The Outhouse's own John Lewis Hawk interviews writer/artist Michael Oeming, co-creator of Powers
and the new series Rapture
For your reading pleasure, here is an interview with writer/artist Michael Oeming (Powers, Rapture, Thor). Enjoy:
The Outhouse: To start things off, your next project is called Rapture. What is it about?
Michael Oeming: Every bad break up feels like the end of the world, but this one actually is! Super hero battles have been raging for years, and finally the war takes all the champions off of the planet. No one knows where they went or if they will be back. Like the biblical Rapture, all the chosen people are swept from the Earth and only us cursed mortals are left. In the wake of the battle, the planet is left in ruins and Evelyn Town, who has just broke up with her lover Gil, finds herself on the other side of the United States instantly regretting her decision to break up with him. She is chosen by fate to be the worlds sole Champion, and she accepts the power only for the hope of reuniting with Gil.
There's lots of parallels between accepting the responsibility and power that comes with loving relationship as well as accepting the power of a hero. Oh, and there's cannibals.
Outhouse: What's it like working with your wife, Taki Soma, on Rapture?
Oeming: A dream come true. Sharing my life, artistically and creatively is a dream. Part of our vows to each other (our wedding made news- here
) was a life full of love, respect and creativity. We work well together, our strengths balance and compliment each other. She's a hell of a writer. She's doing layouts on Rapture, pushing me to do more daring layouts and camera angles. That approach is seeping out into my other works as well, like Powers. You can see more of her work here at http://www.takisoma.com./
Outhouse: If you could write or draw for any company during any period in comic book history (excluding now), who and when would it be?
Oeming: Wow, that's a great question. There's the historic thing, I mean how cool would it be to got back to the early 60's with the mighty Marvel boom or maybe earlier for the Golden Age? Bendis and I jokingly kick ourselves about not having Powers out during the early Image explosion, but to be honest... I wouldn't change my life like that, going back in time and all. The good stuff, the hard stuff, the bland stuff is all the things that make now NOW, so I wouldn't change any of that.
Outhouse: Recently, it was announced that FX is planning on making the pilot for a TV show based on your and Bendis's comic Powers. Also, Cartoon Network is working on a movie based on Mice Templar. What are your thoughts when a comic book project of your's gets greenlighted to be adapted for another form of media? Any concerns?
Oeming: No concerns. My comic is my comic, they buy the rights to make their version of it. No matter how much we are involved in it or not, it will always be their version. We want to see the best films and movies possible, but in the end my only true concern is to continue to make the best comics I can. I make a good living at it, so all the TV and film stuff is just awesome extra on top of an already awesome life.
Outhouse: How does being an artist help when you're writing a script that someone else is going to draw? Any advice you have for hopeful comic book writers out there on how to make their artists happy while working on a project?
Oeming: Always play to your artists strengths, while pushing them at the same time. Write visually, but don't try and draw with your words. I also enjoy speaking directly to the artists I'm writing for, it excites them and engages them, encouraging them to do their best!
Outhouse: Going along that same tangent, are there things you've noticed in someone else's writing, scripting, or drawing that someone who specializes in only one field and most fans would miss?
Oeming: I love that Bendis writes what characters are thinking- not just what they are saying but what they are thinking. Only the artist drawing the book sees that. It helps me "act" the characters. I think when fans DO get to peek at his scripts, this is something they often point out, they love it.
Outhouse: What are some inspirations for you outside of the world of comics that influence your writing and/or illustrating?
Oeming: Music. Music keeps me focused while I work and often directly inspires the work. In Ship of Fools, you'll find lyrics by Johnny Cash, in Thor and Hammer of the Gods you'll see Led Zeppelin abound and in Rapture, there are some Bright Eyes lyrics that slip in as partial dialogue. Film storyboards and writing are a big influence as well.
Outhouse: Most of your Marvel writing work has been mythology-based. What is it about the mythology in comics that interests you? Also, is there any ancient mythologies or parts of ancient mythology that you would like to see more focus on in comics?
Oeming: Before I was in love with comics, I always had an interest in Mythology. I can't say I know where it comes from, maybe watching Clash of the Titans as a kid? I remember in early grade school always reading about the Greek Gods. Later it was the Norse Gods and Celtic myth. I studied lots of Joseph Campbell and integrated a lot of that into writing. Thor and Hammer of the Gods were a big mix of Campbell and Robert McKee. Id love to write more about the Greek Gods, in fact, I'll be making some announcements about that later... after the relaunch of MICE TEMPLAR: DESTINY.
Outhouse: Finally, you have a schoolbus, a midget with a stuttering problem, and Batman's utlity belt, what evil plans are you coming up with right now?
Oeming: Hmm, swing by http://www.michaeloeming.com/
and find out!
Rapture #1 by Michael Oeming and Taki Soma comes out on May 27th from Dark Horse. To discuss this interview, go to the forums, ya noob.