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Warlock

Pak Talks Comics – Super Giant Reader Q&A!

By Greg Pak
Over the next few months, I’m reworking the format of my “Pak Talks Comics” column for BrokenFrontier.com. The new and improved column should appear towards the end of the summer. But in the meantime, I’ll continue the Reader Q&A portion of the column right here at PakBuzz.com, so keep those questions coming and read on for answers to the latest batch!
WARNING: Some spoilers ahead for a few recent issues of “Incredible Hercules,” “Skaar,” and “Magneto Testament.”
Hrungr: With the Olympians now on Earth along with the Asgardians, does anyone remember that the Celestials had ordered them to stop interfering with humanity? Or is it a case where humanity has grown to the point that the gods are simply another group of superpowered beings?
GP:
Thanks for the question, Hrungr. As you’ll see, Bill has a similar question about the nature of the gods below – I’ll answer them together in a second. Also, since we’re on the subject, “Incredible Hercules” #129 hits comic book stores today — feel free to check out the preview!
Bill Frank: I just want to start out by saying that I am really enjoying your and Van Lente’s run on “Incredible Hercules.” You both seem to have caught the real feel for a mythological character that some writers miss. With that in mind, I was wondering a few things about your run that can be roughly divided into three sets of questions, if you don’t mind:
In universes like Marvel’s there are a myriad of super powerful beings with powers and abilities rivaling if not surpassing gods. Some beings like Eternals have been mistaken for gods in the past and have almost identical power-sets except they are science based instead of magic based. When writing a series like “Incredible Hercules,” what separates gods from other super powered beings? What distinguishes Hercules, an immortal super-strong man from other immortal super-strong men like Gilgamesh or Wonder Man or makes him different from being just some ancient superhero?
GP:
I’m not saying this is the case, but it’s within the realm of possibility that all of the powers of Herc and his relatives could be explained via Marvel science; maybe they’re not gods, just immortal superhumans. But for millennia, Herc has been told he’s literally a god and has been worshipped as a god. So a huge part of his story is this struggle with questions of a god’s prerogatives and responsibilities. Characters like Wonder Man and the Hulk and Wolverine, who might be functionally immortal, haven’t had that millennia-long struggle with the question of godhood that Herc has, nor do they come from a family and culture of fellow gods struggling with the same issues. Those are major differences that create different animating themes for these characters.

read more »

Geeks of Doom posts massive interview with Greg Pak

GeeksofDoom.com has posted a big interview with comic book writer and filmmaker Greg Pak about everything from Texas politics to “Robot Stories” to Asian American themes to Skaar, Son of Hulk! Here’s an excerpt:

GoD: Your early film work seems to have focused on Asian American themes, such as Fighting Grandpa and Asian Pride Porn. Without necessarily connecting the two (which would seem, on the surface, awkward), you obviously have a deep influence from your heritage. Tell us a little about your early film work and where you drew your inspiration.
GP: I’m half Korean and half white. These days, people usually think I’m the same ethnicity as whomever I’m standing next to — Latino or Arab or Jewish or Native American or Dutch or whatever — I’ve heard it all. But I’ve always identified strongly as Asian American. When I was a kid I looked pretty much straight up Asian and got my share of racist taunts. But my parents taught me to be proud of my heritage and the Boy Scouts taught me that America was all about liberty and justice for all. The upshot is that I think a big motivating factor for me in becoming a storyteller was this desire to break down the barriers that separate people, to do my little bit to humanize different kinds of people.
“Fighting Grandpa” was my thesis film at NYU — it’s a documentary that asks whether my Korean grandparents ever really loved each other. It’s an incredibly specific story, rooted in one Korean American family’s unique quirks and history. But after screenings, people of all different backgrounds would come up to me and say that that was the story of their grandparents. That meant a great deal to me on a personal level, of course. But it also made me happy because it meant that folks of all different backgrounds had bonded with these Asian American people on the screen in a way that they might never have before. And in a world in which Asians are still horribly stereotyped and ridiculed in the most repellently racist ways in all kinds of media, that felt like a good thing.
In a kind of crazy way, those same impulses have probably helped me write the Hulk. On one level, “Planet Hulk” is about how what we think we know about a person can be completely wrong. Everyone knows the Hulk and his Warbound companions are monsters. But by the end of the story, we realize they may just be heroes. People are always deeper and usually better than the stereotypes would have us believe.

