LinkExchange FORWARD

Interview: Elliot S! Maggin
by Bruce Bachand

Elliot S! Maggin was the principal scriptwriter for DC Comics' Superman titles during the 1970's up until the mid-1980's. He has written two Superman novels (Last Son Of Krypton and Miracle Monday, both which are currently out of print) as well as numerous other stories, articles, interviews and projects. One of his most recent publications is the novel KINGDOM COME (which is available through Warner Books) which came out in February 1998. It is based on the very successful DC comic book mini-series KINGDOM COME by Mark Waid and Alex Ross. (It is well worth mentioning that Ross contributes a number of new painted illustrations to the Maggin novel!). Sales have been steady for the Maggin novelization. It is over one hundred thousand words full of action, characterization, and plot sculpting.

I am providing a couple of links to some other reviews that Elliot Maggin has granted the past couple of years. He has been very friendly and professional through the duration of arranging this interview. I give him my heartfelt thanks for being patient and transparently open for the cyber-chat that we had.

Other linked interviews with Elliot Maggin:

Bruce Bachand

The interview…

BRUCE BACHAND: Our readers are going to want to get to know you a bit better as well as have some input of yours on writing KINGDOM COME (KC). The questions are as follows. Thanks again for being gracious enough to give of your time and energies!

What have you been reading over the past week in fiction or non-fiction?

ELLIOT S! MAGGIN: In the past week or two: A comic book called Superman: For All Seasons by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale, a book called Biblical Literacy by Rabbi Joseph Telushkin, Scott Card's new Alvin novel Heartfire, and the manual for my new Nokia phone.

BB: Writing is an activity that demands long periods of isolation to get the work done. Do you find that you work well in isolation or do you crave human companionship quite a bit and actually loathe the isolation?

ES!M: When I was a single guy I used to hang in bars a lot and get work done there. I actually wrote lots of stuff with people screaming around me. People thought I was just making believe I was writing, but it was the other way around. I got to fool my hormones into thinking I was out with people when actually I was doing what I needed to do. Now I've got a wife, two kids, a dog and a cat and lots of friends and probably a bit more human companionship than is good for me. Then a few months ago I mentioned offhand to my visiting in-laws that I thought sometime I'd like to convert the tool shed in the back yard into a studio for me. They went out and found a contractor and within a week I had insulation, painted walls, a loft, lots of electrical outlets, a window overlooking the pool where the kids play and two phone lines. I loaded in all my computer equipment and I make my daughter knock before she comes in. A good balance, and probably the best thing anyone's done for my career since Mark asked me to write the Kingdom Come novel.

BB: You are going to be "stranded on a desolate island" for 20 years as a consequence for all those speeding tickets (heh, heh). What 5 books would be with you if you had any input in the matter?

The Complete Works of Shakespeare
The Essential Mark Twain
A good English translation of the Kabbala (maybe to learn how to fly home)
Buber's I and Thou
Star of Redemption by Franz Rosenzweig

BB: Quite the interesting choice of books to take with you on the deserted island. I am especially intrigued by your choices of Buber's "I and Thou" and of an English translation of the "Kabbala." Buber's book is an ironic choice for a man who will be living in isolation! The "Kabbala", being those writings of the mystical Jewish sages and rabbis, is an equally specific, but brilliant, choice. What impact have these books made on you?

ES!M: I think I first read Buber's I and Thou in college, and like a lot of what I read then it pretty much tumbled off my horizon. Then I read it again for the first time just a year or two ago when I got involved with a weekly reading and discussion group with a bunch of old-fashioned-type guys who like to read. Got me really excited. Got a little annoyed with myself that I never met the guy, especially considering that he was still alive and healthy when I first read the book. He was a religious liberal Jew - a fairly rare bird at the time - who used to love calling up his orthodox friends on Saturday morning (Orthodox Jews believe you shouldn't talk on the phone on Saturday) and gleefully holler "Good Shabbas" over and over into the phone until his more ritually observant friends realized they were the butts of some sort of existential practical joke. I got a sense from Buber of the notion of spiritual religiousness as opposed to - though not necessarily in opposition to - ritual religiousness. He was a very modern old guy, I think. I and Thou is a very short volume that probably ought to be read more slowly than I - as a guy wrapped up in a vital civilization and entangled in a growing culture - would be inclined to do so.

