We told you we would be back with more Greg Rucka! This time Casey and Greg talk about his work at DC, Wonder Woman, and a whole lot more!
They also talk about Stumptown, which you should listen to the panel with Greg form RCCC 2019 by clicking below!
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Greg Rucka Interview – Part 2
Kenric: Citizens of the Republic comes by the March or welcome back to the country. I’m Kinnick Regan, that’s Johnny Horsley. And today on the show. Well, it’s Greg Rucka part D.
John: Yeah. Yeah. I think it’s funny. Most of the time we have two parts. Do you always see a part D. And then I always respond with, say it again, and then now I’m explaining it, which it
Kenric: You didn’t know what that’s from, you know, where do you know why I say that
John: Why do you say that?
Kenric: hot shots? Duh.
John: That was it. That’s what I thought. Hot shots. Oh, dear.
Kenric: Yeah. I mean, I just
John: is a great movie.
Kenric: Oh, it’s so bad. It’s isn’t that? I think Samuel Jackson’s in it even.
John: Yeah, well, like when he gets kicked in the nuts and the walnuts pop out of his mouth, it’s.
Kenric: Yeah. It’s just it’s. So over the top and just moronic comedy, they don’t really make those anymore.
John: Not, not really.
Kenric: the last time? I mean, cause it’s, that’s a whole, that’s like [00:02:00] not to get off on a tangent before we get into Greg records. Part two, where we get to learn all about DC and all his stuff on wonder woman and all the fun stuff that he’s done. I want to say that’s in part too. I feel like an idiot right now.
John: is in part two. You’re right. You’re right.
Kenric: Yay. I totally got it. Nailed it. But I digress to go back to my tangent. They’re not making a lot of those movies, like naked gun, make a gun two and a half, you know? Uh, I don’t know there. Do you ever see the one with Val Kilmer?
John: Oh, hi, uh, top secret.
Kenric: Yeah, top secret.
John: that movie.
Kenric: They don’t make those anymore. What’s going on?
John: not like that. I mean, they, they, I dunno, they started making them like they was there. Someone would coming out in the early aughts and the early teens, you know, like, Uh, none of their teen movie meet the Spartan and stuff like that Epic movie, but they become like, they become, so Troper says like, like you watch top secret or hot shots and yeah, they’re a parody movie, but they’re [00:03:00] also its own movie. Right. But you watch like Epic movie and it’s just, it’s just a parody movie
Kenric: I knew kids growing up that only watch those movies.
Kenric: They didn’t want to watch other, they didn’t want to watch James Bond. They didn’t, you know, they like Ghostbusters and back to the future because it was hard not to, but at the same time, you know, they give them their druthers. They wanted to watch top secret or meatballs or any of that type of stuff,
John: Well, I think the difference is like movies, like top secret and hot shots and those kind of ones is there. Perry’s and some months that they’re, they’re making fun of tropes, but they’re not like. Taking direct. I mean, they are in some way, but they’re not, it’s not built upon, like, if you watch like a meet
Kenric: it’s not a disrespect.
John: Well, now if you watched like Epic movie disaster, when we meet the Spartans, those movies, they’re built around taking scenes from a movie. And redoing it and putting it and making a joke out of that scene. Right. Whereas top secret is a story in itself. It’s making sure enough the tropes of those kinds of movies.
John: That’s the difference.
Kenric: yeah. It’s, it’s, [00:04:00] it’s kinda crazy. When you think back and you look at it, did you. I, you know what? We have a whole other thing to go over and we’ll talk about, I want to talk about Charlie sheen and the movies that he’s done,
Kenric: because he’s done some really fun movies,
John: Yeah, that’s a whole episode by itself.
Kenric: Yeah. So we don’t want to get into that, but tell us what we’re going to hear in part two with Greg Rucka
John: Oh, well, we jumped into it with, uh, Casey asked him what got him central and him working with ed Brewbaker. And we talk to the talk about it as new 52 version with, uh, with wonder woman and a bunch, a bunch of other stuff of his, you know, indie work and his DC working on stuff like that.
Kenric: Yeah, ed rule-breaker is an amazing writer.
John: Yeah. Oh, he is. He is.
Kenric: man, he did a book series. Uh, I think it’s called criminal.
John: Yeah. Oh yeah.
Kenric: Oh my God. So good.
John: Well, Greg Rucka says, you’re hearing a few minutes that working with ed rubric, it was one of the best collaborations he’s ever done in comics.
