What drew you to write for "Cowboys & Aliens"?
I had written a science fiction comic called "Tranquility" that my frequent collaborator Steve Ellis (who went on to be the Harvey Award-winning co-creator of the great web comic "High Moon") illustrated. Platinum Studios took a film and TV option on it. I don't know this for a fact, but I think it was because I had written an SF book [that] they approached me to write the ["Cowboys & Aliens"] script. This is a long time ago '" over ten years ago I turned in my last draft. It was the first time anyone paid me to write something significant, and I was very grateful for the opportunity. Platinum seemed very pleased with the script, they said it jumpstarted the movie-making process, and hired me to write a bunch of their properties after that.
Is there anything you wish you could have done differently on "Cowboys & Aliens"?
It would have been nice to have some influence over the final product, as my script was rewritten without my knowledge or consent. I didn't even know what the graphic novel looked like until it appeared in stores five or six years later.
Have you seen the movie yet? Have you seen any extended scenes from it that give you a hint of what they changed or were faithful to? Do you have any problems with anything you've seen?
There was an executive at Platinum who kept me up to date about various things relating to the project, but other than that I've had no involvement with the film at all.
I don't wish them any ill will, though. I hope the film is a success. It's just something that I had my last direct involvement with in 2001 so I feel rather disconnected from it personally, as you might understand.
What are your current projects?
By an odd coincidence, I have another graphic novel being turned into a movie (sort of) coming out this same month '" the comic prequel to "Captain America: The First Avenger" called "First Vengeance." It should be in bookstores everywhere now. I had great fun weaving World War Two historical events in and out of the movie continuity '" I hope people check it out.
What work are you the most proud of in your career?
At Marvel, I'm proudest of the "Taskmaster: Unthinkable" graphic novel I did with Jefte Palo and the long-running "Incredible Hercules" series I co-wrote with Greg Pak. In the independent realm, I'm very proud of the non-fiction comics I've created with Ryan Dunlavey. "Action Philosophers" is the best known, and we're currently wrapping up "Comic Book Comics," our irreverent-but-accurate history of the comic book industry in America.