As for the Kabbala, I have a rabbi friend whose father gave him this wonderful 5-volume English translation of the Kabbala and I told him years ago I'd like to read it. He lent me all five volumes and I tried to read them. He asked why I was interested and I told him because I wanted magical powers; I wanted to be able to fly. He said that wasn't a good enough reason to study Kabbala, but if you wanted to fly, that was the place to figure out how. I got about a third of the way through the first volume and bagged it. I think it was like reading a Greek translation of Tolkien's Silmarillion. The little linguistic flopadoodles just don't translate. The composers of the Zohar - the actual title of the compiled books of Kabbalistic information - spent so much space playing with Hebrew words and numerological values, that in English, no matter how good the translation, most of it makes no sense. So the past few months I've actually been studying Kabbala in a small class with my rabbi friend, who turns out to be quite the mystic himself. I haven't relented on my actual reason for studying, but he's let me hang out with him anyway.

BB: Could you also capsulate Buber's thesis about relationships, as you understand it, for our readers?

ES!M: Oh geez. You know, I can translate the premise of Vonnegut's work to "Dammit, you've got to be kind." But Buber writes pretty much in shorthand to start with. You can sit and ponder his choice of a preposition for hours - which is why I'd take it to isolation with me. It might use up a lot of time I'd otherwise waste learning how to shoot down coconuts with a home-made bow and arrow. (Maybe Ollie Queen would have had a happier life if he'd discovered Buber earlier.) But how's this: An exploration of the relationship between the individual and his spiritual and sociological environment.

Actually, I don't think that quite does it. And please don't mistake my tackling this question at all for any notion of expertise or even acquaintance on my part with these subjects. This is about as rudimentary as it gets. But I think if you want to know about Buber, you might do it by first knowing about Descartes. The Cartesian model first breaks apart everything the individual supposes but doesn't know for sure, and eliminates it from contention. So what Descartes is left with is the simple understanding: "I think, therefore I am." From that point, Descartes built a collection of premises based on the axiomatic "truth" of his own existence. Buber was much more spiritual, and I think he was more willing to acknowledge the existence of God than he was to affirm his own "reality." I kind of like that about him.

BB: Personally, I am daily challenged by the theme of "I and Thou."

ES!M: I think if I were alone on an island I might be challenged more.

BB: What have been the last five CD's or tapes that you have actively listened to? Do you have any lifetime favorites or "musts"?

ES!M: I guess the closest things to lifetime favorite "musts" would be the Beatles' Abbey Road and the series Bruce Springsteen Live With the E Street Band. Don't know what are the last five CD's that I've listened to but the last one that grabbed me by the throat and made me listen was a cover of Killing Me Softly done by the Fugees.

BB: Is there any one meal that sticks out in your memory that has a very special significance to it and, if so, why? (I am assuming that the meal would have been special because of the particular company present, the food served, and the "magic" of the moment that permeated the atmosphere)

ES!M: Used to love this restaurant in New York called Wine and Apples on 57th Street across from Carnegie Hall. No idea whether it's still there. Then one day somewhere toward the end of the Seventies I brought a friend there because she was in trouble. Her father was dying and it was really close. He died that night, as it turned out. Then a few months later my friend and I were going out to dinner and I suggested Wine and Apples and she said no, that she'd always associate it with her dad's death. I don't think I've been back there since; loved that place a lot for years. Believe it or not, I think the best restaurant I've ever been to is in northern New Hampshire. It's a Swiss place – lots of carbos and sauces – called the William Tell Inn, deep in the woods of Alton Bay, New Hampshire.

BB: Do either of your kids enjoying reading any of your comic book stories? Do they read comic books in general?

ES!M: My daughter is seven, and neither she nor any of her friends gets it yet. My son is thirteen, and he's the only one of his friends who doesn't think it's particularly cool to have me for a father. I can't get him to read much of anything. In desperation, I told him we're going to spend the summer going through the AFI's top 100 films list and seeing them all. Got him to sit still for about ten minutes of The Great Dictator before he realized that watching a black-and-white classic comedy is about as much fun as reading a good book. Guess you don't get to be thirteen and cool-as-a-moose and do anything your father insists is fun.

BB: How long have you been married? What have been the three greatest blessings or rewards of working at marriage?