Kenric: There you go. Well, why don’t we sit back and listen. To Greg [00:05:00] in his own words,
Casey: so if, if you don’t mind, I want to change gears a little bit. do you mind talking about Gotham central?
Greg Rucka: I don’t want to talk about Gotham central central.
Casey: Love the hell out of that book. How was your, how was working with ed Brewbaker on it?
Cause you guys kind of wrote it, right?
Greg Rucka: Yeah. That was the best, best collaboration I’ve ever had in comics. Really? Oh yeah. Because what would happen when she, we both knew what we wanted to do from the moment. Literally from the moment we met each other in person, we both knew we’d wanted to do this cop book.
And we both had a very similar vision for it. And we both, had an idea how to go about it. And it was ed who knew Michael, you know, so it was Eddie brought Larkin and [00:06:00] we. I think one of the smartest things we did is very early on, we divided up shifts. So we said, you’ll get to do your thing and I’ll get to do my thing.
And then every so often we’ll come together and do our thing. And that way it really was our book. Right. You know, and could do the stories that really mattered to him. I could do the stories that really mattered to me, and then we could come together and have a lot of fun with the joker and a sniper rave.
but the collaboration with him was terrific. because we would get on the phone and we would break down the issue, literally beat by beat by beat. and we, then we divvy up the scenes. And at the end of it, he’d have 11 pages and I’d have 11 pages, and we’d go off and we’d write our scenes, and then we’d send them to each other and we’d glue it all together and go over it and make any changes we felt were necessary.
It was terrific. it was seamless and it was fun. You know, ed and I can break this up,
gabbing, [00:07:00] you know, I have rarely had a collaboration in comics.
Canceled due to numbers.
John: Hey, just want to cut it real quick to let you know that the audio on recording here with Greg kind of cut out and what he was saying about Gotham central, there was that he had a really good collaboration and. It was canceled due to numbers, I think is what I got out of it, but it was really choppy. So I cut it out. And we’re going to jump back into casey and greg talking about and if it’s due
Greg Rucka: That wasn’t DC was doing. Do you see what a kid that.
Casey: Are you happy with how you were able to end it?
Greg Rucka: Yeah, I mean, it was the ending that I always knew I was going to write there. And I think fortunately, 52 came along at, you know, after, I can’t remember, this is a while ago. I can’t remember if I was still and writing.
If I was still writing central or if I had finished central before, the idea for 52 came along. But when the idea for 52 came along, it was very much the logical [00:08:00] extension of Rene’s story in what we wanted to do in 52 it fit right in there. So, you know, I mean, it was always going to be a sort of dark, crushing soul crushing, depressing endings.
because yeah, because there’s a reason there aren’t a lot of good cops in Gotham. Yeah. You know what I mean? And, and that’s the way it’s gotta be, because if there are a lot of good cops in Gotham, you don’t need Batman. It
Casey: just made me think of the wire a little bit. Yeah.
Is it hard? Are you one of those creators that once you’re done with a project, like ostensibly, this is a, a tent pole project for DC is huge. Are you able to read those books after you’re done with them? Is, is it something that you want to check in on afterwards or are you just like,
Greg Rucka: Oh, [00:09:00] wow, well. I mean, w w are you, are you asking can I go back and read Gotham central or is it, or, or are you asking, am I reading wonder woman right now?
Casey: Oh, exactly. Yeah. Yeah. Like the current iterations of the books that you were on.
Greg Rucka: Yeah. No, I almost never can. and that’s again, probably a gross flaw in my personality. Things that you have to do in particular when you’re writing for big two comics, right? Is these characters are not yours. And, and, and woe be to you if you try to convince yourself or anybody else that they are, because they’re owned by a giant corporate entity and that property is worth billions of dollars and you are not, they can find a dozen more just like you.
so one of the things that when they, you know, so that means that when they hire me, what they’re hiring me [00:10:00] for is one custodianship of the character for the period that I am writing. Right? It is, here you go. Here is this precious thing that we have invested with greater value. That’s the job, right?
Don’t screw it up. Don’t break it. Right? Don’t bend it. Make it cool. Treat it with respect. Show other people why it’s so awesome. Okay. I have a way of doing that, and presumably they trust my way to do it because they’re willing to pay me to do it. when my time is done, they are. Passing it on to another writer under the same premise.
And I almost universally will look at another writers approach and go, that’s not how I would do it. And the second I think that I’m like, okay, I need to back off because the point is [00:11:00] I’m not doing it right. I’m not doing it anymore. I walked away from it. I can disagree with the choices they make. but I have advocated my rights to, you know, make us think about it.
