Showing posts with label Incredible Hulk. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Incredible Hulk. Show all posts

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Interview with Greg Pak (Incredible Hulk, Kingsway West, Eternal Warrior)

by Mike Favila (Guest Writer / ComicsOnline.com Senior Editor)

My neighbor (and Editor-In-Chief) Mike Rhode is taking his daughter off to college for the first time, so I'm taking a second away from my duties at ComicsOnline.com to interview writer Greg Pak for ComicsDC.

If you're not familiar with Greg Pak's work,chances are you probably just haven't been reading the credits that tightly.  I've mostly recently read his stuff for the relaunch of Eternal Warrior through Valiant Comics, but he's the man responsible for the awesomely out there World War Hulk storyline.  I didn't know this until I read his Wiki, but he also created Amadeus Cho.  Not too shabby.

Thanks for taking the time to chat.  Here's a few questions to start with:

What was the genesis for Kingsway West?  Obviously there's been different pieces of fiction relating to the Chinese people in a Western setting, but the fantasy elements are way more pronounced than anything I've read before.  

I first started thinking about about telling a story with a Chinese gunslinger in the Old West over twenty years ago. I grew up in Texas and loved Westerns, and when I learned about the real history of Chinese immigrants in the Old West, I just couldn't stop thinking about it. So this was my dream project when I started film school in the '90s. And after I started writing comics, I worked on different comic book versions of the story, doing a couple of short stories for the OUTLAW TERRITORY anthology with artists Ian Kim and Sean Chen. But I always wanted to do a longer version of the story, and eventually started talking with editor Jim Gibbons at Dark Horse. Jim loved the characters and story I pitched, but asked if there was something more I could bring to the story to push it over the top. And I thought about it for a while, and found myself thinking about fantasy and magic. I'd loved Lord of the Rings and Dungeons and Dragons when I was growing up for some of the same reasons I'd loved Westerns -- that kind of big, epic, outdoor adventure is part of both genres. And the more I worked on it, the more it made sense to merge those genres in a story about a Chinese gunslinger searching for his wife in an Old West overrun with magic.

How did you get together with Mirko Colak?

Mirko and I worked together on Marvel's RED SKULL INCARNATE and Dynamite's TUROK, both books that involved realistic, historically based material. I knew he'd absolutely kill on a Western. He's been tremendous. And I should add that colorist Wil Quintana and letterer Simon Bowland are doing amazing work on the book as well. I'm so lucky and happy!

How did you end up publishing at Dark Horse?

If I'm remembering correctly, I think Mirko had met Jim somehow and made the introduction. As soon as I started talking with Jim, I knew I wanted to do the book there. Jim asked all the right questions to push me to make the book better. Jim since left the company to work for Stela, but Spencer Cushing has taken over as editor and Spencer's been fantastic -- just a tremendous sounding board and advocate and hustler to keep the book on time and make it as good as it can be.



How much of the arc do you have planned out?

I've written all four issues of the miniseries. I've got my fingers mightily crossed -- if the numbers are good enough, we may be able to do a second volume. So if anyone reading is interested, please do ask your local comics shop to order the books for you, or go to KingswayWest.com and pre-order there!

I loved the relaunch of Eternal Warrior, and was impressed with your take on it.  Were you a fan of original Valiant comics?  How did you get involved?

Thanks so much for the kind words! I actually didn't read many of the original Valiant comics -- they came out during a window in time when I wasn't buying a ton of monthlies. But I always loved the concepts. I got pulled on board ETERNAL WARRIOR by editor Warren Simons, with whom I'd done MAGNETO TESTAMENT over at Marvel. I loved working with Warren and was thrilled to have a shot at working with him again. And the Eternal Warrior character was up my alley -- again, as a fan of outdoor adventure and fantasy. I'm particularly proud of the second arc we did on that series, drawn by Robert Gill, in which we jumped a couple of thousand years into the future. Had a huge amount of fun with the worldbuilding there, and I loved the emotional story between Gilad and his granddaughter.

Did you have to coordinate with the other titles launching for Valiant, or did Warren provide a lot of the parameters?

I definitely read the other issues that had referenced Gilad before I started. And Warren definitely kept it on track continuity-wise. He had a great eye on the big picture all the time -- he's just done a tremendous job herding all those books.

As a Filipino, I've always been drawn to the names of the Asian creators (like Whilce Portacio or Frank Cho) that have been on the credits of the comics I read growing up.  It seems like seeing realistic Asian characters portrayed on the page(such as the Amadeus Cho Hulk) is the natural next step.  Do you feel that this is just a reflection of society today, or did that require a concerted effort on the part of comic companies/creators?

