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Q & A with Ed Brubaker

Interview conducted: August 10, 2000

Ed Brubaker, the newest member of the Bat team, recently took some time to answer some questions about his work and plans for the future.

AJ: First off, can you give us a brief description about yourself. Also what other work have you done prior to BATMAN?

EB: Description? Iím not short, and I wear glasses, and I have hair. Howís that? And Iíve been working in comics for over ten years. I started out writing and drawing alternative comics, mainly a series called Lowlife. I began writing stories for other people to draw in the early 90s, and just sort of kept going. I did a story with Eric Shanower (Age of Bronze) called An  Accidental Death, and that led to working for DC/Vertigo, doing a one-shot called Prez: Smells like Teen President. About three years later I did a mystery comic for Vertigo called Scene of the Crime, which is currently out in trade paperback, and was nominated for two Eisner Awards, including Best Writer. I currently do a monthly for Vertigo called Deadenders.

AJ: What is your take on Batman.?

EB: Not a very surprising one, probably. I enjoy a tortured character, so Batman is a real treat to write. Iíve really been exploring different aspects of his legend, and trying to bring in some themes that resonate back to who he is and why. If that makes sense.

AJ: In addition to Batman, you will also be writing for CATWOMAN. Since the title's creation, there have been
at least half a dozen writers who have each brought something new to the character. What can CATWOMAN fans
expect to see in your run on the title.?

EB: More mystery and crime. I plan to make Catwoman the best crime comic on the market. Iím going to draw her back to her beginnings, and have her inhabit that gray area between right and wrong. Sheíll also be smart and capable, and not a stupid clepto with a tail who always has to kiss everyone. I plan to make it an intelligent comic.

AJ: Can you tell us how you got the writing job for BATMAN and CATWOMAN. Were you picked or did someone
recommend you?

EB: Iíd worked with Bob Schreck at Dark Horse, and Iíd written a Gotham Elseworlds for Mike Carlin. So it was not too surprising to me to get the job. They both like the work Iíve done for them. The Catwoman thing came about because of working on Batman and doing things that editor Matt Idelson must have liked, because he offered me the job.

AJ: You spoke highly of Scott McDaniel on the DC
message boards. Have you met any of the other Bat-writers and artists? If so what are your thoughts on them?

EB: Iíve met Greg Rucka, who is becoming a good friend of mine. And Rick Burchett, who is a very nice guy and a hell of a cartoonist. I like what Greg is doing on Detective, probably the most of all the Batbooks right now, mainly because Iím new to the monthly continuity, and Greg and I both come
from a mystery background.

AJ: If Scott McDaniel wasn't available, which artist
would you like to work with ?

EB: Too many to name. Iíve been blessed with good collaborators Ė Michael Lark and Sean Phillips, Warren Pleece, Eric Shanower, Jason Lutes. My first pick to draw the Batman would probably be Michael Lark, if Scott were to leave.
But I love working with Scott.

AJ: You've stated that the Penguin will appear in your
stories. Can we expect to see some of the other well
known villains in your stories ?

EB: Not too much. In my third issue I have a brief Two-Face appearance, along with many others. I also created a new villain in my first two issues, who will hopefully come back, possibly in Catwoman, who knows?

AJ: Can you give us a preview of the Batman/Gordon
special stories that you will be writing.

EB: No. The first one concerns Batman and Gordonís relationship during the first few months of the original Robinís tenure, and it also features Mister Freeze. The next is a study of their relationship after the Killing Joke and Death in the Family. They are both somewhat character studies.

AJ: Besides Batman what other comic characters would
you like to try writing?

EB: I donít really think that way, honestly? I didnít grow up wanting to write other peopleís characters. I just do the job Iím given, try to do my best, and enjoy it. I like the Phantom Stranger, and a few other DC characters, such as the silver age Rip Hunter, Time Master. Those are two I could think of stories for easily.

AJ: Lately there seems to be a lot of talk that the comic industry is slowly dying. Do you agree with this? also what do you think is the key to keeping the industry alive.

EB: I donít know if itís dying. It does seem to be in a hard time, but I think itís turning around. Itís sort of a time of attrition, for both stores and comics. We may lose some good ones of each, but I think in the end weíll adapt and survive. I think the shift towards trade paperbacks is a good trend thatíll help the industry grow.

AJ: What are your thoughts about the Batman movies?
also what are your thoughts on the next movie which
will be based on BATMAN: YEAR ONE.

EB: Is that true? I donít know. The first Batman was pretty good at the time, but I wouldnít want to watch it again, really. I suppose a movie of Year One could be good, depending on who directs and writes it.

AJ: I'd like to end this interview by giving a few
names and you respond by giving a word or sentence
that comes to mind when you hear these names.

AJ: -Greg Rucka

EB: Meticulous research and real characters. The only writer I enjoy collaborating with.

AJ: -Bob Schreck

EB: A great editor and friend.

AJ: -Dennis O'Neil

EB: Never met the man. I guess his name makes me think of Brave and Bold.

AJ: -Frank Miller

EB: Batman Year One. Daredevil. A very important person in the development of modern comics.

AJ: -Jeph Loeb.

EB: The reason Iíll never get to work with Tim Sale.