1. Where are you from and what do you do?
I'm from Brooklyn NY and I am a teacher as well as a noted authority on comicbook canon.
2. Earliest comic book memories?
My earliest memory would be driving with my Father to Sheepshead Bay from Flatbush to Silver Star Collectibles to have my first LCS experience at about 6. It was incredible being surrounded by so many comics and it was the early 80's so comics from the Silver and Golden Age were relatively cheap and I was lucky enough to get several of them.
3. What were the books or characters that initially got you into comics?
Batman, Captain Marvel and Superman. This is the true Trinity for me as you have human perfection in the form of Batman, the ultimate wish fulfillment character in Captain Marvel and the archetype for all Superheroes in Superman.
4. In those early days what were some of the other things that may have been shaping your love of comics(cartoons?, movies? books?)?
Nostalgia gets the better of us all but the eighties were truly the golden age for Geekdom.There was Kung-Fu theater every Saturday and those Shaw Bros. movies inspired my interest into Shang-Chi and Iron Fist. Robotech, Voltron and Battle Of The Planets were my gateway drug into anime and you had all of the great sci-fi epics coming out in film.
Yeah, if you are not a child of the eighties you are truly a victim.
5. What were your favorite comics growing up?
There were so many.
Avengers, Thor, Teen Titans, Captain America, JLA, I will make this easier.Basically you can take the Marvel and DC Checklist from the 80's and drop Dazzler from the roster and I pretty much enjoyed all of it.
The creativity and diversity of the period with Moore, Miller, Simonson, Wolfman, Stern, Starlin etc. all putting out masterpieces month after month was an absolute dream.6. Do any creators stand out during the early days of reading comics that you think cemented your love for the genre?
While it becomes increasingly hard to appreciate his greatness given the Bad Byrne stories, John Byrne cemented my love for comics.
Byrne is the consummate professional, you go back and look at his work on UNCANNY, AVENGERS, FANTASTIC FOUR, SUPERMAN etc. and he never dropped an inch in quality month after month. As a fan you felt assured that you would go to the LCS or newstand and Byrne's work would be there.
When I think of the quality of work being put out by people like Simonson, Starlin, Layton, Chaykin, Miller and Moore during that period and compare it to guys today who can't even get a mini-series out on a time, I have a whole new appreciation of their talents.
7. When did you fall in love with Legion of Super-heroes?I bought a digest sized best of the LSH stories in 84 I think and that was it. The great thing about the LSH is the canon. When I read the digest I immediately started going backwards and there was just great stories everywhere from Shooter who was a kid himself writing those clasics and of course Levitz and Giffen who put their stamp on the title.
8. What do you think is the best LoSH story ever?
That is tough. So in the spirit of certain members of the SFL I will CHEAT!!!!
Death of Karate Kid- This is a perfect comic. Ther artwork was striking, the storytelling was visceral and it holds up every time I read it. It is one of the best deaths in comics ever.
Great Darkness Saga- The Time Trapper is the arch-nemesis of the LSH but Darkseid pushed them into a whole different zone. This is where we get the creators at their best as they have the characters down cold and everything feels right.
Legion of Three Worlds- Johns+Perez+LSH = classic. While I like the complexity of people like Morrison, John's take on the LSH is the straight action blockbuster that works.
9. Are you enjoying Legion of 3 Worlds?I am enjoying it immensely! Its the book that the new LSH series should be modeled after.
10. What is it with you and Thunder?
Thunder is a Marvel and because of that she is part of the family.11. You also love DC's Captain Marvel, why?
Its magic, myth and wish fulfillment all in one. With one magic word a boy becomes one of the most powerful beings in the universe. The origin is one of the best in fiction and with Black Adam you have the wizard trying to gain redemption before his death in the form of Billy.
The Captain Marvel franchise should still be one of the biggest things in comics. I hope the movie and Gaiman can finally elevate the Captain of The Thunder and lightning into a top ten mainstay.12. Can Captain Marvel beat Superman?
