Writer Justin Jordan has a lot of irons on the fire. Following his acclaimed Image Comics series “The Strange Talent of Luther Strode,” Jordan has been busy at work for a number of publishers, including DC Comics — currently writing “Green Lantern: New Guardians.” In December, Jordan will return to Image for his first series under Robert Kirkman’s Skybound imprint, “Dead Body Road” with artist Matteo Scalera.
Jordan stopped by the CBR Tiki Room during New York Comic Con 2013 to discuss his experience as a former CBR reporter, breaking in to comics as a writer, the success of “Strange Talent of Luther Strode,” “Dead Body Road” and more.
On his time working as a CBR Reporter and breaking in to comics: I would say I got my start in comics at CBR. Yeah, it’s funny — I didn’t realize when I was doing it how much stuff I had done for CBR, but I seriously did like 70 interviews for CBR. Back in the day, I used to cover the indy beat a lot, so I’d go to SPX, and that’s really where I got my start. … What they don’t tell you when you’re breaking in to comics is that you’ll rapidly run out of time to actually read comics any more. I do better than I did, but I still only make the comic shop every three months. I had always written, I had always wanted to write and I wrote screenplays through college … about 12 years ago, 13 years ago, I came across the Warren Ellis forum, which now in comics is kind of a central moment in time that a lot of people were at and came out of. It’s kind of a touchstone for a lot of comics pros of my general era. I realized coming from the middle of rural Pennsylvania that with the Internet and stuff, this is something I could probably do and would like to do.
About four years ago, I got into DC Zuda and we actually made the top eight or ten three times, which was actually a pretty big moment. If for nothing else, it was one of those things where when I approached Tradd [Moore], the artist on “Strange Talent of Luther Strode,” which is how I broke in, it gave me credibility to him as something I could show him. Basically, I got with Tradd and we did the pitch and Image picked it up. Image was enthusiastically behind it.
On the great reaction to “Strange Talent of Luther Strode”: I told Tradd when we first started, “Look, we’re not going to make any money. If we can get all six issues out, we can show this to people, we can get other paying work, we can have something we can be proud of.” Then, it did really well. My mother pointed out to me, back when “Luther Strode” first got picked up, she asked me what the ideal best case scenario was for what would happen. I said, “‘Luther Strode’s’ a hit, sells well, I get work at the big two and I can do other creator-owned projects.” That is exactly what happened, so I got really lucky in that regard.
On his upcoming Skybound book, “Dead Body Road”: “Dead Body Road” is a book I’m doing with Matteo Scalera, who recently did “Indestructible Hulk,” I think he’s on “Secret Avengers” and he’s also on Rick Remender’s “Black Sons.” It’s a fairly simple story; it’s kind of a modern western mixed with more story about a guy — his wife gets killed during a robbery, he blames himself and he takes that out by deciding to track down and kill everyone that was involved with it and it all goes horribly awry.
Basically Skybound — Robert Kirkman — got a hold of me last year and said, “We want you to write something for Skybound, what do you got? What do you want to write?” I had actually pitched him a thing before that he liked. The idea was there was a guy who was a private detective for criminals. He would take care of crime stuff they didn’t want erupting into a full war. Unfortunately, that’s also basically the same premise as a pilot Ed Brubaker sold. I eventually came up with something else and that evolved into “Dead Body Road.”