Local Q&A – Greg Rucka
Last night I was able to attend a signing/q&a session with prolific writer Greg Rucka at Houston bookstore Murder by the Book. If you live in the Houston area and are into any sort of crime fiction you would be a total idiot not to check out their store as it is just a fine establishment. I recommend it with every fiber of my being.
Anyhow, Mr. Rucka was appearing last night to discuss his latest novel, an entry into the Queen & Country series which he launched at Oni Press with a series of comics that evolved into a series of novels. It’s one of the few instances where a comic character gets a novel and it doesn’t seem trite. I see novels about Superman and while I understand the appeal, at the same time it feels odd. Like a turkey riding a horse. Terrible analogy, but it stays.
Mr. Rucka started off by giving an explanation of what the series was all about and a little bit about how he likes to work as a writer, which for me was basically like porn because as someone who’s desperately trying to find an ending to his novel Mr. Rucka’s explanations gave me a nudge in the right direction. Coming from someone who has been writing for the better part of two decades, even the simplest explanations of process can be illuminating.
The Q&A was fun and informative, with a healthy dose of questions posed about both his prose work as well as his dealings in the comic industry, which I found refreshing in their candor. Mr. Rucka obviously has no reason to hold back now that he’s almost exclusively writing novels or his own independent creator-owned books for Oni Press. He reiterated what a lot of people have been saying that so long as comic customers keep purchasing the event-driven books that the product will remain to continue in that vein.
I had the chance to chime in with some questions, mainly since he’s written so many characters of his own creation if there were any characters that he found more difficult to write than others, to which he replied that he didn’t like to write Spider-Man, mainly due to his consistently whiny nature, a problem that Rucka says most Marvel characters share. He went on to explain that he loves the DC characters because of their simplistic elegance, going on to echo my sentiments about Superman that his stories are necessary in order to provide a beacon in a darker world. His enthusiasm for the DC characters really showed through, which makes his departure from the upcoming Batwoman series so disheartening, although he did confide in me that he has seen some of JH Williams’ artwork for the series and that we will be blown away.
He signed a stack of my books, including a copy of his first issue on Detective which I also was able to get signed by Williams a few months back and a copy of the first trade of Gotham Central which has a signature from Michael Lark. Both of these are now lovingly displayed in my office.
I hope he comes back to town as he made a verbal agreement to go out for drinks with myself and a few of my cohorts who attended the event. Unfortunately the man had been up since three in the morning and wasn’t prepared for a night of attempting to drink with Texas folk.