I've been writing comics for over twelve years now, and from the beginning, my editors have always supported my working diverse characters into the casts of my books. My very first published comic was the WARLOCK mini in 2004, which starred an Asian American woman named Janie Chin. And artist Takeshi Miyazawa and I created Amadeus Cho eleven years ago, and I was able to write him as a supporting character in the Hulk books and eventually as the co-star of the INCREDIBLE HERCULES series, co-written with Fred Van Lente, for over four years. And over the years I also created S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Jake Oh and used Suzie Endo in the SILVER SURFER book and created a half-Japanese alternative-world Namor in X-TREME X-MEN and used Sharon (played by Grace Park in the television series) as the central character in the second half of my BATTLESTAR GALACTICA series and wrote a bunch of book starring other people of color. So in my experience, working with the awesome editors I've had over the years, the door has always been open -- I just had to walk through it.

But I also think we're living at a time when more and more people are aware that audiences want more diverse casts and more and more creators of different backgrounds are breaking in and blowing up in all kinds of great ways, which is great. Fifteen years ago, when I was speaking at film festivals with my films, I used to say that in fifteen years the changing demographics of the country would make it a no-brainer to make media with diverse casts. We're in the middle of businesses waking up to that right now, and it's very exciting.

Less related, but also curious: How are you involved with Fresh Off The Boat?  I saw something on your Wiki, but I had no clue that you had a hand in the show.

Oh, I love the show, but I'm not at all involved in its creation or production. I was a lucky participant on a panel discussion about it when it premiered. I'm thrilled it's done so well -- it's time, huh?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Super-balloons

100_1783 Hulk Spider-Man and Superman balloons

Hulk, Spider-Man and Superman balloons at the Arlington County Fair, August 2006. I think there's a Jimmy Neutron poking up too. I ran across this photo so I thought I'd put it up. Look for Smithsonian shots of lunch boxes and Disneyland stuff soon.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Great Pumpkin resonates in comics

Two strips in the Post today, Lio and Little Dog Lost, both tipped a wink towards Peanuts and Linus' search for the Great Pumpkin. If Dave Astor still was at E&P, I wouldn't have to write posts like this.

In the USA Weekend magazine including in the Examiner, there's a funny Walmart ad for the video of the Incredible Hulk movie. A family is watching the Hulk movie, and the Hulk himself has busted through the wall of their house and is crunching one side of their sofa as he settles in to watch himself on the tv. The paper also included a trick-or-treat bag for Halloween with ads for animated movies Madagascar 2 and Monsters vs. Aliens.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Monday, August 25, 2008

Marvel attempting manga... again

For their current effort, see "Superheroes to Be Recast for Japan," By GEORGE GUSTINES, New York Times August 25, 2008. This is by no means new though - both Spider-Man and the X-Men were produced in Japan and reprinted in America, and there was a Hulk series not seen in the US. There's a nice big book on Batman manga coming out from Chip Kidd soon. Marvel also took a shot at putting Spider-Man in India recently.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Zadzooks on Hulk games

The movie spinoffs just keep coming. See "ZADZOOKS: Hulk is game for smashing," Joseph Szadkowski, Washington Times Thursday, July 10, 2008 for a review of some of them.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Today's newspapers roundup

Cartoon Network's Dethklok animation series - "As Seen on TV: Dethklok" by Glenn Dixon, Express June 26, 2008

Wall-E review - "Droid to the World," by Tricia Olszewski, Washington City Paper June 26, 2008.

Zadzooks on the Hulk - "ZADZOOKS: Hulk, foe take rivalry to stores," by Joseph Szadkowski, Washington Times Thursday, June 26, 2008.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Hulk and Bush in NY Times

These two articles were flanking each other on the business page. Remember, cigars kill people, not children's books.

"Physicians’ Group Furious at Cigars in ‘Hulk’ Movie," By BROOKS BARNES, New York Times June 16, 2008

"The Secret to Success in Publishing: Bash Bush, With Nods to a Classic," By JOANNE KAUFMAN, New York Times June 16, 2008.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Hulk smash, but not as badly as he could have

Initial reviews in DC are cautiously positive.
Caution: Contents Turn Angry When Shaken
By A. O. SCOTT
New York Times June 13, 2008

GREEN MEANS GO: Dramatic Muscle Gives Strength to 'Incredible Hulk'
By Ann Hornaday
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, June 13, 2008; C01

It’s not ‘Incredible’ but it’s pretty good
by Sally Kline, The Washington Examiner Jun 13, 2008
'Incredible Hulk' restores comic-book hero
Norton opens character's tortured soul to viewers, keeps film grounded
Christian Toto
Washington Times June 13, 2008

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Hellman and the Hulk


The Washington City Paper has a cover by Danny Hellman, who's also still doing regular illos for the Sunday Source in the Post. It's also got a review of the Incredible Hulk movie, which I guess opens tomorrow. See "The latest Hulk is smartly big and stupid, while Savage Grace keeps its horrors pretty," By Tricia Olszewski, Washington City Paper June 12, 2008.

Meanwhile, Keith Phipps in The Onion also reviewed the Hulk fairly positively. Donna Bowman has a good review of The Pixar Touch book by David Price.