Wednesday, May 29, 2013

DYNAMIC DAN JURGENS

Jurgens has enjoyed long runs on books like
Superman, Teen Titans and Booster Gold!
Dan Jurgens stopped by the Recondite Pictures lot to give us a peek into the mind of a very successful writer/artist!

Here's what he said: 
Q: What writers have most influenced the way you write?
A: I really don't know if I can answer that with specific names. I think it's really more practical to cite the idea that a writer is formed by most anything and everything he or she reads. Sometimes you find what you like and tune into that, other times you find what you don't like and learn to stay away from it.
Plus, if you're writing a specific character that has a long history, there's no doubt that you're instantly informed by what was done before you.
Q: How long does it take you to write a 22-page comics script? Can you walk us through the process?
A: There again, it depends on the project.
First of all, for the most part, I write Marvel style-- plot first, with dialogue coming after the art. I am a firm, firm believer in the idea that it produces a more visual comic, which is what comics are, after all. I do that for myself, as well as other artists, as I do not believe that artists should be controlled, but instead, turned loose.
As for time, it depends. So often, a lot of the time is taken up by simply trying to formulate the general directions and framework of an issue. Once that's determined, it's usually a two day process. But that initial, conceptual phase can take far longer.
Q: Are there certain things that every comic story should have? What are they?
Jurgens has introduced many new
characters, including Outburst!
A: Drama-- some manner of development and progression for character and/or general story. Readers must get the feeling that there is something at stake with an underlying feeling of importance. And, since it's a comic, which is visual, there should be some kind of visual treat.
Q: What comics are you reading?
A: I read most all the DCU books so I know what's happening in my own backyard. I read a good portion of the Marvel U stuff as well, though I must admit, that I am now getting a bit lost in all the restarts out there. Mark is doing a great job with Daredevil and I admire the sort of balls-to-the wall approach Slott is employing on Spidey.
I love Saga and Thief of Thieves from Image and Mara is off to an intriguing start.
Q: What comic should a new fan look for in the back issue bins to get the best first impression of your writing?
A: Gyahh! It depends on what you're looking for.
If you want to see an example of a writer who really was in a bit over his head and had to develop on the run, the first volume of Booster Gold is apparent as a kind of "rookie year".
In terms of taking things on a longer, more fully realized vision, I'd point to Thor. At the time, a lot of people thought that Marvel mainstay couldn't really succeed to the level he had earlier. But I had some great, great artists on the book and we managed to pull it off.
Q: What tips do you have for dealing with the grind of a monthly book?
A: If you know what you're doing and know where you want to go, it isn't a grind. Have confidence in what you do, believe in it and push hard for it.
Q: What tips do you have for staying relevant in the industry for so many years?
Jurgens is a master of the big event.
He even spearheaded Zero Hour!
A: Know what's out there. Fads come and go, but you have to be sharp enough to look past those and find the emerging themes and trends that will be embraced longer term.
And, as I said before, know who you are. Recognize what you do best and make it your cornerstone. Understand your weaknesses and work to improve it.
Q: What are the major themes of your work?
A: I think it depends on the nature of the specific character, where he/she is at and the overall direction you want to go.
However, if we're talking superheroes, I am a firm believer in great triumph despite great adversity, with a sense of sacrifice as part of it.
Q: What keeps you inspired to keep writing and creating new things?
A: The same thing that keeps a shark swimming. It's who/what I am.
Q: Who are some current comics writers you admire?
A: Lots of them! I hesitate to cite names because I end up omitting someone to my regret. However, there's a lot of great stuff out there. Remarkable stuff, really.
Q: Your recent FIRESTORM run was so much fun! What comics do you have coming up?
A: In the immediate sense, I'm drawing the Superman Annual. After that, something that represents a huge undertaking, though it's way too early to announce!

--
Scott Amundson writes comics for Bluewater Productions, Heroes Fallen Studios and Recondite Pictures.

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