Comics/Graphic Novels

Interview with Comic Writer Andy Diggle and Comic Artist Jock Part Two

While at Glasgow Film Festival i had the opportunity to interview Comic Book Writer Andy Diggle and Comic Artist Jock.

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When can we expect Green Arrow Year Two?

Andy: People keep asking us that but  i always say the reason i like origin stories is that you get to show a character challenged and that change is the interesting thing. You see Oliver Queen change from being a drunken idiot into a self sacrificing hero. That story is always about character arc, the transformation. But once he becomes Green Arrow, this hero, then  his character is fixed at that point. It’s at this point that we lose interest. I also like underdogs, he’s the underdog in that story. It’s not just the antagonist trying to kill him, it’s also his own incompetence so he has to overcome that. Once he becomes a Billionaire Superhero with gadgets and friends then he’s not the underdog anymore.Suddenly not being the underdog isn’t that interesting.

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Jock: We knew we had to get to the last page when he puts on the Green Arrow suit and is in Star City. We knew we had to get to that point but i’m not sure either of us had much to say after that point.

Andy: That’s the thing, for some Writers and Artists all they want to do is draw or write about their favourite characters. They grew up loving these characters and want to make a career of bringing their adventures to life. There’s nothing wrong with that, it’s a perfectly honourable thing to do.Me and Jock come from a very slightly different place. I don’t have that kinda nostalgia invested in the characters. For me it’s about i need to find a way in, find a story about a character i can get passionate about. I was surprised as anybody when pitched the Green Arrow story, i’d never read a Green Arrow comic in my life but i certainly thought hang on i can do this. I’ve got something to say here. But it doesn’t happen very often, for a big famous character and suddenly the lightbulb goes on in my head. Actually it happened to me last week (Week beginning Feb 17 2014) when Jock came up to me with a Batman story. Maybe one day we will get a chance to do that. If i don’t have that lightbulb going on in my head or i don’t feel passionate about it then i’ll politely decline.

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Andy, you mentioned once that you would be interested in making some new Indiana Jones Comics. Can you tell us some of the ideas you would do if Disney presented you with the opportunity?

Andy: i actually did get offered the opportunity a few years back before Crystal Skull came out. It was Dark Horse i think who offered me Indiana Jones. I was literally jumping for joy, i was literally jumping out of the house. But then in the cold light day i realised i couldn’t do it with the deadline required, i was writing other projects at the time and i was already late with stuff. I didn’t have time to take it on as well. They needed it fast so yeah i had to call them back and say i couldn’t. The other thing as well was searching for ideas to do for Indy , everything’s been done. I wanted to do a prequel to The Temple of Doom but turn’s out its been done, i think it’s like a video game. But yeah, i’d think i’d have alot of fun, maybe one day. I think what i need to do now is invent my own Indiana Jones. I’d like to cook up a character i’d use to tell all the stories i’d want to tell. It’d be like a franchise character basically, so it’s got a bit of Han Solo, bit of James Bond and bit of Sinbad.I’ve got lots of various ideas but none that have clicked yet, it’s been bubbling for a while in the back of my mind.

Would you be interested in drawing Indiana Jones?

Jock: Yeah if he (Andy) was writing it.

Andy, you saw Much Ado About Nothing by Joss Whedon last year. Would you ever consider writing a Comic book inspired by Shakespeare?

Andy: I nearly did, that’s another job  that fell through. About a year ago i was approached by a big-shot Hollywood Film Producer, whose a huge Shakespeare fan. He wanted to, he wrote a screenplay which combined the Henry plays into one. However it didn’t work out for various reasons. There simply was too much material to fit into a graphic novel. I didn’t want to take it on and discover halfway through it wasn’t possible to do. If your’e an Editor you need to be honest about what will and what won’t work. It’s a shame as adapting Shakespeare is very good training for a Writer. Also trying to bring it to life visually, it’s good training for an Artist.

Do you have  any other projects in the works you can tell us about?

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Jock: I’m drawing a book with Scott Synder, who i did the Black Mirror Story with. It’s coming out hopefully in September 2014 from Image Comics, it’s called Wytches. Scott is a great writer and the goal of Wytches we hope is that you will actually be scared reading it. It’s like when you read a horror novel and you have a sense of fear.

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Andy: I’m doing a new book that i’m not allowed to talk about yet. It hasn’t been announced and hopefully it will be shortly. I’m also writing Thief of Thieves with Robert Kirkman.

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Me and my wife Angela are also writing a book called Control, which will be out later this year from Dynamite.

Have either of you seen the trailer for Game of Thrones Season 4, if you have what did you think?

Andy: I’m completely obsessed with Game of Thrones at the moment, i’m just dotty, i watched it on my laptop before i came here to do interviews. I’ve just finished reading all the books, I’ve just got caught up now and working my way through the TV Series prior to the new Series coming out. I’m recognising moments from the book, so yeah i love it, i’m kinda in awe of Game of Thrones.

Jock: I’ve only ever seen Season 1 and 2. I’ve not even seen Season 3 so i’m out of touch.

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Part One of the Interview is available here

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