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 Zombies: Swamp Thing

Lost in the annals of time due to a rather large dispute with creators at the time was the event known as Vertigo Zombies. DC, who was gaining ground with it’s more artistic but less public friendly books, premiered Vertigo Zombies as a way to get the average comic reader to read Vertigo books pairing the Vertigo book characters with a fight against the undead hordes. Ultimately the normal artists and writers rebelled, for the most part, so Vertigo went out of house to create the books. The normal series creators ended up threatening to sue the company so the issues were never published but they were finished.
Join us this week though as we look at the covers and discuss what never was with Vertigo Zombies.

Vertigo Zombies: Swamp Thing

As the Swamp Thing tries to bone (wood?) Abigail Arcane the undead attack a small town 20 miles away. Since Swamp Thing and abigail and her friends and family are attending a small picnic in the swamp, brought there by Swamp Thing, none of the people are concerned or even away of the undead assault. The comic rotates between images of the pleasant picnic along with scenes of vicious feasting on the dead representing the disconnect of news that happened in the 90’s. By the time the picnic ends, the zombie crisis has been solved and none of the characters are aware of any changes.

Real Interviews: Phil Kahn

Nerdcenaries: Greetings Phil Kahn of the webcomic Guilded Age!
Phil Kahn: Salutations, Luke!
N: So for those readers who have not heard of you, who are you Phil?
PK: I’m… basically a professional weirdo.
N: Well, what was your first professionally weird project?
PK: Probably the wiki for webcomics-themed cocktails. With accompanying video podcast.
N: Oooh, that sounds good as an amateur drinker. What was your favorite?
PK: Definitely the Banurtle, inspired by Better You Than Me, the previous comic of Lee Cherolis (now of Little Guardians). It was what happens when you cross a banana with a turtle.

