Thursday, September 03, 2009

Interested In Comic Book Writing?

THE COMICS JOURNAL LIBRARY 6: THE WRITERS is essential reading for anyone interested in Marvel and DC comic books of the 1970s and 1980s. Published in 2006, this mass market paperback collects several outstanding Q&A interviews of important comic book writers from that period.

I'm not a fan of THE COMICS JOURNAL, where these in-depth pieces first appeared (my impression is that editor Gary Groth doesn't even like comic books, at least mainstream books), but he and his staff did a terrific job here.

One of the book's best chapters is its chat with HOWARD THE DUCK creator Steve Gerber, which THE COMICS JOURNAL has made available for you to read here on its Web site. Other authors grilled are Marv Wolfman, Len Wein, Gerry Conway, Alan Moore, Chris Claremont, Denny O'Neil, Archie Goodwin, and Steve Englehart--all among the tops in their field.

The most notorious interview collected here is a 1980 chat with Harlan Ellison, which led to a rancorous lawsuit filed against the cantankerous author and THE COMICS JOURNAL by JONAH HEX writer Michael Fleisher, who claimed he was defamed by some of Ellison's remarks (apparently, Gerry Conway had less of a problem with being accused of single-handedly ruining the comic book industry!).

Ellison's five-hour interview is the book's longest, running nearly eighty pages, and is probably worth the cover price by itself. The other chapters are just gravy.

1 comment:

Tosser said...

I've had the original Ellison issue since I was a kid. He put on a helluva performance.