EXCLUSIVE: Interview With Green Arrow, JLI And Superman Writer/Artist Dan Jurgens!
Dan Jurgens is a very busy man right now. Between providing a mixture of writing and artistic duties on "The New 52" comics such as Green Arrow and Justice League International, as well as the recent announcement that he'll be taking over Superman with Keith Giffen as of #7, he was kind enough to take the time out of his jam packed schedule to answer my questions. To check out Dan's website, click HERE, while you can also follow him on Twitter - @djjurgens. Check out the interview below, and be sure to share your thoughts in the usual place.
Creator of Booster Gold and Doomsday, writer of "The Death Of Superman," and currently working on Green Arrow, Justice League International and soon Superman as of #7, A-List writer and artist Dan Jurgens talks to CBM about all that and more...
Dan Jurgens is an accomplished writer and artist who both writes and draws the adventures of the comic book industry’s most legendary characters. His storytelling talents have breathed life into the most noteworthy properties from DC Comics, Marvel Comics and more. Dan has also created numerous characters that have become enduring staples in their fictional universes while stretching to other media as well.
Firstly, can you tell us a little about how you became a writer and artist?
I always read, and loved comics, as a kid.
I met Mike Grell, was the creator and writer of DC's THE WARLORD at a personal appearance and showed him some of my work. It just so happened they were actually looking for a new artist and the time. I drew up some samples and a month or so later, was drawing the book. I think Mike somehow gave them the impression that I was his assistant or something. That certainly didn't hurt!
As I'm sure many of our readers already know, you created iconic DC characters like Booster Gold and Doomsday. Can you take us through how you actually came up with them both?
Booster came about back during the '84 Olympics. The announcers were talking about an athlete who'd already signed an endorsement deal, even though he had not yet won a medal. That was far more unusual then than now-- much more crass. But that's what got me thinking about a hero who'd eventually become Booster.
As for Doomsday, that came about during one of our Superman group meetings. We were looking for a foe who was truly bestial-- truly a threat for Superman-- a counter to most of Superman's foes who were brainy and could talk you to death.
How did it feel to see them come to life on the small screen in Smallville?
It's great fun seeing your characters realized on the screen. I thought Booster was great and even Doomsday was surprisingly solid, though it would have been nice to see more of him. The one thing we never really got was a great battle between Clark and Doomsy.
"The Death of Superman" remains one of the most iconic stories ever told featuring the Man of Steel. How does it feel to look back at your work on the book during that time?
It's quite satisfying. I don't think I've ever done a Convention or Personal Appearance without two or three people approaching me to say, "It was the Death of Superman that got me interested in comics." That's cool to hear.
And does that story line still exist within "The New 52"?
Many aspects of it do, yes.
Talking of Superman, what can you tell us about your and Keith Giffen's upcoming work on the relaunched title as of #7? Also, what will your roles be on the book?
We have some pretty cool stuff planned. I think DC has positioned Superman in a real interesting place right now and I'm excited to get the opportunity. As for our roles, Keith and I will co-write and I'll draw. We're bouncing ideas and concepts back and forth all the time. We're both strong believers in the benefits of strong, collaborative creative teams.
Considering you have so much history with the character, how different/difficult is it to write this version of Clark Kent/Superman?
Like many things in life, there are plusses and minuses, I suppose. The trick, for me, is to not be repetitive. There has to be something new to say, with new stories to tell. At the same time, there are inherent characteristics to Superman that shouldn't change much. The ingredients of a good Superman story, that are unique to Superman, are still key.
Between that, Green Arrow and Justice League International, you're a busy guy right now. How are you handling the pressure?
Doing okay. I'm winding down my role on Green Arrow-- just finished drawing issue #5 today-- and transitioning to Superman in the process. Fortunately, JLI is in good shape so it's all manageable.
Anything you can let slip about what's to come in Green Arrow and JLI?
With Green Arrow, we continue to define Oliver a bit more. As for JLI, well, it's all a question of whether or not earth survives.
With both Batman and Superman heading to the big screen, as well as The Avengers over with Marvel, are there any comic book movies in particular that you're looking forward to seeing?
All of them!
Seriously, I think we all enjoy seeing our industry's prominence on the screen. It's great fun.
Thanks for talking to us Dan. Anything else you have planned that you'd like to tell our readers to keep an eye out for?
I think we've covered most of all of it. And it's been my pleasure!
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