This week’s 20 Questions were fired at writer for DC’s Martian Manhunter and Titan’s 11th Doctor Who, Rob Williams! Here’s what he had to say:
1. What exactly is your job?
Writer. Partner. Parent. Taxi Driver for children. See: parent.
2. How did you get into it?
Well, a mummy bear and a daddy bear who love each other very much… Oh, you mean the writer thing? I trained as a journalist, worked as a freelance journalist and then pitched comics to various companies. Luckily they accepted the pitches. Then you keep pitching. You never stop pitching.
3. How long have you been doing it?
I think I’ve been writing comics since around 2000.
4. What’s your favourite colour?
5. If you could only read one comic book for the next year, which one would it be?
That’d be pretty dull, regardless of the quality of the comic. You need more than one. I’ll go 20th Century Boys by Urasawa. It’s long. And very good.
6. Whose work do you admire the most, or are inspired by, and why?
Comic-wise? Too many people. Actually, I probably get more inspired by people like Louis CK, Terrence Winter, Daniel Woodrell, Matthew Weiner, Garry Shandling, Jerry Seinfeld. None of whom are comics writers. But they write material that amazes me.
7. Are you right or left handed?
8. What’s your ultimate, pick-me-up, feel-good song?
No idea. Steve Wonder’s Uptight maybe. Tough not to feel good to that.
9. What are you working on right now?
20 questions for a comics website.
10. Star Wars or Star Trek?
Wars Trek. Love some of both. Dislike some of both.
11. What’s your favourite piece of work that you’ve done?
Ordinary, with D’israeli, probably. It varies. Low Life The Deal with D’israeli, Punisher Max: Get Castle with Laurence Campbell. Ask me a different day you’ll get a different answer.
12. Did you cry at the end of Toy Story 3?
No. Heartless, me. Although The Iron Giant makes me cry like I’ve been bereaved every single time.
13. What comic book/novel/movie/TV show shaped you as you were growing up?
Star Wars was my core pop culture moment from the age of about 6-13.
14. What’s the best thing about the comic book industry?
Working in a medium that I love, telling stories that I didn’t know were in me. Having wildly talented people bring them to life with phenomenal skill.
15. What’s the worst?
It’s all way better than working down a coal mine, even in its worst moments.
16. Dogs or cats?
17. Why should comic fans support independent comic shops?
Because it’s where the kid who comes into town for the day and doesn’t know about all these comics and characters and worlds can wander in by accident and pick up a comic from the shelf and have an amazing formative experience. That happened to me aged something like 13. Was taken to Bristol for the day by my parents, came across Forever People on Park St by accident. Had never been in a specialist comic shop before. Picked up two issues of watchmen and two Dark Knight Returns purely because I liked the covers…. And here I am 30 years later.
18. Imagine it’s 20 years in the future. What do you think will be the planet’s greatest achievement in the last two decades?
Not destroying itself via climate change and greed. Putting a human on Mars would be cool. I’d like to see that before I croak. My generation got the high hat on all that planetary exploration stuff. The moon in ’69 and then? Nothing. Rubbish.
19. If you’re able to tell us, what are you excited about working on in the next 12 months?
I’m currently reallly excited about my & Mike Dowling’s new series Unfollow from Vertigo, which launches in November. I’m excited about continuing to write Martian Manhunter for DC and Dr Who for Titan, and the occasional very enjoyable Judge Dredd for 2000AD. I’ve got a couple of other things on the way which are very, VERY exciting. But I can’t say anything about them yet.
20. And finally, how do you take your tea/coffee?
The way I like my men, white, strong, no sugar. Sneaky biscuit on the side.
Check out Rob’s website at http://www.robwilliamscomics.co.uk/
You can also followhim on Twitter – @Robwilliams71