1 Part Midori
1 Part Banana Schnapps
Sprite to taste over ice

It was definitely the best tasting recipe we ever featured.
N: Haha. So now you have a webcomic called Guilded Age. What drink would sum up Guilded Age?
PK: Oh jeez. If I had to decide right now… a shot of Goldschlager dropped into a tankard of ale.
N: Haha. Well why not sum up Guilded Age for the uninitiated then?
PK: It’s the saga of the working class adventurer. Arkerra is a fantasy universe that has just seen the dawn of the industrial age, and now wealth accumulation and emerging technology have cast a vast divide amongst the varying races of the land. And as dominance is asserted, resistance rises and causes a continent to go to war with itself. And as our band of adventurers will find, it’s not so simple as killing kobolds for loot anymore.
N: Now I’ve read and enjoyed the comic so far and I feel obligated to ask, are you a tabletop gamer?
PK: I’d love to say “Yes,” but I never get to play anymore because I went and did a comic about fantasy so now I don’t get to fantasy game anymore! But I did for a long time, and spent a good few years recreationally pretending to be someone else in World of Warcraft.
N: When you did play were you a DM more often?
PK: Usually, yeah, because my friends never want to and I’m a control freak anyway, haha. But I had a lot of fun running adventures, because I got to tell a story collaboratively with a bunch of my pals, chuck dice and drink liberally. And do voices for all the NPCs.
N: I was the DM type as well. I loved that part more. So what other webcomics are you enjoying right now?
PK: Webcomics are pretty great right now. A lot of good work is rising to the top. Manly Guys Doing Manly Things is a great one for the gaming crowd. Edmund Finney’s Quest to Find the Meaning of Life is the closest thing in my life to having Monty Python again. Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal always delivers, every day of the week. ErfWorld is our comrade-at-fantasy-webcomics-arms and is badass besides. And Frankenstein Superstar is a really cool one I just found that’s one big love letter to rock & roll and classic pinup girls.
N: Now you are also collaborating with T Campbell on Guilded Age. How does that work?
PK: Miraculously. Seriously, though, T and I work really well together because we’re basically polar opposites in human beings. But we’re able to take this bizarre storytelling Yin and Yang we’ve got and churn out a story that meets both of our standards and tastes. Our #1 rule is that we will never publish anything that one of the both of us is unhappy with. So when we hammer our combined ideas of what “quality” is together, we come out with one strangely unified voice. And then John Waltrip uses his mutant power to manifest text into awesome. But if you want to get technical about it, we each write half the script and then edit the crap out of each other to the degree of endangering our friendship, haha.
N: Haha. So it is sort of like Venture Bros?
PK: In a way, yeah. I’m a big fan of the show, and it finds its influence into my work in more ways than one.
N: Well like there apparently both of the writers pound out half of the season and then they come together and combine it.
PK: Right. What we do differently is that we do it chapter by chapter, together, following a larger plot outline we’ve agreed on. We’ll break a chapter into six four-page scenes and then each draft half of them. Then we go through a lengthy revisions process. Where feelings get hurt.
N: How much of it consists of name calling?
PK: More than I’d care to admit, haha.
N: Haha. So who is your favorite superhero?
PK: Right now it’s definitely Larfleeze. That guy rocks my world.
N: Hahah.
PK: I hope it won’t be like a year before we see him in the new DCU.
N: Actually they announced it is going to be pretty soon.
PK: Fan. Tastic. I demand that DC gives me more Larfleeze immediately.
N: Haha. And they are going to announce his oath. Though I have an issue with the Green Lanterns in the DCU. Mainly that they weren’t rebooted at all. And they were trying to make it open for new readers.
PK: Really the whole thing is a shitshow. I read JLA#1 and gave up right away. I came at it like a new reader, because I am a new reader to DC. I was into a few pieces before then but I was really ready to see what they had to offer in their first week, their single salvo. And just… wasn’t hooked. And I’ve been hearing some of it’s pretty good and that’s good news. I’d hate for the whole thing to be a bust. But this feels like the 90’s again. And not just because of Jim Lee. It’s just… the same damn thing as Heroes Reborn only DC went whole hog. And everyone looks “cutting edge.” I have a lot more to say about this than I thought, especially since I’ve made mine Marvel since birth, hahaha.
N: Yeah. I started with Marvel comics when I started at the comic shop I worked at. Or well I started with Dark Horse and Vertigo before that.
PK: R.I.P. Vertigo.
N: The hilarious thing is that most of the comics that people love the most art miniseries or one-shots outside of continuity. Why not reboot the entire series with established character ideas and then more limited series?
PK: I don’t know, man, I’m not a doctor. They didn’t need to reboot at all. If they wanted to reach new readers, they just had to change the way they do everything. But rebooting is the low-risk option.
N: Miniseries would be a safer bet. You can see how people react to entire series with less investments, allow popular characters more reasonable exposure and you don’t need to worry about continuity.
PK: That’s one way to do it, sure. They just haven’t changed their method in going on 20 years and it doesn’t take a doctor to see why that’s a problem.
N: Verily. Is there anything else you want to pimp before we go?
PK: We have a book! You can order it at our store!
N: Awesome! Well thank you for you time Phil Kahn.
PK: Thank you for the opportunity to get on Dan DiDio’s bad side.
N: It’s my pleasure.

Know The Staff: Jordan Neves

Nerdcenaries: How are you doing Jordan Neves?
Jordan Neves: I am well. I’m eating licorice and watching television.
N: But what are you doing about the swarm of Ultrons in the making?
JN: I’m pretending they don’t exist. It works for most issues in my life.
N: So what do you do for Nerdcenaries?
JN: I write? I draw? That’s basically all that is available.
N: So if you get offered work as a chef online, you won’t do that?
JN: I only cook French Toast and… just French toast, actually.
N: Gasp! What is your opinion on Wild Cat?
JN: The Crimefighter?
N: Yes.
JN: He’s cool. I liked him in Brave and the Bold, voiced by Lee Ermey. Ermey hits most things out of the park.
N: You mean like Saving Silverman?
JN: I only saw the end of that movie. But he was good in that.
N: Now if you had to sidekick for any superhero, who would you pick?
JN: I would intern for the Doom Patrol. I could use some good stories.
N: I am pretty sure they don’t pay for the internship. Is that a thing for you?
JN: What, money?
N: Well, like if you are risking your life for them, they can’t pay interns.
JN: Well, they’ve got a startling death rate, but it’s worth it to tell your friends about the time Nowhere Man switched the floor with the roof and made everyone think their carotid arteries are giant earthworms.
N: What else do you do on the Internet?
JN: I run a personal blog and I run an image blog. I’m not very productive at the moment.
N: And is there anything you want to pimp for other people?
JN: Ha ha! I’m way too selfish to do that.
N: Wonderful. Well thank you for your time Mr. Neves.
JN: Thanks for the interview.

