Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Chad's Jackass Comic Creator Interviews from 2001: Joe Casey

[Another interview where I ask about underwear and "chicks." *sigh* New posts Monday, Wednesday and Friday.]

Monday November 12, 2001
Interview With . . . Joe Casey!
I remember a few years ago I had a subscription to Cable and was enjoying James Robinson's run on the title, only to have it interrupted by some guy named Casey. I mean, I had heard of fill-in artists, but when I saw Casey's name on the cover, well, I thought it had to be a mistake. But, no, it wasn't a mistake, a hereto unknown named Joe Casey was writing my favourite comic. Since then Casey has written many comics that, because of him, I considered my favourite comic at the time. From Cable to Deathlok to Mr. Majestic to Wildcats, the guy has impressed me with some kickass writing. Casey is also a writer who has been controversial at times. Especially in regards to those of us who visit message boards. Now, of course I was offended a little, but does that affect his writing or how I view it? Nope. That's something people sometimes get mixed up, but that's another discussion for another time. Without further ramblings, I present my interview with Joe Casey.

Me: Tell us a little about yourself.

Casey: I was born, I got taller, I got a job writing comic books, and here I am today.

Me: How did you get interested in writing?

Casey: When I was growing up, there was no shortage of great books and movies, all of which I devoured. Those things inspired me to want to tell my own stories. I truly believe that the best stories told are interactive... they fire the reader's imagination to such a degree that they're practically writing the story along with the storyteller as they're reading it (or watching it, in
the case of a film). That's what I did as a reader (and as a viewer)... at some point I decided to try and get paid for doing it.

Me: What have you written?

Casey: Too many books to list here. I had a good run on Cable with Ladronn a few years ago. Mr. Majestic was a fun book, too. X-Men: Children Of The Atom was a mini-series I wrote that was recently collected in a mass-market trade paperback edition. Sean Phillips and I just finished our run on Wildcats Vol. 2.

Me: What are you working on right now?

Casey: Uncanny X-Men and Adventures Of Superman, both monthly for the two big publishers. Next year, Wildcats VERSION 3.0 and Automatic Kafka, both part of Wildstorm's mature readers line. Codeflesh (co-created with artist Charlie Adlard) is currently appearing in Funk-O-Tron's Double Take book. Some other top-secret stuff is coming up, but it's too soon to talk about.

Me: Tell everyone a little about Man Of Action.

Casey: I'd rather everyone find out for themselves. Go to and all questions will be answered.

Me: Is Wildcats going to change much in Vol. 3, in relation to the tone and feel of Vol. 2? It's not going to become like most other superhero comics, is it?

Casey: I sure as hell hope not. I have no interest in my books being like most other superhero books. VERSION 3.0 will have a different focus than Vol. 2, but the level of characterization will remain (I hope!).

Me: You've hinted that Poptopia was similar to previous X-Men stories on purpose. Did you really do that on purpose, as a theme of pop recycling itself?

Casey: As a reader, you have the absolute right to read any interpretation into the books you read. I'd hate to spoil that with whatever my interpretation might be. I wrote the story... that's how I fulfill my end of the bargain. For those who buy it and read it, I'm definitely grateful. At that point, they've more than fulfilled their end of the bargain. Now, if they actually liked what they read... great. If they didn't... well, you can't please everybody. Nor do I particularly want to.

Me: Do you find that writing Superman with three other guys to be constraining, at times, creatively?

Casey: Not at all. We all get along great (the four writers and editor, Eddie Berganza). That solves a lot of problems before they even occur. The real question is one that I get much more often... "Is writing a corporate icon that's been around for sixty plus years creatively constraining?" It's a valid question, because the Superman legend is pretty much set in stone. Not a lot of room to maneuver there. But think about how many great, different and original rock n' roll songs were written with the same three or four chords. With Superman stories, you just need to pick the right three or four chords and play the hell out of 'em. Right now we've got a pretty good band going.

Me: Boxers or briefs?

Casey: Boxers, definitely. Briefs are fine for the kiddies.

Me: Cats or dogs?

Casey: Either or neither, depending upon the personality of the animal.

Me: Winter or summer?

Casey: I live in Los Angeles, a place where there is no winter. What does that tell you...?

Me: Any cool stories involving chicks?

Casey: Plenty.

Me: I just handed you a gun with 100 untraceable bullets, who or what do you use them on?

Casey: Well, I'd shoot you first. I'd have to. Anyone who has access to guns and untraceable bullets is too dangerous to let live. Not to mention anyone that would be dumb enough to hand them over to me...

Me: What comics are you currently digging?

Casey: Besides the occasional original graphic novel, I follow what my industry friends are doing, mainly. The usual suspects. I'm looking forward to the other books in the Wildstorm mature readers line. And once all the guys currently doing Marvel superheroes get back to their creator-owned passions, I predict we're going to see some fantastic, groundbreaking stuff.

Me: What are you in your band?

Casey: Often, I'm an unwilling participant. Other times, I'm steering the ship. The Sellouts are a constantly evolving beast and thank God for that. We're back at the Whisky A Go-Go on Sunset Blvd. on Dec. 15th.

Me: Using up some of your unused ideas for Mr. Majestic on Superman?

Casey: No way. On Superman, I could never get away with the things we did in the Mr. Majestic book.

Me: With the amount of sex you are putting in X-Men, you really are trying to appeal to the fanboys, aren't you?

Casey: I dunno... what's a fanboy?

Me: Still want to The Secret Society Of Super-Villains?

Casey: I don't think so. That was one of my first proposals and since then I've strip-mined most of those ideas and concepts and used them in other books.

Me: Who do you love?

Casey: Why do you ask?

Me: Any final words?

Casey: Not for a long time, I hope.