Interview
Greg Weisman
Emru Townsend: One thing I like about [Joss Whedon's] work, and yours on Gargoyles is that it focuses a lot on relationships. Beyond the actual gargoyles beating people up and doing cool things or vampires beating people up and doing cool things, or being beaten up, or whatever, more than anything else the glue that holds it all together is not just the characters, but the relationships between the characters.

Greg Weisman: I agree.

I don't find that [to be] very common in series television. Even in sitcoms, for the most part [they aren't about relationships] per se. Because the relationships don't usually change. Seinfeld hated Newman throughout the entire nine years. They didn't really grow in any way. In Buffy, in Angel, they changed, they grew, in Gargoyles the same thing. People come in a certain way, and they interact a certain way, and they actually develop. The only place I see that sort of development over time is in comic books. And even then, really the only ones where we actually see honest relationships evolve over time were X-Men, Teen Titans, and those worlds [during] the '80s. It's not quite the same now.

In a very long way, what I'm asking is, were you a fan of those comics at the time?

Oh, yeah. First of all, I worked at DC Comics in those days. I started freelancing for DC in 1983, and worked on staff from '85 to '87.

So you were right in the middle of my favourite point, basically.

[holds up his hand] Rorschach's thumbprint.

[laughs] Wait a minute, you were Rorschach's thumbprint?

Mm-hm. I shared an office with the art director [of Watchmen, Robbin Brosterman]. And you remember they had those little text features at the back of every issue of Watchmen. One of the text features was Rorschach's psych file. And of course Alan [Moore] wrote all the copy, but it was all designed to look as if you were looking at someone's desk, and you were opening a folder, and there would be all this stuff in the folder, and one of the things were thumbprints. She needed thumpbrints, and I was the guy sitting next to her, so... Rorschach's thumb. It's right here.

A little bit nefarious. I do like that.

Me too. I'm very proud of that. Of course, it's my only contribution to Watchmen, but I'm still proud of it.

I was an editor on Tales of the Teen Titans under Marv [Wolfman], and assistant editor on Titans Spotlight and New Titans, and... there are so many books I can't remember the name of them all.

You know, when George [Pérez] and Marv first started doing Teen Titans and those [Chris] Claremont/[John] Byrne years of X-Men, that's great, great stuff. And I thought Iron Man was great for a period in there. Obviously everyone remembers Frank [Miller]'s Daredevil and Walt [Simonson]'s Thor. You had some great stuff. There were some great Batman issues in those days. The '80s was a terrific time for comics. I think that what happened is that things got crazy. The speculation market didn't just kill comic-book stores, although God knows it's the main culprit. But the spec market I think creatively created all sorts of problems. I remember reading Peter David's Hulk, a book I liked—this is the '90s now—a book I liked, and pretty much the last Marvel book I was still reading... I picked up an issue, and could not for the life of me figure out what was going on. I thought, oh my God, I must have missed an issue. I go back to the comic-book store, find the previous issue, and go, no, I did read this issue. There's a whole story that took place, [but] not in the book! And they'd made major changes to this character, and I know their desire was [that] I would go pick up all those other issues of other books so that I would be able to understand what was going on in the latest Hulk.

That was why I gave up on all the Batman titles. [They were] doing all that hopping between titles, which was just tiring.

I didn't mind it back in the '80s when it was every two weeks, Detective, Batman, Detective, Batman because I viewed that as a biweekly book as opposed to two books that kept crossing over. Because you could keep track of that. Batman, Detective, you could keep track of that. And I was okay with that. It was a pain in the ass filing them later, but I was okay from a reading standpoint. But this thing with The Hulk—and I'm picking on the Hulk, but it's the example that sticks in my head because I really liked Peter David's Hulk. And I know that their expectation was, you're going to pick up that Hulk, you're going to go, I don't know what's going on, I'd better go get all these other books to find out what's going on here. The end result was that I gave up reading The Hulk. I didn't go pick up all those other books, I gave up reading The Hulk.

And aside from you and me, lots of people did.
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