If it mattered to me so much that it not be done, I shouldn’t walk away. okay. All well and true,
hard, harder to accept emotionally. And for me personally, I am emotionally invested in the work I do. I have to be. If I don’t, then, Then it’s then it’s not good work. Right? I have to, I have to care if I don’t care. It shows. but that means that when I am, for whatever reason, walking away from whatever, whatever the title was, I am leaving myself emotionally [00:12:00] raw. This is one of the reasons why, incidentally, I don’t read the interviews of whoever’s going to come next, because the last thing you want to read is an interview where writer, you know, the writer who follows says, Oh, I didn’t read that person’s work, or doesn’t mention you at all, or whatever.
I mean, because then you, so it’s, it’s, it’s not thing. There’s a month just flew into my, and I’m wondering how it got in here and I’m in my basement and, it’s a cute little mot and I’m wondering what it thinks it’s going to get something to eat. They’re only books in here. You’re going to be disappointed.
Oh, there we go. so yeah, it’s very difficult. And like I said, like, you know, I’m 50 now and I’ve been doing this for a long time and I have very set [00:13:00] opinions about certain characters. I’ve become very much, Hey, you kids get off my lawn. in regards to certain things in particular about Batman. I feel very strongly about how things work in Gotham and should work in Gotham and what that mythologies should look like and why it works.
You know? And at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what I think, I’m not writing the book,
Casey: but it seems like that the writers that have the best grip on that character in particular, are writers who come at it from a crime writing background because actually, yeah, I mean, it, it, it started out in detective comics for a reason.
I mean, he did that first and foremost. So when you switched gears on something like Lazarus,
Greg Rucka: which is
Casey: not at all like a really a crime book, how was that a, [00:14:00] an excuse for you to S to stretch your legs? Was it hard for you to kind of. Get, to, to make that transition was, was it, you know, what, what was your, deciding factor and to go into that?
Was it just a cool scifi idea you had that you wanted to explore?
Greg Rucka: No. I mean, you know, I had left. DC and I had this idea for this book that was going to be, I had gone to San Diego in 2009 it was like the last time I think I had gone to on for a really long time and I was going, because I was kind of obligated to go, right.
But I have left DC. So it was like, well, this is going to be really weird. And I was walking around. That was the meeting. editor, friend of mine, and I was walking on my way over to see him and I had this idea. I was like, you know, I want to do a thing about cop. I want to do the cop thing. [00:15:00] And. I got this idea about, this cop was actually this, which, right?
But instead of it being a focus on the police procedural, I wanted to really take a look at what witchcraft would be. And by the time I got home, I had this idea in my head, and I’m sitting in my backyard in Portland and I’m doing all this research and I’m writing notes, and I know I’m going to call black magic.
And I write the first script really quickly, and I sent it to Michael Lark and I say, well, you want to draw this? And he says, yeah. And I go, great. And we then spend the next 18 months trying to get a publisher, get, get things sorted with the publisher we were talking to at that time to make the book happen.
now in the interim of this, right, I have written another novel. I’m going to go on the tour, and this is 2009 now into 2010. And you may remember in 2008 there was this [00:16:00] little thing that happened, yeah, where the whole economy fucking went tits up. And I had been in New York in the fall of Oh nine, and I was talking to a friend who worked sort of adjacent to wall street.
And he and I had gotten together and we were having a chat and he was telling you, it’s like people don’t realize how bad it was, like how close it was to it all ending. And I was like, what do you mean? And, and he was saying that he’s like, I knew investment bankers who were like stocking up on pork and beans and buying shotguns.
He’s like, it was really bad like that. You don’t understand that the Obama administration pretty much saved the global economy. Okay.
Greg Rucka: And I kind of went Hong Kong. Oh damn. And I was thinking about that, and I had this weird thought. I was like, [00:17:00] well, you know, at the end of the world is going to be, it isn’t.
You know, it isn’t going to be plague. It’s not going to be nuclear war, and it’s not going to be climate change. All of those can be a part of it. Right. Thank you. that was my wife walking in and now walking away. all those things to be a part of it, but, but the end of the world is going to be economic.
The apocalypse is going to be economic. And. So I had that idea in my head, and then I had this other idea and I don’t know, I was doing some yard work. I guess a lot of this stuff comes back to my backyard some way. I was doing some yard work, and I remember having this image in my head of this woman. And I knew it was a woman, and I had the narration.
