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.