Matt Dursin is a comic book writer as well as the founder of the League of Ordinary Gentlemen Comic Book Podcast (LeaguePodcast). Dursin has written comics before, but taking the knowledge of his Comics Experience writing classes combined with his film-making degree from Emerson College has led him to applying himself to his latest project, green lit by Kickstarter: Robin Hood: Outlaw of the 21st Century #1. Fellow League member and Earth Prime Time comic book correspondent Clay N. Ferno interviews his close friend about his experience getting the project together, Robin Hood’s modern Merry Men, and the ridiculously high cost of medical expenses these days.
DIGBOSTON: Start with the origin of Robin Hood: Outlaw of the 21st Century!
DURSIN: This goes back to the Andy Schmidt (IDW, Hasbro) Comics Experience writing class I took in 2009. The first class assignment was to write a 5-page story with a beginning, middle, and end. I had this idea in my head because I wanted to make a screenplay out of it.
I had been writing scenes for the screenplay for many years. It was a classmate that suggested that we don’t know if they are good guys until the end … page 5.
Tell us about this Robin, the setting he is in. Does he use a bow and arrow? What is he stealing?
He doesn’t steal gold! I figured, “What do people need?” Because of my own health issues through the years, I always think of the cost of medications and medical supplies. “How would you even pay for this without insurance?”
What if this Robin Hood steals medicine and gives it to people that don’t have health insurance or can’t afford it or don’t have a job. That’s what people need these days.
In the traditional Robin Hood, he was just giving money to the poor. Now, who is richer than the pharmaceutical companies these days?
If you go back to serfdom and the knight class and the royal class of the medieval period, the gap is just about the same from the 99% to the 1% in modern times.
Spoiler here: in issue 2, he does actually steal money. Without giving away too much, there is someone that needs money and Robin Hood makes the decision to steal money, but it is a decent to a darker turn as he gets deeper into it. I was kind of inspired by Breaking Bad.
Every issue isn’t going to be a robbery; different things can happen.
Are there more characters from the old stories than the familiar Robin Hood who will show up in your comic?
There’s Robin Hood, The Merry Men, Little John, Will Scarlett, of course the Sheriff is the bad guy. Maid Marian of course—the lady friend of Robin Hood. She is not a maid, obviously. She’s a nurse and one of the people who knows where the medication needs to go, she knows where the supplies are that he can steal.
She’s the inside maid.
It’s basically Sherlock—not to compare my little comic book to one of the greatest shows ever!
Go for it!
That’s Sherlock Holmes in modern times.
Although when did Sherlock actually debut? I think I predate it with my 5 pages in 2009!
It’s the same idea. The character is one you know, and a story you can identify with. This Robin Hood uses a gun; it’s not bows and arrows.
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