Welcome to WRITER WEDNESDAY! This week, we have a special two-part feature with ERIC WALLACE. He is an executive story editor/writer for SyFy’s EUREKA as well as a well-known DC Comics book writer (Ink, Titans, Mister Terrific). (Eric has also produced and directed documentaries and reality shows. AND he’s a professional musician, having played bass for a series of rock and jazz bands.)
Eric was featured in yesterday’s TV TUESDAY blog in Pt. 1 of our Q&A with him. To catch up with the first part of this interview, go here: http://paulayoo.com/blog/?p=916 Eric talked about MISTER TERRIFIC as well as providing some interesting thoughts on the differences between writing for TV versus comic books.
In today’s Part 2 of our Q&A, Eric will continue to talk about his latest comic book series from the DC New 52 comic re-launch of MISTER TERRIFIC, including some fun sneak previews of new characters being introduced in Issue No. 1.
I am also featuring a comic book giveaway contest in which one lucky winner will received a signed copy of Eric Wallace’s “MISTER TERRIFIC” Issue No. 1. You can participate by either posting a comment for our two blogs with Eric, or you can email me at paula at paulayoo dot com to be included in the drawing. The Winner will be announced later this month.
For more info on Eric, check out his blog here: http://revealthescience.blogspot.com/ You can also follow him on Twitter here: @ewrote And check out our EUREKA WRITERS blog bio on Eric featuring a cartoon portrait by yours truly (moi) here: http://eurekaunscripted.typepad.com/blog/2010/07/about-us-eric-wallace.html
Eric Wallace’s “MISTER TERRIFIC” Issue No. 1 debuts today, September 14, 2011. Keep reading after the jump for Part 2 of our Q&A with Mr. Wallace! Plus, you’ll get to see some sneak preview pictures of MISTER TERRIFIC! 🙂
Part 2 of our Q&A with DC Comics’ “MISTER TERRIFIC” comic book author ERIC WALLACE
(Note: Part 1 of this Q&A was posted yesterday, Sept. 13th, at this link: http://paulayoo.com/blog/?p=916)
Q: Are you introducing any new characters to Mister Terrific’s New 52 world that were not in the original series? If so, who are they? When you create these new characters, what is the process like with DC to get these characters “approved”?
A: This series will have an entirely new cast of supporting characters for Mister Terrific/Michael Holt, and almost all of them will come from diverse backgrounds.
First and foremost is Aleeka Okafur, Michael’s second-in-command at Holt Industries. She’s Black, brilliant, and very much a badass. If Michael is the brains of this book, then Aleeka is its heart. She’s the one person who just might be able to rescue Mister Terrific from himself. Then there’s Jamaal, a Black teenager with an I.Q. of 192. Michael sees a lot of himself in this young man, which is both good and bad for Jamaal. On the good side, it means Jamaal has someone in his life who understands him. On the other hand, Michael expects a lot out of Jamaal, which can be difficult and intimidating for a sixteen-year-old kid. Then there’s Dr. Phillip Hyong. He just might be the 4th smartest man on the planet. He’s the guy Michael goes to when he needs to discuss theoretical physics on a deep level. All of these characters will play a crucial role in this series.
To the question of getting character approved, again, DC has shown an incredible amount of trust and support towards me on MISTER TERRIFIC. Which means they were all up for a diverse supporting cast. So the approval process was pretty easy. As long as they could see a future and the potential in each character, they would always say, “Go for it.”
By the way… there is one other supporting character, a special guest star of sorts, who will also play a critical role in Mister Terrific’s life. Readers from the “pre-New 52” universe will know her as POWER GIRL. Her name is Karen Starr, and she’s come into Mister Terrific’s life for a very specific reason, one I can’t reveal yet. Sorry… no spoilers here! But you’ll meet Karen in issue #1. Just wait until you see what we have in store for her and Michael. It’s pretty awesome!
Q: Can you please tell us the release schedule of the Mister Terrific series – when will each comic book be released? Will there be a graphic novel combining everything together in the end? How many issues can we expect for this relaunch?
