illustration (c) Josť Villarrubia 2000 digital

illustration (c) Josť Villarrubia 2000
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Past Glories

Art by Chip Zdarsky. Copyright 2002.

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Jim Krueger at the NYC Comic Book Museum fundraiser in April 2001.Jim Krueger has visions of different worlds, of grand operas fought by valiant characters on the edge of reality, of ordinary men becoming heroes, of life, death and beyond.

Jim Krueger dreams of entertaining stories being told because they need to be, of satisfied readers, of sharing ideas, free thought and talented artists.

Jim Krueger shares your hopes and wishes and intends to fulfill them.

Jim Krueger writes comic books.

Like some music to accompany your reading?
Jim recommends Let Love Rule by Lenny Kravitz. Download it for free HERE, courtesy EMP3

So what was it that made you want to become a writer? Particularly, one working in comics?

Well, I'm afraid to say I never really had the confidence to believe I could even do this, or an understanding of what it would take to succeed at it. I don't even think I really wanted to be a writer - I just enjoyed the books and that was that. And then I read Alan Moore's and Jamie Delano's Captain Britain (and Moore's Swamp Thing) and I felt that this was more than possible. This started a journey creatively that led me to create not only Johnny Stomp (of the Foot Soldiers) but also the Clock-Maker, which is now going to be published by Wildstorm as Heaven's Clock sometime in the next year. I worked on these while working in Advertising in Madison Wisconsin. I developed them out of the sheer delight of making something. And got some great response by a friend at a nearby comic shop - Tom Fassbender (who himself is now writing Buffy the vampire Slayer for Dark Horse, I think).

I soon found myself moving to New York where I would write Advertising for Marvel Comics - the first creator I ever met was Alex Ross. And, the first character I found out we both had special affection for was Machine Man, X-51.

It was a bumpy road to writing. But worth it.

I've noticed that a lot of comic creators often have a background in advertising, but mostly it applies to artists. Do you think that advertising may have been an appropriate 'launch' into the comics field since for many people working in advertising usually serves to inspire one to actually GET OUT of advertising and do more creative work?

It doesn't hurt. Advertising helps you as a writer to figure out "other ways" of saying things, and communicating with visuals. That's always helpful with comics, which are both visual and literal, and that's more of what sets them apart from animation and movies.

What can you tell us of HEAVENS CLOCK?

It's sort of the Jules Verne version of Rosemary's baby... it's completely messed up and some of the meanest writing I've done so far. It's also one of my favorite creations.

"Jules Verne version of Rosemary's baby" What exactly is the setting for this piece? Has a release date/art team been decided?

The setting of this place would be considered the eighth wonder of the world. I'm not going to say too much more than this except that this story is a grand opera of sorts that features the kind of conflict of the classic myths - while keeping itself lodged in the real world. It touches upon some of the ideas and thoughts that came out of Earth X and Universe X - except that it only really features 4-5 people. These characters I'm trying to write as if they were gears in a cloak. Their stories turn each other's stories and everything always comes around again and again and again.

Has HEAVENS CLOCK changed at all since you've had the opportunity to explore concepts such as life, death and the devil in the 'X Trilogy'? All topics originally planned to be major factors in HEAVENS CLOCK, that, and lederhosen?

It's changed quite a bit since the original scripts I wrote long before I even started work at Marvel in their Advertising Department. But that's more to realizing a lot of where I needed improvement. It's better now, not that someday, somewhere, I won't preview those original scripts.

Mid 90's Jim made his major foray in the comics field with FOOT SOLDIERS. Foot soldiers is the tale of a world without heroes, where civilization has been crushed below the heel of a tyrannical Bio-Technic Law. When all the heroes are gone, who will fill their shoes? In a world with no heroes, they would become the shining light amongst the darkness. They would grow defiant in the graveyard of forgotten heroes and strike out against their oppressors because they are needed. Because the world needs hope.

Much of your work from FOOT SOLDIERS to EARTH X deals with a negative, dystopic world. Can you think of any reason as to why you would follow such a theme?

