Chris Roberson Saved The Man Of Steel

I started working in the local comic shop a few months into Grounded. If you weren’t aware Superman lost his faith in the country and in himself and decided to walk across the country. This was a big thing since J.M.S. was writing it and they even ran a contest for Superman to visit different states and have adventures. We had a giant poster for it and everything.
The problem was this wasn’t Superman. Superman wasn’t being Superman. He’d been really beaten up about losing New Krypton but that was not Superman! Superman walking across the country is not Superman. The fundamental ideas of the Man of Steel were being challenged.
I learned about how bad Grounded was when people talked about Superman being a jerk – it didn’t make sense. When Superman yells at you for expressing distaste in what he does that is not Superman. That is not the archetypal defender of the common people, the anti-establishment hero taking down corruption so that freedom could grow.
I ended up ignoring Superman. When people asked for books I told them All Star Superman but to avoid the comic. It was sad because Superman shouldn’t be a hard person to write for. He is a person who above all believes in good. He is a person who so willingly gives of himself that he would die to save one person he might not even know. He is a person who will fight for those who can’t fight. He isn’t a petty person who gets angry like he was in the comics.
So when I heard Chris Roberson had taken over to do a good job I was surprised. I opened up his first issue and on that first page – he was faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. He was showing that trifecta of righteous powers. Soon after the Legion of Supermen literally came and said “Superman, you aren’t well. Something is wrong.” And they told the truth.
In the following issues, Superman became Superman again. Following loose instructions from corporate, Chris Roberson reforged the hero. He healed the wounds. He added support and he even shined up his past. He started saving people. He saw his friends in the Justice League, he met up with Super Chief. He had flashback about Lex Luthor stealing 40 cakes. And he hit on Truth, Justice and the American Way. When Superman came out, I was ready for it. More so than All-Star Superman, more so than Superman: The Animated Series, Chris Roberson turning around Grounded made Superman mean something to me. He made me day on those Wednesdays. I laughed, I shared and in the end I cried. Thank you Chris.

If you weren’t aware, Chris Roberson recently severed ties with DC Comics after ending his series iZombie. Besides a pre-agreed run for Fairest, he won’t be working with DC Comics anymore.
Because he doesn’t agree with how they treat creators. Because he looks at what happened to Siegel and Schuster and doesn’t like it. Because he sees Alan Moore asking a company he helped to remake screw him over time and time again. Because Chris Roberson is in many ways a Superman. He’s not just taking to the comments and complaining. He is not falling in line with corporate policy. I respect Mr. Roberson for that and I look forward to the magic that he will continue to bring in the future.

Thank you Chris.

Real Interviews – Chris Roberson

Greetings Chris Roberson of iZombie, Starborn, Elric, Fables: Cinderella, Superman, Superman/Batman and a load of other stories and comics. How are you doing?

I’m dandy, thanks!

For those people who are unfortunately unfamiliar with your work, is there any recurring theme through your work?

There are probably more recurring themes than I’m aware of, actually. I find that there are the things that the writer includes consciously, and then a whole lot of OTHER stuff that happens without the writer even noticing. My stories tend to deal with memories quite a bit, I find, either losing them or recovering them, or both. I also tend to take familiar character types or clichéd story tropes and try to do things interesting with them (I leave it to the reader to judge whether I’m successful at that or not). Also, talking animals.

Your new series Memorial which I haven’t been able to pick up yet has been getting a lot of buzz, you have a wonderful art team though. How would you pitch the series to someone so they pick it up?

Memorial the story of a young woman who arrives at a hospital one day with no memory of her previous life, and no clue to her identity other than a necklace she wears with the letter “M” engraved on it. A year later, she has managed to build something like a life for herself, with a job, an apartment, and friends, but she continued to search for clues to her previous identity. One day she notices a strange antique shop down an alleyway, one that she’s passed a million times and never noticed before. And it turns out to be one of those mysterious shops where you might buy a gremlin or a cursed monkey’s paw, and when you go to return the offending item, the store isn’t there anymore. Well, our heroine goes into the shop, and when she comes back out, she’s somewhere else. And that’s where the story starts. Tonally, it’s like Doctor Who meets Sandman by way of Miyazaki, with art by a supremely talented newcomer named Rich Ellis.
Also, there is a talking cat.

You ended up working on the last Superman arc taking it from a rather precarious position into what is honestly my favorite Superman story – it was those issues that got me to see Superman as an interesting character again. If you were the option to write for Superman again would you?

Thanks, I’m delighted to hear that you enjoyed it! The chance to write Superman for eight months was a childhood dream come true.
I knew when I took the job that it would only be for eight months, but I couldn’t help working out what I WOULD do with the book if I stayed on. I mapped out a couple of years’ worth of storylines, and actually started planting seeds in my eight issues of Superman that I could come back to, if given the chance. This was before I knew anything about the relaunch, of course, and as it happens very little of what I had in mind would work without the character’s past continuity to draw on. So I guess it just wasn’t meant to be!

From your Twitter and a few other sources, I’ve picked up that you are a big fan of cartoons and animated series. What are some of your all time favorites?

My list of favorites is a weird mix of stuff. I love Futurama, Cowboy Beebop, The Venture Bros., Secret Saturdays, Adventure Time, and Scooby Doo: Mystery Inc. And I’ll always have a soft-spot for old Hanna-Barbera adventure cartoons of the late 60s, anything Jay Ward did, the classic Looney Tunes, and so on. Basically, I like anything GOOD.

If you were given full creative control over a superhero or character and didn’t need to follow established conventions – i.e. you got to define the characters completely from scratch if you wanted, what series would you like to write?

My first instinct is actually a character that I don’t believe has appeared in comics before, but was created by a group of comic book legends: Thundarr The Barbarian. That could be a lot of fun to try!

With more and more mainstream artists starting up webcomics, have you considered trying your hand at the webcomics game?

I’m intrigued by the possibilities of digital comics in general, both webcomics and digital delivery through things like ComiXology’s Comics app. So yes, I have DEFINITELY considered the possibility. And there MAY just be an announcement coming in July…

Thanks for the interview!

Chris Roberson is on Twitter @chris_roberson and his website is Chris Roberson.Net

Vertigo Comics Announces New Fable’s Spinoff S.N.O.P.E.S.

Vertigo announced a new Fables spinoff entitled S.N.O.P.E.S. today on their website to be penned by Fables Cinderella and recent Legion of Superhero/Star Trek writer Chris Roberson.
Roberson commented “We’ve seen this growing influence of the people and beliefs influencing and creating new worlds in Fables but where are these new stories – the ones that we get in emails from our relatives that go into the spam folder? A new world has showed up with a new America run through fear where almost every toy and food is made with killer lead, the government actually has death panels and the president really is a terrorist. These new Fables are planning to invade the real world to create the New America so it will be up to a group called S.N.O.P.E.S. to stop them.
In what seems to be a reactionary tale against the growing fears of the nation S.N.O.P.E.S. will talk an more action-y side of things – “explosions, motorcycle chases and all sorts of awesome stuff.”
Bill Willingham who is well known as a staunch conservative was not consulted over creation of the new series.