An DC:UNG Email Interview with
William Messner-Loebs

DCUNG: What first got you interested in comics, both as a hobby and as a career?

WML: Well, I had read comics all through my childhood, but I read the Great comic book heroes by Jules Feiffer and that really inspired me. Just his description of the Spirit seemed to call out to me. Shortly thereafter, I found the Harvey reissues of the Spirit, and immediately began to copy them. Then, when I was trying to be a lawyer at Wayne State in Detroit, I was exposed to the undergrounds in the headshops there, and that seemed to be the sort of thing I not only COULD do, but actually WANTED to do.

DCUNG: What was your first professional work in comics?

WML: Depending on your definition of "professional", I guess it would be for POWER COMICS in Lansing, Michigan. It was a small, criminal-led enterprise that lasted the summer and still owes me about 400 bucks. I did the Mask for them and Mike Gustovich taught me how to ink, and Joe Zabel taught me how to tell a story.

DCUNG: What's in store for Impulse? Life Story of the Flash hinted at some dark things to come for Impulse.

WML: We'll life is short and dark and then you die, so I guess something could happen.

DCUNG: What's this about an evil twin and Impulse losing a friend?

WML: Hey, and two new issues of Impulse get written, just like that!

DCUNG: Will Arrowette be returning soon? An Internet rumor says that she'll join Young Justice. Your thoughts?

WML: I think she'd be great in there. I'm not in the nominating committee, however. I do have a vague notion for her in a future issue of Impulse, however.

DCUNG: Will Bart and Carol ever hook up and date?

WML: We're trying to follow Waid's Second Law of Impulse,to wit: Bart is 2 years old in an adolescent body. And two year olds don't date.

DCUNG: How will having Impulse in Young Justice affect the tone and stories of his own book?

WML: We have been talking about some possible crossovers, but other than that, not much. I like the take they have on Impulse over there, but I'm too old and set in my ways to listen to anybody much.

DCUNG: Since you took over the book, the comedic level has started to overshadow nearly every other element of the book, to the point that I couldn't really envision Impulse appearing in Flash or vice versa. Will that be changing anytime soon? I noticed with the Glory Slasher story that it was a change, with a comedic main story but a more substantial, somber story underneath. Will this become the norm?

WML: I think some of the stories, the Flood and the Mom in the Mental Ward were pretty serious. I'm trying to find a mix of different kinds of stories,but weighted in favor of comedy, since that's what makes Impulse unique.

DCUNG: On that note, there's an Internet rumor that Waid and Ramos are returning to the book soon. Is that true, or will you and Loebs be with us for a while?

WML: We're here for the duration, according to everyone I've asked. Hope that's true. Ramos is drawing Young Heroes in Love, the opening shot of Young Justice, so that may be where the rumor got started.

DCUNG: Since this site focuses on the teen heroes of the DCU, let's find out your feelings on some of DC's teens heroes. Robin? Damage? Wonder Girl? Impulse? Jurgen's Titans? Captain Marvel Jr.?

WML: Hmm. I admired the way they designed Robin, to make him viable as a hero again, and not just a "boy target". I don't really know the rest.

DCUNG: Why do you think teen heroes (especially sidekicks) are becoming popular again?

WML: I think because they're being treated as indepentent entities, not as sidekicks. In my misspent youth, they WERE sidekicks, which meant they were constantly screwing up and being lectured by the hero. I hated that. You'll notice now they spend as little time with the hero as possible. You see, either they are as competent as the hero, and therefore, why do we need HIM? or they incompetent victims and have no reason to be there at all. Separate books for everyone, says I!

DCUNG: Which comics or characters would you most like to have a chance to do?

WML: I've never done Hal Jordon to any real degree, and now it looks like I won't get the chance. I'm not sure I understand the new guy. I'm talking about doing a character or two over on the Vertigo side, but nothing's been decided yet. At this point I'm more interested in coming up with original characters.

DCUNG: Any future plans or projects we should be looking for?

WML: Craig's done a pretty good job of summarizing our Impulse plans. I'm working on a new project with Aaron Warner of THE AMAZING ADVENTURES OF AARON. And Marvel is just releasing a 2 volume set of early Civil War battles I worked on. Steve Lieber (my partner on Hawkman)and I are talking about a new project. And I'll be releasing BLISS ALLEY as a collection as soon as I finish the last story. WAR DRUMS (the latest Journey Series) is also going to be released as a collection. AND Craig and I may be doing something together as well, apart from Impulse. Time will tell.

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