Vaughan & Chiang's "Paper Girls" Builds a Familiar Yet Disconcerting World
Last year, I was lucky enough to interview the man, the myth, the legend himself, Fred Van Lente (along with able assistance by Mer). I did not think I could duplicate such a wonderful interview again, so instead, I asked some of my pals over at Comic Book Resources (namely Sean Whitmore, Stonegold, OzBat!, Paradox and Expletive Deleted) as well as MarkAndrew from this here blog if they could help me come up with some questions for Fred Van Lente this year.
Well, see for yourself.
1. Did you always intend for Cerebus to be 300 issues long?
I had intended to go to 900 issues, but unfortunately becoming a quadruple amputee around issue 180 forced me to end the story with Act I. Drawing with my teeth proved too time-consuming. Fortunately since then I’ve gone on to a rewarding career as a 19th century Cockney beggar. “Spare a tuppence, guv’nor?”
2. Which modern comic book character do you think is closest to your creation, Cerebus?
George W. Bush.
3. If your other creation, Scorpion, were to fight Cerebus , who would win – the Rhino or Hyrdo-Man?
That’s easy — Luba from Love & Rockets.
4. Is it true you’re not working on the new Amazing Spider-Man because you don’t want to make all the other writers look bad?
I quit after they refused my idea to make Amazing come out twice a day, in morning and evening editions. Marvel could have Depression-era newsies standing on every street corner every day with a stack of ‘em, shouting, “Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Somebody dies in this issue! I’m not going to tell you who unless you buy it!” Can you imagine? Sales would have gone through the roof!
5. Do you feel that Fred Van Lente day has become too commercial?
What’s that? Could you speak up? I can barely hear you over all the Fred Van Lente carols being pumped through this Denny’s. And it’s only December 4! What the hell?
6. What’s the best part about being Fred Van Lente? I know there are too many to count, but narrow it down.
Being a wanted war criminal really lands you the chicks, let me tell you.
7. Do your detractors have a tough time thinking of ways to criticize you? I mean, nobody can ever say you’ve jumped the shark, because if Fred Van Lente ever came across a shark, he would just punch that bastard out of the way, wouldn’t he?
Technically, I would use my “pimp hand.”
8. Are there any plans for an Action Philosophers spin-off, to celebrate the best minds of OUR time? The solemn words of Kanye West, George Bush, and Tom Cruise deserve to be celebrated too.
Yes, Ryan and I are calling it “People Magazine”.
9. Obviously, the Nightshade/M.O.D.O.K. romance was *strongly* implied in the mini -series. How long before they go public?
I think she wants to gently break it to her husband, Dr. Manhattan, first.
10. Millard Filmore once said of slavery: “God knows that I detest slavery, but it is an existing evil … and we must endure it and give it such protection as is guaranteed by the Constitution.”
If, God be praised, he were president today, what evil would he replace “slavery” with in this quote?
Those Geico caveman commercials. I mean, c’mon, enough is enough already, right? It’s like I got it the first thousand times, am I right people? Huh? Huh?
11. Will any of the Action Philosophers show up in INCREDIBLE HERC? Could Plato take Hercules in a fight?
No, but he might try to French him.
12. How much erotic M.O.D.O.K. fan-fiction did you read to prepare for SUPERVILLAIN TEAM-UP?
I wrote a lot under the handle “Givinhead616″. You should read the one where Kirk and Spock show up!
13. What’s your stance on abbreviated superhero names? Is using “Spidey” instead of “Spider-Man” a crime against nomenclature?
I hear if you call him “Web Ass” he kicks the shit out of you.
14. What’s your favorite fake swear word? I’m a “sprock” fan, personally.
When my neighbors make too much noise upstairs, I tell them to shove it up their “prawnhole”.
15. When out on a bender…”I LOVE YOU GUYS! **weeps**” or lurk creepily by the women’s restroom?
My friends and I challenge strangers to chicken fights. If they refuse, we vomit on them. If they agree, in the middle of the fight, the guy on top vomits on them.
16. Do you shave your cat with or against the grain?
I use electrolysis. I have three cats, and I love the way the house smells when it’s all done!
17. How often do you fight the urge to break the fourth wall?
I actually had workmen tear mine down. If you look closely at all of my comics, you can see me in the background, beer in hand and gawking slack-jawed at my own creation.
18. Are you a “page half empty” or “page half full” kinda guy?
I’ve been “page half full” guy ever since I asked Marvel to switch to an all-manga format and they refused. So then I just write enough script to fill half a page. HAH! That’ll show them.
19. You’ve finally got the muse happening after a two week writer’s block, it’s 3am when the munchies strike and your fridge is empty! What do you do??
I tell my muse to get off her lazy ass and go on a Taco Bell run or she’ll meet my “pimp hand”.
20. Finally, on this holiest of all holy days – would you come down my chimney if I left out a plate of pizza and beer?
Yes. But I’ll be armed.
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