Our exclusive interview with Evan Dorkin!
San Diego Comic Con - circa 1992
Our conversation starts as Iím setting up the audio tape
recorder . . . .
Evan: Just donít ask me if Iíve seen the
Interviewer: No, thatís okay. Have
you seen the second movie?
Interviewer: Okay. Finally!
last year you hadnít seen either.
Evan: Well, it was free. And I saw one
episode of that TV show which was uh . . .
Interviewer: Pretty, uh . . .
Evan: Yeah, if it was a piece of paper I wouldnít wipe my *** with it.
Interviewer: For kids.
Evan: I donít even think itís for kids, I
think itís for tax write-off. I really think that thing is a complete
Interviewer: I know the writers of the movies
were very upset about it.
Evan: I donít blame them! Itís like
Interviewer: (Regarding the comic books)
You did it for a year, itís over now . . . how did you feel about it?
Are you happy with your work?
Evan: Yeah, Iím happy with most of my work
on it. Iím actually kind of sad about it ending because I came up with a
lot of characters in it. I didnít want to just have them time travel, I
just decided to make it a real fantasy and I wanted to make it a kidís book
for adults and an adult book kids could like. Iím upset it was kind of
pushed not at all, and if it was it was pushed as a kidís book.
You know, the sales department actually did try to do stuff within Marvel but
really, the retailers didnít want to see it.
Interviewer: They put it in the kidsí
Evan: Or if they ordered it at all. I
mean, it sold as bad as some independents sell! Itís very sad. If
0.05 (percent) of the people who saw the movies bought it, it would have been
the best selling comic around but it just doesnít happen that way, I donít
understand that. But the thing is since (the studios) own everything I did
I canít even write or draw any of the characters again. But the book
itself was a lot of fun. Iíll be quite honest about it, I did it
initially just for commercial purposes. But I grew very fond of the
book. I put a lot into it, I put a lot of characters into it, I told
stories and I donít think I talked down to any people in the audience.
And the sad thing about it is if it was not cancelled I could go back to it in a
few months after burning out. That would be the perfect thing to go back
to and get a few months checks out of it but have a good time. I didnít
really have too many more stories . . . I was supposed to only do it for five
issues . . . then I ended up just having more stories. And I enjoyed
working on it. They gave me a free hand. They didnít b**** that I
drew the characters not exactly like them or like the animated ones . . . (those
who own the licensing) actually stopped complaining too much after a while.
Interviewer: Yeah, Ďcause at first they
were kind of coming down on you.
Evan: They didnít really seem to like
anything I was doing but I think after a while they realized it was getting
cancelled so to h*** with it. I donít know what the deal was, but you
know I almost wish they ripped off stuff and that people, you know, did they
take anything to the TV series, because they do that sometimes . . . they have
the right to . . . and I wouldnít complain. Iím not egotistical enough
to think my work was worth stealing, but I almost wish they did take something
from it so I could at least see it, it would have been funny. The sad
thing is itís a completely dead comic project now and thatís sad. It will
never get revived again.
Interviewer: Youíre about the only (Bill
and Ted licensed) thing still out there.
Evan: Yeah, I know what itís like to be
into something that a lot of people forgot about. Some of the music I like
and stuff . . . it just skates along, itís not a big industry. I think I
really did my best on the thing and I really had a free hand. I improvised
last minute a lot of the pages and stuff. There will be a Fight Man
spin-off even though itís not Bill and Ted, so what Iím thinking of doing is
Iíll have to stick Bill and Ted in a panel somewhere to sc*** (the license
holders), man, because they were just really cheap about certain plots.
Like Issue 11 was supposed to be very different, I donít think itís been out
yet Ė the Lincoln issue. And it just kind of got washed out.
Interviewer: And that was an early idea, wasnít
it? Iím surprised they did it at all.
Evan: Yeah. I held onto it hoping that
theyíd let me do it towards the end of the run . . . thatís the only one
that the plot was redone, (another person) redid it and I was happy with what he
did but itís not what I would have done. I just didnít have time to
redo it. What I ended up doing was I put in a plot and then I wouldnít
stick to it, thatís really what it was. I put in a lot of comments in
there that they havenít caught. I had a really good time with it.
Iím glad itís over Ďcause Iím burnt from the monthly schedule. But
out of every book at Marvel I think that was the one I was most adept at
doing. And a lot of people really, I mean . . . it got nominated for an
Eisner award . . . a lot of people have been coming over and saying "Look,
Iím sorry to see it go." The nicest comment was a lot of people who
read Pirate Corp$ and my other books, they got it because it was my style
and I donít put out that many books and they said "You know, look, Iím
really surprised I liked it." Iím surprised I liked it, that
I liked working on it so much. Thatís why I did that big two-page spread
with every character in the book saying goodbye. It was basically thanks
from all of us who were in the book, thanks a lot, they were real vocal, the
letters were really good and the fans seemed to really like it, Ďcause itís
not a book that would ever be worth money. It was a really good experience
and itís a shame the book didnít do better. I felt it was a real
different book for Marvel.
Interviewer: Well, theyíre great characters
to work with.
Evan: Well, they were pliable. Itís
not so much the characters so much as how they react to everything going around,
so if you provide a lot of really stupid things that they deadpan . . . I like
the deadpan aspect of the characters. Iím not a big fan of Bill and Ted,
I donít even like the music, but I really found the characters easy to
write. You just make them see something amazing that would make the
average person drink a beer or drop dead and then they just go "Whoa, cheap
looking . . . " You know, like they see the big bang and they think
Interviewer: Whatís your favorite
issue? Which one are you most proud of?
Evan: Nine. Nine and ten. Nine
because it was the best self-contained . . . well, I can count the DeNomolos
ones Ďcause I really like those a lot Ďcause DeNomolos was actually the best
character to write. Whenever I wrote him I used the character from the
movie because they used him well. They could have used him a lot more . .
. that actorís very funny.
Interviewer: Oh yeah. They threw him
Evan: I like anything Death. Death was
great and DeNomolos was great. And I guess nine because it was the most
bizarre but it had a really nice ending and it was real self-contained . . . I
think that was the most successful. I think the coloring evened out on
that one because the coloring was choppy here and there. Marie Severin
inks really well. And I think ten because it made fun of the superhero
comics that killed the book. So nine and ten . . . and twelve!