'Get into a sword fight and drink a lot': Six questions with Joshua Williamson

Thirty-six questions. Six answers. One random number generator. Welcome to Robot Roulette, where creators roll the virtual dice and answer our questions about their lives, careers, interests and more.

Joining us today is writer Joshua Williamson, writer of Captain Midnight, Masks & Mobsters, Uncharted, Voodoo, Mirror Mirror, Sketch Monsters and the upcoming Ghosted, among others.

Now let’s get to it ...


Ugh. Every question you gave me feels like multiple choice. How do I pick just one?! Anyway.

5. If you were given the opportunity to spend 48 hours with absolutely anyone, living or dead, who would you spend it with and what would you do?

It always feels like we should pick someone who is dead, but I’m going with one person.

Quentin Tarantino.

I imagine that would be a crazy 48 hours. We’d talk about his movies and how he writes his scripts, his process, for like maybe 20 minutes, and then just go on an adventure. Maybe Vegas. Watch movies, get into a sword fight and drink a lot.

Then I’d write a book about it called Doing Time with Q.

10. Who is your favorite band/musical performer, and why are they your favorite?

This questions has bugged me for days. So many favorites to choose from!

I’m gonna go with AC/DC. Highway to Hell and Back in Black. There are no two albums I’ve listened to more back-to-back on repeat.

19. What scarred you as a child, as in something like watching "The Shining" late night on cable when no one was home?

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. The series of Scholastic children’s books written by Alvin Schwartz with wonderful and terrifying illustrations by Stephen Gammell.

We started reading these in class when I was about 7 or so. This is where my fear of insects crawling on me in my sleep came from. Where I learned to distrust pigs. Where I started thinking I was always being followed when I walked late at night. Where I learned about not buying a pet in Mexico.

The art alone is nightmare-inducing, but the author researched his stories and had explanations for them all in the back. The truth was often scarier than the story.

21. Who has been the biggest help or motivator in your career?

John Layman. Back when I was just a youngen’ trying to show off my mini-comics and get attention, Layman was still an editor at Wildstorm. I’d met Layman a few times at cons, and he came by the comic shop I worked at. One day I asked if I could send him a Stormwatch pitch, and he said sure. So of course I sent him my 30-page plan for a year long epic! RIGHT?! It was the first pitch I ever sent a major publisher, I had no idea how crazy that was. I was just a kid! Layman emailed me back with polite and simple: “Fuck you, you lunatic. I’m not reading that!”

Ever since then Layman has helped me out and made sure I didn’t act like a complete idiot. The occasional advice, or calms me down when I’m being dumb, and has read a few pitches that are much shorter than 30 pages.

And we just co-wrote the second Detective Comics Annual together that comes out in late July.

33. Who is your favorite comic character?

Green Arrow. Oliver Queen has been obsession of mine since I was really young. Someone stole my Super Powers Green Arrow action figure, and so I’ve had him on my mind ever since. He’s one of the characters I’ve wanted to write that I haven’t had a chance to. Someday my autobio will have a chapter called “Searching for Oliver Queen.”

However, I do have a Batman tattoo, so he is a close second. And I’ve written him a few times now.

35. What is your all-time favorite TV show?

Married with Children.

Not a bad episode in the bunch. Not sure why my parent’s let me watch it when I was so young, but a lot of my humor was built from watching that show.

Part of me wanted to say Seinfeld. But the other day I was on an airplane and saw someone else was watching Married with Children in the row in front of me. My girlfriend has never seen the show so I started to explain what was happening in the episode. It was the one where Al Bundy figured out that aliens were stealing his socks. Just trying to explain the premise was cracking me up. That’s love, y’know?

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