Posted - 10/05/2010 : 09:21:06 AM
Writer for Solar, Magnus, Turok, Mighty Samson
Published by: Dark Horse Comics
Interviewed by: Richard Vasseur/Jazma VP
Rich: Why do you like working on Solar, Magnus and Turok?
Jim: When I was a kid, you know, back before electricity, I read those comics and loved them. They inspired me to imagine and wonder. I remember wondering how physically strong Doctor Solar could make himself with his energy. I’d play “what if…?” What if Magnus faced a robot fighter—a robot specifically designed for martial arts…? What if Turok encountered other Native Americans from his time also lost in the timeless land?
Everybody does that.
Anyway…now I get to play out some of those imaginings and many more I’ve had since. What could be better?
Rich: What about each character really jumps out at the reader?
Jim: From the series overviews I wrote, here are the essences in their own words:
Doctor Solar, Man of the Atom
“I am the Master of the Unified Field. The God of Energy. The living embodiment of the power of the sun. The most powerful being in the universe, unless there is a God Almighty at the end of time, when all of reality collapses into a Singularity. I am the Man of the Atom.” – from the secret journal of a scientist empowered by a thermonuclear cataclysm—Doctor Solar.
Magnus Robot Fighter
“The year is 4,000 CE. When robots rebel, wreaking havoc, threatening to impose a murderous, mechanical tyranny upon the world, I protect humankind. I was trained from birth to achieve the pinnacle of human potential—steel-smashing strength, a disciplined mind and the will to conquer any enemy. I am Magnus. Robot Fighter.”
Turok, Son of Stone
“Far have I traveled from the north and east, and I have learned many things. In the western desert, I saved the life of a young warrior. Fleeing the raiders who murdered his father, we sought refuge in a cavern, but we were swept away to a strange world by a magic unlike any I have ever seen. Here are thunder-lizards and nightmares, miracles and dreams. For the sake of the boy, Andar, I must find a way back home. I am Turok, Son of Stone.”
Rich: Will you be making any major changes to the old Gold Key versions of these characters?
Jim: The idea is to follow the originals closely, but bring the science up to date, ratchet up the human drama and make the action more spectacular. It’s been forty-seven years or more since those characters were created. These days readers expect more, and I’m trying to give it to them.
Rich: Why do you think Turok was loved by fans?
Jim: See above. Turok is an iconic figure. His is the ultimate story of man against nature gone wild.
Rich: Will Magnus be mainly fighting robots or the people who control them?
Jim: Both, plus the robots who control people—and the people they control. And anything else that endangers North Am…and the world.
Rich: How does Solar deal with knowing he is the most powerful being in existance?
Jim: In a word, carefully. He knows he can do a lot of good. He also knows he is potentially the greatest danger imaginable to the world. The fact is that nothing on the planet can go on without his consent, tacit or otherwise. So, just how much to interfere…? That is the question.
Rich: What is the "Mighty Samson" about?
Jim: Here are two passages from my series overview:
500 years after the end of the world….
Amid the ruins of a once-great city, scourged by mutated monsters, marauders and savage, sub-human predators, the primitive N’yark Tribe, ekes out a meager, fragile existence. But from among them arises a champion, gifted with prodigious strength—a warrior who can strike dead the most fearsome beast and stand one alone against a thousand foes. Named by Speakers of Ancient Lore, he is called the Mighty Samson—the last great hope of human kind.
“Upon the Earth walks he who slays behemoths with his fist. Stone and iron yield before the strength of his sinews. A thousand warriors cannot stand against his strength. It is given unto him to deliver his people from the beneath the yoke of their oppressors, and no force under Heaven can stay him from his destiny. He is called the Mighty Samson.” – From the recitations of the Lore-Speakers in the first year of the Age to Come, at the dawn of the Fourth Millennium.
Rich: Which other Gold Key characters will we be seeing?
Jim: Many. I’ll leave announcing them to Mike Richardson, Master and Commander of all Dark Horse. I can tell you that next up is Doctor Spektor.
Rich: Besides writing the Gold Key line from Dark Horse do you have any other role with them?
Jim: I work with Mike and especially Senior Editor Chris Warner to choose artists and get them to do the kind of job we want. Chris is great. As we add titles, I won’t be able to write them all, so when we bring in other writers, I’ll do the development, plan the stories and supervise the writers.
Rich: You have had a long and extensive career in the comic field what are a few of your most memorable moments?
Jim: I don’t know. I never think about things like that. Unless you mean the crazy stuff. Too much of that to list. But, if you ever see JayJay Jackson, ask her about the coronation of the Tater Queen. Ask Chris Claremont what he once told John Belushi, when he stopped by the office. Ask Bill Sienkiewicz about playing Spider-Man at Seaworld—but, please don’t ask him about the Jell-o wrestling incident….
Rich: What would you do if you had Solar's powers?
Jim: Ruuuuuuuuule the world! Seriously, I don’t know. Probably fail. Doctor Solar is smarter and more focused than I am.
Rich: How do you spend any free time you have?
Jim: There is no free time. There are always many things I should be doing. But I steal time, once in a while—it’s that or go madder. I do normal things. Watch the game, hang out with friends. I can’t cook so I eat out a lot. Lookin’ for lunch in all the wrong places….
Rich: How can someone contact you?
Jim: I’m on Facebook, though I haven’t had time to figure it out yet. Still don’t know about this writing on the wall thing.
Rich: Any last words for the new fans of these classic characters?
Jim: Please give them a try.