I am motivated by hope. And hope doesn't seem to be something necessary in a good world. It's in the bad times that hope shines like a knight on a horse. And so, I try to create worlds that are hopeless so that even the glimmer of hope will shine brighter than we can imagine.

And plus, perfect worlds don't really ring true as far as life goes. As far as people are. We all make mistakes. And even if we don't we know people who do.

If comics are indeed a modern mythology, then they need to do what mythology does, and that is to point to some universal truth or meaning or basis for understanding what life is about.

So I choose hope for my mythologies. And hope happens in hopelessness.

"You are no longer free to make your own decisions.
Your lives are no longer your own.
You now belong to The Skull."

May this be why you're more drawn to Marvels characters, since Stan and Jack brought on the age of the 'fallible' hero?

It's interesting. When you look at the classic DC characters, they are who they are because that's what they've always been. To explain, Superman is brave, and this is the reason he must be brave right now. Because that's who he is. This is a somewhat old-fashioned approach to heroism. Not a bad one, but one that dates back years to the shared world-vision that humanity is, in the end, "Good people" as the saying goes. The problem with this is that there's crime. And there's evil. And there's selfishness. And that's why Batman is such a good argument to Superman. The two characters balance each other out to a degree. One suggests what humanity is, the other what humanity might one day become.

Batman suggests a slightly younger hero type, the anti-hero who is a whole lot better than his enemies, but not quite as healthy as the old idea of the virtuous hero. A lot of Marvel characters fall into this category.

I suppose I'm trying to create a hero who is brave because he (or she) knows what it's like to be a coward. I want to create the kind of hero who was a judas and becomes a Peter. The redeemed villain is especially appealing to me, and that is one of the reasons you're seeing things like the current depictions of Magneto, Doom and Loki in Universe X.

So the greatest heroes are those that excel despite what crutches them? Even Superman is 'alienated' from man.

It's hard to deal with Superman. He's perfect. And that is how he should remain. I think projects that deal with what would happen if he was raised in this environment or that one are suggesting something very interesting, but apart from that, I'm not certain if the nature vs. nurture arguments can work with Superman. He's Superman. No one else is. Batman, though, is a different story.

Speaking of the anti-hero, one of the first, if not the most famous anti-hero in entertainment was Rick Blaine in CASABLANCA, are you often tempted to wrap up some of your own stories with 'the beginning of a beautiful friendship'?

No. Because it's been done. That's often the beginning point of my stories. What happens next. I love sequels. Almost all of them. Not because the stories are better than the original (they never are, nor can they ever be.), but because of the strength of the characters. I want to see what happens next. I want to be a part of a hero's life again.

"War has always been developmental in your species, X-51. Peace has always been the enemy of progress. World War II was the greatest war your world had ever faced. It sparked humanity's greatest achievements thus far.

It germinated the celestial seed, X-51."

What's the current status of the Foot Soldiers movie?

I've written a script which I will be having illustrated in the near future. There's more going on, but nothing I can tell until I'm eating popcorn out of my Foot Soldiers bag. What's good though, is that the project is not lost at all. There's always someone new in Hollywood finding out about the project and saying "Hey, this would be a great movie."

How close will the movie be to the comic?

It's interesting, and this is something I've been talking about in some of my other web-interviews/columns. Comic Books are not movies. They're different genres entirely. What works in one genre does not work in another, so changes have to be made. And that's cool as long as the essence of something is not lost.

CLICK HERE for a recent copy of a column Jim does for WWW.SPINNERRACK.COM --

"There are certain things here that related perfectly to the answer to this question."

With the upcoming trade release, could this mean the return of the series?

Yes - there will be three Foot Soldiers Trade Paperbacks this year. Volume one, (with art by Mike Oeming) is already out. Volume two (with art by Phil Hester) is out in September. These two volumes feature the issues of the series that came out from Dark Horse and Image. Volume three (art by the Invisible's and Zenith's Steve Yeowell) will be released in December and will feature all new material.

