For Tomorrow Interview

Monday, December 20, 2004

For Tomorrow A-GoGo (cont).

[entry: jimlee]


KT: Brian/Jim-- What has made the last 8 issues of FOR TOMORROW a Superman story?
You have to realize that yer in the catbird seat. YOU KNOW the ending. But the montly paceing has killed momentum.
In your opinion. There are those who like the story, and the pacing.
KT: Agreed.
JL: I think when you talk about pacing...yer really talking about action...that some fans feel there isn't enough action…but there's plenty of drama.
KT: Agreed. But its not 100 Bullets or Batman. Its Superman!
BA: Why does every Superman story have to follow the same formula?
KT: Thats because you don't read regularly. Superman stories have been full of introspection for the last 5 years!
KT: The problem is that your formula has been THE formula now for too long. People were expecting something different
BA: That's another title.
KT: Ha! A vacant one right now I see.
BA: I really dissagree with your assertion that what we're doing has been done for the past 5 years. I'd say in that time the goal was to humanize Clark at the expense of Superman. It's very clear we're not doing that in the least.
KT: No you’re not. You’re right about that. Clark is not around.
KT: Brian/Jim-- Have you read any Superman comic in say the last 5 years? Why do you think Superman needs the star power of Jim Lee and Brian Azzarello in order to sell?
JL: I read most of the Casey run, Jeph Loeb's, and some of Joe Kelley's.
BA: I've read bits and pieces as well.
KT: Brian/Jim-- Why do you think the emphasis on Superman has gone away from the "ADVENTURES" aspect and gone into these "think pieces" where Superman is essentially superMAN?
JL: Wait! I’m not done yet…heh. Let me say I wasn’t a big fan of the Superman as Everyman take. That he is like you and me but just purer or more noble. I think that takes the mystique out of what he truly is--which is stranger from an alien planet who feels at home but isn’t.
JL: Like an immigrant may me heh.
KT: Agreed. I love the alien aspect that you guys have reintroduced.
BA: And as for any editorial directives that some fans perceive, they aren't there.
KT: Brian/Jim-- If given BYRNE-like options to change the character what would you do?
JL: How can a man who flies nearly as fast as the speed of light and been to other dimensions relate to a guy like me? Superman in real life would be bored sitting around waiting for Lois to cook him some bacon for breakfast--I know that sounds's a joke--work with me…
KT: My feeling exactly
KT: If they gave the franchise to you guys what would you do with it?
BA: Byrne-like options? I'd turn them down because those kinds of things don't stick. I'm happy with our more subtle approach at changing the character.
KT: How would you say he has changed?
KT: In the context of For Tomorrow I mean.
JL: The one thing I would change if I had that ability to go back in time and undo things is...I wouldn’t have Clark and Lois be married. That said, I think you can still do some kickass stories with them married, but the triangular relationship between Superman, Clark and Lois was too good of one to toss.
KT: You’re Jim Lee man! Make it so!
JL: I wouldnt do that either.
KT: I think the marriage neutered Superman
JL (yoda voice): Once done, hard to undo I think.
JL: Like killing a character...once dead, I like to keep em that way. I mean, how many times has Jean Grey died's gotten to be a joke.
BA: He's strong. And it's from that strength his introspection comes from, not from any weakness. That's subtle, but a big, big difference in approaching the character.
KT: Subtle to be sure... Mabe a bit too subtle for me.
KT: Gimmicks sell books
BA: The marriage fucked up the myth.