Click here to read the whole thing.

Inside the Comic Writer’s Studio interviews Greg Pak


Eric Moreno has posted an extensive interview with Greg Pak as part of ComicBloc.com’s “Inside the Comic Writer’s Studio” series. The article covers everything from earliest influences to Ann Richards to improv comedy to Robot Stories and Warlock and Hulk. An excerpt:

ELM: When working with sci-fi concepts, can you just go all out and let loose all of your wildest ideas, no matter how implausible they may be or do you still have to reign some of them in?
GP: During my years doing improv comedy, one of the best things I learned was to take one crazy idea and explore it thoroughly. On an improv stage, there’s always a huge temptation to toss aliens and the Titanic and a presidential assassination subplot and an Elvis impersonation into a scene about a mouse who doesn’t like cheese. And you might get some cheap laughs with each new, crazy addition. But then you can easily lose the chance to really explore that mouse and his cheese problem and get to some really deep, character-based, emotionally resonant laughs.
In a similar way, sci-fi stories tend to work best when you take one concept and explore it thoroughly. The madder Hulk gets, the stronger he gets. That’s the central hook and it provides the essential metaphor. It might be cool to see him start to fly when he’s sad and get really smart when he’s hungry and shoot optic blasts from his eyes when he’s happy. But then it’s very easy to lose track of the story and end up with briefly flashy spectacle without heart or a point that no one wants to read after a few pages.

Click here to read the whole thing.

Giant Newsarama.com interview with Greg Pak

Newsarama has run a “Behind the Page” interview with filmmaker and comic book writer Greg Pak that delves into “Robot Stories,” “Planet Hulk,” politics, genre, Joseph Campbell, and improv comedy. The interview also features several pages of dontcha-dare-miss-it preview art from “Incredible Hulk” #100.
Click here to read the whole interview.

Captain Asian America! Jeff Yang interviews Pak and others on Asian Americans in comics

Jeff Yang has written an amazing, in-depth article for SFGate about Asian Americans in comics featuring interviews with Larry Hama and Greg Pak and in-depth discussion of Asian American superheroes, including Pak’s Captain Asian America and Mastermind Excello. An excerpt:

“I had this idea of doing a story about an insanely smart kid, but one who wasn’t a reject or dork or geek,” says Pak. “It was a way of turning that whole Asian brainiac stereotype on its head. One way to do it is to go against type, to create Asian American characters that are jocks or stoners or thugs or whatever. But another way is to not run away from the stereotype — to embrace it, but present a character like that as having an incredible level of confidence, having just this verve, this lack of self-consciousness.”
Comics reviewers raved about “Mastermind Excello” — and when they did, more often than not they barely even mentioned that the lead character was Asian. And that, to Pak, is the point.

Click here to read the whole article.

“Warlock” makes ComixFan.com Top Ten list

ComixFan.com has included Greg Pak’s four issue “Warlock” miniseries in its list of the Top Ten Trades You’ll Never See. A quote from the article:

With so many comics featuring a bleak view of the world, and so many that pretend at philosophy without truly saying anything, it�s a shame that this quietly philosophical gem remains forgotten.

“Warlock” interviews and reviews

“Warlock” was Greg Pak’s first published comic book work. Written by Pak with interior art by Charlie Adlard and covers by JH Williams, the four issue miniseres began in September 2004. See below for a list of articles about and reviews of the series.

Greg Pak interview at FanBoyPlanet.com
Charlie Adlard interview at The Pulse
Greg Pak interview at ComicBookResources.com
Comixtreme review
Jorgo.org review
The Fourth Rail review
Comixfan review
MediaSharx review
FanBoyPlanet review

Warlock

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Warlock


A four issue Marvel comic book series starting in September 2004
Written by Greg Pak, pencils and inks by Charlie Adlard, covers by JH Williams

 
Comixfan.com:
It’s a surprisingly refreshing take on a classic character that breaks away from the formulae of superhero stories. Pak writes a mentally stimulating story that incorporates contemporary ideologies with the backdrop of a fearful and unsure world that needs certainty and direction.

PopCultureShock.com:

Greg Pak has come up with a fruitful concept that could develop into something a little different for Marvel and for the readers. This is definitely something to keep an eye on.

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