I will probably be doing the series as a series of trades for the foreseeable future with a new one maybe once every year or two.

Do you see trade format and bookstore distribution as perhaps being the future of the medium?

Maybe. It depends on if comics can get back into drugstores and newsstands or video stores. If the Comics specialty shop is to survive as a way to sell current books and back-issues, there has to be a supply of comics somewhere in the mainstream to send customers, after they've been introduced to the heroes, to the comic shops. Book Stores and trade paperbacks may be a good way to do that.

A question often asked and one with great history, the one I'll ask now is; Who Lies In Mr. Lions Crypt?

The answer to that one is in the new 6-page story that's going to be at the end of the Foot Soldiers Vol 2 trade paperback.

I recently saw some very nice sketches of the FOOT SOLDIERS characters by Takeshi Miyazawa and was wondering if you were planning anything with him or if they might have been just some sketches he did?

We've spoken. Nothing more. I'd like to do a manga version of the book, and that's what led to those sketches. As of now, that's bit of a ways off, though.

What happens when everyone on Earth has the power of a hero? How did this happen? What has happened to the world's heroes? Are heroes even needed anymore? Who would they save when everyone can save themselves? What of humanity in a world of super humans? In this future tale of Marvels heroes no stone is left unturned.

Good. Evil. War. Heroes. Villains. God. The devil. The celestial plan. Humanity. All is discussed here, and so much more.

How did the project come about? Was it conceptualized by Alex and you together or did it start with Alex and you were brought on to flesh things out?

Basically, Alex was asked by Wizard to do a bunch of sketches of what the marvel characters would look like in the future like he did for Kingdom Come. I was writing TIMESLIP for MARVEL VISION at the time, a feature that Alex was really into, and he asked me to do the same thing for his art pieces. TIME SLIP was a feature of the magazine in which an artist was invited to redesign an original marvel hero as if Kirby or Ditko or Romita or Heck never had. The artist had to go out of their way to make certain it did not look like the character we all know. And then I would write an alternate origin for that new design.

Alex had the idea that a plague had hit the earth turning everyone in a mutant. He asked me what could account for the plague, and when I called him back with the idea of Black Bolt's release of the Terrigen Mists into the air so everyone would be mutated and his people would not be hunted down as mutants, Alex told me not to include it in my copy - the idea made this a real project, much more than the sketchbook it had become.

And then Alex and I worked and talked almost everyday after that creating a giant 100-page bible of where every character in the Marvel Universe was at that point.

Were there ever any heated debates over certain characters or storyline directions?

No. We were both surprised.

"Fighting isn't merely a physical phenomenon. This fight between us, James, was never about bone and blood. It was a battle for the mind. All wars are. Finding requires mind and soul and strength. So many soldiers weren't allowed to think at all, only to take orders. And so they died while other, often lesser men did the thinking for them."

How did you decide on how you'd develop/control the narrative?

At first, we had talked about Medusa being the narrator and allowing the world to be seen through her eyes. But when the idea of the Earth being an egg and the purpose for heroes was realized, someone with a bigger vision was necessary - and that led to the idea of the Watcher being blind and Machine Man being used.

The first four pages narrative style was actually influenced by something Jim Steranko did in an issue of Superman a while back.

How much research went into this - the two series are a veritable textbook to Marvel history. Do you take the time to research everything yourself or are there any helpful assistants you'd like to acknowledge?

I do it all myself. But what's important to remember is that most of what the research entails are the origins and key events in a particular character's history. So it's not like I have to have read every Marvel comic ever produced.

How much was planned beforehand and how much did you make up along the way? Nightcrawler as Belasco? Seemed a bit off kilter at first.

This, indeed was planned. Human history has shown that the way we begin the race is not necessarily how we finish it. We can begin as heroes and end as villains. Or begin as false heroes, and end as real heroes.

With Nightcrawler, I wanted specifically to deal with the result of bigotry. Prejudice almost always produces was it presupposes. So a mutant everyone feared would become a demon, might very likely become one.

