CCI: Guggenheim & Greenwood Talk "Stringers"

These days, it's hard not to know who Marc Guggenheim is. The hard-working writer has been working in television ("Eli Stone," "FlashForward," this fall's "No Ordinary Family"), film ("Green Lantern"), video games ("Perfect Dark Zero," "Call of Duty 3") in addition to comics work like "Blade," "The Amazing Spider-Man," and the just-announced "Justice Society of America."

Some of his best comic work has been on the creator-owned series "Resurrection" from Oni Press. The second series of the book which features artwork from newcomer Justin Greenwood started last year, and the duo have clearly developed a rapport. During the publisher's panel at Comic-Con International in San Diego, a new series from the duo, "Stringers," was announced. CBR News spoke with the creators about their upcoming book.

CBR News: So tell us, what is "Stringers" and where did this idea come from?

Marc Guggenheim: "Stringers" is an idea I've had kicking around my head for a long time now - not unlike "Resurrection" was, originally. What kick-started it was a story on NPR about "stringers" - freelance journalists who run around trying to get video footage of police chases, fires, etc. It struck me as a very interesting world to set a story in. I've also always wanted to do a story that's told in a compressed timeframe, like 12 hours, à la "Go" or "Collateral," just to name two examples.

Justin, how did you get involved with the book?

Justin Greenwood: Marc and I got to talking last year at SDCC and he told me he had some ideas for new stories outside of "Resurrection" that he thought I'd be a good fit for. He sent me over a pitch for "Stringers" a little while later, and I liked it right off the bat. I was not aware of it before talking to him, but there are guys who "string" for a living in a lot of major cities - adrenaline junkies who chase cops and race to the scenes of crimes in order to get some footage and hustle it to the news stations to make money. Our story follows a couple of stringers who are close friends and end up knee deep in a situation that very quickly gets out of control. 

Marc, you and Justin have been working together for over a year now on "Resurrection." What is it about your collaborations that seems to work so well?

Guggenheim: I just love Justin's enthusiasm and professionalism. He's been the reason we've been able to hit a consistent publishing schedule on the second volume of "Resurrection." He's just a total pro - which is amazing considering the fact that "Resurrection" was his first professional gig. That enthusiasm bleeds into his art, which has a fun, irreverent style. In many ways, Justin's style is better suited to "Stringers" - whose characters are as young and hip as he is - than "Resurrection" is. And I say that knowing that I can't imagine any artist other than Justin drawing "Resurrection."

Justin, what is it about the book and the challenges it presented that appealed to you?

Greenwood: I was excited to start from scratch and work up a whole new cast of characters and fun environment. Although they are both very character driven projects, "Stringers" is a much different type of story than "Resurrection," and I want to adjust my style to fit it more closely. Also, "Stringers" will be set to a "break neck" pace at times, and one of the things I'm most excited about is to play around with layout and composition to really ramp up the action and push the tension that a lot of the book calls for.

And car chases! Lots and lots of car chases...

You've been working with Marc for over a year now on "Resurrection." What has that experience been like?

Greenwood: I've been having a blast working with Marc. I think we both enjoy the give and take of collaboration, and he gives me a lot of room, creatively, to try things out . The biggest thing is that it's always fun to read one of his scripts and see what he's come up with- it's never a dull moment in his stories and that makes it rewarding for me, trying to pull it off. Some of the scripts have called for some pretty challenging, over the top imagery, but he has always thought it out well enough from the start to make it work. 

One of the big questions is, how will adding "Stringers" to your plates affect "Resurrection?"

Guggenheim: God, no fill-in artists. We're going to take a brief hiatus while Justin draws "Stringers." We'd been talking with Oni about mixing up the way we schedule and publish "Resurrection" anyway, so the timing on this feels right.

Greenwood: "Resurrection" will be going on a brief hiatus while we work on "Stringers," and once finished, my intention is to hop right back into "Resurrection" and continue telling the story. We are both really excited about "Stringers," and it's a great opportunity for us to take a creative detour and tell a different story without derailing our previous project. One of the convenient things about "Resurrection" is that it's designed in volumes and has these very natural points to break in the story. When the book returns, it will be under a new format and the main part of the story will have a larger page count. 

Marc, you're a producer on a new network TV show this fall as well as working on a lot of movies, including "Green Lantern." Why do "Stringers" as a comic rather than a TV show or a movie?

Guggenheim: I suppose I could have set "Stringers" up as a movie, but I get far more creative control this way, to be blunt. "Stringers" would make a lovely $30 million film - and may someday - but this idea has been so near and dear to my heart for so long that I really wanted to bring it to life first in a medium where I had more control. Film is great, but it's still a director's medium and you have to include that fact of life in the creative calculus. But who knows? I may get to have my cake and eat it too by one day optioning "Stringers" as a movie.

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