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 first movie.

Interviewer: No, thatís okay.  Have you seen the second movie?

Evan: Yes!

Interviewer: Okay.  Finally!  ĎCause 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 mess.

Interviewer: I know the writers of the movies were very upset about it.

Evan: I donít blame them!  Itís like cat litter.

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 section.

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 itís dumb.

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 away.

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!