Q & A with Jeff Lemire, author of Animal Man Vol. 1: The Hunt
Q: What's it like working on a huge initiative like The New 52?
Jeff Lemire: It was incredibly exciting. I grew up a DC Comics fan, so for me to be a part of such a big moment in the company's history was really quite surreal, but also very rewarding. I was given a lot of creative freedom to really make my books stand out and to really do something unique with them.
Q: How are you balancing making these stories and characters feel fresh and new while still respecting what came before?
JL: Even though I love these characters and the stories that came before, at the end of the day I still have to make them my own. So if I were to just try and replicate the stories I enjoyed, it wouldn't be very much fun for me or the reader. I think the key is to boil each character down to its core concept and build up from there. Make it fresh and put as much of yourself into them as you can.
Q: What stories or creators inspire you most when working on your character?
JL: For Animal Man, I was definitely inspired by the often-overlooked run by writer Jamie Delano and artist Steve Pugh. And now I'm working with Steve on the book! And of course, you can't overlook what Grant Morrision brought to the character in his definitive run.
Q: I think we can all agree that Animal Man was the breakout hit of The New 52. Was it a bit surprising for you to see such a strong response?
JL: Yes, it is. I tried to put as much of myself into the book as I could, and I think when the art started coming in, I had a sense that we were doing something really good, but you never know how the audience will respond. I never expected it to resonate with so many people. I think Animal Man is just a character that so many people can relate to because he is a father and a husband first, and a superhero second. Just like me.
Q: You and Scott Snyder tend to Twitter War each other often. How has this affected you when it comes to writing Animal Man and its relation to Swamp Thing?
JL: Scott and I are the best of friends, so we often give each other a hard time online. Truth is we spend a lot of time talking about our stories and characters together. We feed off of each other. Fans will get to see that first hand when our Animal Man and Swamp Thing story lines intersect later this year. It isn't one of those crossovers that editorial puts together and forces on you, its a story that grew organically out of us sharing ideas and scripts for our two books and realizing that there was a lot of potential in really interweaving our stories into a greater mythology.
Travel Foreman's art is innovative and excellently creepy when it needs to be, and will hopefully get a lot of eyes as Lemire's everyman hero makes his mark in the new DC Universe
.” – USA Today
“A profound meditation
on consumer culture and the economy of disposability.” – PopMatters
has the sensational
Jeff Lemire at the helm.” – Entertainment Weekly
“A strange, dark fantasy book with unpredictable plots and fantastic
art.” – Complex Magazine
“Haunting…Travel Foreman provides sleek, meticulous art
that grounds the book in reality, and he uses inventive page layouts during the scenes in the Baker home to create visual excitement where the situations are less fantastic…Animal Man is just a cool, odd character, grounded in the real world but still very much a superhero.” – The Onion AV Club
“I don’t want to overhype it, but if you don’t love it from the very first page, you’re not human.” – MTV Geek
“The best thing to come out of the DC relaunch. Absolutely knocked it out of the park
…Gold stars for the creative team.” – io9
Visceral and intriguing.” – SFX
“This book sets the benchmark.” – Comic Book Resources
A great introduction to Animal Man for new readers, while also giving long-time fans something fresh
to be excited about.” – IGN
“The character Jeff was meant to write. Lemire and Foreman did an amazing job.” – Ain’t It Cool News
“Well-crafted and bold.” – iFanboy, Pick of the Week
is one you can’t pass up
.” – Bloody Disgusting, Pick of the Week