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AICN COMICS Q&@: Legendary Comics Part I – Ambush Bug talks with legendary Legendary writer Matt Wagner about his new book THE TOWER CHRONICLES!

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Q’s by Ambush Bug!

Matt Wagner!!!

Ambush Bug here with an interview with legendary comic book scribe Matt Wagner. Most of you know Wagner’s writing from his GRENDEL and MAGE series, but he’s doing an all new series with artist Simon Bisley from Legendary Entertainment called THE TOWER CHRONICLES and I had a chance to catch up with him about it. Later in the week, I’ll be talking with some of Legendary’s other creators announced at this year’s San Diego Comic Con: Mark Waid, Max Brooks, and Shane Davis. Here’s what Mr. Wagner had to say about this exciting new series…

AMBUSH BUG (BUG): All right, I’m here with Matt Wagner. Matt, you have the TOWER OF CHRONICLES coming out. Can you tell us a little bit about that project?

MATT WAGNER (MW): Sure. TOWER OF CHRONICLES is basically the first I guess you could say “brand new” project form Legendary Comics, the newly formed Legendary Comics. It’s a character and a concept that I co-created with Thomas Tull who owns Legendary Pictures. It’s a vast, epic storyline that started from a germ of an idea and quickly grew into something huge. It will ultimately be three books, a trilogy, each about two hundred and eighty plus pages. It’s being written by myself and drawn by Simon Bisley.

BUG: Nice.

MW: Whose art is just so dynamic and powerful and as with a lot of things that I do, it’s kind of genre bending or genre busting. If you look at the work I’ve done on MAGE or on GRENDEL you know it mixes elements of fantasy with traditional superhero stuff with horror and Simon just handles all of those so very well. Truthfully, now that we are this deep into it I can’t imagine anybody else drawing it.

BUG: How far are you to being complete with it?

MW: Like I said, it will ultimately be three books. Each book is being published as four prestige sized volumes, so each is going to be sixty-eight pages, so you get a nice chunk with each issue. Simon just finished drawing the second one, so he’s a hundred and twenty plus pages in. I’m nearly finished writing the second book, so I’m on volume eight, so I’m five hundred plus pages in.

BUG: And when is this going to be coming out?

MW: It starts in September, so that’s the nice thing. We are so far ahead, once this train starts rolling it will hit every stop on time, you know? They just released a preview edition so everybody can get a peak at what it looks like. The storyline follows the adventures of a supernatural bounty hunter, a mysterious fellow names John Tower, and as we delve deeper into the story we realize there’s much more to him than meets the eye. There’s a very distinct dark and human reason why he confronts these supernatural creatures, why he does it for money. At first he seems very aloof and, as I’ve said in other interviews, almost a Clint Eastwood sort of character, very “God, who is this guy? Do I even like him?” Ultimately we find that we do like him. He becomes very human and very heroic. I’m a big history buff, so there’s a lot of history in it. I’ve done a lot of research.

BUG: Is it set in the past?

MW: Bits of it are set in the past, yeah. Again, it’s a very epic storyline and he fights supernatural beasties, you know? It’s just great. I love incorporating all of these creatures from mythology and trying to give a horrific spin to…

BUG: Is there one mythology you were looking at or was it just a mix of everything?

MW: No. No, it was just a mix and match, baby. It’s global, you know? Trying to keep it with just as many cool elements as I can get in there and also I’ve worked with so many other artists in the past on GRENDEL and on the various work I’ve done for Dynamite and DC. I’m really good at working for the artist and of course Simon’s art is so bold and dynamic, I just come up with “Wouldn’t it be great to see Simon draw this?” (Laughs) And just keep it rolling from there, so…

BUG: How were you adjusting for Simon specifically? Was there something that you did or was there a point when you saw Simon’s art after writing it that made something click with this project for you or do you work that way?

MW: Jeez, I don’t know if I could say. It’s more of a feeling. You know, you just kind of get used to an artist and what they are used to. He’s getting used to me too. He knows when I ask for something…in the initial stages, I’d say probably the first twenty, thirty, forty pages he’d turn in pencils and there’d be a little tweak here. “Oh no, twist that a little bit to match this…” and now there’s hardly any of that. Now I know what to call for and he knows what to deliver and we are just a well-oiled machine at this point. That’s another nice thing about working this far in advance, we really have developed our narrative and our individual styles to a cohesive whole that I think is really great.

BUG: That’s great. So Legendary is kind of like a multimedia corporation, are there plans for films?

MW: Oh you’d have to ask them. (Laughs) You know, I mean certainly they would be considering this IP, but that’s never my point. I have to write a good story first and it has to be a good comic first. If it’s not that first, we won’t go any farther.

BUG: And after these volumes are complete? The story that you have planned out now, is there room for more?

MW: We will have to see when we get to the end.

BUG: All right.

MW: The trilogy is definitely a distinct ending, but you know, all stories go on eventually.

BUG: Well thank you very much for your time, I appreciate it. I can’t wait to check out THE TOWER CHRONICLES when it finally hits in September.

MW: You bet. Thank you, man. Nice meeting you.

Ambush Bug is Mark L. Miller, original @$$Hole/wordslinger/reviewer/co-editor of AICN Comics for over ten years. He has written comics such as MUSCLES & FIGHTS, MUSCLES & FRIGHTS, VINCENT PRICE PRESENTS TINGLERS & WITCHFINDER GENERAL, THE DEATHSPORT GAMES, WONDERLAND ANNUAL 2010 & NANNY & HANK (soon to be made into a feature film from Uptown 6 Films). He is also a regular writer for FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND & has co-written their first ever comic book LUNA: ORDER OF THE WEREWOLF (to be released in late 2012 as an 100-pg original graphic novel). Mark has just announced his new comic book miniseries GRIMM FAIRY TALES PRESENTS THE JUNGLE BOOK from Zenescope Entertainment to be released March-August 2012. Also look for Mark's exciting arc on GRIMM FAIRY TALES #76-80 which begins in August 2012.

Editing, compiling, imaging, coding, logos & cat-wrangling by Ambush Bug
Proofs, co-edits & common sense provided by Sleazy G

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