Know The Staff: Joe Hunter

Since we are still a new magazine with a mostly brand new crew we feel it is our responsibility to introduce ourselves to you, the new readers, so that we can be boiled down to archetypal characters and then placed into your FF7 fanfictions because you can only read about Cloud and Sephiroth banging for so many times.

Nerdcenaries: Greetings Joe Hunter. What is your favorite color?
Joe Hunter: Green, I guess?
N: So, how did you get started drawing?
JH: Uhh… according to my parents I got glasses and just started drawing derpy little not-quite-stick figure Batmans on everything. I was apparently quite smitten with Batman ’66 as a child.
N: Who with a soul wasn’t?
JH: Very true.
N: No, that was actually a question.
JH: Oh. Uhh… Fascists? Shit, I don’t know
N: Works well enough for me. So have you had any official art training?
JH: Art School. Oh Christ, Art School.
N: Is Oh Christ the one where you paint with blood from stigmatas?
JH: Yes. You’re familiar with it?
N: I looked at it but when all I bled was wine they got all quiet and whispery.
JH: Uh-huh…
N: But art school, what was so bad about it?
JH: The atmosphere was just kind of suffocating, especially if you weren’t in Fine Art. And I’m about as far from “fine” as it gets…
N: So now you mostly freelance?
JH: Yup. And do comics and crap.
N: What are some of these comics that you do?
JH: I write and draw Ghostbucket which is a bunch of semi-autobiographical comics alongside whatever else I feel like doing, and I draw another comic called Halfling or something with some guy. It’s a fun story about a bisexual midget detective from New Jersey. He himself isn’t a midget, he investigates midget-on-midget crime.
N: Is it a short comic?
N: Will it be collected as a mini?
N: Will they be used as fuel for a dwarf star?
JH: There’s a line and we’ve clearly crossed it.
N: Now is it true that you terrorize a small countryside because you are, in fact, a kaiju monster?
JH: Yes, but I thought that was going to be our little secret.
N: So is there anything you want to pimp before we go?
JH: I think I did the pimping already…?
N: Pimping for other people?
JH: I don’t know…
strong>N: Awesome! Well thank you for your time Joe.
JH: Thanks.

Know The Staff: Dominic Griffin and Jim Bizon

Since we are still a new magazine with a mostly brand new crew we feel it is our responsibility to introduce ourselves to you, the new readers, so that we can be boiled down to archetypal characters and then placed into your FF7 fanfictions because you can only read about Cloud and Sephiroth banging for so many times.

[Since new contributors Dominic Griffin & Jim Bizon live in the same house, separated only by a wall, not unlike Run DMC and Aerosmith, we decided to let them interview each other.]

