The only thing that I discovered very early on is that, even though we might change schools and cities and towns and states, the books in the library were the same. They had the same covers. They had the same characters. I could go and visit those people in the library as if I knew them.
When writers don't know what to do with a character, they build up the supporting cast and universe to kind of hide that fact. After a while, you can no longer see the character for the underbrush. When that happens, you need to bring out the weed-whacker to clear some of that away so you can focus on the main character.
Anyone who sets foot into the 'Watchmen' universe and isn't just a little nervous should be given a few days of electroshock therapy. I've always considered 'Watchmen' to be one of the best graphic novels ever written, and when it came out back in 1986 I was as blown away as everyone else. Just masterful.
I was born in Patterson, New Jersey, and raised pretty much all around the country. My family tended to move from place to place following economic prospects and jobs and looking for new opportunities, so we changed schools, colleges, grade schools, high schools every 6 months to a year - depending on the breaks.
On a certain level, I don't think there is an answer to what the American way is, because it is constantly being re-defined. It's also been exploited and capitalized upon and politicized by one side or the other to the point that a certain degree of cynicism has attached itself to that term.
Life isn't about the final moments, it's about the journey, it's about process. What makes 'Rocky' work as a movie is seeing him working his way up from the streets to the arena and the fight of his life. You could just show that fight, and it would be great, but seeing that journey illuminates that fight and adds profound meaning to it.
There was a point when comics were considered to be mainly of interest to kids, and it was decided that kids could relate more to someone their own age than an adult. So suddenly all these previously grownup comics were lousy with sidekicks: Aquagirl, Aqualad, Robin, Kid Flash, Speedy, Stripesy... the list goes on.
I keep waiting for a paradigm shift to happen that will let network and studio execs see that sci-fi is the same as any other genre in terms of how you approach it - logically, character-based, with challenging ideas and forward thinking - but I worry that it might never happen in my lifetime.
If I feel that I'm not able to do my best work - whether that's my own fault or as a result of an editorial situation - then I need to stop doing it. I would rather not do something than do it badly or ineffectively. It's the only way I can live with myself and do right by the fans in the long haul.
For a lot of people, Superman is and has always been America's hero. He stands for what we believe is the best within us: limitless strength tempered by compassion, that can bear adversity and emerge stronger on the other side. He stands for what we all feel we would like to be able to stand for, when standing is hardest.
Here's the miracle: I grew up thinking, 'Wouldn't it be great to write 'Superman' someday? Wouldn't it be great to create my own show, or work on 'Lensman,' or 'Forbidden Planet?' Those were very literally the goals I set for myself, the dreams that I thought I didn't have a chance in hell of ever actually achieving. But it's happened.
There are those who seem to feel they have no choice about being jerks in the present because they had a crappy childhood. Well, that's the definition of childhood; nobody gets out alive. You either get stronger from what you experience, or you turn it into a crutch, an excuse, a dodge.