Every now and then I let some of the questions I’m asked pile up so I can answer them all at once. Here’s the latest batch! And if you want to play along, just send me a question by replying here or through Facebook!
What characters would you love to write?
Well, I’ve had the chance to write some iconic heroes — The Avenger, The Green Hornet and G-8, for instance — but there are a few I’d still love to get my grubby little hands on. The Shadow definitely tops the list, followed by Batman, The Doom Patrol, Challengers of the Unknown, The Phantom and Norgil. I’d prefer to handle those characters in prose but I wouldn’t turn down any opportunity, be it in comics, on the back of a cereal box or whatever!
What’s the worst thing you’ve ever written?
Hmm. In terms of quality? Or do you mean in terms of being disgusting or something? I’m not sure. I do know that my book Guan-Yin and the Horrors of Skull Island is the worst-reviewed book I’ve done and, in retrospect, it is a bit of a hot mess. It was meant to be a fun, quick little romp with pirates, the undead and a giant ape… but it ended up being more “mess” than anything else. In terms of being disgusting, probably Rabbit Heart, which was all very intentional. One character is anally raped to death in that one! Good times.
If they made a Rook movie, who would you want to star in it?
A few years ago, I would have said Nathan Fillion would have made a fantastic Max Davies. He’s starting to get a little old for it now, though. I’m terrible at those kinds of questions, actually. I never cast movies in my head the way other people do. I’d just be happy they made a Rook movie at all!
What’s your favorite Rook story?
Ask me tomorrow and you might get a different answer but my favorites have been “Lucifer’s Cage” (Volume One), “Kaslov’s Fire” (Volume Two), “The Resurrection Gambit” (Volume Three), “Dead of Night” (Volume Four) and “The Scorched God” (Volume Six). I can’t narrow it down any more than that.
For each of your heroes, who is the best villain you’ve created for them?
Good question! The Rook has faced an awful lot of villains in his time and I enjoy a lot of the one-off villains a lot. But I guess I’d have to say The Warlike Manchu, who is not only an homage to Fu Manchu but to the greater Yellow Peril in general. I think he started off rather one-note but some of the later stories with him I’m pretty proud of, including the one where he is revived from the dead “The Resurrection Gambit” and the one where he and The Rook team up (“Dead of Night”).
For Lazarus Gray, I think I’d go with Walther Lunt, even though he’s killed off in Volume Two and as of this writing (I’m working on Volume Five now), he hasn’t returned. I think Lunt works because he has a classic visual and his origins are so intertwined with those of our hero.
Gravedigger has only had one book published and another completed but not yet released, so I don’t think it’s fair to really pick one yet.
Any artists you’d like to work with?
Tons! I’m proud to say that so far I’ve had guys like Frank Brunner, Anthony Castrillo, George Sellas, Fred Hembeck, Will Meugniot, Bob Hall and Norm Breyfogle do work for me. There are always more out there whose work I really love, though. My “dream list” would include George Perez, Alan Davis, Chris Batista and Jae Lee. Our art today is the original black-and-white version of The Rook Volume Four that Wild Cat Books published — with gorgeous pencils courtesy of Norm Breyfogle.
Thanks for the questions, guys! Keep ’em coming!