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Monthly Archives: March 2013

Robot 6 interviews Greg Pak about Jonathan Coulton and all kinds of other stuff

The Robot 6 blog asked me six random questions and I talked about “Warlock,” Jonathan Coulton, and what people say when they hear I write comics.
Check it out!

I go on and on and on about Superman (as one does)

By Greg Pak
Comic Book Resources’s Jeffrey Renaud recently interviewed writers Scott Lobdell, Andy Diggle, Scott Snyder, and yours truly about Superman.
Read Part I
Read Part II
The kind folks at the Robot 6 blog then picked this up as their Quote of the Day:

“What makes it compelling as a story and a character is his tremendous backstory, which sets up the character as someone who is different than everybody, but striving to help. That sense of somebody that is an ‘other,’ someone who doesn’t belong but is doing his best to do the right thing all of the time. That’s incredibly compelling and universal. All of us, no matter how much we feel complete, sometimes feel like we’re on the outside, feel like we’re alone, feel like we’re strange and different. That’s why the Harry Potter books and movies are so popular. That’s why the X-Men are so popular. That’s why just about every pop culture phenomenon you can think of is so popular.
It’s amazing how many of the stories we love to cherish explore that sense of being different. That’s a universal human condition. And the reason Superman, in particular, is so compelling is because he’s on the outside, yet he’s doing his best to help everybody. That moral core of the character is something that we all, deep down, want to aspire towards. It’s that struggle to do the right thing that is really compelling. And it’s not easy for him. I think that’s another thing that great Superman writers have explored over the years. This is a guy that — everything should be easy for him because he’s Superman and he can do anything, but he is still in a constant struggle to figure out what the right thing to do is and how to do it.”
– Greg Pak, writer of DC’s upcoming Batman/Superman series, explaining to Comic Book Resources what makes the Man of Steel such a compelling character

The “Batman/Superman” book I’m writing and Jae Lee is drawing starts in June. Please ask your local store to pre-order a copy for you today!

Pak Talks Comics: The scoop on Steven Sanders’ “Symbiosis”


By Greg Pak
The brilliant artist Steven Sanders recently launched a Kickstarter for a Creative Commons-licensed science fiction art book called SYMBIOSIS. I was blown away by the art and concept and thought it would be fun to pick Steven’s brain a bit about the Creative Commons aspect of the project in particular. We finished this chat mere moments ago — so here you go, hot off the presses!

Greg Pak: Can you give us the super-short, three sentence version of what SYMBIOSIS is?
Stephen Sanders: It’s a book that is part loosely squential story/part world-building bible. It centers around a world/tech style that I’m calling “1940s bio-punk.” It’s Creative Commons so that anyone can take the material and make whatever they want from it.
GP: The Creative Commons aspect fascinates me. As you know, I’ve got a CC project mysef — the “Vision Machine” graphic novel and iPad app. What inspired you to go that route?
SS: I’ll be candid, it started out as a lark. But after I started thinking about how authors frequently told me that my work makes them want to tell stories, it made total sense. I also realize that CC makes sense, period. The IP cat is pretty much out of the bag with tech how it is today, and I figure that we might as well embrace that and encourage it in a positive manner instead of squelching it.
GP: Awesome. I see you’re releasing under the non-commercial license, but you included a note on your Kickstarter assuring folks that you’ll be amenable to considering commercial requests. Do you have plans of your own to use the world you’re creating in additional stories/media?
SS: Yeah, basically anyone that isn’t a large corporation with money to blow will get a free commercial license. I know how tough small press is, and I don’t see any point in adding to the burden further. Just as long as people follow the share-alike. As far as my own stories, probably not. I enjoy world-building more than I enjoy describing how humans interact in these various worlds (I’m also just better at the former than the latter). I do have vague plans for for some supplementary books to further flesh out the world of Symbiosis, but it will still stay rooted in world-building.
GP: So how do you see people using the material? I’m guessing a lot of folks may want to write and draw stories that take place in the world and use the incredible designs you’re creating. But can they use your actual art as well?
SS: Yeah, I mean, considering the license, they could take the art, and reprint the book and give it away for free if they wanted to. But, yeah, they can use the art itself for illustrations, or I have people who are wanting to do sculpts of figures and tech from Symbiosis. One lady wanted to cosplay one of the characters in the preview art, and I’ve heard from a number of people who have plans to use open-source RPG engines like Fate Core to make their own Symbiosis tabletop RPG. Alex de Campi has already written a short story based off of a sketch I released a few weeks ago. It’s pretty exciting to see how interested people are in this thing.
GP: Tremendous. It’s also kind of beautiful given how the whole idea of sharing and remixing and whatnot via Creative Commons fits in so well with the symboitic theme of the book itself.
SS: IT’S WHEELS WITHIN WHEELS AND BIO-ENGINES ALL THE WAY DOWN, GREG
GP: Ha! So I’m going to have to come up with some kind of mash-up with Vision Machine and Symbiosis art, now. 😉
SS: That would be kind of amazing.
GP: So you’re literally $640 from hitting your initial goal even as we chat. Want to tease any stretch goals?
SS: Good grief. Um, yeah. This will be a big one, we’d have to hit 75K for it, but that one includes a doubling of the page count (and it was my original plan for the book before I calmed down). I’ll have to contact the printer to see about options for an additional 50 pages. I’ve got free symbiosis circle logo stickers as an early stretch, and between those I’m going to be scrambling today. I’m thinking some fold out pages and if I can make it happen fast enough, maybe a web/android/iOS game. But that would be a minor miracle to get together this quickly.
GP: Wow. Yes, a web/android/iOS game would be awesome. A puzzle game! Traveling through the environment, manipulating elements, getting to the next part of the world!
SS: Yes! One of the gentlemen I went to the Kansas City Art institute with is a rather talented programmer, and runs another crowdfunding site called Pledgie. He has an engine ready for this sort of thing, and I’ll likely run this by him soon.
Okay, amazing, right? Go check it out the Kickstarter and pledge today.

