A Conversation With: Greg Rucka

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Posted October 8, 2013 by Mario Miranda in Nerdy Bits

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Lazarus recently was released through Image comics, by Greg Rucka and Michael Lark, marking the first time that the two have worked together since the highly acclaimed title from DC Comics Gotham Central ended years ago. We were able to get some time to chat with Greg, he happened to be signing in the area and graciously agreed to a short interview, primarily regarding his new title. Also, thank you to Alden Diaz for his help.

WeTheNerdy: You had mentioned at some point that Lazarus is an ongoing but that you do have an ending in mind and that you’re estimating about a 75 issue run, is that correct?

Greg Rucka: Well, we said at the start that Lazarus would probably run about 75 issues. If I’m honest it could easily run 150, it will come down ultimately to how much time and effort both Michael and I are going to be willing to give to it. 150 issues is a long time commitment, that’s over 10 years of work. You know, we’re loving it right now and we don’t want to stop doing it but as long as the sales are there we will continue to tell the story as we see the best way to tell it.

WTN: I saw the solicit for issue #5 where we see Forever as a child, how much of her childhood will we see or what aspects will we see?

GR: Well that would be telling. [laughs] It’s not a misleading cover; you get to see how forever became who she is. That really is it, and that runs throughout the arc, each issue begins with the young Forever.

WTN:  One of the things I really admire about Michael’s art, and unfortunately Michael isn’t here to comment, is how well Michael is at expressing body language in his art and how much is said just by the way the characters are positioned and react. Is that something that you give him direction on sometimes or is that something he does on his own?

GR: Michael is an incredibly, incredibly subtle storyteller. No I never have to [give him direction], I mean I write actors scripts. I write scripts that are, this is what the characters are thinking, feeling and doing, and in particular what they are feeling what they are feeling while they are doing what they’re doing and that is the ammunition Michael goes from there. He’s that good, I can literally give him a description and say, “so you know it’s that look where he’s just said a thing and you’re going aww shucks but you don’t want to act as such because you’re trying act like a grown up. He goes, “oh I know how to draw that!” and he draws it. You can see that he did in Lazarus #3, Joacquim says, “you’ve turned into a beautiful woman,” and that stop that Forever has is perfect, the body language is perfect. You all of sudden notice, oh wow she’s 19!

WTN: Along with other creators such as Ed Brubaker, you have stepped away from the “big two” and stepped away from the mainstream to concentrate on creator owned projects. Why do you feel that it was important to step away and focus more on projects such as Lazarus?

GR: I think there are so many answers to that question, there is a lot to be said for working in them mainstream, there is a lot of good work that can be done in the mainstream. I wanted to be able to tell the story the way I wanted to tell it. You know when you work for Marvel or DC, when they give you the keys to drive Wolverine or the Punisher, or superman, they own the car and there are places that you are not going to be able to drive. Well that’s fine, that’s their right, and I’m not going to begrudge them for that. Sometimes I think the directions aren’t necessarily the best ones but that’s their privilege. When you do creator owned work you make the choices and there is a creative freedom that matters.

WTN: Is there anything else you’d like to add?

GR: I like comics! [laughs] Lazarus is great, you guys should read it!

WTN: Yes, people should definitely read it.

WTN: Well Greg, thank you very much for your time.


About the Author

Mario Miranda

I live my life a quarter mile at a time.