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Kickstart Comics – The Joshua Williamson Interview

Kickstart Comics – The Joshua Williamson Interview

Pulled from

by EJ Feddes

Mirror Mirror HC

We’re continuing our coverage of Kickstart Comics.  Joshua Williamson, writer of Mirror, Mirror stopped by to answer some questions about his great new book.  He’s a busy man, so let’s get right to it!

EJ: I’m having a hard time writing an introductory question that is not “Do you agree that Mirror, Mirror is awesome?”  So instead, how about if you tell us what it’s about?

JW: I definitely agree that Mirror, Mirror is awesome. A lot of great people put a lot of work into putting together the best book possible.

Mirror, Mirror is about the search for the missing pieces of the evil Magic Mirror, from Snow White. You see at the end of the Snow White fairy tale we never learned what happened to the magic mirror, but in our tale you do.

Snow White knew that it was evil so she destroyed it and had its pieces scattered across the globe. She entrusted a secret group called the Huntsmen to keep track of it and hide it. Eventually the Grimm Brothers helped hide the pieces but left clues using their own fairy tales.

Two other members of the Huntsmen are Jessica and Carter Grim. Imagine if Lara Croft and Indiana Jones got married and had a kid. BUT that kid grew up to be a complete screw up. When his parents are betrayed by another member of the Huntsmen, Owen has to step up and find the mirror pieces before the bad guys do.

The art is by Lee Moder, with an awesome cover by Darwyn Cooke.

EJ: Who are your influences as a comic writer?  I might be crazy here, but it seems like there’s a little bit of Carl Barks in the pacing of Mirror, Mirror.  Is he somebody whose work you really looked at?

JW: I have two layers of influences, the film and TV kind, then the comic kind so I’ll list both.

FILM/TV: Joss Whedon, Aaron Sorkin, Quentin Tartintino, John Carpenter, and Shane Black.

Now onto the comics: Growing up I was a fan of Jack Kirby, Peter David, Frank Miller, Garth Ennis, Grant Morrison, Warren Ellis, Alan Moore and James Robinson. Really, James Robinson, Peter David and Grant Morrison were the top three. Those guys shaped a lot of what made me want to write comics. When I go back and read their work I find that it still holds up and I want to copy their techniques. When I got older I started to look at a lot of Geoff Johns and Brian Michael Bendis comics. I studied scripts and comics by both guys religiously and obsessively. I was fascinated by the decisions they made in their writing. In fact, while I was writing Mirror, Mirror, I was taking a comics writing class taught by Bendis.

I do like Carl Banks but I discovered him through different methods. I was a big fan of DuckTales as a kid, and loved the movie version.  Treasure of the Lost Lamp – such a great film! Also I loved the Indiana Jones movies, eventually I read an article about how much Raiders of the Lost Ark was based off Carl Bank’s Uncle Scoorge work, so I started looking into that. The stuff was amazing. So yes Carl Banks is in there.

EJ: How much research did you do into fairy tales?  For example, I just Googled Peter Stumpp now and was surprised to find out that he was a real person.  Is he commonly believed to be the source of the Big Bad Wolf, or is that connection something that you created?

JW: I did a lot. Read all of the Grimm fairy tales and did research on their origins and different versions. I wasn’t able to fit in as much as I wanted to but still found room for some of the cooler aspects.  One of the running themes in the book is that all myths, fairy tales and fables started off somewhere in some kind of truth. So I looked into what that truth could have been.

The Peter Stumpp – Big Bad Wolf connection was pretty loose, but it is out there. Not a common belief but a suspected one. Stumpp was insane. People should really Google him to see how nuts he really was. The guy thought he was given powers by the devil.  The trial itself was coined “the Werewolf Trial”

I really wanted a touch of authenticity to the story and things like this, plus the Cinderella slippers were things I added to do that.

EJ: How did you get paired with Lee Moder on MIRROR, MIRROR?  Had you worked with him before?

JW: I hadn’t worked with Lee before but had always wanted to. I’m a big fan of his work at DC, especially Legion of Super Heroes and Stars and STRIPE. Jimmy Palmiotti set it up and I couldn’t be happier. When I got the call that he was going to be the artist was extremely excited. Lee really took the script and made an amazing comic. He really made it sing.

EJ: If you could write any ongoing comic character, outside of the ones you’ve created, who would you choose?

JW: That’s tough, but still easy.  I’d have to say Green Arrow followed by Batman, then followed by The Punisher, followed by…  I mean really, there are a lot of characters I’d love to write. The list is long, but Green Arrow is at the top. Green Arrow is my favorite super hero and I’m dying to write him.

EJ: Oh, man.  I would read the heck out of a Williamson/Moder Green Arrow book.  I see that you have another Kickstart book coming out in January – what can you tell us about that one?

JW: Endangered is my next book with Kickstart and I’m super excited about it. People are going to love it. The art by Juan Santacruz is amazing!

After space hero and pilot James Conner is kidnapped by a group of evil beings called the Decay, his ship goes to get his two sons to have them save the day. One son, Chris, has been training for this day, while the other, Mike, has been kept in the dark about this side of their father’s life. Before the two brothers can save their father they must finish his last mission, which is to save a young woman who is the last of a dying race… which also happens to be the only person who can defeat the Decay. It’s like The Last Starfighter meets Star Wars.

For the most parts it’s about two feuding brothers trying to get along long enough to save a girl, their father and then the universe. Maybe in that order.

EJ: That sounds awesome!  And thanks for taking the time to talk with us.

JW: No problem, EJ!  It was my pleasure – thanks for having me on your site.

EJ:  You’re always welcome ‘round these parts.  I’ll be watching for your new books, and also reminding people that Mirror, Mirror is in stores now and that they should buy it.