===much silence for a minute===

That killed the thread!
KT: Yes it did. I think that when Lois 'Found out" it destroyed the triangle and the readers ability to see Superman AS Superman. Instead Clark and Superman blended together.
BA: Distill the relationship: Clark loves Lois, Lois loves Superman, Superman is afraid to love.
BA: It's a bigger weakness than kryptonite.
KT: And so he should be. He will out live everyone on the planet. Imagine how difficult it would be to fall in love, knowing that you will easily out live your mate.
BA: If that was reason not to love most women would stay away from men.
KT: Maybe. They stay away from me for other reasons.
BA: Work on those…
KT: I will... Brian/Jim-- Have you enjoyed doing Superman? Would you do it again or on a regular basis?
JL: Superman per se?
BA: Or work together?
KT: Yeah, full time for a coupla’ years, enough time to really affect some changes.
BA: Sure, I'll do Supes again.
KT: What would you do differently?
BA: Nothing comes to mind.
JL: I would take a break for a bit but I like the character and Brian and I have at least 2 batman stories lined up, and one related to the Superman mythos as well which is all i can say--it will be wacky tho’.
KT: Brian/Jim-- What has been your favorite part of FOR TOMORROW?
BA: That's tough... I've enjoyed how we've played him against other heroes.
KT: Doesn't the LUTHOR mini come out soon?
BA: March
KT: Can't wait... No, REALLY!
BA: You'll hate it.
JL: “You’ll hate it”---hahaha!
JL: My favorite part of For Tomorrow is reading the dialogue and trying to figure out what Brian intends by the lines…just like the fans ‘cept I get to see it much earlier. I get a lot of fun taking on the many ways to play scenes.
KT: No kidding! ;)
BA: The dialogue is intended to mean many things.
KT: Funny ciggies maybe?
JL: I know…it's why i stopped asking you what they phonebill is high enough as it is.
KT: That may be. It can be confusing at times.
JL: Yeah, but I think most of the time one line says a lot more than 3 bubbles of exposition can—confusing or no.
KT: The monthly format doesn't really lend itself to a story of this size. Its probably better read as a whole.
BA: As a writer, I want to engage the reader, have them fill in the blanks that I intentionally leave.
KT: I read 100's of things in a month. It difficult to remember some subtle hint that I read 30 days ago in a Superman comic... You know what I mean?
JL: Maybe you should slow down.
KT: I don't think it’s too difficult or deep. I think the story lacks momentum.
BA: I sympathize, but that's not going to make me change my approach.
JL: in cliffhangers? I think there is a lot of drama though…
JL: On a sidenote…don’t stop buying all those comics though for the LOVE OF GOD!!! Bless you, Kilgore.
KT: What about a few single issue stories? Was that even a possibility?
BA: Each issue means something. Each one stands alone. Maybe in hindsight you'll see this. That's the form. Now you can dislike the form, but you have to accept it for what it is.
JL: It's about a man who can shoot beams from his eyes and fly into space but who couldn’t stop a million people from of whom happens to be his wife. Do you feel the momentum growing though with each passing ish or no, Kilgore?
KT: I've been going back and re-reading them. When read through, it’s fairly seamless. AND BETTER.
BA: So maybe we're doing something that can last beyond the twelve months we did it in?
JL: I found the same thing to be true. I reread that first issue at least 7 or 8 times. 3 times before I even layed it out…
JL: Speaking of creating momentum…don't you think when superman finally finds Lois, that not having her in the book for 8 or 9 months heightens that sense of reconnection, of their love when they finally are reunited?
KT: I hope so... But WHAT is it you are doing that is so different? Personally, I don't care for Lois Lane. TOO manly for me. Lois is the masculine part of the relationship. Superman, the nurturer, is the female. It doesn't work.
JL: I agree. I never had the hots for her either…but we hope to change yer mind in 212.
BA: I think you'll care for Jim's. Nothing manly about those curves.
JL: Did i say ‘hots’? Oi!
BA: As far as differences..on the surface? Concentrating solely on Superman, rather than the cast.
KT: Okay, But what would you like to see come out of For Tomorrow? What 'change' would you like to see stick?
JL: I think the focus should be on Superman.
BA: An added layer to the character. Simple as that. No reboot, or "The world will never be the same!" or any other temporary fix. Just an added layer to the character.
KT: Given that there have been rumors of a reboot of the DCU do you think parts of yer vision will follow?
JL: Also that he is a character who is incredibly smart
KT: Another thing overlooked over the past decade…
JL: Needless to say that people from Kansas can be smart too, and Superman is too often played as a doof to be honest.
KT: Too true!
BA: Who knows? Worrying about that leads to bitterness, because it always happens.
KT: Bitterness? Me? … Okay, maybe…
JL: Add also that Lois means all the world to Superman--meaning he doesn’t use his X-ray vision on anyone else…
KT: I would.
JL: That goes without saying...
BA: That's what makes you un-Super.
JL: Hahaha. Me and Brian never would of course...
KT: Childhood fantasy you know...
JL: Discover the world of Playboy…
KT: I think you guys are great and I want to thank you for this once in a lifetime chance
BA: Or the internet. X-ray vision has been replaced.
KT: You won't slug me if I say hi at a convention, will ya?
JL: Brian may.
JL: Heh.
BA: Not before I shake your hand.
JL: Don’t fall for that old trick…I’ve seen it used to take down many a fan. Are you listening, Planetman? Don’t fall for it!
KT: !
BA: Everyone does…
KT: We'll go down to the pub and hoist a few.
JL: Sure thing.
JL: On Brian.
BA: C'mon Kilgore-- hit us with the James Lipton shtick...
KT: Favorite scene from For Tomorrow?
BA: So far? Bats taking off his mask.
JL: For's when Superman finally finds Lois.
And when Mount Rushmore rises…that was some weird shit, man.
KT: Which job would you hate doing, AZZ?
BA: Editing.
BA: What job would you love to do?
JL: Job as in real world?
BA: I'm doing it.
JL: Running a chat room customer support…
KT: Thanks again, Brian and Jim--yer both the best!