But Kurt Wagner's story is far from over. He was the first Marvel hero I ever wrote (I did a back-up story with Tim Sale featuring Nightcrawler that appeared in Excalibur #75), and have a special appreciation for the character.

So that, in a sense we create our own monsters? BTW having re-read my Universe X issues as a whole I noticed you alluded to Nightcrawler's identity as Belasco quite well.

Thanks. It's hard with a series this big to know if the clues laced throughout will make sense in the end or not. It's nice to hear that people are now all really understanding the series and that all the early establishing stuff worked.

Oh, and we create our own monsters and we are our own monsters and there are monsters that have nothing to do with us and will have nothing to do with us and still others that want to eat us. How's that?

Yes, but how much of us would those monsters eat if those monsters could eat us?

As much as they needed to.

"Sometimes I wonder why we beasts ever came down from the trees in the first place."

Was an idea or story ever changed or influenced by changes that would happen in the titles regular continuity?

Well, Now I do have to figure a way for Colossus to have survived death.

Were there any characters you took a specific pleasure in killing off? Howard the Duck perhaps?

Yeah. The Skull ate Howard, as hinted in the Beast Special. And Norman Osborn's death was a lot of fun in a vengeful malicious kind of way.

Doc Samson pulling himself inside out at the Skulls command was a bit gruesome as well. On that note, were there any characters you were intent on showcasing? Nighthawk of course.

I wrote a Nighthawk Limited that I suppose is the unofficial prelude to Universe X. We needed someone who would be able to offer not only a vision of the Earth X world, but of worlds of magic and damnation as well. In the limited series, he is given future-seeing eyes by Mephisto... and I always thought there'd be more to do with those eyes if ever given the chance. Alex was a big fan (as am I) of the Gargoyle limited series (80s) and the idea of putting these two characters together seemed a good one.

Plus, just like X-51, it seems like taking minor characters and giving them narration roles is a great way to flesh them out and make them bigger deals in the Marvel Universe.

Did you ever receive any bad flak over how you treated certain characters? IE. Making wolverine fat, or reversing the Hulk's expansive psychological work up as mere genetic changes - the physical affecting the psychological rather then the psychological affecting the physical.

Fat Wolverine and Spider-Man did cause some uproar. But most people seem to be very pleased with how the Spider-Man thing has worked out. And I think they'll be equally pleased with what's going to happen in to Wolverine in Paradise X. If anything, though, Thor and Loki, are the most controversial parts of the series.

Most love. A few hate. But it's always those that hate that are the most vocal.

"There is no good. There is no evil. There is only change. Only life and death and the struggle to survive.

The struggle creates 'HEROES'"

One of the subjects touched upon was the existence of Good and Evil. If such things are non-existent, are heroes then, ignorant, to want to change the world for the better?


Do YOU believe in the existence of evil?

I think I have to. Just as I think I have to believe in an ultimate good. Without these concepts, everything falls apart and becomes reduced to power plays.

We do good because it makes us feel powerful. We do evil for the same reason.

It creates a series of real problems. I've had so many friends say to me "How could there be a "good" being (speaking of a God or Universal force like that) with so much suffering in the world?" and that's a great question. One I don't have an answer for. But if this being (I'll call him GOOD) does not exist, than there's no such thing as suffering because it's totally natural. The tears we cry have no meaning either. We are all dust, as is suggested in Existentialist writings, "Tortured Atoms in a bed of mud."

There has to be evil and good. Or there is nothing at all. And these stories we love to tell about the struggle between them are nothing but comics.

And we all know, they are not just comics.

One of the interesting points more recently touched upon was the reference to the cosmic cube being GOD. God being a subject which, for the most part, remained a topic relatively unexplored in the Marvel U. What made you conceive of this?

If there is a real God, I don't think he's the one we normally think of. The God we tend to worship or pray to is the genie in the bottle kind of god who does what we ask him to.

The Marvel Universe (unlike DC) has never really embraced the concepts of the Judeo-Christian tradition. And actually, the existence of the Celestials and Eternals sort of refutes it in the Marvel mythos.

