In September of 2010, writer Victor Gischler was given a challenging task: relaunch Marvel Comics’ self-titled “X-Men,” a book that’s been listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the best-selling comic book of all time. The author accepted the tossed-down gauntlet and gave his own spin to the X-Men’s mutant world — by adding vampires!
Ever since that initial issue, the scribe has strived to have the X-Men interact with the Marvel Universe in different and exciting ways. Gischler now wraps up his run in the X-sandbox, but he still has lots planned, including a “Spike” miniseries for Dark Horse, more novels and a few other surprises up his sleeve. Gischler shared this and more as he answered readers’ emails in today’s X-POSITION!
Dennys sent in our first set of questions and hopes to hear all about your Marvel-ous thoughts:
Hey Victory, I am sorry to hear that your run is at an end. I wish you luck in your future work and can’t wait to see it. Before you leave, could you tell us —
1) What comic books (besides your own, of course) are you currently a fan of and why?
I’m sort of all over the place with my comic book tastes, Dennys. I’m working my way through the first “Red Sonja” omnibus for the simple straight-forward reason that I think a pretty girl with a sword is a darn good idea. Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso’s “Spaceman” is a cool, smart read. And of course “Deadpool” is still a never-lets-me-down good read.
2) Had you stayed longer, what would have been some stories we might have seen? Will any stories from Brian Wood pick up where you left off?
Brian is certainly welcome to pick up any loose threads I left behind and do what he likes, but he’s a creative guy and I have no doubt he has some amazing plans of his own. I always wanted to do a story in which magic was central, and then I could explore a bit more about who Pixie is and how her powers might develop. I also wanted Dr. Strange as a guest star. That would have kicked major tushy. But alas, Dr. Strange was busy and we never got around to that one.
3) If you had to write a fight between Cyclops and Captain America, who would win and why?
My good buddy Brannon Costello is a huge comics fan and edited a collection of Howard Chaykin interviews. He loves Captain America — so I’d have Cyclops win just to mess with him.
4) Who was your favorite character to write during your run?
Wow. That’s too difficult to answer. I’ve had moments where I’ve loved them all because of a great scene or some awesome dialogue. Instead, I’ll say that my best surprise was how much I liked writing the Thing. He’s fun. I would never say “no” to any Thing-related gig.
That would be terrific! Kevin wanted to know more about another character you wrote extensively —
Jubilee has been through a lot during your time with the X-Men. Did you get to take her where you originally intended? And did you have future plans for her?
Kevin, the future is wide open for Jubilee. I worked closely with all the fantastic X-office editors when making plans for Jubilee. It was very much a team effort. I think Jubes is in a very good place now and I look forward to seeing where else she might pop up in the Marvel U.
Ramelito was curious about other plans you may have had for stories that began under nimble pen:
1) Your run on “X-Men” will definitely be remembered for their interaction with the vampire world. I really liked what you did, but it felt like you had more plans in that area and it got cut short. Were there other mutant-vampire adventures to come, or is this just wishful thinking on my part?
I wouldn’t say I got cut short, Ramelito. Nothing lasts forever and the X-office told me well ahead of time when I would be wrapping my run, so everything I was supposed to do got done. Having said that, I do have a cool Dracula idea rattling around in my head — one which brings back Blade for an appearance. So, who can say?
2) I loved how you wrote the death of Dracula in “Fear Itself,” but there is part of me that wonders why this death was tied into that event. Had you already planned the death when it got added as part of “Fear Itself?” Was there a vision on your part of taking this vampire aspect further?
I’m not sure what you mean by this? Sorry if I’m confused, but do you mean in the collected hardcover? “Death of Dracula” was actually written well before “Fear Itself” and was included in the hardcover as super-awesome bonus material.Â
3) Do you have any other Marvel projects coming up? As you can guess, I’d love to see you do more with Marvel’s vamps —
Marvel has been really good to me. I will come running if they call, but there’s nothing in the pipe at the moment.
4) I’m super-excited about your “Spike” miniseries. Was it tricky fitting this story into Buffy-verse continuity? And what do you enjoy most about this character?
Not so tricky. Yes, we had to make sure it fit, but the folks at Dark Horse are serious about their Buffy-verse so they’re on top of things. Spike is a great character. I’ve written two issues and am about to dive into the third. I’m as excited as you are — maybe more.
Our last email comes from Jimmondo and he wants to hear all about your plans for the future:
Hi Victor! I’m a big fan of yours. I love everything you write, although I have to confess that I’m more partial to your novels than comics. I’m a big film buff too, so I’ve got to ask the following:
1) What happened to “Gun Monkeys?” I love films directed by RyÃ»hei Kitamura and I was dying to see this flick! Is it still happening?
Ryuhei is awesome, and I have high hopes that the project will come together, but we’ve hit a few bumps in the road. As seems to be the case too often in Hollywood, the dicks are more powerful than the cool people trying to make a film. We’re at the “triumph over the dicks” stage at the moment. I’m hoping to be back on course soon.
2) On your blog, you talked quite a bit about the “Pulp Boy” Kickstarter campaign you were involved with. Sorry it didn’t raise the money it needed, but I was curious about your thoughts regarding Kickstarter and the whole process this project went through —
Yeah, my producer for “Pulp Boy” worked really hard to get the funding for that film, but it just didn’t come together. Kickstarter was his last hope, but in a way, it worked out. After announcing the Kickstarter failure, some other folks swooped in and said, “Hey, let us have a crack at it,” and now it looks like we’re alive again. Fingers crossed.
Kickstarter is really a great idea. It lets people vote with their dollars. It’s the most straight-forward way possible for the public to say, “Yes, we want this project,” or, “No, we don’t.” I actually might do my own Kickstarter project in the future. We’ll see…
3) Also, on the Kickstarter page for “Pulp Boy,” it mentioned you will be doing some creator-owned comics in the near future. Can you spill any details on these yet? Even a little hint would be appreciated!
“X-Men” has been 100% awesome — but now I’d really like to do something a bit less mainstream — more edgy stuff. One project is a very Russ Meyer-ish exploitation type thing. The sample pencils I’ve seen so far have exploded my face. The other is a very B-movie post-apocalypse atomic monsters in the wasteland type of thing and it’s set in the ruins of Southern Louisiana. The art is very different but equally face-exploding. I’m itching to get this stuff out where people can see it.â€¨
And now, it’s time for our quick get-to-know-you question that we like to call “Behind the X.” Let’s try this one out: if you wouldn’t mind, tell us about the worst job you’ve ever had.
I’ve had jobs I didn’t like, but really nothing that makes for a good story. I suppose the semester I worked at Dairy Queen stands out. I still remember how to make a Blizzard.
That’s all for this week, but in seven days return with a writer who bears the weight of two X’s on his shoulder, Brian Wood. As the upcoming writer of both “X-Men” and “Ultimate Comics X-Men,” he gets to play around with the mutants of two very different worlds. I’m expecting lots of questions from you, so type them up and send them to me as soon as possible. Put an “X-Position” in the subject line and I’ll show you how the “Battleship” movie should have ended. Get busy and I’ll see you soon!