Jim: What’s up? Have you seen this new AFLAC Commercial?
Dominic: Is it awesome?
J Eh. It isnt Gilbert Gottfried. [long silence] So, who exactly is Dom Griffin?
D: He’s a sort of writer person. Pop culture junkie. Movie nerd. Professional wrestling mark. Likes: Batman, Grant Morrison’s impossibly shiny dome, tacos. Dislikes: Pants, oligarchy, tiny buttons. Why do people call you “The Jimma?”
J: Funny enough, It all started as a typo sometime around 2001 on an ancient Social site called, I just kinda ran with it, Y’know…Like Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson.
D: Same thing happened to The Rock. Someone was trying to write a fan letter to Charles S. Dutton, star of television’s ROC, and it ended up in Dwayne’s mailbox. True facts.
J: Not suprising, He strikes me more as a Clancy. So, Comics?
D: They’re great? I learned how to read from old Claremont/Byrne X-Men issues, so comics hold a special place in my heart, nestled carefully between cookies and freedom. You’re an artist. Who are your biggest influences?
J: Jeez. That’s a toughy. I’d honestly say Bruce Timm’s Work on “Batman: The Animated Series” is pretty high on my list, and of Course Jack Kirby, for he is King. But in all honestly, alot of internet artists: Chris Haley, Jay King, Joe Hunter, Deanne Trippe, Olly Moss, Ming Doyle, Jess Fink and Mike Mitchel…they got the fire going under my ass again.
D: I concur, in that I maintain giant crushes on all those you named.
J: So you mentioned Grant Morrison earlier. You’re good with the words, who are some of your revered scribes?
D: The aforementioned bald one. Mark Waid. Warren Ellis. Outside of comics, David Mamet, Charlie Kaufman, Noel Coward, Paul Schrader. Um, Shakespeare. I’m a big fan of anything Chuck Klosterman writes anywhere. SEX, DRUGS, AND COCOA PUFFS changed my twentysomething life. It was like the toilet paper letter from the “prisoner” in V FOR VENDETTA. Like, wow, I am not alone in this depth of geekery.
J: So, I’d say we’ve known each other for a minute?
D: …15 years?
J: Give or take a day or two in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber.
D: …do you want to pimp stuff?
J: Shameless plugs?
D: Yes. That’s what I meant. Not, like, prostitution.
J: It’s not like I need to tell people to follow you or I on Twitter.
D: Yeah, it’s not like people need to know that you and me are on Tumblr.
J: Also, they probably already like Xaiados Studios on the facebooks.
D: …I still have a Friendster*.

*Editor’s note: NO ONE still has a Friendster.**

*Now get me pictures of Spider-Man. – Actual Editor.

Know The Staff: Luke “Koltreg” Herr

Since we are still a new magazine with a mostly brand new crew we feel it is our responsibility to introduce ourselves to you, the new readers, so that we can be boiled down to archetypal characters and then placed into your FF7 fanfictions because you can only read about Cloud and Sephiroth banging for so many times.

Nerdcenaries: So Luke, what is it that you do?

Luke Herr: Well. Shit. I am interviewing myself right now.

N: Yes but what do you do when you aren’t doing that?

LH: Ah. Well I am a recent web design graduate from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh currently looking for work and I decided to start a comic news and humor website.

N: And was there any impetus behind that decision?

LH: Not really, I had a few ideas I was kicking around for various blog posts. I decided I needed to start a site to host them and then I wanted to kick it up a notch.

N: But from what I know about your plans, this is going to be more than a one man operation, isn’t it?

LH: Yeah. The other thing that I wanted to do is sort of make a new launching point where friends and people who need a chance to do something new can be like “I worked and was published at this site that wasn’t just mine.” Also I didn’t want to write something every day and I figured more writers means more groups of friends which means wider exposure.

N: So basically you hooked in a bunch of people to try anf get famous while doing less work?

LH:Yes. I am surprised how candid I am being about this.

N: So why do you think people should read what you write?

LH:Well, I like to think I am fun. If I’m not though I can try and find people who are. I like to connect people for that purpose.

N: Interesting. So do you have any writing experience?

LH:Oh yeah, previously I was a competitive creative writer in The Power of the Pen back in junior high. In high school I started the Nerding Review Blog and I’ve been doing a series of comics and other writing bits since then.

N: Is there anything else you are doing now as a writer?

LH:I am currently writing Changeling, a sort-of mystery webcomic as well as a bunch of articles here on Nerdcenaries. I also am planning on writing the scripts for the rest of my webcomic Socialfist that was cancelled due to financial issues. Sociafist is about communist superheroes taking over America.

N: As a closing question, who is your favorite superhero?

LH:I really like Moon Knight. He’s like Batman but crazy and magical. I was disappointed by that last series that came out about him. Moon Knight is a totally fun idea but I found that most people tend to make him violent. I want to see the Moon Knight that Adam West would have played in the 60’s – campy Moon Knight. Moonmobile, Moonarang, Moonshoes…. Actually Moonknight in Moonshoes would be amazing.