So what happens to the faith of those who believe in the Judeo-Christian tradition in the Marvel Universe. Where does that faith go?

Hence, the Cosmic Cube.

On the same vein, might making Mephisto the devil have been based on the fact that he always disputed being the devil? "The greatest trick the devil ever played on the world was convincing man he didn't exist" Even when Marvel did have Daimon Hellstorm as Satan?

Hmmm... maybe the greatest trick was letting the devil think he was the DEVIL! There's all this belief about his power being so great and it suggests he's sort of a ying to God's yang (God's yang? Can I say that?). Anyhow, despite the influence of eastern philosophy suggesting that Good and evil are equal and opposite forces in the universe (as suggested even in Alan Moore's Swamp Thing run), the Devil of the classic tradition is a "created being" like humanity (but angelic) who rebelled but has no where near the power of God... until he convinces humanity that he does. Tricky, huh?

"Hell is not just for the Un-Righteous... But also for the Self-Righteous."

Was the evolution of the Marvel U species into - eventually - beings whose form was shaped by thought, at all influenced by Warren Ellis' unpublished END TIMES series proposed to take place on the dawn of the millennium?

No. In fact, I never read that proposal. Interestingly enough, though, the idea of the Asgardians being aliens (not shape-shifters) did come out of Warren's Thor run.

Another one of my favoured UNIVERSE X moments was the final battle between the Avengers and the Absorbing Man. Not only was it intelligently played out but the grand scale it operated on was spectacular. Which brings me to wonder if you'd have any interest in doing a book in the vein of the popularly termed widescreen action mode?

It's interesting, because this new format was my idea. About a year ago, I wrote and published a book called FLYBOYS in this format. I took it and put it in Joe Quesada's hands and said Marvel should do this format. Joe agreed. And yes, I'd love to do this format with some of the Marvel characters.

Who do you see, out of Marvels extensive roster, as fitting most appropriately into the widescreen, 'adobe age' of comics?

I would choose characters whose worlds could be exploited more to fit the panarama. SO maybe it's not so much characters as locals. Atlantis (w/Namor). Asgard (Thor). Savage Land (X-Men & Ka-Zar) Murderworld (X-Men) Dr. Strange. Characters whose worlds could be experienced to a much greater degree.

An IMAX Asgard? Hmmm.

One of the great lines from EARTH X was the "I'm God" "Then I'm Nietzsche" bit. Which is sort of funny since it was Nietzsche's work that inspired the term - 'superhuman' or 'super soldier' - a term later adopted by the Nazi's. Were you a fan of Nietzsche? Was this perhaps a bit of humoured irony on your part?

Yes to the irony. I am a fan of Nietzsche. If there is no good and evil, his is the only philosophy that really works. He is Uatu in the Earth X mythology. X-51 is traditional mankind, a being who Uatu tells has merely been programmed by tradition and superstition.

And that's the basis of the argument that begins in Earth X between them.

Coming this October will be the 3 issue mini Heralds, the prelude to PARADISE X, the third maxi-series continuing from Earth X and Universe X. The Story: To deliver a desperate warning to the Multiverse, the living computer known as X-51 forms a team of champions selected from different realities! Behold the Heralds: Wolverine, resurrected from the Days of Future Past! Deathlok, the Machine Man! Killraven, the Warrior of The Worlds! Bloodstorm, the vampire from MUTANT X! Iron Man 2020, the corrupt nephew of Tony Stark! Hyperion, the last living member of the Squadron Supreme! Spider-Girl, the daughter of Spider-Man! But will this warning come too late? Or not soon enough? What will be the fate of this wild alternate future?

To be honest when I heard of the upcoming release of PARADISE X I thought that this would be stretching things a bit far. Had it always been your intention to continue into a third series? What will be the premise behind the series?

Earth X could have ended it all. There was the hope that humanity might reassert itself on the planet. The Earth was saved. The heroes won.

But, with Universe X, a Paradise X was necessary. The idea at the end of Universe X is that there will be a new Heaven, a new holding place for those who have tasted of Death's embrace.