Free Greg Pak Marvel books at Comixology!


By Greg Pak
A bunch of my books are part of the Marvel #1 digital comics giveaway at Comixology right now. The site’s pretty bogged down, so it might be tricky to download everything, but it appears that you can nab the following:
“Red Skull” #1
“Silver Surfer” #1
“Dark Reign: The List: Hulk”
“Hulk vs. Hercules: When Titans Clash”
“Planet Skaar Prologue”
“Skaar Son of Hulk” #1
“Iron Man: House of M” #1
“War Machine” #1
“Chaos War” #1
“World War Hulk” #1
“World War Hulk Prologue” (includes the Amadeus Cho origin story, I think)
“World War Hulk: Aftersmash” #1
“Herc” #1
“X-Treme X-Men” #1
“X-Men: Phoenix – Endsong” #1
“X-Men: Phoenix – Warsong” #1
Good luck, and enjoy!

A few “Batman/Superman” interviews

By Greg Pak
A bunch of nice folks have interviewed me about the new “Batman/Superman” book I’m writing. Here are a few excerpts:

CBN: You are working with two iconic characters and at the historic moment of their first meeting. What will this first encounter have over other versions told in the past?
Greg Pak: The great thing about telling this story at this specific point in time is that we’re dealing with the Batman and Superman of the New 52 at a very early stage in their careers. They’re young and raw and cocky and, frankly, dangerous. We’ve seen great writers in the past depict their relationship as wary and guarded — that great Byrne story in which Batman makes a kind of crazy bomb threat is a prime example. But these young heroes are even more unpredictable. In particular, the young New 52 Superman is much cockier and more rash than any other Superman I can recall. Throw him together with Batman and sparks are absolutely going to fly.
Byron Brewer, Cosmic Book News
CA: What does influence your take on those characters? Who influences your take on them as a team?
GP: Definitely, the Morrison Action series is key for me. That’s the series that has defined the young Clark and the young Superman in the New 52, so that’s a very important touchstone. One of my big early jobs in comics was Phoenix: Endsong, which really relied a lot on the Joss Whedon run, but also the Morrison run, so I have a lot of respect for Grant Morrison. It’s always fun working on a project when I get to read a lot of Morrison books for reference.
But that’s a very interesting version of Superman, because he’s young and he is figuring things out, and he’s brash in a very interesting way. He’s the young idealist, but he’s got a bit of swag, which is interesting. It’s distinct from the older, more mature Superman, who’s got a little more gravitas. He’s a little more considerate of others. The young Superman has a little more attitude, which is fun, and totally makes sense, and it’s appropriate for this character. I think that’s a very interesting character to use as a foil for Batman.
For Batman, I think Batman: Year One is a big influence, probably on everyone who’s written Batman ever since. But definitely because I’m looking at Batman in his early years, that’s not just one of the best Batman comics ever, but one of the best comics I’ve ever read in my life. It’s certainly a book I look at a lot. The Scott Snyder books are amazing, and he’s been a dream to talk with. He’s a great guy, and it’s been a lot of fun talking about these characters with him.
Chris Sims, Comics Alliance
Pak feels that Superman’s appeal as a cultural mainstay since 1938 is the same as what’s behind the popularity of Spider-Man, Harry Potter and the X-Men.
“They’re all about outsiders,” the writer says. “As you grow up, you try to find your place in the world and you don’t belong and you struggle, and that’s the story of our lives, at least our adolescence.
“When you combine that with somebody who chooses to help, that becomes very powerful.”
That he always sticks up for the underdog is another attractive quality to Pak.
“We want to be that strong and do the right thing and rise to the occasion. Superman gives us that kind of hope,” he says. “And then also he can smash whatever he wants to smash and he can set things on fire with his eyes. That’s pretty cool.”
Brian Truitt, USA Today

Check out Jae Lee’s and June Chung’s “Batman/Superman” #1 cover!


DC Comics has released the cover to “Batman/Superman” #1, drawn by Jae Lee and colored by June Chung. Official solicit information below — the book hits stores in June. Ask your local retailer to pre-order it for you today!
BATMAN/SUPERMAN #1
Written by GREG PAK
Art and cover by JAE LEE
1:100 B&W variant cover by JAE LEE
1:25 BATMAN variant cover by KENNETH ROCAFORT
1:25 SUPERMAN variant cover by GUILLEM MARCH
“We Can Be Heroes” blank variant cover available
On sale JUNE 5 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T
Combo pack edition: $4.99 US
A new epic begins with the debut of this new, ongoing series! Don’t miss the first fateful meeting of Batman and Superman in The New 52!
This issue is also offered as a combo pack edition with a redemption code for a digital download of this issue

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