Sunday, April 19, 2009

Aris Asks Oliver Selby

Oliver Selby is a rabid fan of the legendary Walt Simonson and all things Thor. And is actually living his dream running the Walt Simonson Appreciation Society on Facebook.

1. Let's get it out of the way...What is it about Walt Simonson you love so much?

1983, walk into Comic Showcase with my brother, see Thor #337, hair stands on end, read entire run over the next 45 issues, decide Walt is God.

2. At this rate do you think Walt, or his wife might think your a little bit....fanatical?

I only got back into comics as I was banned from riding (and crashing) motobikes, had retired from Kung Fu competitions and was spending all my time looking after my daughter. So far the great Walt and Weezie have yet to tell me to bugger off, so I'm happy.

3. How has been interacting with you favorite creator and have you ever met him?

Met the pair of them in Bristol in May 2008. I decided to go the con the night before after a few beers, and wrote up one of my favourite peices of dialogue, the last 2 pages of Thor #379. Printed it out and got Walt to sign it and have a photo done. Went home a very happy chap.

4. Whats with the picture with the Thor Helmet and Mjolnir?

My brother bought me the helmet (bloody awful re-design job that it is) and a year later I picked up a ridiculously expensive Mjolnir replica. Before my better half could laugh at me, I plonked the hat on, hefted the hammer in one hand and the camera in the other and got a shot. Later I realised I was in front of my daughters pink bedroom, which makes me look like the Norse God of Interior Decorating

5. Is Thor your favorite character?

Have Charlton just been relegated?*


6. When did you start reading comics?

About 9 or ten. Either Asterix or The Beano

7. What books are you reading now?

Crikey, monthly only Thor since the Crunch, but Incredible Hercules in trade, Yotsuba, The Boys.

8. What creators work do you really enjoy?

Matt Fraction deserves a knighthood for his initial Thor trilogy, such was it's utter fun, pomp and headbanging sillyness. Fred Van Lente for both Action Philosophers and Incredible Hercules, Simone Lia for Fluffy (one of the greatest books in history) Millar and Hitch in every thing they do, Garth Ennis, Bendis, Ellis, Joe Sacco, Gaiman and the mad mage of Northampton

9. How did you get involved with the Walt Simonson Appreciation Society?

After I met Walt, I created a Facebook group and a few stalwarts (Youri, Gar Jones, the Peytons, Mr Dodsworth) joined. Less than a year later we have nearly 500 members, including Mr Simonson himself, Fred Van Lente, Dougie Braithwaite, Dan Brereton and so many other creators its like Disneyland for geeks.

10. How much time to you take gathering information and administering that corner of fandom on Facebook?

20 minutes each workday. It's not a big job.

11. Obviously you love Thor. What are some of your favorite Thor stories?

1) Volstagg and Agnar of Vanaheim have a chat (around issue 340) 2) Thor gets the living crap kicked out of him by everybody after Hela curses him with the bones of an old lady (373-378) 3) Thor gives his Henry V type speech, end of #379. IT IS THE SINGLE GREATEST "F&$K YEAH!" MOMENT IN HISTORY 4) Issue 380. Best. Comic. Ever.

12. Have you read any Thor prior to Walt's legendary debut on issue #337?

Yep, and man it was disappointing.

13. JMS and Coipel are having explosive and signature run on Thor, how do you think that stacks up against Walt's incarnation of the character?

I truly love it. Coipel is a giant now after this. And JMS can have a beer any time he wants after the way he humbled Iron Man in issue 3 :)

14. Do you think social networking sites like Facebook , message boards and Myspace has been good for fans, and interacting with creators?

Good grief, of course. In 1984, Art Adams sent a letter to Marvel complaining that Walt drew a skateboarder at a ridiculous angle in issue 337. Now I can read what he does day to day. I am conversing with Gods of the industry and life is good.

15. Do you think the price of comics matters, won't the remaining fans collecting monthly pick the comics anyway?

$3.99 spelt the end of 90% of my pull list. Sorry Marvel.

16. Do you think monthly comics will survive going digital?

I still find it hard to enjoy digital comics. I've got the entire runs of FF, Iron Man, Daredevil, X-Men and Thor on my hard drive but almost never look at them, whereas printed matter is always to hand.

17. Out side of Thor, who is your favorite supporting character from Thor comics?

Thanos, Spider-Man and Piotr Rasputin

18. How do you feel about female Loki?

A bit like watching Laurel and Hardy doing a porn film. It’s wrong but I can’t help watching anyway.

19. Do you own Star Slammers?

No – to my eternal regret and shame.

20. Do you have any aspirations to write or draw comics?

Good lord man, I can barely draw stick figures. In fact, my 5 year old is better than me.Nope, I’m a fan. As John Cleese said, I may not know much about art, but I know what I like.

21. This has been a Thor-centric interview, but lets talk THOR: the Motion Picture anyway....what will it have to be about for people to get it?

Answer from brain:Lord of the Rings duplicate with tender moments between Thor and Sif.

Answer from heart:I don’t care about anybody else. I want to see Thor and Balder fleeing Hel, Skurge knocking out the blonde bombshell with a right hander, nicking 2 M-16’s, telling the lads to have a beer for him later and holding the bridge at Gjallerbru. At that point I will have exploded with joy so will not care a jot about whether Branagh chose the right key grip or whatever.

22. Who would win in a fight Thor or Superman?

Superman would win. The world would stop turning if he didn’t. I am only saying this in case Sarah Horrocks reads this as she knows DC inside out. If I chose Thor she’d crucify me.

23. What games are you playing on the Wii(and you better not be exercising using the Wii fit)?

Wii Sports, Kung Fu Panda and Excite Truck

24. Take a moment to tell us about your blog( (actually a great fun blog))?

Don’t read it, it’s at least 6 months out of date. Give me a few weeks and I’ll get it shipshape.

25. It's been a joy the last few years getting to know you, but I have to break this to you any way, Hercules can kick Thor's a$$. ;)

Hey, if you read Thor: Blood Oath, the Nordic one himself agrees that Hercules would win in a fist fight. “After all, he IS Hercules”. I love Herc and his new series is a perfect blend of Greek mythology and Marvel mythology.

Check out Olver's Blog

And if you roam Facebook check out the Walt Simonson Appreciation Society it's a great fun place full of information and oliver's own Thorific sense of humor.

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