One of the headliners at this weekend’s ASBURY PARK COMICON is writer Chris Claremont. Here, he talks with Clay N. Ferno about his new Nightcrawler series, his approach to writing — and his first comic book!
Clay N. Ferno: What is your Secret Origin? How did you get to write your first comic?
Chris Claremont: Thanks to the aid and intervention of a family friend, Al Jaffee of Mad magazine, I got recommended to Stan (Lee) to work for a couple of months as what now is an intern, back then we were just gofers. I worked at Marvel, end of ‘68, beginning of ’69.
And you are returning to Marvel for your latest project?
I’ve never left, I’ve been a contract employee at Marvel this time around since ’03-’04, the beginning of the century! It is at their discretion if they utilize me or not, but I am returning to print with new material, but I’ve always been Marvel property I suppose. Now I’m working on Nightcrawler.
Is there any new approach you are taking to Nightcrawler?
It is sort of in the ambiguous state where it is listed on the rolls as being an ongoing series, but is being treated — at least in the initial run — as a mini-series, until the office can get a sense of whether there is sufficient reader interest to justify a longer run on it. On the same token they are keeping their options open. As opposed to just signing up for a mini-series and having to reboot it down the line.
At the moment, the interesting aspect is, as seems to happen quite a lot in the X-Men, he is back from the dead! With someone like him, who is a devoutly religious person in his own unique way, he is dealing with life, death, afterlife and now life again. He has been to Heaven. He, for necessary personal reasons, has come to life. It’s comic life imitating television art in that he and Buffy the Vampire Slayer have that in common. On the other hand so do he and Logan, he and Betsy, he and quite a few other X-Men have sadly — or not so sadly — preceded him on this pathway. There will be ramifications that I will be able to play out over the next few issues.
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