I enjoyed reading this transcript of Matt Badham's 2008 interview with Paul Cornell, writer of Marvel's Captain Britain and MI-13, even if the title's subsequent cancellation casts a shadow across some of the quotes.
I'm only now reading the entire series -- yes, I'm part of the problem -- so Cornell's comments about characterization, themes and, sadly, audience seem particularly relevant even four months after Captain Britain's end.
"Would Justice League International, Bwah Hah Hah, would that sell nowadays? I don't think so," the writer says. "The warm bath Excalibur with lots of in-jokes and appearances by staff members and reaching out to the fans every single moment; I think that's a wonderful way to run a comic book but I don't think it would sell today. I think most comic creators do write with this in mind, but some of them consciously and some of them unconsciously. Myself, I'd like to be on the newsstands. We're not and that's nobody's fault. It's just the way the world is now."
Seeing Captain Britain and MI-13 crop up again and again on best-of-2009 lists makes me a little, I don't know, wistful -- I get the same feeling every year when canceled TV series receive Emmy nominations -- and I can't help but think of something Tom Spurgeon recently wrote in regard to The Incredible Hercules: "... at some point it seems that if well-regarded series after well-regarded series is broken on the rocks of a market that won't respond to them, you should start to look at changing the game board to be more receptive to such series as opposed to picking up a game piece you think might work better."
Anyway, it's a good interview in which Cornell's enthusiasm for the characters really shines through.