Jeff Parker is a true veteran of the comic industry, having broken in as a penciller and transitioned into a much sought after writer. Besides Marvel and DC work over the years including jobs on Aquaman, Hulk and Thunderbolts, Jeff has his share of creator owned books in stores as well. Stories such as Bucko and Underground are just a few of his more personal works. The Oregon transplanted North Carolinian is also continuing his gig writing Batman ’66 for DC as well as releasing another creator owned book through Oni Press entitled Meteor Men this autumn. Jeff was cool enough to take time out from his busy schedule to answer a few questions for PCU.
1. PCU- You have been successful with several well received longer runs in your career such as Thunderbolts/Dark Avengers. Was there a book that you worked on that didn’t get the attention you had hoped for and subsequently ended earlier than you had intended?
JP- Well, that would be ANY of my creator owned books, like Underground, Bucko, The Interman, Mysterius. Mysterius the Unfathomable is set up to serialize, and I really thought it would get a lot of notice, but it was right at the time Wildstorm was being closed down, so nothing there saw much promotion. Nevertheless, Tom Fowler and I still plan to bring it back. Currently I have Meteor Men with artist Sandy Jarrell out from Oni, and I’m hoping the word spreads on that this year.
2. PCU- You have worked on many iconic characters in your career. Marvel then DC, who have you not worked on that you would love to?
JP-I’ve only done the one Superman story with Chris Samnee in the first Adventures of Superman. I’d like to do more with the Man of Steel.
3.PCU- What is it like getting to basically continue the classic Adam West Batman stories in Batman ’66? Were you a fan of the show yourself?
JP- I usually tell people it’s not a requirement to be a fan of a property to do a good job, but in the case of the Batman show I don’t think you could get it right unless you really understood the appeal. I was a huge fan as a kid and still love it, and when I write it I feel like I’m doing it for 8 year old me.
4.PCU- What is a typical day writing like for you? Do you follow a regiment, or just write as inspiration hits?
JP- You can’t wait for inspiration and stay afloat in this industry, you have to put in regular hours. I often wake up very early and work for an hour or two, take my kids to school and then write until lunchtime. And then do the afternoon, just like a regular day job. That’s also when everyone else involved in your books is working so it’s a good schedule to make yourself available for notes and questions.
5. PCU- Thanks Jeff for taking time out of your busy schedule to answer a few questions for us. Meteor Men comes out this fall from Oni Press. Give us the pitch so all of our readers must go out and pick it up.
JP- Meteor Men is about the downfall of the human race because of an alien species moving in, as it all focuses on the pivotal figure of Alden Baylor, a teenager who has already dealt with heavy stuff – the loss of his parents. It’s how I imagine a colonization of Earth might really play out, and it’s drawn by Sandy Jarrell, who’s also worked with me on Batman ’66 if you saw the recent Lord Death Man issue. We’re very proud of it, so please give it a try!