[EDITOR’S NOTE: Don’t miss “Lost” Co-Creator and “Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk” writer Damon Lindeloff’s live Q&A at Golden Apple Comics in Hollywood, Wednesday October 28th at 1:00 PM, hosted by CBR’s Executive Producer Jonah Weiland.Â There will be a book signing immediately following the Q&A. For more info, click here.]Â
Damon Lindelof began his Hollywood career reviewing scripts for Paramount, Fox and Alan Ladd studios. From there, he moved on to writing, most notably on TV shows, including “Nash Bridges” and the Tim Kring helmed “Crossing Jordan.” Lindelof soon hit the big time as co-creator and executive producer of the hit ABC TV Show “Lost,” where he cemented his relationship with J.J. Abrams, who he has continued to work with, most recently in the revitalization of the “Star Trek” franchise which Lindelof co-produced.
In 2005, he landed his first comic book gig with “Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk,” where Lindelof chronicled the action-packed meeting of the two titular characters. The series was unfortunately met with delays starting with issue three, which was originally solicited for April of 2006 but did not see publication till over three years later. The mini-series finally wrapped in May of this year, and was released in October in hardcover form. Now, with Lindelof’s first comic book work completed and the hit show “Lost” heading into it’s final season, CBR News caught up with Lindelof at his first comic book signing at Earth-2 to talk TV and comics.
Over three and a half years after the first issue debuted on the stands, Lindelof finally gets to hold the collected trade in his hands. “I felt like it would never happen, but it’s really exciting that the day is here,” he said. “For all the people that said they would wait for the trade, now they have the opportunity to make good on that promise! But I don’t blame them if they don’t, ’cause it was a long time in the making.”
Lindelof’s work on “Lost” is also coming to a close with the sixth and final season airing in just four months. “People keep saying, ‘Wow, it must be really sad for you guys,’ but I feel that excitement is the prevailing emotion,” he explained. “We’ve written over a hundred and ten hours of ‘Lost,’ now, and it’s been basically the same sort of family doing the show since the beginning, and I think we are all looking forwards to ending it. Every story has a beginning, middle and end, and as sad as it is sometimes to end a story, it’s also incredibly liberating and exciting. Every scene that we write is one scene closer to the inevitable, so it feels pretty good. I don’t know if anyone is going to like it, but at least we are delivering on our promise to answer some stuff.”
Shifting to comics while remaining on the subject of emotions, and with “Blackest Night” in full swing, Lindelof gave his choices on which of the Losties would inherit each color ring. “Fear – the greatest character for that [emotion] would be Hurley,” Lindelof said. “For willpower, Locke, for hope, Jack, for avarice, Sawyer, for rage… Wow, so many on that one! I’ll say Mr. Eko. For love, Juliet, for compassion, Kate and for death – no comment.” When questioned further if mayhaps Charlie, played by Dominic Monaghan, might exemplify death, as his character died in Season Three, Lindelof quipped “He’s only relatively dead; ‘mostly dead,’ as they would say in ‘The Princess Bride.'”
While Damon is looking forward to delivering the answers of many of the questions that have come up on “Lost,” he doesn’t plan on answering them all. “I don’t think it would be ‘Lost’ if we answered every question to every viewer’s satisfaction,” Lindelof said. “I mean, there are some people who are still asking us ‘What’s the story with Kate’s toy plane?’ and there is nothing more to say about it; we’ve definitively answered that question to the best of our ability on the show, so you won’t be hearing anymore about the toy plane. That being said, there are other sort of meta questions, like, what do the numbers mean, that we will be addressing more directly in the final season. But some people will feel like, ‘Wow, they answered more than I thought they ever would about that question,’ and some people will say ‘What a hose job, I am so unsatisfied!’ Our goal is to land in the middle of the ‘hose jobers’ and the ‘too much informationers,’ because you can’t make everybody happy.”
Some answers that Lindelof is willing to give fans now are to questions about who may or may not be appearing in the final season. “Most of the questions that we get asked are ‘Is so-and-so coming back?’ or ‘Are we going to see more of so-and-so?’ and I feel like that if I know the answer to that question, the fans sort of deserve a ‘Yes, that is something you should be looking forward to,’ or ‘Don’t get your hopes up for that because it’s not going to happen.’ I don’t want you to tune in waiting for the Great American Libby story, because it’s not coming.”
Years back, Lindelof even revealed a major plot point for Season Two to a lucky fan. Unfortunately, however, she didn’t believe him. “We were [doing a] signing, and the [“Lost”] Season One DVDs had just come out,” Lindelof recalled. “It was early September, before Season Two started, and this woman asked ‘What’s in the hatch?’ And I said, ‘I’ll write it in your DVD,’ and I wrote down ‘There is a guy in there pushing a button every 108 minutes or the world will end.’ And she looked at it, and she went ‘pffft,’ like she thought I was kidding. But sometimes when you tell the truth, it seems like it’s a lie.”
Several TV shows, like “Jericho,” “Heroes,” and “Chuck” have been developed as comic books, and with Lindelof’s ties to the comic book world, one would think that “Lost” would be a natural fit for a similar treatment. When asked about the possibility of a “Lost” comic, Lindelof replied, “We’ve been very guarded about doing ancillary materials, because it’s primarily a mystery show. We feel that, if we did comic books, we want to make sure they tied in [and] they were canon, but at the same time, it has to be a cool enough story that warrants it being told, so it’s not just filler. But if it becomes integral to the story, then you’re alienating the actual people who watch the show because they feel like they are missing something. So I feel that maybe comic books for ‘Lost’ will make a lot more sense once the series is done, to possibly fill in some blanks if we choose to go that road. But we’ve been really averse to the idea, because we couldn’t creatively control it as we were going along. [With] Chuck, he can go on missions or adventures that are not integral to the story of ‘Chuck,’ and ‘Heroes’ [is the] same thing. They can introduce ancillary heroes who are not essential to the central mythology of the show, but for ‘Lost,’ there is only one mythology, so we can’t basically say. ‘Here are the adventures of the Black Rock’ in the comic book and then not give it to the people who watch the show. People want to know about the Black Rock who watch the show. You don’t want to say ‘You want to know about the Black Rock? Well you have to buy a comic book.” Our primary commitment has always been to the people who watch ‘Lost’ every week, and then the ancillary materials are basically to support the mothership.”
Lindelof has long been associated with the film adaptation of Stephen King’s “Dark Tower” series alongside J.J. Abrams, a project he has since decided that he won’t do as not to screw up a property he truly loves. Though, with Marvel doing the “Dark Tower” comic books, a Lindelof penned comic book mini-series might be in his future. “I would love to do a ‘Dark Tower’ story in the Marvel world, when the dust settles. I actually think that [writers] Robin [Furth] and Peter [David] have been doing an awesome job with all that stuff, and I’m totally into the ‘Dark Tower’ comic book. I think it’s cool.”