Last week we published a review/preview of Valiant Comic’s “Quantum and Woody Must Die #1”. I highly recommend you take a few minutes and read that because Quantum and Woody is one of the most satisfying comics you will ever read.
Let’s keep the Q&W love rolling how ’bout it? Below is my interview with Quantum and Woody writer James Asmus. James was nice enough to let me ask him about his work on the series and what it’s in store for the fellas in his new mini-series “Quantum and Woody Must Die!” Check it out!
4LN – How did you initially get your start writing comics?
James Asmus – The short version is – years of acting in theatre turned into improv, turned into comedy writing, turned into playwrighting. As a lifelong comics fan, when a show I wrote and performed went to New York, I asked friends who worked for Marvel to come see the show (mostly so I could ask geeky questions). Turns out they liked the show enough to offer me a chance to write an X-Men short (for Manifest Destiny #1!). And I’ve been doing my damnedest to stay in comics since.
4LN – A couple of years Valiant Comics relaunched Quantum and Woody with you at the helm writing for the dysfunctional duo. How did you connect with Valiant for this opportunity, and were you familiar at all with the series when you came on-board?
JA – I met Valiant at C2E2 or NYCC before they launched. When Quantum & Woody came up, I had another bad-behavior buddy-comedy at Image, The End Times of Bram & Ben. Valiant editor Jody LeHeup thought I might be a good fit and asked me to pitch. I read the original shortly after it ended – and LOVED it. It was so fresh, funny, and idiosyncratic. So, as excited as I was to pitch, it also felt like a lot of pressure -slash- an amazing opportunity.
4LN – One of the greatest things about your initial run on Quantum and Woody is the random and obscure pop-culture references. Do you go out of your way to throw them in there, or does it just come naturally to you?
JA – Those, like most of the book, is just me trying to let my brain spill straight onto the pages. I wanted to make my run as idiosyncratic to me as Christopher Priest’s was to him. I basically perform one-man improv in my house until something feels right.
4LN – Moving on to your new Quantum and Woody mini-series, “Quantum and Woody Must Die”, I have to ask the question that is on every Q&W fan’s mind… Is this real life?! Are they really going to die?! Couldn’t it just be like, “Quantum and Woody Get Hurt Pretty Bad But Nothing A Couple Weeks Rest And A Prescription For Diazepam Can’t Fix”?! (I apologize for that outburst.)
To be serious though, how did the idea for “Quantum and Woody Must Die” come about?
JA – The original idea was about how much collateral damage they caused in those first issues. Quantum and Woody are undoubtedly the villains in plenty of other peoples’ stories. The fun’s been in blowing that idea out and discovering all the different angles the deadly dangers can come from…
4LN – Another thing that I believe makes Quantum and Woody stand out as such a great comic is the seemingly fearless approach to the humor. You make jokes that would never fly in a book at either one of the “Big 2 Publishers”, but the non-PC jokes never feel forced or like they’re only there for shock value. It’s clearly intentional to push the envelope, but I’m curious if you’ve ever thrown in jokes that you ended up pulling cause maybe you felt they pushed the envelope too far?
JA – I have definitely written stuff at 2am that, in the clear light of morning, I realized wasn’t on the right side of the risque/offensive divide. In general, I trust my fantastic editors and collaborators to let me know when something isn’t landing right or earning its right to push buttons. The rule I try to go by is that I don’t mind something being “offensive” when it’s in service of a larger point you’re trying to make. But I’ve been thrilled and surprised by what Valiant has let me say and do.
4LN – Lastly, Can you give us some clues as to what we can expect in the forthcoming issues of “Quantum and Woody Must Die”?
JA – The first year of Quantum & Woody was all about setting them up to be super heroes. –Must Die! is about blowing out their world with all the dangers and trappings of a nicely complicated superhero existence. But in Quantum & Woody fashion – it comes faster and more off-kilter than your usual super-books. Deceit! Actual super-villains! Drugs! Endangered species! Picnics! Revelations! And what I expect will be a genuinely surprising death. (DEATH!) Plus – Woody’s brain is abnormal already. There’s no way HYPNOSIS doesn’t go awry.
If that’s not enough to make you add it to your reading pile – just remember that this is wall-to-wall brought to life by Eisner Award-winning artist and genuinely hilarious storyteller STEVE LIEBER. If you don’t plunk down your funny book dollars for that guy – I don’t see why you’re even reading comics.
I want to send a big THANK YOU to James for speaking with us! He’s a great guy and Quantum and Woody Must Die! is off to an awesome start! Below you’ll find Valiant’s solicitation for issue #2, plus some full color preview pages!
QUANTUM AND WOODY MUST DIE! #2 (of 4)
Written by JAMES ASMUS
Art by STEVE LIEBER
Cover by MIKE HAWTHORNE
Variant Cover by JOHNNIE CHRISTMAS
Variant Cover by SINA GRACE
The fix is in – and award-winning creators James Asmus (Gambit) and Steve Lieber (Superior Foes of Spider-Man) are about to unleash a world of hurt on the world’s worst superhero mis-adventurers!
Quantum and Woody have been hyp-mo-tized! But why? And how did these two chuckleheads suddenly become the heroes and idols of millions? A sinister puppet master lays his cards on the table and activates his Manchurian Candidates. Because when the world’s worst superhero team swoops into action…Quantum and Woody must die!
$3.99 US | T+ | 32 pgs. | On sale FEBRUARY 25