Paradise X will settle everything having to do with the ideas introduced in Earth X. The Thor/Loki thing will be resolved at last. What was the universe that existed before the Marvel Universe was born like and who, besides Death, still exists from that Universe. What do the other Watchers think about what's happened to Uatu? It also features the Guardians of the Galaxy, X-51's attempt to save the alternate Earths that also have Celestial seeds within them, a battle for the Negative Zone, an X-Men reunion and more.

The next issue of Wizard has the newest sketchbook in it. I don't want to give too much away.

Has an art team been decided upon for PARADISE X? Will this series feature specials just as UNIVERSE X did?

There will be specials again and Doug Braithwaite will be pencilling Paradise X as well.

The series will end with a 2-issue special called HISTORY X and will feature the days before the events of Earth X - the death of Xavier, Peter's quitting being Spider-Man the split between Banner and the Hulk and other things as well.

If you're ENDING Paradise X with History X, does this mean then that time will become circular once more or is this meant to be more of a remembrance piece?

History X will be more of a remembrance piece. The time cycles of universe X which explained the existence and reasons for alternate realities will be left to Universe X.

Do you see time as linear or circular yourself, or was examining time as circular, almost spiral even, just a means of explaining the alternate realities?

Since so many creators seem to live as if they were the center of the universe, it's linear.

Could always agree to disagree. TIME is linear. MAN is circular.

Perhaps history doesn't repeat itself, man just repeats its mistakes.

You mention Alan Moore as being an inspiration on your own work, did WATCHMEN ever come up when doing EARTH X and UNIVERSE X? Perhaps in the way beings who view themselves to be superior are cold and distant, or in how Kyle views and reacts to the future in relation to how Dr. Manhattan did?

Not Watchmen as much as Miracleman and Swamp Thing. With those two works, Alan looked at Super Hero powers and asked the question as to what those powers might become in the future, what they might mean to the world. With Earth X, Alex and I started asking the question of what those powers might have meant to the world in the future as well as their original intent.

How often do heightened media events influence you? For instance, in UNIVERSE X we see a correlation between the Church of Immortus and the Halle Bob Comet cult.

Everything influences me. I read and try to listen to everything. The idea of Immortus starting a church was Alex's and then it became my job to come up with a way to incorporate that into the larger story by finding out and looking at how cults operate.

How did you decide on which characters to use in HERALDS? Which specific realities? "Resurrect Wolverine"?

This was an issue of timing. The characters being used are how they would be in the near future which is why I couldn't do anything with the 2099 characters or the guardians of the Galaxy characters. Secondly, it was the job of deciding who were the most important alternate reality heroes - and how much did they differ from each other.

The resurrected Wolverine is a lot of fun to write. And for those who have been angry about the fat wolverine presented in Earth X, there's lots of great things coming that will justify what's come in the past.

"History has shown from Age to Age the human condition. They need a hero. A champion. A savior. But when salvation has come, they turn on that embodied hope.

But why?

Because to be saved is to be weak. And to be weak, one must acknowledge that one exists in a constant state of need. That, in his natural state, man is found to be lacking. For the last time, X-51, mankind resents its heroes because it needs them."

How do you feel about the format in which the 'X trilogy' has been presented? Price? Cardstock cover? Marvel has been cutting the size of its books both horizontally and vertically, this has included UNIVERSE X.

I think it's too expensive. But I think all comics are too expensive. All the companies want kids to read them, but kids can't afford them. So what's up with that?

I've been writing appendices for free for each edition of Universe X. These appendices have been printed/shown on Marvel's web-site, Wizard World, Comics International and in other places.

Now it's evident that you like to play with characters and the current Ultimate line allows creators to virtually reinvent a character - have you put any thought into or any desire to do such a book?

I'd be into doing an ultimate book. Even though, to a certain extent, I've had a chance to do the same sort of thing in the first 4 pages of every issue of Earth X. I would, though, be into doing an Ultimate Iron Man book. Or maybe an Ultimate Hulk book. I've always thought that the Hulk was less about the darkness that lives inside of man ala Jekyll and Hyde and more about atomic weaponry and our ability to destroy ourselves.

