until Marvel paid me for the comic that I wrote an end to them.

TZ: What was your favorite project you worked on at Marvel?

TD: I loved working on Sensational Spider-Man. I worked on the Clone Saga with JM Dematteis and Tom DeFalco.

TZ: Is it difficult to break into those larger companies?

TD: The door is always open for freelance, and there are no set rules for them.

TZ: How much creative freedom do have with the larger companies?

TD: You write what Marvel/DC wants you to write; not what you want. You are also responsible to an editor.

TZ: When did you begin working at DC?

TD: I first worked on JLA: World Without Grown-ups which brings Robin, Impulse, and Superboy together in preparation for Young Justice.

TZ: How did you come to work on Young Justice?

TD: DC came to me, and asked whether I would do it. They liked how I wrote kids. I wrote them with a young voice.

TZ: Why did you end up leaving?

TD: I left because I did not see eye to eye with them on the direction of the series [Young Justice].

TZ: How did you come up with the idea for Perhapanauts?

TD: I always loved weird creatures. The characters go around the world looking for weird creatures.

TZ: What’s the future for these characters?

TD: I love what we are doing with the new series. The story is awesome, and Craig is getting better as an artist.

TZ: What projects do have coming up?

TD: The Perhapanauts is what I’m putting a lot of effort into. I’m lucky with my job. Last year, we [and Craig] worked for a motion comics company that filed for bankruptcy. Unfortunately, a lot of our work there won’t be seen. I am also might have some projects coming up with DC. I am talking with DC editors about it but cannot talk about it more though.

Thanks Mr. Dezago!!! I hope you all continue to watch right here as more writers, artists, and celebrities are featured this week from Motor City Comic Con in Detroit, MI!!

 






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