N: Well is there anything else you want to plug right now?

LH:Not that I can really think of right now. I mean I’ll link it all right on this site.

N: Thanks for your time.

LH:No problem.

Thing Of The Week: History Of Nerdcenaries

Louis Rouals who started Nerdcenaries.

Now not many of you readers would be aware of this fact but Nerdcenaries was originally a periodical back in the 19th century. It was created by a man named Louis Rouals. The periodical entitled “Nerdcenaries: A Confastion Of Gapping Maws And The Abysses” never really took off but was none the less continued for about 30 years ending in 1846 after Rouals was consumed by a bear and as a result lost his entire readership.

Thanks to obsessive collectors, family trees and other such ephemera though, the hansom and single (ladies…) heir to the Nerdcenaries fortune, Augustus Crosk was able to collect all of the remaining prior issues of the series and then secure a copyright and trademark for the name Nerdcenaries once more.

The original periodical focused primarily on the delusional rantings of Rouals who at the time had become highly schizophrenic but due to his vast (for the area) fortune and the fact that he owned the local lumber mill, he was viewed as eccentric instead. He wrote commonly of giant black portals that lay within the souls of people which made them do “darke deeds” or evil and that those who succumbed to the portals would become creators of more evil. Rouals was so convinced that these portals existed that he would personally examine every potential employee for these portals before they would be allowed to work for him.

Eventually Rouals began accepting writing contributions including “wrytengs ef the sexeul nayturh” and off-color anti-Spaniard humor. The disturbing part of this was the fact that Rouals himself continued to be the only contributor to the periodical despite there being a staff of 18 contributors. As it turns out he had started writing under vastly different identities including Hakim the Muslym, Bao-Que the Yellow Mayn and Alberto Vincente the Gayme Reviewer, all of whom had different writing styles and opinions. Hakim for example was militantly against the existence of any female life be it human or otherwise while 4 other identities were incredibly militant feminists.

As previously mentioned, Rouals was killed by a bear in 1846 and was found to have not “just gone wandering to find the Indians” as the local paper had reported. According to the paper, Rouals was attempting to subscribe more readers to the paper and thought the bear was educated enough to appreciate his paper. It was not.

With the death of Rouals, the papers were collected first as a curiosity and then was worshiped as a religious artifact by a group of Spanish priests who saw it as a guide of how to live and shape the world. The priests who called themselves members of the Rouals Cross treated the collection as the Ultimate Testament. Under the ownership of the Spaniards, 2 dozen copies of the daily paper were printed and distributed. Unfortunately all completed collections of the paper were lost as the priests were meanwhile excommunicated and killed for heresy.

What we now know about the paper is all purely fiction as is the life and existence of Rouals as well as his descendent Crosk. We just like screwing with you.

But now that the past of the magazine has been explained we are invited to look into the future, to gaze into the new abyss and face the beast that lies within while carrying a screwdriver and a sense of humor.


– Luke Herr

Chief Editor, Nerdcenaires 2011

Welcome to Nerdcenaries


Welcome to Nerdcenaries, the premier source for the fake comics and webcomic news along with in-depth comic discussion and real interviews that you can’t get anywhere else (because we make up most of what we write). We are going to update daily with our team of writers to keep you coming back and will strive to provide the most valuable information that we can create.


Luke “Koltreg” Herr, Chief Editor of Nerdcenaries

October 24th, 2011 1:36 AM


(We don’t get to update Nerdcenaries daily every day but we try. And we also got realistic and got real interviews and things so yeah, Nerdcenaries, a source for comics and pop culture news, reviews, interviews and more. Life!)

Luke Herr, Editor In Chief of Nerdcenaries
July 4th, 2012 6:53 PM

If you ever need to contact me I am on Twitter here or there is now that contact link up at the top of the page.
If you would be interested in joining our staff as a writer, illustrator or editor we would appreciate it. If you would like us to review your comic, we would be interested in that. Thank you sincerely for your time once more.