Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Aris Asks Miguel Tegler

Miguel is administrator of the Millar's lil' corner of the internets) Forum.

1. When did you start reading comics?

Probably around age 5 or 6, those 60s cartoons that Marvel put out were played in the early morning before school along with Adam West's Batman. That's what got me interested in the characters. I was amazed to find them in printed format at the 7-11 near the church we went too. Graciously my parents bought me 3 books. Fantastic Four, Marvel Team-up and The Avengers. I don't remember the exact issues. I do remember that they didn't make much sense to me. Reading comics wasn't really a habit until I was 12.

2. Do you think comics are as good now as they were then?

I might not have said yes 10 years ago, but the quality is up on modern comics with regards to art, writing and production to a degree that can't be argued. However the books from my childhood were a lot more innovative then they appeared at the time. Think about Starlin's Warlock series, there's half an issue where the main character is contemplating his mortality. That's not something we usually remember when we're kids. Mostly remember the first time the Juggernaut appeared in Amazing Spider-man. Sure Spider-man vs the Juggernaut is cool, but the Warlock book was a lot more thoughtful then I remembered comics being.

3. What comics are your reading now?

All of Mark's books obviously, Kick-Ass, Fantastic Four, Wolverine, and War Heroes. Looking forward to Ultimate Avengers. Besides that Thunderbolts, Guardians of the Galaxy, Nova, Captain America, and Captain Britain.

4. who are your favorite characters?

Hawkeye, no powers, unlucky with love, his first death was an utter embarrassment (NOT LIKE THIS!!!) and still he pushes on. Gotta admire that. The Thing for his gruff demeanor and tortured soul, Marvel's own Cyrano. Thor, because of his speech, I know some readers and writers hate it, but it's great fun. Doctor Doom, every great villain should have an over-inflated sense of self-importance. I've always seen Doom as a member of the Fantastic Four family. Think of him as a crazy uncle.

5. Who are your favorite creators?

No one beats Alan Moore. It's not even close. I may not like everything Moore does, but I would always say it's brilliant. Next would be Alan Davis who is always fantastic. Roy Thomas, Mark Millar (obviously), Mike Mignola, Steve Rude, Kurt Busiek, Frank Miller.
Probably a many more I'm not thinking of.

6. Do you believe that comics will eventually go digital?

Absolutely, it's inevitable. Printing costs. Paper costs will continue to rise. eBook readers like Amazon's Kindle, will continue to get better and better with quality and faster then anyone expects.
Someone did a study last year and discovered the NYTimes could save millions of dollars, if they sent a Kindle to everyone who subscribed rather then actually print the paper daily. The real challenge here is the political/social issue not technological one as someone might expect. Both of Chicago's major newspapers have filed for bankruptcy, the Christian Science Monitor and a few other major newspapers have gone "web-only", this isn't a bump in the road for print media, it's a very clear trend.
I understand the nostalgia and loyalties, anyone who reads comics does, but we all need to get over this.

7. How did you get involved with the Millarworld forum?

I joined up when it was on Xfan originally. Made friends with Jen Hook, who set the site up originally. I became the tech guy for the site after the original guy went AWOL. Jen moved on about a year later and turned over the reigns to me.

8. I been a regular there for a few years, haven't seen many flame wars, why do you think that is?

We try to shut down cliques or anyone that feels a sense of entitlement. Everyone is welcome as long as they welcome everyone.
That or the state-of-the-art sprinkler system.

9. Millar started the site I guess to promote his work, but the content is generally in the comics area isn't always Millar-centric, is that ever an issue?

No. Worse thing we get are people who simply come on the forum to plug whatever thing they're working on and not participate with the rest of the discussions. Even that is pretty infrequent. As far as I know this is always the way Mark wanted the site to evolve, with a few exceptions

10. How do you choose mods?

The process has changed over the years. It used to be very democratic, but we've just picked people in recent years, for a variety of reasons. I'm very happy with the group we have.
Sounds like horse$h!t doesn't it? Real answer, I ask myself: Who would Rip Torn choose? And the rest is easy.

11. What are some of the perks of being the Admin on Millar's message boards(I know you get previews!)?

Previews are the only tangible perks. Or at least the only ones I'm willing talk about. Actually the previews might be a bluff on Millar's part. We might only say we get them in order to rile up the proletariat.

12. What is "Area-51"?

I think you're referring to Xanadu. It's everything Kublai Khan and Olivia Newton John say it is.

13. Seriously, what's the difference between a Mod and an Admin?

Admins have all our own hair. The mods are members of the Hair Club for Men. You forgot the Moderators Supreme, which is okay because no one knows what their deal is.

14. Is there a VIP area for creators on the site?

Just rumors of one. Rumors are easier to clean and maintain.

15. Back to comics. Do you have any aspirations to be a comic creator?

Not anytime soon. If I do it will probably be something along the lines of what Jay Stephens did in the 90s. I love those books.

16. Do you think comic sales even matter any more?

I'm not sure what that means. Like the number of books or the sales are irrelevant compared to the amount of cash comic companies make from other media, like movies and video games? The personal answer is:
They don't matter to me. I expect most books I like will get canceled, just like most TV shows I like get canceled. I'm a walking niche market.

17. Is continuity in a comics universe a bad or good thing?

A shared universe of continuity for characters? Well for the more dedicated reader it seems to be a must. If you didn't like that sort of thing, you wouldn't read Marvel or DC books.

18. What do you think of late comics?

They don't bug me much. I'd rather wait for a great product, then a sub-standard fill in. Goes back to your continuity question. having a different artist and/or writer, ruins the flow of the story. I imagine though, for retailers, it results in a lot of hair pulling.

19. Have you ever met Mark Millar?

I have. Very nice person and much easier to understand in the flesh.

20. Has Millar changed since he's gone all Hollywood now?

Not really, we might lose him to the NY crowd when musical version of the Ultimates comes out. You should see the lyrics for the "DO YOU THINK THIS LETTER ON MY FOREHEAD STANDS FOR FRANCE?!?" song.

21. Chances of Millar doing one of these interviews?

I will ask.

22. Back to the forum, How much actual admin work does into the site?

Backups, upgrades, database optimization, new account approval. Rinse.
Repeat. The other big task is conflict resolution. Usually sorted by setting someone on fire. Which takes us back to the sprinkler system.
Have I mentioned it's state-of-the-art?

23. Are there many complaints of members and subscribers PMing(Private Messaging) creators?

Nope. Let's hope it remains that way.

24. Why do you think people sign on to the forum "anonymously"?

You mean stealth mode members or lurkers? In any case: Fear. Probably the bloodcurdling type.

25. Aside from the volunteers and personal investment, are there any costs associated with running the forum?

It's a Toyota Corolla-type of site. The server, the forum software, the domain registrations, add up to be a bit expensive, but not over top.

26. Do you and the mod/admin staff at Millarword forums ever kick yourselves in the a$$ for not making Aris a mod?

I don't think Rip Torn knows you well enough. You're number may still come up. Keep those fingers crossed.

27. any final words or plugs?

Don't hate me because I'm beautiful and stop using the word "webinar".

Make sure to visit the Millarworld forums @ , it's great community, lots of fun.

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