Superstar writer James Robinson boarded the CBR yacht at Comic-Con International in San Diego to spend some time with CBR TV. Robinson dove into a variety of topics, from his newly announced Dynamite series, “Grand Passion,” to his departure from DC Comics and “Earth 2” and more.
On his announced Dynamite project, “Grand Passion”: It came about because Nick [Barrucci] is a tenacious fellow. As I was becoming more available, as other things were falling by the wayside, he was saying “I really want you to do something with me, I really want you to do something with me.” We’d known each other for a long time, maybe 20 years. I had this idea and it slowly came together, the idea of doing a sort of violent romance book. One thing led to another and he just wouldn’t let me say no or let me do it anywhere else. He just insisted that I do it with him. So, I’m very happy to do it with him. I don’t want to say too much because it’s far enough away — last San Diego, we announced an Image book, “The Saviors,” which for one reason or another hasn’t come out yet, although it’s really soon supposed to be solicited and announced. But I’m wary of saying too much too far ahead. The worst thing you can do is announce it too soon, or announce it, then feel you rushed to get it out.
On the “violent romance” nature of “Grand Passion”: It’s definitely in the vein of “True Romance” or “Out of Sight.” I don’t want to say it’s after a particular author, because people will imagine a particular kind of storyline, [but] it’s definitely in my head: If Elmore Leonard were to write a Harlequin Romance, it’s sort of along those lines.
On his departure from DC Comics and “Earth 2”: I can talk about it, but will I or will I choose to? You know, it just brings up a lot of — what annoys me for instance is another website that will remain nameless has speculated on why I left, which is just gossiping muckraking. I’d rather just not deal with that. DC and I parted ways and let’s just leave it at that. Obviously, the grand vision I had for “Earth 2” is not going to happen, so we’ll see what kind of a grand vision the book now has.
On goals moving forward in comics: I’ve never been able to finish any of the long-term projects I had in mind the way I wanted to. You know, the Superman story didn’t really end the way it was meant to end, it was cut short. Certainly, “Justice League” was. Now I’ve left “Earth 2.” I finished “Starman” and that was sort of the big opus. I’d like to do something where I feel like I’d started it, I wrote it and finished it on my terms. That’s really what in terms of comics — my goal [is]. … That’s the main thing, to continue and try to improve and be a better writer. I don’t think you can ever sit on your laurels or become complacent.
On the recently-announced “League of Extraordinary Gentlemen” television show: Even when I was writing the best version [of the movie] I could with more of the darkness and nuance and the feel of Alan Moore’s comic, I remember saying a summer movie is not — I wanted to write that film because it was an opportunity for me, but this is not the way these characters should be portrayed. The perfect version of “League of Extraordinary Gentlemen” would have been a British BBC series with great character actors, where it doesn’t rely on them being handsome or a box office draw and special effects, along the lines of “Torchwood” and “Doctor Who.” With “League,” it isn’t so much the epic effects, it’s the characters. The idea that they’ve come around and are trying to do a TV show doesn’t surprise me. I think it’s a smart move. We’ll see how good it is.