Interview With Walt Simonson
(August 1997)

I had contacted Walt Simonson in July asking about the 'Untold Tale of Daredevil' that he and Frank Miller never made. From there it grew to an 'interview'. Recently, Mr. Simonson has joined the Legend imprint at Dark Horse.

Kuljit Mithra: Can you give some background on yourself and how you got into the comics field? I have read that you originally wanted to be a paleontologist (hence the way you write your signature in the form of a dinosaur).

Walt Simonson: I was always interested in both drawing and dinosaurs. I originally majored in geology in college with a eye toward going to graduate school and studying paleontology but decided just at the end of my senior year not to pursue that interest professionally. Instead, I went to art school, tried my hand at drawing comics because I enjoyed reading them, found I liked it, and did a comic book as my senior thesis. The thesis was an early version of the Star Slammers and became my portfolio when I went to NYC looking for work in the comics industry. I found some and just kept going <g>.

KM: You have worked as a writer and/or an artist on several projects. Which is 'easier' for you?

WS: Writing is 'easier' because it takes less time than drawing. However, it doesn't really take any less brain power so it's only easier in duration, not effort.

KM: You have recently been working on the Heroes Reborn version of the Avengers. Do you think the whole 'Heroes Reborn' concept was a good idea from the start?

WS: I think ANY project designed to interest readers in reading comics isworth pursuing. My understanding is that those books weren't doing well generally; so it seemed worth a shot.

KM: What do you think the industry needs to do to get people to buy comics? Sales are down on most titles.

WS: Quit relying on major cross-over events and try to commit to publishing strong stories on a consistant basis on a series of titles. More help for retailers and less thought about how to shift monies from retailers to companies wouldn't be a bad idea either.

KM: Many people remember that you and Frank Miller were supposed to do a two-part story for Daredevil after Miller's Born Again. I managed to get a copy of the first part of the script, and it really is an excellent story. Can you tell me if the second part of the script was ever written? Were the pencils completed for the issue? Can you tell me why it was never completed?

WS: To the best of my knowledge, Frank never scripted Part 2. I never did pencil Part 1. And the reason was that DD was getting a new regular writer at the time after several fill-ins. The new writer wanted his first issue to come out at the beginning of the summer (the good sales period back then) so our 2 parter was put on hold for a few months. And if there's no deadline, the work never gets done--that's an old freelance rule. <g> The gist of it is that by the time Marvel was interested in having us work on the story, Frank was off doing Dark Knight and I was off doing X-Factor. So it never happened. Too bad--it was a cool story too.

KM: Have you ever drawn DD?

WS: Only once I think. I did the cover, a portrait of DD inked by Bill Sienkiewicz, for Marvel's all head covers back in the late '80's.

KM: Any chance of you and Mr. Miller getting together for another DD tale?

WS: At this point, probably not on DD although I'd like to work with Frank on something again. We did a RoboCop/Terminator series for Dark Horse and had a lot of fun working together.

KM: Speaking of Dark Horse, how did you become a member of the Legend imprint?

WS: Frank called me up and asked me if I'd like to sign on. I've known Frank for many years; we were studio-mates for a time back in the '80's. I assume he checked with the other Legend members before calling me.

KM: Can you talk about any other projects you may have brewing as a part of Legend?

WS: At present, I don't have any such plans. I'm working on the 'Multiverse' project with Michael Moorcock for DC and that's about a year's worth of work. So I won't be thinking about other stuff for a bit.

KM: Would you consider writing a monthly Thor comic again?

WS: At present, no. But you never know. The time may come again <g>.

(c) Kuljit Mithra 1997
Daredevil:The Man Without Fear

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