And, and, and I wrote the lines down. It was like, you know, bullet number [00:18:00] one, you know, enter just said, the third intercostal, you know, or enters the intercostal space and exits between the fourth and fifth vertebrae, you know, and collapses the lot, you know, and then the second bullet does this, and the third bullet does this.
At which point I got up again and I was like, okay, who the hell is this talking to me? And that idea collided with the economic idea and was the start of Lazarus. So I didn’t know it was. Was Lazarus, yet I just had this idea and I didn’t know what it was trying to tell me. And I was in Dallas, Texas on this book tour, and I went out to dinner.
It was summer, and I went out to dinner with, my literary agent who lives in Dallas and with Michael who lives in Dallas. And we’re having dinner. And I say to Michael, so I had this idea. For this, [00:19:00] this, this scene, this book. And I described to him what was the opening sequence of Lazarus issue one. And he leaned across the table, his eyes wide.
He says, I want to try the hat. That’s what I wanted. Right. You know, that’s the book. So I was like, alright. So, the long and the short of it is, that’s how Michael got Lazarus and Nicola ended up on black magic because Nicola knew about. About black magic and was interested, but she was exclusive to DC.
Sue’s going to work on it, and then by the time we got through all of this, enough time had passed and Nicola was free to work on black magic. So
Casey: I think it worked out.
Greg Rucka: Oh yeah.
Casey: In everybody. It is.
Greg Rucka: It is absolutely the right matches. Absolutely. Abs. Those things where it’s like, well, I’m glad that Michael saw that before I did because he was right.
Casey: Is there any more, possibility of it [00:20:00] being developed for Amazon?
Greg Rucka: Oh, yeah. Yeah.
Greg Rucka: yeah, and, I dunno, it shouldn’t all goes well. We’ll, we’ll, we’ll maybe be able to, to say something in the next couple of months. But it is moving forward.
Casey: I, dude, I can’t wait to see that cause it, yeah, it’s just fantastic.
speaking of, you have, you have something else on, another,
Greg Rucka: card. The old garden movie will be out, this summer on Netflix. starting shortly.
[00:21:00] Crushing it. nice. But that isn’t because. And that’s because they’re artists and they want it to be perfect or as close to perfect as they can get it. But you know, I’ve seen the find this, this locked cut. They release it tomorrow. It’s a good movie. There’s no question. Yeah.
Casey: you feel like you were going crazy when they said that Charlie’s Saroyan was going to be in something that you, I mean, you, you’ve, this isn’t the first production you’ve had. You’ve had some really, really
Greg Rucka: amazing actors. It’s been weird though, right? I mean, wait out. It happens sort of. Arbitrarily, it was like, you know, white out had been option and [00:22:00] option and option and in development.
Yeah. Well, and then all of a sudden they made a movie and there you go. And it was like, okay, Kate Beckinsale that’ll work. Scare it. Cool. You know? with the old Garnet wrote the screenplay and the screenplay I wrote, brought the director on board and then she and I did some more work. And they kept trying.
They had a murderously difficult time finding a casting the part, and I think they had trouble casting the part because Andy is not an easy character to play. and a lot of actresses are very concerned about their image and they looked at Andy and the script and they were like, she’s a bitch. And I don’t want people to think I’m a bitch.
And my response to that is, yes, she is. She is, she is the world’s crankiest grandmother, right? She has a 7,000 year old grandma who cannot program a VCR but [00:23:00] knows every way possible to kill you, right? That’s the character. She is crankiness and body. Right? There is a reason she is bitter and there’s a reason she has hurt, and there’s a reason she’s hiding from that.
And the fact of the matter is she’s also really funny. or at least I thought she was. And we got close on a couple of actresses, and then she at least came along. And when I was told Shirley’s was interested, I was like, well, that’s perfect. Because she is one of the bravest actresses I have ever seen.
Casey: And she can play a badass.
Greg Rucka: She like nobody’s business, but, but more than that, people forget. She’s an, she’s an Academy award winner. Yeah. This is, this is a woman who has taken on very difficult roles over and over again roles that I think most other actresses would have passed on. [00:24:00] So, and. You know, my God, she’s, you know, I was on set for four or five weeks.
She’s a workhorse. I mean, she is just relentless. You will be hard pressed to find somebody as professional and as committed. And, I mean, as all in. On what she is doing. And to an extent, what she does, she’s not going to waste time. You know, she is there doing the job and it is, is something to be whole.
