Six days ago, comic book writer Si Spurrier did an Ask Me Anything AMA session on Reddit for the first time, talking about – well, pretty much anything. We learned more about DC Comics' cancellation of Hellblazer which he previously talked about at length.
My stupid, colossal f-cking mistake was to assume I was still living in the 90's when comics got at least a couple dozen issues to flex their muscles and find their fullest audience before anyone even quibbled about profitability.
And planning more work with Hellblazer artist Aaron Campbell.
Obviously I have to be circumspect about detail. I am indeed working on a couple of new projects with elements of my Hellblazer creative team. Probably more on that later. As of right now, these projects do not include more Hellblazer. Yes, I'm grumpy about that too.
Aaron and I continue to work together — we hope to have something to say about that soon — and if there's ever even the slightest chink of light that leads us back to John, you can be sure we'll take it.
On what his plans for Constantine would have been (spoilers locked back to white space).
I had the next arc of Hellblazer very vaguely figured. I don't want to elaborate too much just in case we DO ever get the chance to go back there, but the title was "Dead In America". It followed John, Noah and Nat as they fled across the pond to the States, where John tricks the others into a big important task which (naturally) is in fact about saving his own skin. Or, in this case, in [SPOILERS FOR THE END OF MY HELLBLAZER RUN] …restoring his reanimated but still very much dead body to life before it rots beyond repair. Tentative plans to involve a certain plant-based individual in the Louisiana swamps, the delightful Clarice Sackville, and the long-lost obsidian cone worshipped by the Emepror Elagabulus in Rome a couple thousand years ago. Fun fun fun.
The DC Comics character he'd most like to write;
Metron is the greatest character DC doesn't know it's got.
As well as Green Lantern plans;
I actually had a f-cking magnificent Black Label pitch in, with one of my favourite artists, which was all about separating the GL mythos from current DCU continuity in a really cute respectful way, and telling a completely bonkers psychedelic sci-fi story about memory, loss and absolute power. We all loved it, editors included, but it was deemed too hard a sell. We live in the midst of market conditions which sometimes seem taylor-made to fuck with storytellers like me who aren't very good at doing the Obvious Thing.
But also why he isn't writing for DC Comics Universe books after Hellblazer, Dreaming and Justice League right now;
Honestly no idea who to harass for such things, these days. There have been such huge earthquakes within the DCU editorial community – so many excellent people have lost their jobs – and I haven't yet had the chance to figure out who's where. I confess to being a smidge butthurt, after the Eisner-nominated Dreaming and my Hellblazer run, which was the single best reviewed comic by aggregate on US shelves for ten months in a row – that nobody approached me to contribute to the awesome new stuff going on in the DCU right now. I tried on several occasions to contact editors, without much luck. The charitable view is that everyone over there was so busy and stressed I slipped through the gaps. The paranoid view is that I've pissed off someone somewhere up the line, who knows? I did have one very cool project all lined up to go – this was even before Hellblazer went down the tubes – but that all fell apart at the last post around the same time Didio left the building. Honestly, I have no idea what happened. As luck would have it Marvel came along with a couple of projects at just the right moment, and my incredible editors at DC Black Label continue to see me right. So it's all okay. Long story short: I'd absolutely love to do some more DCU stuff, and I have more huge ideas than you'd believe. But wanting and getting are, apparently, not the same thing.
The current state of the industry;
Give me a forgotten weird IP and let me loose. That's exactly why Swamp Thing is as big as it is. Sandman too, to an extent. Sadly the days when that was a sensible approach to making comics are behind us. Now it's extremely rare than a company will greenlight a series about which they can't make at least some eductated guesses re: its sales. Big character name or big creator name or both. Welcome to the direct market. I keep hoping the digital market will reverse that trend, make things more experimental, open up more opportunities to catch unforeseen lightning in bottles. We're getting there, maybe?
His plans for a big DC Comics Crossover;
DC crossover? I am absolutely not going to share my big idea here. Do I have one? Yes. Very much so.
And his current work schedule;
Currently working flat-out on, let's see, five different comics, in various stages of production, and two supersecret screen-based things. No freaking idea where the future's gonna take me, except that I itch dreadfully to do more and better in all these fields. In particular – because my brain is evil – in whichever fields I'm not currently working.
As well as his plans for the Marvel comic book Way Of X
Nemesis is probably my favourite Marvel character to write. He will very much be a core part of WoX. And he has gone through some, shall we say, changes, since we last met him.
But this seemed rather nicely timed with the launch of The King In Black: Black Knight #1 this week, drawn by Jesus Saiz.
Including not just one plug for Reddit forums…
… but two. Si Spurrier looks like he did his research before doing the AMA. Say, I wonder if he bought any shares in GameStop?