Brian Azzarello is best known as the co-creator of Harvey and Eisner Award winning comic book series “100 Bullets.” He also wrote critically acclaimed graphic novel “Joker,” which is ranked as one of the 25 Greatest Batman Graphic Novels by IGN. He’s currently writing the monthly “Wonder Woman” series and the controversial “Watchmen” prequels “Rorschach” and “Comedian” for DC Comics. He also writes the mini-series “Spaceman” for Vertigo Comics. Azzarello took some time out of his busy writing schedule to talk to me about his different works.
How do you personally feel about the reboot of the DC Universe?
I feel fine (laughing). It doesn’t bother me. It’s very necessary otherwise the characters get stagnant. It becomes the same stories being told over and over again.
How did you feel when you were asked to reboot “Wonder Woman?” Did you want to completely change her or stay true to the original stories while making the character and stories more contemporary?
You have to be respectful of the source material. I was, but at the same time I was charged with re-launching this character in her world again. The first reason I’m doing “Wonder Woman” is because I have a story to tell. If I didn’t have a story to tell I wouldn’t be doing it.
What do you feel like you bring to the “Wonder Woman” book that is unique?
Some purists might argue, but I’m bringing a wider cast of characters to the book. Also people are talking about Wonder Woman right now. That’s fantastic. She deserves to be at the top. Everybody talks about a trinity at DC Comics. You can say that but it’s not true… yet! We’re working on it.
Where did the idea for your “Spaceman” series come from?
A friend of mine is a bioengineer at Northwestern University. The U.S. had announced there was going to be a joint US / Russian project to get to Mars. We were talking about it and he says, “It’ll never happen. We can’t get there.” He started explaining how the human body loses bone mass in space after a long time. I said, “Couldn’t we genetically alter someone’s body features to have larger bone mass so they can make the journey?” He told me we could. I had a character and I needed a story. I started thinking, “What’s this whole world going to be like in 50 to 100 years? What if we go towards all the worst predictions that are being made as far as climate, economic, and social change? I had my world then. I had to put a crime in there because I love crime stories.
What are your future plans for “Spaceman?”
The first series wraps up after nine issues. There are two other stories that I’ve discussed telling in this world. We’re going to do some other things before we get back to them probably.
Your wife is a writer of comic books and graphic novels as well. Her material is very different from yours. How does that work? Do you have separate rooms you work in at home?
There are doors that separate us. It’s great. We work in the same industry but come from completely different angles. We bounce stuff off each other all the time over dinner. We talk about what we’re doing.
Who were your influences that led you to become a comic book writer?
Nobody (laughing). Comic book writing is not what I was looking to do. As a comic book writer, I’d say I take inspiration from Howard Chaykin, Frank Miller, and Alan Moore. I was reading their books. When I was growing up I liked DC’s war comics like “Sgt. Rock.” It was a dream come true to work with Joe Kubert on “Sgt. Rock.”
For more articles by Eric Shirey, check out:
‘Batman: Birth of the Demon’ Graphic Novel Review
‘Batman: Death by Design’ Graphic Novel Review
‘The New Deadwardians’ Issue #1 Comic Book Review
Eric Shirey is the founder and editor of Rondo Award nominated movie and comic book news websites MovieGeekFeed.com and TheSpectralRealm.com. His work has been featured on Yahoo!, DC Comics, StarWars.com, and other national entertainment websites. Besides his three decades long obsession with everything sci-fi, horror, and fantasy related in TV and movies, Eric has what some would call an unhealthy love for comic books. This has led him to interviewing and covering legendary writers and artists in the medium like Geoff Johns, Scott Snyder, Steve Niles, Bernie Wrightson, and Howard Chaykin.