So, so, you know, and then Kiki, you know, I’d seen her in a field street talk and she’s phenomenal and she’s going to be enormous. when people realize who she is. she’s spectacular. And then, you know, we’ve got Matea shone arts is playing Booker, Luca, Luca Marinelli is [00:25:00] playing Nicky and Marlon Cozaar is playing Joe and the chemistry between them is unbelievably good.
Like the director as women named Gina Prince, both wet and the cure she put into casting and putting everybody together shows on the screen. Like, there are sequences in the movie where you kind of were like, I just would watch this for another hour. Just them sitting around giving each other shit. I would happily watch that for an hour.
I mean, the shooting is fun, but you know, the part where they’re hanging out and just getting any, you know, stepping on each other’s toes. It’s a delight. so I, you know, I’m, I’m so tickled and. Did, I mean, they’re making a movie in, in, in, as I said, knowing what I know now about making a movie, the mere fact that they make these things is something of a miracle.
So you know, that they get done is stunning [00:26:00] by
Casey: the wood that the director of this film is. I’ve seen. A few of her films before, like love and basketball and
Greg Rucka: secret life of
Casey: bees. fantastic.
Greg Rucka: you don’t, you don’t look at her and then go, she’s going to make an action movie and trust me, it’s like you’re, you’re going to get your socks blown off.
Greg Rucka: Yeah. And the other thing to remember is that when w when they make movies like this, right, you also have your second unit and your second unit is primarily doing the fights. And the second unit on this was this astonishingly good as well. So between Gina and Gina’s direction and just everything second unit that it comes out, I, it looks, it’s good.
It’s good. There are a couple of sequences in it. The fights are just terrific.
Casey: So do you, do you mind if we talk about the stump down? Excuse me, Stumptown [00:27:00] TV show a little bit.
Greg Rucka: I don’t mind
Casey: how much, but do you have in that?
Greg Rucka: very little. so I mean, sometimes it happened really quick. Like, you know, we talked about something like the old guard from start to finish. The old guard has taken about three years to get from Skydance acquiring it to them, liking the screenplay enough to getting a director to casting Shirley’s and everybody else to shooting the movie to coming out.
Right. It’s been about two and a half, three years. Stumptown took.
Seven months. I’ve never had anything move that quickly in my life. In, in Hollywood, was I had literally taken my son out to New York to go to college. Right? He was starting his freshman year. I had gone back to the city. I got a call from my agent saying that the specific company was coming back again, asking about Stumptown, and they really wanted to know what they needed [00:28:00] to do and make the deal.
And I told her, look, we passed on the deal because it wasn’t a good deal. and she said, yeah, but they want to know. What they can do to make it right.
Casey: You always hear people, they ran summons in development. Hell yeah. Yeah. That’s amazing.
Greg Rucka: And so I said, look, I mean, it’s ABC and the upfront money is not good.
And if they’re going to make a TV show out of it, Justin Greenwood and, and Matt Southworth need to have a piece of it. They have to have a piece of it. they are part of it and I cannot go to them with this pittance that they’re offering and say, this is it. They’re going to make a show. They have to get a track and they have to get a regular check.
And she said, all right, I’ll tell them. And literally the next day got a call saying, okay, the green EAP credits and so on. And. Points and blah, blah, blah. So I was like, all right, fine. You know, sounds good to me. I’ll believe it when it happens. Three weeks later, I’m, you [00:29:00] know, sitting where I am right now in my office on Skype, talking to Jason Richmond and, Dave Burnett, and, you know, and, and they’re talking about.
How they want to approach the pilot and what do I think about this and that? And I’m like, guys, go do get, go with God. These are the things I think that are important in it. These are the things I think you should know that didn’t show up on the page. Go. And like two, three months later, I’ve got a pilot script that I read and I’m like, this is actually really good.
And I’ve read a lot of pilots in my stuff where I’ve been like, this is not, I’m like, this is good. And. January, I am in Santa Monica in a writer’s room on a project, and all of a sudden my phone blows up and it’s Bendis and fraction because they both must have like Google alerts on deadline and so on, [00:30:00] right?
And they’re like, dude, they’ve ordered it. They’ve ordered a pilot. They’re going to shoot a pilot of Stumptown. And that’s the end of January. In March, they’re in Vancouver and Portland shooting it in may. There are the upfronts, and then next thing we know they’ve done 18 episodes. Boom. So, you know, in the first half of the season, I was being pretty diligent about watching every cut that they sent me and giving them notes.
