Welcome back for another round of Robot Roulette, our new interview feature where creators spin the virtual roulette wheel to find out what questions they’ll answer. We’ve got 36 possible questions, and each week I will select at random which of those questions our guest gets to tackle.
This week we welcome Jeff Parker to the roulette wheel. Jeff is the writer of Red She-Hulk, Dark Avengers, a recent Legends of the Dark Knight digital tale and the webcomic Bucko. You might also know him from Underground, Interman or Agents of Atlas. Parker is in Ireland right now for the Dublin International Comics Expo, so if you are lucky enough to be in Dublin go tell him hi.
My thanks to Jeff for agreeing to be one of our early participants. Now let’s see what questions Lady Luck threw at him …
2. What was the last good book (not comics) that you read?
Prepare to Die! by someone who also writes comics, Paul Tobin. It is a fantastic read, I can’t recommend it enough. It’s about a superhero who is ready to throw in the towel, and is given two weeks to wrap his life up before doing so.
3. If someone gave you $10,000 a week for life, no strings attached, what would you spend it on?
I want more bosses who think like you guys, or the robot questioner. After making sure my family is all taken care of, and then allowing for an indulgent period where I buy cool old bikes and cars and boats, I’d probably get down to the business of creating every kind of story that interested me, regardless of what current market wisdom says. That may even be enough to allow for this thing other industries do called ‘advertising.’ I would definitely learn how to take vacations.
14. What is your “guilty pleasure”–it can be a comic, a TV show, a food, etc.?
Twitter. I spend too much time on it and I admit I follow some people who I think have a high likelihood of public meltdown, purely for that reason. Proof at @jeffparker
16. What’s the best part of being a creator?
It’s that goal realization. Something goes from a notion to a concept and ultimately is executed to become a thing that touches others, hopefully to entertain them, maybe transport them for a while. I guess that’s the whole process I just described. If I had to nail it down more, the best part might be that moment when you realize something is really and truly working- a character says or does just the right thing to come to life, or a scene unfolds in a way that feels true. It’s largely practical problem-solving that feels like magic.
21. Who has been the biggest help or motivator in your career?
Steve Lieber. He’s pushed me on when I wasn’t moving forward with my work, listened to all my story ideas, solved plot and character problems, and most importantly believed in me when I couldn’t get arrested in this industry. Everyone needs a friend like that.
30. What hobbies or interests do you have outside of comics?
The aforementioned vehicles- I like to tinker on them, and work on house projects, stuff with my hands. I spend so much time in my head that I really have to do practical physical things to balance that out and stay even-keeled.
Next: Paul Maybury!