“My Grandmother Could Beat The Shit Out Of Wonder Woman”: The Complete Slate Interview
Like I linked to earlier, Slate did a pretty in-depth profile on all things Extreme with Rob Liefeld, Brandon Graham and myself. However, the interviews with us were individually much, much longer. Inspired by Rob posting his third, I’m posting mine, complete and uncut.
Huge thanks to David Weigel for conducting the interview. Easily one of the best interviewers I’ve ever dealt with.
SLATE: My bias: I’m one of those people sad that the arc is ending so soon. I wanted 70 issues!
So, I’m fascinated, as it seems a lot of other people are, by the reinvention of these old Liefeld characters. How did you get the book, and what research did you do on the Extreme/Liefeldverse before starting to write? How were you approached, what was the pitch, what was the reaction?
What advice/rules were you given when you took over? (Liefeld had said that “the Extreme catalogue of characters has been patiently standing on the sidelines waiting for creators of this caliber to emerge and make great comics with them,” which seems awfully nice, and true.) Is there any kind of series bible?
Yeah, absolutely. I was ten years old when Image started, so I was pretty much the exact right age to lose my shit over Violator tearing Spawn’s heart out his chest, Savage Dragon getting his arm cut off or Shaft throwing a pen in a dude’s eye. I was loving what those guys were doing over at Marvel in New Mutants, Spider-Man and so on, but Image is where I completely lost my shit.Were you reading these original comics when they arrived in the 1990s?
Do you talk much with Liefeld about the character? I ask because you take Glory into these eras (like 1920s France) that are terrific, but were never suggested in the original book.
Ross and I see very much in line and eye-to-eye when it comes to our opinion on how women are portrayed in comics. In my original proposal, even before he was on board, a big thing was to portray Glory visually even more than a superhero — this is a warrior, born and bred. Perhaps the greatest to ever exist. She’s built to lead in times of peace and devastate in times of war. With Ross on board, we took this vision even further. I don’t give a crap about what someone pees with, who they sleep with, where their ancestors are from and so on. I don’t see why Mainstream American comics historically has — and I’m a fan of those comics. I think portraying women the way we portray Glory shouldn’t be some weird exception. The props we get for doing are kind of stinging — yeah, it’s cool people dig what we’re doing there, but it seems messed up to me that it’s 2012 AD and we’re still hung up on this. Yeah, things have gotten better, but it won’t be where I want it until people are judging characters just on that, their character, not their gentials, sexual orientation, race or whatever other qualifiers there are.The original character was always portrayed as a classic, 90s, pose-striking supermodel. (I don’t know if you’ve seen that site at which artists draw Hawkeye in the poses of various 90s sexy-superhero-ladies, but it’s very funny.) Your Glory looks that way, a bit, in the flashbacks, but in the contemporary and future portrayals she’s increasingly massive and monstrous. Is that Ross Campbell’s doing, or are you also trying to do something different with the look of the superhero female?
What other sort of books/stories/comics/material have you read that informed Glory?