Writer/Creator Kieron Gillen stopped by the CBR Tiki Room at New York Comic Con 2012 adorned with several leis to chat about his rise in comics, his career as a writer and at Marvel, his longstanding collaboration with artist Jamie McKelvie and his unique take on Tony Stark in “Iron Man” for Marvel NOW!
On his long collaboration with Jamie McKelvie & “Phonogram 3”: “Basically, the last six months were scheduling issues, I think is the best way of putting it. It’s one of those situations where we didn’t want it to come out until we were sure we had three or four issues in the can. That simply hasn’t happened. So we’ve had to reset the production schedule and go forward. That’s a very mechanical answer. Simple, the last six months have been hell for Jamie. Just enough stuff wasn’t done. Next year. It’s still happening. It’s all written now, so if I actually die, Jamie can draw the scripts and probably worry about what I was doing with all the typos, because it’s an earlier draft. But basically, it’s done.”
On his rise in comics: “It’s incredibly strange. Thought Bubble, which is a really good British con, I’m thinking about doing — I only really got into comics as an adult, in 2000. At the end of that decade, I was writing “Thor.” That’s weird. I look back and it generally freaks me out a little. I’m thinking about doing this presentation at Thought Bubble, I’m going to do it about that, the whole decade of doing this. The ups and downs and frankly, the incredible craziness of it. It’s really interesting. You don’t get into this job to be rubbish, either.”
On his career as a writer: “I used to be a critic, I used to be a journalist, so I see all these things tie together. As soon as I was aware I could do that, I wanted to do that. I didn’t really think writing was for people like me in a real way. … I’m not going to say I grew up on the mean streets of Stafford or whatever, but most of my family, I worked on building sites as a kid and the idea that [writing] was a career option — it was something I wanted to do, but I didn’t really think I could do it.”
On his approach to “Iron Man”: “Fear and crying a lot. You mentioned Warren [Ellis] and you mentioned Matt [Fraction]. They’re both two incredible writers and two personal friends and they have really good first issues. If you look both at Warren and Matt, Matt’s first issue especially is a tour de force. I want to stress how good I think that first issue is. I was intimidated, especially since Matt did the definitive take on Iron Man as the corporate super hero — basically the Iron Man suit in the boardroom. I’d be mad to try and do that because he explored it so thoroughly, that the remaining areas in there are perhaps not enough to support my run. I’ve gone completely the other way. I’m embracing the nature of the armor, the costumed adventurer of it. He’s had this question of belief, how does the universe really work? … [I’ll] rub him across all the weird parts of the Marvel Universe and some of the stuff he normally doesn’t have to deal with. … Tony is one of the greatest superheroes, I think.”