Actually, I'd love to do an Ultimate (or even regular) Silver Surfer book. I think that's a character I could really write well. And, I want to do a Captain Britain book at some point. I think that more than any other character, he creates a link between the world of heroes and the realms of mythology. Stan Lee is famous for saying that Marvel's heroes were the new mythology. The reason I like Captain Britain so much is that he is the link of this new mythology to the mythology and legend of old.

Speaking of the intro's, I've noticed that not only is EARTH X an excellent read for longtime Marvel fans but stands well enough on its own for the theological discussions alone. Do you think the intro's give enough info for a new reader to enjoy the story just as well?

No. But I think they explain enough about the character for people to get a sense of the type of life they've lived. One of the complaints about Earth X and Universe X is that it has too many characters and it relies too much upon knowledge of the Marvel Universe. That's the reason the intro exists, to give a bird's eye view of Marvel History from a perspective that should, in theory be entertaining to both new and old fans.

I have heard of a number of new readers coming into this mythology and having a lot of fun with it. After Paradise X, the Earth X run will be over 50 issues in length, many of which were 48 pages long already. So, it will be more like 60-70 issues in regular comic book terms.

How do you feel about Marvel disassociating themselves from the code? As a part of the Marvel U, will this affect how you write?

It's interesting. I'm not certain how this will effect the way people look at Marvel. The Code, for good or bad, suggested a safety net for parents looking out for what their kids read. But most people don't think kids read comics anymore, so who's to say. Disney has Touchstone, a vehicle to do more mature stuff as well as a way to distance the "Disney" name from that type of entertainment and keep its family genre identity safe. DC has Vertigo. Marvel has... well, Marvel.

While this could have a great effect on Marvel now, one suggesting Marvel as rebel literature because it's not even going to bow before the moral constraints of a parent advisory board, it could also have it's own sort of backlash. When I worked at Marvel and had access to consumer profiles and all that Psychographic information, I remember reading that "mom" was generally the first person to buy a son or daughter a comic book.

If "Rebel Literature" is the direction of the codeless books, I'd suggest a new Positioning line for Marvel Comics (and it could work very well in its redefinition).


Any other new projects in the works?

Apart from what I've already talked about, another issue of Alphabet Supes, another issue of FLYBOYS and a special one-shot to be drawn by Tony Salmons called "THEY MIGHT BE DRAGONS" about an accountant who is convinced that the most successful businessmen of our time are actually dragons disguised as humans. The accountant's plan is to kill these dragons. Actually, I'm filming a short movie based on this next week.

For those unfamiliar, what is the premise behind Alphabet Supes? Any plans for the Alphabet Supes to form into a bucket of ice and a gerbil yet?

Alphabet Supes is about team of 26 super heroes, each with a different letter of the alphabet on their chest. What they spell they transform into. So if there's a fire in Alphabet City, W,A,T,E & R can form water to put it out. All the members of the team have their own personality problems as well. "Y" has a split personality - is she a vowel or a consonant? "Q" is co-dependent on "U" and can't spell anything without her. "e" and "I" are always fighting about who is going to go first and who will lead the team. "S" is too possessive. "T" is always cross. And on and on.

It's the one book I sell that is bought over and over again by the same people for friends. It's pretty funny.

In this industry we need more... kids
And less... businessmen
While I'm here I might as well pimp my... upcoming Foot Soldiers T-Shirt by Graphitti Designs. Art by Sienkiewicz - it's the cover to Foot Soldiers Vol 2

"I'm not a hero... I just played one on Earth."

Thanks Jim. Everyone be sure to keep checking for more columns from Jim, as well as his own site

You can pick up the FOOTSOLDIERS trades from AiT/Planet Lar

Jonathan Ellis is Interviews Editor for PopImage.

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and trademark their respective creators.

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Marvel Online - Check out HERALDS from Marvel shipping this October
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