If you haven’t read The Fox, you are really missing out on one of the most coolest super heroes comics not in the Big 2. best part of this book is underneath it all, it’s also a father and son tale. We got in touch with Dean Haspiel, who along with Mark Waid, really gives us something great to look forward to each month. We tossed a few questions his way about The Fox and his son and this is what we got!
1.As we have seen in the latest story arc, Paul and his son Shinji are trying to bond and even though Paul has tried to warn Shinji away from being a costumed hero, Shinji wants to emulate his dad. What would you say is the motivation behind Shinji becoming Ghost Fox?
Shinji is motivated by the fact that he’s aware of his father’s heroism and all the good he’s done, which is awesome, but disappointed that his father wants to quit. Shinji doesn’t take into consideration all the pain and danger his father faces as The Fox and how that impacts their family. Sure, Daddy usually takes his dinner steaks raw so he can soothe his reoccurring black eyes and bruises and, yeah, Daddy can’t always attend a school event or baseball game because he’s busy fighting a mad man from another dimension, but that’s cool! Isn’t it? Shinji will quickly come to understand what’s cool and not cool about being a superhero with no super powers by the end of “Fox Hunt.”
2.One of the things I have noted with the books is that there is a ‘timeless’ feel to them where very rarely, modern technology is used to help the neither hero nor villain to win battles, thus giving it an old school feel. What’s your take on characters and technology?Does it hurt to keep characters ‘updated’ by giving them ‘cool gadgets’ or does it add to storytelling?
I like to comment on current events while purposely staging my stories in a “timeless” setting. That sounds like a paradox and not easy to muster but I toggle between now and then. For instance, cell phones, specifically a ‘Smile Phone,’ is used in “Fox Hunt” a few times and is critical to the drama. That’s what keeps the story seemingly modern. However, the emotional concerns are classic, something everyone can relate to time and again and doesn’t hinge on a particular trend that goes out of style.
3. Where did you you guys get the idea of Madam Satan from and what is her deal? (also did she really bite it or…true to her name we will see her again?)
While searching for villains for my “Freak Magnet” story, I discovered a rogues gallery of villains from the 1940s that were just laying around the Archie Comics archives. Madam Satan was one of the first to pop up and I just had to use her. Fans of my Billy Dogma comix will know how much I love to tell romance stories, so I just had to tell a demonic love story between Madam Satan and The Fox. In “Fox Hunt,” I wanted Madam Satan to come at Fox like a second date since the first one didn’t work out so well in “Freak Magnet.” You’ll have to read “Fox Hunt” #3 to find out how well that second date went. Madam Satan is also a major character now in Chilling Adventures of Sabrina the Witch.
4.So it’s Father’s Day, Shinji is getting a present for Father’s Day.What would he give him and what would be the significance?
Shinji would probably get his father Paul a vat of ultra sports rub and a bus load of ibuprofen for Father’s Day.
5.Can you tell us about any further projects you have coming up?
I’m currently finishing the line art for The Fox #5 and then I go on a writer’s retreat to Yaddo in Saratoga Springs, NY (you can read about my last visit here). When I get back to my Brooklyn studio in late-July, I’m slated to draw a Batman ’66 story for DC Comics and then I have a few gigs to wrangle while figuring out my next creative steps that might could involve Billy Dogma or The Red Hook. I have another Fox story pitch that I’m awaiting to learn the fate of and I have a few other irons in the fire. Come September will be the release of BEEF WITH TOMATO, my graphic novel memoir about my escape from Manhattan to Brooklyn, published by Alternative Comics in conjunction with my self-publishing imprint, Hang Dai Editions.
Thanks Dean for this insight on The Fox and Ghost Fox and we will see you at Baltimore Comic Con!