ES!M: I first got married in 1983 – then again a week later; to the same lady. We couldn't coordinate the rabbi's and the minister's schedules, so we did it twice – first in New York and then in New Hampshire. That lasted five years. We got divorced. That lasted three years. Being married, staying married, and coaxing a failed marriage back up on its feet – not necessarily in that order – are probably the three most difficult things I've ever done. Dealing with each other on a day-to-day basis gives both of us an enormous sense of accomplishment, but not so enormous as to make it worth the effort if we didn't love each other. The person you marry isn't necessarily the person to whom you are eventually married, and you have to be able to deal with a person's changes, his or her – or your – disappointments along the way, and all the rest. If you do it right, you end up loving each other more and more as the years go by, for who you become and for what you come to accept and appreciate – and for nothing like the reasons you thought you would. Maybe the continual surprise and delight are more important than the sense of accomplishment. I guess I've got to think about this one some more.

BB: Did becoming a Dad, way back when, seem quite natural or was it completely "foreign territory"? What are the three greatest rewards of being a Dad?

ES!M: It was foreign territory indeed, but the crazy thing about it – and I found a lot of other Dads have corroborated this – is that once you've got a kid of your own it suddenly – and I mean at the moment of birth if not sooner – becomes the most natural thing in the world. That kid is yours: your pride, your responsibility, your identity. There is something extremely elemental about the process, and I'm convinced that a biological bomb goes off in a man's body and soul with the arrival of his first child, a bomb that is every bit as powerful as the bonding experience of mother and child. The three greatest rewards: 1) watching your kids learn things you never taught them; 2) seeing your kids succeed at things against your own better judgment; and 3) having them surpass your accomplishments, one-by-one, as you stand helplessly by.

BB: Has the Krypto-story idea of yours, that is floating around on the Internet, come any closer to being written and published? I agree with you that a boy needs a dog and that the pre-Crisis Krypto was a vital component in Clark's life.

ES!M: Nope. No sign. No prospects. But if somebody other than me gets to write it, then I'll be pissed.

BB: You could visit any two places in the world for one month and all expenses would be covered? Where would you and your family go and why?

ES!M: A balloon ride and maybe a safari as well over the Serengeti; and Mir – before they tear the thing apart. Who knows why?

BB: Who have been your more influential role models or mentors? What about each of them has left an impact on you? As well, you are a role model in your own sphere of influence. What are your strengths and what are your weaknesses as a mentor?

ES!M: Me? As a mentor? Perish the thought! I lose my temper and my patience too easily; I spit and swear. Making me a mentor would be like making Thurman Munson captain of the Yankees. Works for awhile and I guess I can teach somebody a lot, but get out and get on your own fast.

My mentors are numerous and impressive: Julie Schwartz in two guises 1) as the guy who woke up my imagination when I was a kid and 2) the guy who made it possible for me to do imagination for a living. There were three professors at Brandeis who were role models to me, a guy who's still there teaching sociology named Gordon Fellman, a guy in the American studies department – my honors advisor – John Matthews who spoke with an almost British accent and used to write soap operas and swallow swords for a living, and the late Max Lerner a prominent social theorist. There was also a guy there named David Squire, who was not on the faculty but who took me under a wing when he was a VP of the University. I had another guy in graduate school who served as a role model, named Louis B. Cowan, a professor at Columbia who once upon a time was president of CBS television. I miss him a lot. My Dad, of course, is the closest thing I've got to a mentor these days, but he's my Dad, after all. I guess I'm in the market for a mentor.

BB: So what is the deal in your books with "filtrums"? Why have you included comments about them in each of your books? Just coincidence, perhaps? {This is a question from Michael Hutchison}.

ES!M: No, you don't have filtrum coincidences. Actually, I think most dictionaries spell the word "PHILTRUM," but I like the "f" spelling, and no editor has ever challenged me on it. It's just that my grandmother or somebody of comparable eminence in my life once told me that in the moment before you're born an angel presses a thumbprint against your upper lip and seals in the secrets. Most of us know the secrets, I think, in some corner of our consciousness: where we come from; where we go when we die; the physics of the metaphysical; that sort of thing. But we don't do much of comparing notes. I had this notion that in order to compare notes effectively on metaphysics, a conscious species has to be filtrum-less. I guess it comes up in my stories the way one's personal pet notions come up in late-night conversations.

Kingdom Come
Now some KINGDOM COME questions…

BB: It seems ironic in KC that the Amazonians have been sharing wisdom with humankind over the past centuries and yet the are still, fundamentally speaking, a warrior caste-based society. What does that say about the nature of wisdom and progressive societies being focused on war? Isn't this somewhat of a contradiction?