OF COURSE HE CAN!!!!!
I am starting to doubt if you have the most comics in Florida after a question like that!
13. What do you think of the current state of the Marvels?
I think it is a glaring failure on the part of DC to allow a goldmine to languish at the helm of incompetence and indifference.
There is no way something like BEN 10 can be a runaway hit and the Marvels can't maintain a monthly.
I'll give Didio this for free.
Go to the DC archives and pull out WORLD'S FINEST with Bridwell and Newton's Captain Marvel. Copy those stories and you will have a hit.
14. Your thoughts on Final Crisis?
Final Crisis was a masterpiece.
Morrison took all the cynicism, angst and crass-commercialism that characterized so many of the other DC event books and replaced it with hope, optimism, meta-physics and the power of Kirby.
When people dismiss Superhero comics as people in "Gimp suits" or spandex clad idiocy they should pick up FINAL CRISIS. It shows the potential that only the superhero genre can achieve in this medium.
Can SCOTT PILGRIM outrace a god-killing bullet? HELL NO HE CAN'T!!!!! +1 FINAL CRISIS
15. What books are you currently reading that stand out above the rest?
Thor- This verges on blasphemy but JMS is entering Simonson territory with his THOR stories.
L03W- Johns and Perez just have the mythos locked down and the exploration of the moral code guiding the LSH is a great foundation for the story.16. You seem to follow certain creators forums, who are some of your favorites?
Hudlin Entertainment Forum- Reginald Hudlin's forum is a great place for diverse conversation and Reggie is always there to talk about the storylines.
Comicbloc- While its a bit stiff, I enjoy the interaction with the fellow fans and Johns enthusiasm is readily apparent in everything he writes.17. Who wins Steve Rogers Cap or Black Panther?
Black Panther is stronger, faster and smarter.
T'Challa wins 7 out of 10. YEAH I SAID IT!!!!!
18. What the heck is L.O.B.?NEXT QUESTION!!!!!
19. Your a pretty vocal team owner in the Millar World Super-hero Fantasy League(Kinda like a Foot ball fantasy league only with SUPERHEROES!!!), do you think the voting is fair?
FAIR, DID YOU SAY FAIR ?
Let me say this first, Nathan has created a great game that I enjoy immensely.
The SFL works best when its kind of a free for all where biased can be called out and MOCKED viciously but alays in LOVE. The votes are not fair but thats part of the fun, at least when you can call the voters out.The greatness of the game is the strategy used by the players and the twists Nathan adds. Only in the SFL can you have the Magus taking on the Mighty Bruce. You can't beat that.
20. What is "Black-Thought-Police"?
Black-Thought-Police is a blog where I write about politics and current events. I have been slacking but given the antics of Steele, the RNC and Limbaugh I will be back with a king-size edition very soon.
21. Do you think $3.99 comics will hasten the demise of the floppy and local comic shop(LCS)?
I think tradwaiters, and I am not saying any names here COUGH MO, will hasten the demise of the LCS faster than the 3.99 pricepoint.
If the product is improved people will pay 3.99 the issue now is that the material hasn't improved and there seems to be a blatant disregard for the loyal fanbase by raising prices in this manner.
What I would like to see is for fans to boycott these titles and pick up at least 2 books that need the support instead.
I love comics so if it comes down to that I will. Although, I don't want digital comics as the sole means of getting my fix. I think the LCS ritual is important and can be used as a means of expanding the fanbase.
23. Do you read much creator owned stuff?
I find myself getting into people like Morrison who essentially tear everything down and essentially make WFH their creator owned work.
24. Who plays Black Adam in a Captain Marvel movie?Batista is my first choice and then The Rock.
25. All time favorite comic issue or story line?
No one has come even close.
26. Do you think you can take Jim O'hara in a fight?
O'Hara has a better chance winning against sunlight than he does against me!