Thanks to Jim for suggesting that I contact Paul about an interview following his comment on my review of Logan's Run: Last Day #1. It took a little while for me to get some questions together, but when we finally got around to it we really went to town. I hope you like the results. This interview was conducted by e-mail via an ever-growing Word file between 2010 Mar 20 and Mar 23.
Matthew: I certainly want to get into some personal background information, but let’s jump right into talking about the Logan’s Run: Last Day project first.
I understand that this is the first of three 6-part mini-series adapting the William Nolan novels, correct?
Paul: Actually, It’s four 6-part series. I just started writing the 2nd Series called LOGAN’S RUN: AFTERMATH
Matthew: Great! I’m glad to hear that there’s another chapter. Will there be any publishing break between each series or can I plan to see it every month in my pull box for the next two years?
Paul: As of now there will be no break between the first and second series (AFTERMATH#1 starts in July). We will see how my schedule is after series two. Though I would like to just keep chugging ahead full steam.
Matthew: What’s your history with the Logan character (novel, movie, comic, or TV show)? Also, what’s the #1 thing you did or didn’t like about the movie?
Paul: I’ve been a fan of LOGAN’S RUN since I was 6 years old and saw it as a double bill with STAR WARS at a drive-in Theater in Cape Cod, MA. I’ve seen the movie at least 30 times and have read the first book at least 3 times (if not more at this point). I vaguely remember the TV series.
I happen to like the idea that there is no Sanctuary in the movie. In the book Sanctuary is a space station revolving the Earth. I was able to have my cake and eat it too in the comic, Sanctuary is still a real location but it’s not what is expected and ultimately Sanctuary’s a state of mind (I don’t think I’m giving anything away by saying that).
Matthew: I’m really anxious to see how you work that out.
Matthew: For those of us (like me) that have only seen the 1976 movie or the TV show, where do the novels take us that the movie didn’t? If that won’t give too much away…I want to be surprised as the story unfolds.
Paul: There’s many similarities, but also as many differences. Ultimately both the movie and the book are about redemption, but Logan’s journey in the book takes him on a longer quest and through some more unusual locales. And like I mentioned above, Sanctuary exists as a physical location in the novel.
Matthew: I know you’ve been given some leeway to add some elements of your own, so I’ve just got to know…the black facemask…is that an original concept from the novel or was that your idea?
Paul: The facemask was 100% William F Nolan’s idea. He felt that was really missing from the movie, that the DS men were faceless killers. I loved it, because it really re-enforced thematic elements that I wanted to explore and let’s face it, it’s pretty darn cool!
Matthew: I really liked how the black facemask in the comic seemed to be a similar design to the white facemasks that the Carousel participants wear in the film. I’m not sure this memory is 100% accurate, but I’m pretty sure that when I was wearing my Logan’s Run Sandman costume for Halloween, I had a black (rip-off) Star Wars stormtrooper helmet to go with it, never realizing that the two actually went together until now.
Paul: The Carousel masks in the movie are just plain ‘ol hockey masks, these new DS Operative Helmets are more akin to a stormtrooper helmet.
Matthew: What sort of things are you adding? Are they primarily updates to be futuristic based on the technology of today (rather than when the novel was written) or are you also modifying the pacing, plot, and/or characterization to work better in a comic?
Paul: I feel like I’ve brought a very updated cinematic approach to the story and streamlined it quite a bit. I have retained most of the elements from the first book and some elements from the second book (LOGAN’S WORLD) and weaved a new narrative. I also feel like I’ve updated the characters a little and strengthened their motivations. One way I was able to do this was by really delving into Logan’s past so you see how and why he became who he was. At the beginning of the comic, Logan is not a nice guy and this gave me a very clear course for his eventual redemption. Nolan, Jason Brock and myself also crafted a newly revised “Future History” that tries to make it clear how society got to this point. That is something I’m personally very proud of, because it has logic to it.
Matthew: How was the artist selected for this project? You guys seem to work so well together --The pacing of issue #1 was incredible. Do you write out detailed scripts or do you and the artist collaborate the “Marvel Way”?
Paul: Daniel Gete’s artwork is amazing. He was chosen by Darren G. Davis at Bluewater and what a great decision that was. As far as how Daniel and I work, I provide him with a pretty detailed script, but it’s made clear that’s it’s only a guideline for him. 9 times out of 10 he’s typically drawing how I imagined it in my head, but he has full authority by me to change things up if he feels it’s necessary and there are times that he’ll take something I’ve written and turn it on its head creating an incredible look and feel that just absolutely blows me away. I love the way he breaks frames and his POV on some scenes is genius. I’m lucky to have such a great artist onboard.
Matthew: You know, I’m really glad to hear this. I was afraid that the creative process might have been one-sided. Please tell me that Daniel’s on-board for all four mini-series! Can you ask if he’s interested in selling any of his original art? Will you try to purchase some for yourself?
Paul: I would love Daniel to do all four series, but it all depends on his schedule and availability. Because of the rigorous timetable there is a different artist doing Issue#5, but then Daniel is finishing up the series with Issue#6. This is no slight on the new artist (I have not seen his art yet) but it would have been great for Daniel to do all 6, but it’s just not physically possible and stay on schedule.
I don’t know if he does (or can) sell any of the Logan art. I believe it would be the property of Bluewater comics.
Matthew: How did you get involved in the project? Did you bring Logan’s Run to Bluewater or did Bluewater bring you to the project? Did Boom Studios’ graphic telling of Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep have any influence on producing this story now or was it already “in the works”? Are there plans to collect each mini-series or should we make sure we get the “floppies”?
Paul: I had been writing for Bluewater for a good half a year when Darren got the license for LOGAN. He just flat out offered it to me and when I regained consciousness, I accepted. What an amazing opportunity this is and the ability to work alongside William F. Nolan, one of the greatest and most influential science-fiction authors of all time. Well, that’s priceless. Boom Studios’ Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep is an entirely different animal than Logan. From what I understand it is a 100% faithful adaptation of the prose, more akin to an illustrated book than a comic book interpretation. Logan is a reboot of sorts using the original source material as a jumping off point.
There are plans to release all four series as Trade Paperbacks a few months after each series wraps up, but with that said we do hope you will support the floppies.
Matthew: No problem there, I’ll be getting the single-issues and you’re tempting me to get the trades now too.
Paul: I understand there’s going to be a few cool surprises with the Trade Paperback editions. I don’t think I’m at liberty to discuss them, but one is a new foreword written for the edition by a famous sci-fi author (not William F. Nolan).
Come back next week for Part 2.
Meanwhile get your local comic shop to backorder issue 1 for you and remember issue 2 should be out this Wednesday, March 31st!