ES!M: I think a lot of progressive societies do indeed focus on war and its protocols, and this is not necessarily – though it may be – a flaw, and does not preclude other more traditionally virtuous pursuits. The Amazons are reputedly the greatest architects and designers on the planet. So were the ancient Greeks. According to the mythology, the Greek culture was a synthesis of Amazonian and Atlantean culture – to which I alluded in the chapter that took place in Atlantis. I think the rather anomalous notion that the study of warfare is somehow anathema to survival as a culture is a product of our own time, and of the Cold War generation whose effects will resonate throughout the lives of your generation and probably those of your children. In a time when a single weapon can destroy a civilization, then it is probably a good thing that war is demonized. This is not necessarily true for every period in history.

BB: I have always thought that Diana was always a better partner for Clark than Lois. Yet, I think that the relationship between he and Diana in KC is somewhat odd. She is obviously strong-willed, physically powerful, and possesses a great deal of wisdom and knowledge. Yet in the book she is also the prime catalyst behind the gulag and the incarceration of the meta-punks. Clark is very reluctant to go with the idea at all, and then agrees almost out of compliance. It strikes me as a bit of a stretch that Diana's idea about the gulag basically resulted in the deaths of hundreds in the end. Why would Clark continue to grow in his affection for someone whose philosophies are so diametrically different than his. Those would be pretty irreconcilable differences in our world. Clark, for a decade, has been overwhelmed with self-loathing whereas she seems to genuinely think that aggression is the answer that works best. Any comments or insight?

ES!M: Again, you are looking at their relationship through your own personal filter as a late twentieth-century man. Look at Diana from a more universal perspective, and she becomes much more virtuous. What if somewhere down the line a generation decided – make that "realized" – that driving a car is an intrinsically destructive act? Well, it is. It's dirty, environmentally unsound and incredibly dangerous. Pretty much everyone in our culture learns at a very early age to be an expert at wielding an internal-combustion automobile: a heavy, fast-moving slab of machinery made of steel, microchips and petrochemicals. Comparably, about seven hundred years ago, everyone in western society of any level of education at all learned how to wield a sword. Get it? Clark is a twenty-first century man; essentially opposed to compulsion of any sort, yet open-minded enough to be persuaded. Diana has rather a more universalist – she called it "monarchist," you'll remember – sensibility.

BB: Norman McCay is a great character. His perspective radiates throughout the story with human passion, doubts, concerns, and curiosity. He sees the actions that unfold as an interpretation of the Book of Revelations. It seems odd that despite the fact that he reads the Christian scriptures that he never mentions the name of the person Jesus the Christ. His God seems more like either a Jewish God or that of a deistic Unitarian; somewhat more transcendent than immanent, generally speaking. Not very personal in the present. Was it a conscious choice on your part to not make Norman blatantly Christian? If so, why?

ES!M: Interesting that you asked me that, and you're the first one who has. Two points for you. The fact is, I didn't realize that Norman never once mentions the name of his messiah until I reread the book after it was published. Certainly Norman's God is immanent; He answers prayer pretty much immediately. I can only attribute Jesus' absence to my own Jewishness. I guess I loved Norman, and I just wanted to make him more like me. I consider it, frankly, a flaw in the narrative. I spent so much time and so much effort trying to make Norman's character consistent with that of a Christian minister and his perceptions consistent with Revelations, that I completely overlooked the tenets of his tradition. Mea culpa.

BB: It would be accurate to say that the violent behavior that manifested from the meta-punks was partially a result of neglected mentoring. The actions of the reformed JLA only really compounded the situation. What could Clark have done different to have spared all the lives that were killed later in the book?

ES!M: I'm sure the actions of the Justice League and the absence over a ten-year period of proper mentoring were not just contributory, but the primary cause of the violent tendencies of Kingdom Come's generation of metahumans. The point of the story, however, was that there was simply nothing Clark could have done to avoid this within the parameters of the story, short of not having gone into seclusion ten years earlier. But that would have made the story not Kingdom Come, but Groundhog Day – which was also good. Had Lois lived, certainly the world would have been a better place. She didn't, and that was the real flashpoint of the action.

BB: While in the midst of getting pummeled by Captain Marvel, Superman realizes that he understands the true nature of "magic". I am finding it difficult to understand the explanation of "magic" as spoken through the mouth of Clark. Could you verbalize in a way that may help me and other readers better grasp your thoughts? You seem to be saying that is more supra-rational rather than irrational in nature. Is this an accurate observation?

