Writer Jeff Lemire joined CBR Editor-in-Chief Jonah Weiland on board the official CBR golf cart at Comic-Con International 2013 to discuss some of his latest projects. In addition to being completely comfortable on the drive around the convention center (“This is very familiar to me,” Lemire said. “I draw and write only on golf carts.”), Lemire discussed his current run on “Green Arrow,” working with Geoff Johns on “Trinity War,” his new Vertigo series “Trillium” and more.
On “Green Arrow” and the upcoming “Zero Year” tie-in issue: It’s really fun. The biggest gift I got taking over that book is that no one had showed anything that happened on the island yet or anything from his origin beyond he was Green Arrow around the time of Superman. Nothing specific, it was so open for me to create mythology there. I’m having fun literally showing his first adventure as Green Arrow. The issue starts with him arriving in Seattle, right off the island. You don’t know what happened on the island, but he’s messed up. He goes to see his mom, his mom was in Gotham on business when the shit hit. He grabs what he has and goes after her. It’s in a way, the first Green Arrow adventure. He runs into Batman and it’s a lot of fun.
On watching the CW’s “Arrow” after starting his work on “Green Arrow”: It’s funny, I got the gig before the show had premiered, and Geoff Johns offered to show me the pilot. I thought, “I should at least get all my ideas down first before I see it and start getting influenced. I wrote the plots for my first couple arcs and the first five or six issues full script before I watched the show. Just to make sure I got all my stuff out. Since then, I’ve watched the first season and really, really like it. What we’re going to see in issue #24, which is the same time season two of the show premieres, I’m kind of treating it as the start of season two on my arc. I’m going to start incorporating elements and characters from the show into the DCU. Obviously, it won’t be the same story lines. It’ll be the same versions of those characters, but people like Diggle will appear now in the New 52. Moira Queen will be coming in, Tommy Merlyn and we’re also doing our first big mystery of what happened on the island storyline after “Zero Year,” which will have some parallels to what they did on the show, but have its own mysteries and its own revelations.
On “Trinity War” and breaking down the plot on a big white board: Geoff [Johns] and I have known each other for a couple years now, and we’re just friends. He stopped being “Geoff Johns” to me a while ago and he’s just Geoff. He’s my buddy. We are equals in that room. The fact is that I haven’t done a lot of events and Geoff’s done a lot of them. There are big things to tackle and a lot of moving pieces. Having something of his experience there, it was great for me for my first time. He was used to this huge scope. I think there’s a lot of mutual respect between us. We both really admire the way each other approaches story. It was really just us having fun and having a blast. I think we discovered even though we’re very different writers, the way we plot stories is very similar. It was almost a shorthand language between us.
On “Trillium” and the flip book design of the book: It’s two stories in the first issue. One follows the first character, who is a scientist working on a space station in the far future. The second story is a guy who’s fresh out of World War I and he’s kind of been traumatized by the experience and he’s searching for some kind of meaning in his life. He becomes an explorer in the golden age of British exploration, and he’s exploring the Amazon jungle. Those are the two different stories presented as a flip book, and in the end, in the middle of the book, those two characters meet. That’s sort of where the bigger story kicks off. I really wanted to do something that would reward people who bought the floppy. It’s a unique reading experience. It’s kind of interactive in a way, if someone reads his story first or her story first, it alters the way the story unfolds to them. I created them in a perfect mirror. For example, page one of her story will have the exact same panel counts, the exact same page layout as page one of his story and it goes all the way like that until the end. I’m trying to do something with every issue that plays with format in a way. The second issue’s all about language.