But at a certain point I was kind of like, you know what? This is now this, this, this plane is very clearly flying and doesn’t need me because at this point, anything that I do is going to potentially a freight turbulence right. It’s fine. Disruptor
Casey: balance. Exactly.
Greg Rucka: They, they’ve got it. You know, one of the things that I think is so crucial is that when you read a comic, especially something like Stumptown as a comment, that’s a comic is about decks.
Right? And we have done [00:31:00] four stories really, about decks, and that’s it. And in that time, you’ve gotten to know a fair amount about decks. and something about Ansul. And really nothing about anybody else. Like what could you tell me about grey other than he’s got a thing for decks. If you read the comments right, that’s it.
you cannot make a TV show off of that, so you have to be able to get somebody like a Jake John. And say to him, this character is now yours. And you know, and I met him at San Diego this last year, shortly after you come on in, he and I sat down and he was like, tell me, you know, what should I know? And I literally looked at my son, make him yours.
You gotta make him yours. I like that. If you work off of what’s in the comic, you are going to be frustrated and disappointed, man. Make him yours, and that is what they did. That’s what Cameron’s [00:32:00] done. You know, Turkey doesn’t exist in the comics. Andrea Martinez is fantastic. You know what he’s done with that character is great.
Tattoo. Cardinal has taken a character that appeared in the first arc on maybe eight pages total and made Sue Lynn awesome. That’s
Casey: awesome. And
Greg Rucka: yeah.
Casey: What was it? So it wasn’t really hard for you to let go of you just say you, you have this R a understand that you can do this and then you just
Greg Rucka: let them, yeah.
Yeah, because I mean, this is gonna sound maybe. Little trait. Casey, you know, this is the example you use, right? what Peter Jackson did, the Lord of the rings trilogy, and you would hear people say, well, they’re not the books. And I’d always want to slap people that said that, because of course they’re not.
They’re movies, they’re entirely [00:33:00] different things, and they have very different demands. You know, and I see this as the guy who did the, you know, read the screenplay for the old guard, right? I wrote the comic, and it’s true, as I met, want the movie to be to the comic, it has to be different. It has to answer to different things, to different needs.
And at the end of the day, stumped talent is built around a character and index periods. Did they get decks right, is the question. And that’s really the only question. Okay. And the answer to me has been yes, they, you know, Coby is deaths. Kobe has inhabited that character. And absolutely. I will never be able to write decks in a comic and not here at Kobe saying the lines.
Right? And from there, then all things can come. Yeah. When you, when you take [00:34:00] something that is a sense of the private eyes series, you are buying the detective, you’re buying that character and the mystery. You’re not buying the mysteries. You’re buying the character, you’re buying the supporting cast, and they got that.
Now, when we talk about something like Lazarus, right? If I was less invested in Lazarus being done, quote unquote correctly. It would be on the air by now. I don’t want it done badly. and with regard to Lazarus, I am much more involved. As a result.
Casey: Do you think that’s because, whereas Stumptown’s more kind of a real life.
I mean, she, she’s, she’s a, a lady, Raymond Chandler. She exists in the world as we know it today. Stumptown is a real place. Lazarus is a,
Greg Rucka: you know,
Casey: takes place in a completely [00:35:00] different circumstance, in a completely different world of not, you know,
Greg Rucka: yeah. In, in, no, cause you’re, you’re precisely right.
Right. Because here’s the thing, if you asked me how to Stumptown, and I would say, I don’t know, it doesn’t need to have an ending. Right?
Casey: Yeah. Yeah. You could obstensibly. Right.
Greg Rucka: You know, you could you and and that for 20 years. Exactly. There could be 200 issues. There could be 10 seasons. Right? Lazarus has an ending.
I know where it’s going, and if you want to make that show and make it Lazarus, then you need access to the things that only I know.
You don’t necessarily have to follow them, but you have to acknowledge them in a different way
Casey: and don’t want to games of Thrones.
Greg Rucka: well, look, let’s, [00:36:00] let’s look at that
All right. They had to go off his map at that point. Yeah. They didn’t do anything without his permission. They didn’t do anything without his input. Right. So the disappointment that people may feel as to how that story resolved. You know, I’m not saying it’s invalid, but I am saying one wonders if the reactions would be the same if in fact this series had finished at the last books had come out and, and what you were seeing on screen were the adaptations of those books.