ES!M: Yeah, that's accurate. I'm not sure I can do better than that. I believe in magic. I have a lot of friends who are stage magicians, but I'm not talking about their type of magic. I'm talking about real magic – Merlin's magic – the kind of magic you conjure up to write stories. It's one of those things you don't define; you just feel. At that moment, after a lifetime of practical, logical, hardheaded pursuit of truth and justice, he realizes what it is. It may elude him too, later on. Who knows?

BB: Diana utters the line, "We hated you for leaving us.", and, thus, brought to his attention the pain that he had rooted in the hearts of the world when he went into isolation. Would it be fair to say that his choice to live and act hidden, in hindsight, was grossly irresponsible? His life as a hermit had sown doubt, instability, and self-indulgence in young and new meta-humans. What was going through his head? Surely he wasn't THAT blind to the impact he had on others as a role model and leader.

ES!M: It would be fair to say that his choice to live in seclusion was irresponsible. It would be fairer to say that the general society's dependence up until that point, upon Superman as a role model was grossly irresponsible. Superman is, by his nature, unaware of his own importance. Jonathan Kent drummed humility into his head like a mantra. It's why we love him, even as we grow more dependent upon him. Yes, he was "THAT blind," to his own leadership and impact and will continue to be so; that he has such a flaw is a quality he shares with his mythological forbears.

BB: If Warner were to ask you to write a follow-up novel to KINGDOM COME would you be willing to do it? If so, have you any ideas of what it may include that you would be willing to share?

ES!M: Yes, in principle. No, you'd have to pay me for that one. And so would they.

BB: The scene with the death of Lois Lane is very powerful and well-written. Her lack of pre-occupation or self-importance is inspiring and refreshing. Was this a difficult scene to write emotionally or was it just "business as usual" for you? What was Mark Waid's thoughts on the scene as written?

ES!M: It was difficult to write. It was like taking a deep breath and going underwater for as long as I could. Mark tells me he loved the scene. He was one of the first to see it and he offered no suggestions to change it. I'm pleased with that. I actually wrote that scene overnight in the cigar lounge in the Marriott in San Diego during the 1997 ComiCon, and it stands very close to the way I wrote it. I have some problem with the contractions that were added to the text afterward (In my manuscript, there were no contractions other than in direct quotations.) but that's just a stylistic glitch. I'm actually quite pleased with that scene too. Thanks.

BB: Was it a joy through the writing process of KINGDOM COME or were there some very frustrating moments or days at the computer? Did you accept the challenge to write the book more for the "coin", or for the artistic pleasure, or an equal measure of both?

ES!M: The coin was not nearly close enough to enough to make it for that reason. Either alone or in part. I did it because I loved the story and I wanted to write a Superman story again. I still do.

BB: Do you see Superman as a man who prays and\or worships God regularly? If so, what would the Man of Steel pray about from your perspective?

ES!M: I give all my characters religions. I think I always have. It's part of the backstory. It's part of the process of getting to know a character well enough to write about him or her. Jimmy Olson is Lutheran. Lois is Catholic. Perry is Baptist. Luthor is Jewish (though non-observant, thank heaven). Bruce and Batman are both Episcopalian and I said so in the text though it was edited out erroneously. Clark – like the Kents – is Methodist. Superman is something else, but I never did buy all that Kryptonian "Great Rao" nonsense. I do think Superman essentially adheres to a kind of interplanetary-oriented Kryptonian-based belief system centered on monotheistic philosophy, and I've got some ideas about it that I haven't yet articulated other than as backstory. I think Superman is too humble to ask for things in prayer, but I think he prays by rote, and constantly, the way some of us talk to ourselves in the shower.

BB: The proper exercise of leadership, authority, and powers are crucial to the growth and stability of all successful societies. Doesn't it seem completely out of character for Superman to have gone with the idea of incarceration and a propaganda-like retraining of the meta-punks? This really struck me as implausible and unlikely to have occurred.

ES!M: Sure it was unlikely, but Superman has put punks in jail all his life. That's why we had Diana around to justify the idea. That was one of the reasons she was there. You know, the hero classically does all sorts of things that are at first against his character – in all heroic fiction. I think a less likely thing for Superman to have done in this story, given its opening premises, is to have shown up at the 59th Street Bridge and undertaken his crusade at all. Nobody questions that – any more than anyone would question Odysseus' leaving Penelope to go to war or Arthur taking up the mantle of kingship or Joseph ruling over Egypt.

