Thanks for joining us Christopher! We know you have a great answer for this question so it’s fitting that we ask it first: how long have you been writing comics, and how did you manage to get into the comic book industry?
I have been writing comics for 11 years. I got into the comic book industry by publishing Dr. McNinja online, and then uh… never stopping! As it went on, it thankfully got some attention, and that lead to writing Deadpool and Adventure Time, and it’s at a rather lovely point of snowballing at the moment.
[Editor’s note: The Adventures of Dr. McNinja is a webcomic that has been on the go for years and years, with Hastings publishing instalments three times a week, every week. It’s an incredible achievement, and an even more incredible series.]
How did you get onboard with writing Vote Loki for Marvel? And it must feel awesome that Marvel have asked you to write for huge characters such as Loki, right?
Vote Loki was originally Tom King’s idea, but as I understand it, shortly after he pitched the miniseries, DC scooped him up on that exclusive contract, and he wasn’t able to write it anymore. Marvel was still interested though, so Wil Moss, the editor on Vote Loki asked if I was interested in writing the title, because he liked the work I did with Gwenpool’s first appearance in the back of Howard the Duck. And yes, it was a hugely exciting thing to be handed Loki for a short time. It’s always nice when the big ole’ corporation trusts you as an artist.
Vote Loki seems as if it was timed perfectly to coincide with the current Presidential race. Was that the intention or was it merely good timing?
Haha, oh it was quite intentional. I think it’s brilliant on Marvel’s part to have that kind of agility, to use your characters and your universe to be so topical. If it wasn’t, I don’t think it would have connected with readers nearly as well.
Loki, until recently, has traditionally been the villainous type – though he’s more of an anti-hero these days. Did you find it difficult finding ways to make the public like him, or was it easy since because of his devilish charm?
Oh it’s easy to make Loki charming. It’s baked right in. What was trickier was balancing the more nuanced version of the character, which we’ve seen from Kieron Gillen, Al Ewing, and Jason Aaron with a Marvel universe general population perception of Loki, which is a villain. I don’t believe Loki is a villain anymore, but I had to write a story where it *seemed* that way. Layers and layers of lies in that book, which is fitting.
Let’s move on to our favourite recent creation in Marvel Comics. What was it about Gwenpool’s design and concept that made you want to continue with the character and really develop her? Congrats on the ongoing series by the way, it’s a lot of fun!
Thank you! I’m quite proud of what we’ve managed to do with Gwenpool. Basically, I was called up, told her name, shown her costume, and asked to figure out how to make it work. Because initially it was just one image by Chris Bachalo as a Deadpool variant cover. So I came up with the idea that she was a normal person somehow transplanted in the Marvel universe, except she knows she’s in a comic book, and then… she decides to use that knowledge like she’s in Grand Theft Auto or something. So now that she’s gone to series, I’ve had a great time really exploring what it means to believe you live in a comic book, and hopefully in unexpected ways.
Gwenpool obviously has some similar qualities to the Merc with the Mouth, Deadpool. Do you think they’ll meet up one day, and if so, would they get on?
Gwen Poole and Deadpool will most certainly meet up someday. I’m sorry to say that I’m so far ahead on my scripts that it’ll probably over a year from now that you actually see it in the book. That said, Gwen Poole’s been established as a major Marvel fan girl, and yet she’s never mentioned Deadpool once. There’s reason for that, and we’ll reveal it eventually.
You recently wrote Miles Morales into Gwenpool’s story, are there any big challenges when it comes to introducing popular characters that you didn’t create?
Oh, you just have to do your research, which in this case is basically just read all of Ultimate Spider-Man, and then Miles’ post-Secret Wars book which HA HA — I already have. Any real trouble you might run into writing the other Marvel characters popping up in your book, you get help from the editors, and from the other creators. They make sure you’re not screwing up. I actually ran into more trouble writing Thor, and the scene where Gwenpool meets her went through a couple rewrites because of it. Basically the Thor team was like “She lets Gwenpool get away too easily. She’d never do that.” and I had to write around that idea to get to the scene that was ultimately published.
Can you give us any hints as to what Gwenpool will get up to later in her series?
The next upcoming major arc is going to be a great time. I’ve seen most of the artwork for it, and I’m so excited for it to hit the stands. Basically Gwenpool is running the mercenary agency she was forced into by MODOK, but she’s in way over her head because the cops are after her, and so are the aliens she had NO CHANCE of defeating on her own in her first issue. We finally meet “The Mystery Client” which is a character I wanted to do from the very start (they wouldn’t let me in the first arc, but I CAME BACK AGAIN and CONVINCED THEM for the SECOND!)
And then when that’s all done, we do a comic with Blade. Just a one shot issue with Blade, but man whatever, it’s awesome. Gwenpool and Blade, it’ll be a monster murderin’ hoot.
Finally, are there any other comics you’re writing in the upcoming months that we can look out for?
Adventure Time kicks off a new arc, and Dr. McNinja is in the midst of it’s final story, ending very soon.