Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Kurt Busiek - 5 Quick Questions

Kurt Busiek is a comic book writer notable for his work on the Marvels limited series, his own title Astro City, and his four-year run on The Avengers.

Busiek grew up in various towns in the Boston area, including Lexington, where he befriended future comic book creator Scott McCloud. Busiek didn't read comics as a youngster, as his parents didn't approve of them. He began to read them regularly around the age of 14, when he picked up a copy of Daredevil #120. The first part of a continuity-heavy four-part story arc, Busiek was hooked by all the history and cross-connections with other series. All through high school and college, he and McCloud practiced making comics.

During this time, Busiek also had many letters published in comic book letter columns. In fact, as a fan, Busiek originated the theory that the Phoenix was a separate being who had impersonated Jean Grey and therefore Grey had not died – a premise which the editorial team later used in the comics.

During the last semester of his senior year, Busiek submitted some sample scripts to editor Dick Giordano at DC Comics. One of them turned into his first professional work, a back-up story in Green Lantern #162 (Mar. 1983).

Busiek has worked on a number of different titles in his career, including Arrowsmith, The Avengers, Icon, Iron Man, The Liberty Project, Ninjak, The Power Company, Red Tornado, Shockrockets, Superman: Secret Identity, Thunderbolts, Untold Tales of Spider-Man, JLA, and of course the award-winning Marvels and the Homage Comics title Kurt Busiek's Astro City.

In 1997, Busiek began a celebrated stint as writer of Avengers alongside artist George Pérez. Pérez departed from the series in 2000, but Busiek continued as writer for two more years, collaborating with artists Alan Davis, Kieron Dwyer and others. Busiek's tenure culminated with the "Kang Dynasty" storyline. In 2003, Busiek re-teamed with Perez to create the JLA/Avengers limited series.

In 2003, Busiek began a new Conan series for Dark Horse Comics but has since moved on.

In December 2005 Busiek signed a two-year exclusive contract with DC Comics. During DC's Infinite Crisis event, he teamed with Geoff Johns on a "One Year Later" eight-part story arc (called Up, Up and Away) that encompassed both Superman titles. As well, he began writing the DC title Aquaman: Sword of Atlantis and wrote from issues 40-49. Busiek was the writer of Superman, and was replaced by James Robinson starting from Superman #677. Busiek is currently writing a new weekly series at DC called Trinity, starring Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman. The weekly features a 12-page main story by Busiek, with art by Mark Bagley, and a ten-page backup story co-written by Busiek and Fabian Nicieza, with art from various artists, including Tom Derenick, Mike Norton and Scott McDaniel.

He agreed to answer 5 Quick Questions.

1) What would you say is your greatest achievement in comics?

Probably ASTRO CITY. But I'm very proud of MARVELS, ARROWSMITH, SUPERMAN: SECRET IDENTITY and others, as well.

2) Who was your favorite writer or artist that you worked with & why?

There's no way to answer that. The best artist to work with on one book might not be the best guy for another. So I'm happy to have worked with Alex Ross, Brent Anderson, George Perez, Stuart Immonen, Carlos Pacheco, Mark Begley, Neil Vokes and lots of others, but couldn't choose a favorite.

3) What character you have never worked .., would you like to do & why?

It used to be Kamandi, but I think I've figured out a way to scratch that itch in a different kind of project. So I don't know. I've written a ton of characters. Maybe the THUNDER Agents?

4) Who are your influences?

In comics, Jack Kirby, Archie Goodwin, Steve Englehart, Len Wein, Steve Gerber, Frank Miller, Leonard Starr, Milt Caniff, Will Eisner and more.
From outside comics, Edward Eager, Lawrence Block, Andrew Lang, William Goldman, Robert Towne and lots more.

5) What hero or villain would you like to change if you could and why?

I'd like to do a big sorta-Elseworlds Legion of Superheroes project someday. Does that count?

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