Right. Yeah. and I don’t, I don’t envy them [00:37:00] having to do that. I, I think that was very challenging. And. I, you know, and I say, this is somebody who did not watch the series. and I did not watch the series because very early on in Lazarus, people were comparing it to game of Thrones. So I was like, well, I can never now watch game of Thrones until I am done with Lazarus.
Casey: Oh, I’ve never heard those comparisons, but, okay. Yeah, yeah. I can see why you would avoid that.
Greg Rucka: Yeah. So, but I, endings are always hard. And in something fractious, you know, where you are dealing with multiple characters and you’re looking at multiple possible resolutions and everybody’s got a horse in the race, you are going to disappoint people.
that said, you know, I think Lazarus is a, slightly, is a different case because, I don’t know, [00:38:00] Martin, and I don’t know how, I don’t know his process, but I suspect a lot of stuff is still in flux for him. And there is very little in Lazarus that is in flux for me at this point. If I had to write the ending tomorrow, I could do it. I hopefully won’t need to do that for several years, but I could if I needed to.
So yeah, making that what you like.
Casey: So what, what’s, what’s coming up next on the horizon for you? Because I, I know you stay busy, man.
Greg Rucka: Yeah.
Casey: You’re not just doing the creator on stuff. You’re, you’re, you’re doing Lois lane, you’re, you’re doing all kinds of other comics. You, you have multiple film and or TV projects going.
what else? What else are you doing? What are you looking forward to putting out.
Greg Rucka: We’ve got, well, look, I mean, Lazarus is still being, you know, we’re still quarterly. Michael was trying and she five now, [00:39:00] of, of resin black magic in theory as back in June, old guard, the second old guard series will be ending around then.
we, we push the release of issue five of force multiplied because. It actually kind of became a double sized issue of, so I was like, well, all right, we might need more time. so there’s going to be a third old guard story because once we committed to doing a second, I knew that there would have to be a third.
That would be the last one. I just finished my last script for Lois. I’ve got a project that I’m starting this week and that I don’t want to talk about yet. I’ve got two other projects in various stages of development. Hopefully one of them, well, the three things that are now sort of coming up in comics, I’m hoping two of them will be out by the end of the year.
but we will [00:40:00] see, so right now, honestly, at this moment, I’ve got a movie I want to write because it’s been burning the back of my brain for a really long time. so I’m going to try to find time to do that. And oddly enough, I’ve actually been flirting with writing a new novel. So, so,
Casey: so I was gonna ask you this earlier and we kind of switched lanes a little bit and I didn’t want to take you back there.
you were talking about the process of the, the anticipation you have. Going into a new novel, knowing that it’s going to be a heavy thing on you and it’s going to take a toll on you. How do you know when it’s time to actually just bite the bullet and get it done?
Greg Rucka: for me, it’s a feeling, you know, it’s just the, the story needs to be told and this is the way I need to tell it, [00:41:00] and that’s how it happens.
I mean, that’s, that’s really what happened. I wish I could say that it’s clearer than that, that it is, and it’s just, you know, I’ve got, I’ve had two ideas for novels bouncing around my head for a while now, and one of them are, I am getting to the place where I want to write it. And that is the most important part of starting it.
you know, is that I need to do this to myself. I can’t do it because somebody else said do it. This is like, no, this is my own damn fault. So that’s it. That’s how you got there.
Casey: So what, what do you do to unwind? Because, okay, so this is the idiot question. Yeah. But I, I was talking to, to Peter David, and he was talking about [00:42:00] watching a film and because he knows how well third act structure works and everything, he gets the, the end of the movie, by the time the first act as a film had already, you know, before it was even over with, with that, is it hard to turn off that writer brain for you?
Are you able to enjoy stuff?
Greg Rucka: Yeah. I just am really, really picky, but there’s, there’s a lot I can enjoy. I know, I know a lot. I mean, there’s a, there’s the type of person that, who takes delight in going, Oh, I got there first. I figured it out. I don’t actually think that’s a big thing to be proud of.
and I actually don’t think it’s a big. And I don’t actually think it’s because of you understand third act structure or anything like that. I gotta tell you, I actually think that’s bullshit, Casey. I think, no, I’ll tell you why. Stories have to do certain things. All right? And the [00:43:00] more stories you see, the more you Intuit that you may not be able to articulate it.
Right. But one of the things that happens when you see something you don’t like is you respond to it. You don’t eat. It isn’t because you think the performance is bad. Right. How often do you go? I didn’t like it. It didn’t work, right? Yeah. Not, I didn’t like it. The effects were bad. Right? It’s, it didn’t work and they didn’t like the effects and the cause, but the first thing, right, because you will overlook all of those other things if the story worked.
