Sunday, April 26, 2009

Aris Asks Todd Gross

Todd Gross is a regular at the Millaworld forums, and all around nice guy. He is known for finding pictures of comic fans on the internet and using them to great comic effect...and he is also an all around good guy.

1. When did you start reading comics?

I think my parents bought me comics when I was maybe around 4 (1972). Growing up, I read Amazing Spider-Man, Avengers, Captain America and Thor. I had a few DC comics but one of my favorite books was Batman: 30s – 70s. I think I wore that book out. Another was Jules Pfeiffer's The Great Comic Book Heroes.

2. Who are your favorite characters?

My favorite character is the Punisher. I own almost every comic book appearance he has ever made. Spider-Man is also a favorite. I have a special place in my heart for Batman.

3. are you a DC guy or Marvel Zombie?

Make Mine Marvel! :D

Seriously, I prefer Marvel because that is what I grew up with but I will read books from any company if project interests me.

4. any aspirations about being a comic creator?

Nah. I prefer reading comics

5. And who are your favorite creators?

My all-time favorite artist is John Romita, Sr. I also like Skottie Young, Sean Phillips, Esad Ribic and Steve McNiven. Carmine Di Giandomenico did some absolutlely brilliant work on Daredevil: Battlin’ Jack Murdock and Magneto: Testament. A very underrated artist.

When it comes to writers, I like Brian Michael Bendis, Mark Millar, Jason Aaron, Jonathan Hickman and Greg Pak. And of course, John Steele Layman.

6. Are the $3.99 comics signaling the end of the floppy?

It is signaling the end of me buying the floppy. I have been cutting back on books because of the higher price and only purchasing select $3.99 titles. As to the future, I think we are reaching a ceiling of what the majority of comic buyers will pay for 32 pages per month.

Given the current economic times and the near future, I can see people dropping floppies due to the high price. Now is the time for the companies to begin transitioning readers to a digital format.

7. Do you think it's inevitable that digital comics replace the floppy?

I think at some point in the not so distant future that digital comics will be the standard form. I think floppies will be used as promotional pieces, marketing giveaways and special prestige projects. Companies can still collect their online issues into trades. That said, I think digital comics still have to get some kinks out before they truly take over.

I think comics will evolve when they go online. Hyperlinks to back issues and character/plot information and animation. In 10+ years, digital comics will be very different beasts from their print ancestors.

8. What are the best comics your reading now?

Scalped, Criminal, Air, Incognito, Northlanders, Glamourpuss and a bunch of Marvel books

9. what do you think about the term "event fatigue"?

I’m tired of it! ;)

I understand why the Big 2 do events regularly but I would like to see a two year gap from the last issue of one event to the first issue of the next. I think it would give books plenty of time to explore changes and lay groundwork for the next one that doesn’t feel rushed.

10. Who would win in a fight John Layman or Archonis?

The viewing public.

11. Your predictions about Chew?

It will be discovered to be the cause of the swine flu outbreak and make cannibalism fashionable again. Everything balances out.

12. You pretty much start off all the new comic threads with a theme or gimmick at Millarworld, always very funny, how do you come up with those?

Sometimes I will see a picture that sets that just screams a particular idea. Other times, a last minute inspiration hits me. It gets harder and harder each week though some weeks, it all comes together in my head days before I post it.

13. Your votes in the MW-SFL (Super hero fantasy league) are horrible and obviously biased against DC characters why is that?

I go with who I think would win the fight. I look at each fight on its own merits. Some are very close and it doesn’t always go the Marvel way. Besides, all the other teams are better than yours! :P

14. Do you think at this point you can justify me ever sharing my home made Eggrolls with you?

I have been horribly abused by Layman. Pity me!

15. Do you frequent other comicbook related forums?

I have accounts at some other boards but I rarely go to them. I like Millarworld because it is not limited to just comics. There are times I think I post more in Current Affairs and the Pub than the Comic forum.

16. Do you use any comic related news sites like Comic Book Resources or Newsarama?

I used to go to Newsarama daily but when they changed their site, it put me off though I still visit it occasionally. I go Comic Book Resources daily.

17. Are you on Facebook just to find compromising pictures of comic fans to use for your comedic pleasure?

No, but I do take advantage of that. At Millarworld, we used to have threads of pictures where we would post pictures of ourselves and I mined the hell out of them. As I friended more Millarworlders on Facebook, the riper the fields became. And for the record, I have only a literal handful of pictures saved of Millarworlders. I get 99% of them from Facebook and Millarworld itself.

18. Barry is back as the Flash(one of many) what are your thoughts on that?

Barry was the Flash I knew growing up. When I got back into comics in the late 80s, Wally was the Flash. While I did pick up some stories with Wally and enjoyed them, he never really clicked with me. He wasn’t my Flash.

That said, I am still not convinced bringing back was the best idea though with Geof Johns behind it, I think it will turn out pretty good.

19. Do you care that the last part of Old Man Logan by Millar and McNiven are coming out after the issue of Wolverine it is supposed to be in front of number wise?

While a bit silly on Marvel’s part, it really doesn’t matter that much to me.

20. Do you think John Voulieris really gets all those girls?

I think when Johnny Vee to the modern Fonzie. All he has to do is walk into a room and the hot ladies run to him to inhale his musk.

21. Do you think Continuity matters any more, or are self contained Start, middle, finish comics are better?

I am not as obsessed about continuity as I used to unless it is something glaringly done with no explanation. As long as the story is good, that is all that should matter.

22. Do you think that American comics could survive mimicking the Manga model?

If Marvel were to make a paradigm shift with their entire line, it might be successful. To me though, it would delay the inevitable move to digital.

23. DC is trying something called Wednesday Comics, kind of like a Sunday comics format, have you heard of it? are you willing to give it a try?

I have heard about it but it doesn’t grab me. I will say I really admire DC for trying this and hope it is successful. I think the companies need to experiment with formats because they could open up great new avenues of storytelling. That is something that may help them to survive in print form as prestige projects once digital comics become the norm.

24. Who do you think has a better chance of becoming a mod at Millarworld forums, you or me?

Me, of course! I’m the better speller.

Todd is all over Facebook and chances are he is pilfering your photos to use when you least expect it.

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