BB: In a previous interview that you have done, you commented on the fact that comic companies are looking for "carpenters" more than they are for "sculptors". Yet those books over the past 15 years (such as THE WATCHMEN, CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS, and KINGDOM COME) that have been the most popular or monumental have been well-written, beautifully illustrated, and\or more adult in theme or material. Aging and newer comic readers will pay big bucks for stories of these caliber. A lot of the current titles being produced are scatologically-saturated in my humble opinion. How can the companies consistently deny this hunger for consistently better stories within the comic book genre? How much does the quest for profit really affect the choices of books published? How about offering three pieces of advice to the companies that are listening that could turn things around for them and the sagging comic book industry.

ES!M: The quest for profit doesn't seem, in my perception, to be paramount on the agenda of the larger comic book companies. I have no idea what this agenda looks like, but making a profit selling comic books is clearly not high on it.

I don't know the answer to your questions, and I've offered such advice as you ask both in public and in private until my lungs are sore. I can offer this thought – again: Superman invented the comics medium, not the other way around. His copiers and successors – from Batman to Supreme, for heaven's sakes – were rather invented by the medium. Superman stories are properly not about power and glory – though these may be necessary elements of Superman stories – but they are about moral and ethical choices. Superman owes far more to Odin and Paul Bunyan than he does to Popeye and Doc Savage. Corporate-driven approaches to the reformation of Superman have thus uniformly been failures. Advice to turn around the sagging comic book industry?: Create more characters that are like Superman in character rather than in trappings.

BB: Let's get some of your thoughts about the Internet as a medium and as a tool. Despite the fact that the most popular sites have to do with pornography or else eroticism, the Internet is a truly brilliant tool for novice and experienced writers (e.g. e-mail, research, chatting, etc…). The ability for people to exchange ideas and communicate so fast and freely is a dream come true. On the other hand, the Internet is a curse, as well, to writers, many articles are posted by authors in which they receive no remuneration or credit for sometimes. As well, the medium facilitates easy copying and reproduction that is illegal, but difficult, to restrict. For example, someone could scan all of your KINGDOM COME novel and post it for anyone to read FREE! What are your present hopes, cautions, and doubts about being a writer and working with the Internet?

ES!M: The Internet was created to allow scientists to share the results of various avenues of inquiry; this is necessary to the progress of science and it was contributory, I believe, to the breakdown of the autocratic premises of the old Eastern Bloc. This medium is so powerful that its destruction of exclusionary premises has begun to expand beyond the sciences, to the arts. In principle, I welcome this; and I have not accumulated enough wealth through the traditional protocols of publishing and producing to prompt me to fear it. My hope is that we find a new way to think about patents, copyrights and about the privileges and restrictions with regard to information. The Internet has begun to make copyright as we know it obsolete. Barring catastrophe, patents and privilege in general will certainly follow within a generation. I have no idea – well, maybe some idea, but I'm sure it's incomplete – what such a world will look like, but I look forward to finding out.

BB: Grant Morrison has turned the JLA back into a popular title. The "big guns" are back at the helm (Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, etc…). Did you ever have a desire to write the JLA for an extended run? What would you like to see happen in the title?

ES!M: Sure. All the time. I'd want to grow up the characters, though, and make the title the primary source for new character generation. JLA should be the quasar title.

BB: The answers that you sent are great! I sense that you are a very frank person. What an excellent quality to possess … people will generally know very frankly where they stand with you.

ES!M: Often to my detriment. My wife has issues with that one - especially in traffic.

BB: If you are ever in Vancouver let's get together for a coffee, your schedule permitting. There is literally a STARBUCKS on almost ever bloody block here! Ciao for now!

ES!M: Gives me an excuse to come to Vancouver. Never been. Love to.

Post-interview comments…

I have got to say that Elliot is a most gracious and articluate man. He has been very co-operative throughtout the past month in regards to granting this interview. Despite the bad "reps" that a number of well-known comic book industry writers\artists have, Elliot is NOT one of them. Those articles that I found about him on the Internet were generous in giving him thanks and praise for being a great guy and a solid writer. His words are refreshing. They reflect and man who is on the right track but is honest enough to admit that he doesn't have it all figured out yet. For another glimpse of him check his EXCLAMATIONS! website out at:

How about doing yourself a favour and go buy a copy of KINGDOM COME (published by Warner Books) and check it out for yourself. And then you can send Elliot Maggin your own comments and questions. Ciao for now.

Bruce Bachand
FANZING Columnist

All characters are ™ DC Comics
This column is © 1998 by .