A: MISTER TERRIFIC #1 will be available in print and digital download editions on Wednesday, September 14th. Subsequent issues will follow the second Wednesday of each month, with issue two arriving October 12th, issue three on November 9th, and so forth. I don’t know if, or when, there will be a graphic novel collecting issue of the series. As for how many issues to expect, it’s an ongoing series. But the best way to ensure the book continues for a long while is to support it. Simply put, go out and buy the book. If you enjoy it, spread the word. And then come back the following month. And the next… and the next…
Q: We’ve talked about diversity before in comic books – how far do you think we have come in terms of more diverse characters in the comic book world today? Do you think Mister Terrific might attract a new audience of future comic book fans because of his diverse background? Do you feel that today’s diverse comic book characters are no longer “tokens” but real, three-dimensional characters that have universal appeal for fans of all backgrounds?
A: Diversity in comic books has come a long way. That’s especially true in 2011 where we see diverse characters like Mister Terrific, Blue Beetle, Static Shock, and Batwing—all of them diverse superheroes—headlining their own books. Plus, there’s even a new Ultimate Spider-Man with Miles Morales, a teenager who is half-Black, half-Latino. Five books with diverse leads? And none of them drug dealers or pimps? That would’ve been unimaginable when I was a kid. Now it’s reality. How awesome is that?! So yeah, there’s been major progress.
But can we go further in bringing more diversity to comic books and other pop culture media? Definitely, yes. We can go a whole lot further. Token diverse characters are the norm nowadays. That’s just disgusting to me and indicative of a larger problem: the fact that diverse folks simply don’t always have some of the same opportunities—especially in the economic sense—as non-diverse people do in many areas of life. That needs to change. The media we all consume can help show us the way.
Doesn’t this that only diverse audience will enjoy MISTER TERRIFIC? Of course not. Mister Terrific is a hero for everyone, not just Black people and other people of diverse backgrounds. That’s because there is a universal appeal to a hero that is a super genius. How so? C’mon. Who hasn’t at some point in their life dreamed about being the smartest person in a room, at work, or at a party or other gathering? Intelligence is cool. And über-intelligence is sexy. And that’s Michael Holt in a nutshell.
Q: Finally, how much is Eric Wallace like Mister Terrific/Michael Holt? What characteristics do you both share? Are there some characteristics that are totally opposite of you?
A: Trust me, Eric Wallace is nothing like Michael Holt! He’s a billionaire. I’m not. He’s a methodically, inventive genius. I can barely balance my checkbook. And Michael could easily build his own TARDIS, while I have trouble putting Scandinavian furniture together. So no, we’re pretty different. But I’d like to think I’m more in touch with my feelings that Michael. That guy’s pretty cut off from certain emotional aspects of his life. I scream, cry, and act inappropriately all the time. Just ask my friends! If anything, I should probably learn to be a bit colder, patient, and clinical like Michael. But hey, call it artistic temperament. Yeah. That’s it. Really.
Q: Please let us know of any other projects you are working on.
A: My latest TITANS trade paperback from DC Comics, “Family Reunions,” will be available on Sept. 14th. It collects issues 28 – 32, along with the SHAZAM SPECIAL #1. Also, my current work on EUREKA will air as part of the show’s fifth and final season. Look for that Summer 2012 on Syfy. Additionally, I’ll be working on a new DARK SHADOWS audio project for Big Finish Productions later this year. My previous contributions, “THE WICKED AND THE DEAD” and “KINGDOM OF THE DEAD,” are now available for purchase on CD or as digital downloads. Go to www.bigfinish.com for more information.
Thanks, Eric, for a great interview. Remember, Wednesday September 14, 2011 marks the debut of MISTER TERRIFIC Issue No. 1!
Please comment or send an email to paula at paulayoo dot com if you would also like to be included in our comic book giveaway contest where a winner will be selected at random to receive a signed copy of Eric Wallace’s “MISTER TERRIFIC” Issue No. 1. Winner will be announced later this month.
And stay tuned for tomorrow’s TUNA THURSDAY blog featuring more shenanigans from my three cats, Oreo, Beethoven and Charlotte. And don’t forget to tune in for Part 2 of our Q&A with “The Feast Nearby” cook/author ROBIN MATHER for this week’s FOODIE FRIDAY blog, also featuring another book giveaway contest.
Until the next blog, remember… HAPPY WRITING! WRITE LIKE YOU MEAN IT! 🙂