Posted on 9.2.09 on CBR.
Gail Simone: “Most Wonder readers are aware that there were some problems with the relaunch of the book in Volume Three. Some terrific writers were brought aboard, but being ridiculously busy people, they knew their schedules would not easily allow for on ongoing monthly. So after Heinberg and Picoult, they were looking for a regular writer and chose me, which I’m very happy about.
In between my run and the end of Jodi’s, DC was looking for a good writer who could fill in some gaps while Terry Dodson and I prepared our run. I was ecstatic when I heard that J. Torres would be that writer.
I’ve been a fan of J’s, for some time, particularly of his wonderful all-ages books for Oni Press, like Alison Dare and Jason and the Argobots. He did excellent work adapting the Ninja Scroll stories, and is currently one of the best writers of all-ages material for several companies.
His ‘fill-ins’ proved surprisingly popular (to people who didn’t already KNOW what a good writer he is), and his Wonder Girl mini did a rare thing by making even people who aren’t WG fans love the character.
I’m pleased to do our first FIVE WONDER QUESTIONS session with this talented writer!”
1) What attracted you to the Wonder assignments you did recently–had you been a fan of Wonder Woman or Wonder Girl previously?
I think I’ve been a fan of Wonder Woman and Wonder Girl for as long as I’ve been reading comics. I suppose it began with the Super Friends cartoon and/or the Lynda Carter TV show. When I was a kid, New Teen Titans and Justice League of America were my favorite series and Wonder Woman and Wonder Girl were a big part of why they were my favorites. Of course, I loved George Perez’s Wonder Woman, which helped redefine Diana but also cemented everything we already loved about her. Kind of like what you’re doing now, Gail!
2) Your Wonder Woman issues were unfairly labeled as fill-ins, and yet were very well-received. Did you have a particular goal you wanted to accomplish with Diana?
It was really about filling in some gaps and telling stories that fit within the context of Amazons Attack. For Diana, I was asked to get her from point A to point B so I was limited with what I could do, so I just tried to keep her in character and be creative with the plot elements I was asked to include (e.g. the missile). With Cassie, it was more about the aftermath of the attack, both in terms of recovery and damage control for the rest of the world and perhaps more importantly Cassie’s emotional and psychological recovery after the events of the past couple of years. The first draft of #1 read like an episode of “In Treatment” and my editor said it was “too slow” and I needed to throw in a hydra or something, so I just reworked the whole thing and it read much better. Okay, maybe that’s not exactly how it went down, but thank goodness for editors!
3) I LOVED your Wonder Girl mini, I thought it was one of the best handlings of the character ever. What is it that you think makes Wonder Girl such a compelling character?
First of all, thank you. That is high praise coming from you, Gail.
What I like most about Cassie is that she acts very much as you’d expect a teenage girl to act. And anyone who knows me and knows my work, knows that I love teenage girls. Er, I mean love WRITING teenage girls whether it’s in my creator-owned series Sidekicks or something like the Degrassi graphic novels. Anyway… I like how Cassie acts like a real teenage girl. No, that’s not always a good thing but that’s where the drama comes from. She idolized Wonder Woman the way some girls idolize Gwen Stefani, but instead of busting out the Harajuku styles or auditioning for Idol, she put together a make-shift costume and went superheroing. Although I’m not the biggest fan of the jeans, it’s very much what a teenager might do under the circumstances. How many girls want to wear what mom wears to work? She questions authority, sometimes leaps before she looks, she can be your BFF or your worst enemy, and then there’s that temper – all great material to work with!
4) What is your dream Wonder story?
I would love to do something that not only involves Diana, Donna and Cassie but also their relatives or “closely related” characters from the DCU like Hercules, Olympian, and of course other Amazons and gods. Something epic with monsters and magic like a Ray Harryhausen film with some kind of cool quest. I enjoy the attacks by gods and villains on the earthly plane, man’s world, the island, etc. just as much as the next fanboy, but I think it’d be fun to take the gang on a road trip to Greece or Hades or Atlantis. Maybe it starts with the dying words of a thief that spark a madcap race to find stolen money buried under a “W”… oh, wait. That’s already been done. Can I get back to you?
5) And finally, can you tell us what current and upcoming projects you’re working on now?
I’m doing a lot of all-ages work right now. I’m helping launch Boom’s new Wall-E series. I’m writing four issues, the first of which is solicited in this month’s Previews and debuts in November. I’m also contributing to the Batman: The Brave and the Bold comic book and I think my latest issue just came out (the one with the Great Ten). Lastly, I’ve got a new graphic novel coming out from Oni in the fall called Lola: A Ghost Story, which is a story loosely based on creepy stories about my grandmother in the Philippines as well as creepy stories she used to tell us when we were kids. Oooh…
Thanks for including me, Gail!