Yesterday, in part one of our exclusive StarTrek.com interview with Chris Roberson, he previewed the sixth and final issue – out today -- of the Star Trek/Legion of Super-Heroes comic-book crossover adventure series he wrote for IDW Publishing. And now, in the second half of the conversation, Roberson talks more about his Trek and IDW work, shares his thoughts on comic books in general and fills us in on his other current and upcoming projects.
What were some of your favorite Easter eggs scattered throughout the Trek/LSH books?
Roberson: That would be telling!
What, if anything, has IDW said about you doing more Trek?
Roberson: We haven’t discussed anything specific, but I’d love the chance to play around in that world again!
If you are invited to do more and if we were talking Chris Roberson in fantasy-land, what elements of Trek would you like to explore? And what characters would you most like to explore, and why?
Roberson: I mentioned in passing once that I would love to get my hands on Gary Seven, but Chris Ryall told me that John Byrne would kill him if he let anyone else near the character. So that one will have to stay in fantasy-land for now!
Roberson: It was a dream come true. My goal was to revisit all of the crazy inventions and ideas that are tossed out in the first two seasons of The Next Generation, and then examine what kinds of changes they would have wrought if they were adopted by the Federation at large.
What else are you working on at the moment?
Roberson: I’m still doing iZombie with Mike Allred for Vertigo, and have turned in the first script of my arc of the new ongoing series Fairest, which is another Cinderella adventure drawn by Shawn McManus. With Rich Ellis I’m doing a new creator-owned series for IDW called Memorial, and for BOOM! Studios there are still a few issues to go in the twelve-issue miniseries I’m doing with Francesco Biagini, Elric: The Balance Lost.
Michael Moorcock once said the following about you: “Chris Roberson is one of that bold band of young writers who are taking the stuff of genre fiction and turning it into a whole new literary form—a form for the 21st century. A talented storyteller, he has a unique ear, a clever eye, an eloquence all too rare in modern fiction.” Those are some mighty BIG words of praise. What did it mean to you to have Moorcock say that – and what’s it been like to try to live up to such a statement?
Roberson: Intimidating? Things like that are immensely flattering, of course, but it means I have to work all that much harder to live up to them!
To your thinking, what’s the power of a good comic book? What can someone get from a comic that they can’t get from a novel or a movie or a TV show or a game?
Roberson: Well, first I think that any medium serves as a vessel for good stories, but what makes each medium unique are the kinds of stories that would only work in that medium. In that sense, comics are no different from any other kind of media.
But comics has many strengths that other media lack. It can play with the passage of time in ways that neither prose on the one hand or moving images on the other can manage. But it’s also possible to keep track of multiple narratives in a way that is cumbersome and problematic in film. And when you layer narration on top of the imagery, it’s possible to create an interesting tension between what is “said” and what is “seen” that’s difficult to do in other forms.
A good comic-book story without good art -- or a good cover to attract the casual buyer -- is not a good comic book. Comics are a whole package. How complementary an undertaking is a comic book between its writer, artist(s) and cover artists?
Roberson: Comics are first and foremost a visual medium, so I think the artist actually shoulders the heaviest load in any collaboration. The role of the writer is to get in the artist’s way as little as possible, and to let the imagery do its job.
If you look up Chris Roberson on Google, there’s a football player named Chris Roberson, a baseball player named Chris Roberson, an insurance agent named Chris Roberson and... you. Were you aware that there were so many Chris Robersons, and would you ever want to change places with one of them for a few days just to see how the other Robersons live?
Roberson: Yes, there are MANY of me. But to be honest, I’m pretty happy being THIS me, and I’m in no hurry to trade with anyone else, even for a day!
Click HERE to visit Roberson’s official site. To find the Star Trek/LSH crossover comics, contact your local comic book retailer or visit www.comicshoplocator.com. And click HERE to read part one of our StarTrek.com interview with Roberson.