Jay Spence Interviews Peter Milligan About Terminal Hero #3

Jay Spence, writer of the Bad Kitty one shot, talks with Peter Milligan about Terminal Hero #3, both on sale now.

TerminalHero03CovLeeJay Spence: What made you choose Terminal Hero as a title and how does it personally "translate" for you?

Peter Milligan: I think it's risky having such a potentially depressing word as "terminal" in the title but it was important. Rory — the story's hero — gets told he has terminal cancer right at the beginning and it's this that drives the story. And I liked the idea of using the "hero". Hero is a much bandied about word — especially in America, and I think it's often misused. Rory does emerge as a kind of hero, but very different from the kind of hero that comics usually portray.

JS: How long does it typically take you to build an original project like this from first outline to the complete first draft of issue #1? Do you usually focus on one story at a time or do you tend to split your time among several projects in different stages of completion?

Layout 1PM: It's impossible to say. There's no set time. A story usually has what you might call a "pre-history": an idea, a passing notion, or maybe something that angers or happens to me. That could happen a long time before you get around to using those initial thoughts or feelings. But once it has coalesced into a story idea I'm pretty quick. If I'm starting a new story I try to have some concentrated effort. But the nature of writing is that one tends to be working on a few things at the same time. Sometimes it's about finding a good period of time so you can do some serious thinking and mapping out.

JS: As a comic writer, do you feel you're typically very thorough and exact with describing the action and framing from panel-to-panel or do you tend to be more vague and allow the artist to translate the details on their own?

Layout 1PM: Talking to other writers and artists, I think I probably veer more towards the exact description of panels and pages. I do have an idea of how I want the page to look and read. But I'm always happy for artists to be creative — so long as they're doing it to better tell the story, and not just for the sake of it.

JS: On most projects, what do you feel is the biggest challenge for you when working with the editor/artist to proof and adjust the art before it's final?

PM: Sometimes the biggest challenge is time. As you know, if one person is a little late, for whatever reason, that can ripple down the chain.

For more on Terminal Hero, click here.

About Dan Wickline

Has quietly been working at Bleeding Cool for over three years. He has written comics for Image, Top Cow, Shadowline, Avatar, IDW, Dynamite, Moonstone, Humanoids and Zenescope. He is the author of the Lucius Fogg series of novels and a published photographer.