Right. So a story, and this is why I don’t like gotcha writing, right? If you get where I’m going ahead of me, that doesn’t mean I fail. It means that you are reading the tracks correctly. Yeah. Right. A story has to go certain places. The [00:44:00] best stories will get you to that place and have surprised you. When you get there, you will, you will sit back and go, I didn’t see that coming.
And of course that’s how it had to be. Right? Those are the best when you go, Oh, it couldn’t end any other way. But sometimes the way it ends is the way you see it. And what pisses you off is then when it fails to deliver on that.
Greg Rucka: Okay. And, and, and think about how many, you know, thinking about the stories you don’t like, you know, I’ll give you that.
Did you like rise of Skywalker?
Casey: You know, honestly, I haven’t seen it and I feel like a bad words fan for gutsy
Greg Rucka: email. You’ve actually probably done something very smart. it’s a horrible movie. It’s just a bad movie. Okay. And one of the reasons it’s a bad movie [00:45:00] is that the story is disingenuous. It is all over the place.
It doesn’t know what it’s doing. And it is trying to be all things to all people. And as a result, it is nothing to anybody. All right? Now that’s not simply a screenplay issue, right? That’s an issue of, you know, how many cooks and all the choices that went into making it right, but look, man, you never going to convince me it’s a good movie.
It’s not. It’s a bad movie. Structurally, it is horribly flawed and my kids know that, and my kids aren’t professional writers. You know how old, how old are your kids?
Casey: Have a five and a nine year old.
Greg Rucka: Alright. And I will guarantee you nine year olds from watching TV, you take the nine year olds in the movies, your nine year old has a very sophisticated narrative sense already.
[00:46:00] You know, when you watch something with your nine year old, take the cues off of them. The more they watch, the more they understand the story. And they’re still at that age where they haven’t seen every trick. They can still be surprised. Right. And they can still experience wonder in it, but the older they get, especially living in the world we live in today, they’re inundated with stories.
They figure out the way they move, they know the way they move. So having settled that, I can enjoy quite a lot. It depends on how I go about it. Right? There are things that I’ll watch and I will watch them with a critical eye that is not for enjoyment. Right. I’m watching old Colombo’s right now with Jen.
That’s one of the things we do before we go to bed and I’m talking to the old Colombo’s first season. [00:47:00] Second season. Right.
Casey: wow. Wow. So like, what was that sixties?
Greg Rucka: these were early, mid seventies, 73 74. Right. These are, you know, I mean, they were, they were the CBS Sunday mystery movies. They were night, any minute movies.
if you know Colombo, you know the structure,
you could pick them apart if you wanted to. You could pick them apart because they’re 40 years old. You can pick them apart because sometimes the writing and great, you get to pick them apart because sometimes the performances are a hammy as hell, but you know what? They’re a delight. And more often than not, they’re terrific.
I love letter Kenny. Right? And I don’t know if you’ve seen Letterkenny you can
Casey: seem like two episodes. I’ve really enjoyed it though.
Greg Rucka: I love it. And I think the deeper, and you get it, it’s terrific. The [00:48:00] first half of this latest season with is, was a disappointment. The back half was terrific. You know, and I can say I was disappointed by that first half.
I, and they totally brought it back in the second. I loved it. So, you know, I, there are things I watch, I read, you know, and there are authors that I know are going to please me and I will read them. and honestly, right now my dirty little secret is I’ve been spending a fair amount of time riding around on my course in RDR too.
I’ve been playing a lot of red dead redemption too, so. I
Casey: could see you. I could see you digging that game.
Greg Rucka: I dig that game so much.
Casey: No, no one that you like. Letter Kenny though is not quite there, but almost to the point where the shock that I got when I found out that Werner Herzog was a huge WWF fan.
There you go. so, just, you [00:49:00] know, this guy that right, that does he serious? Movies, and you know, it is really into this silly thing, but I love, I love knowing that.
Greg Rucka: Yeah.
Casey: my wife and then I just finished, I don’t know if you’ve read the books or seen the show. Sunstars is called Dublin murders.
Greg Rucka: No, I don’t know.
Casey: It’s, it’s a detective, series that was on stars that, takes place in Ireland. And
Greg Rucka: I am, I am, I am looking right now. It’s
Casey: worth checking out. Like as someone who does that, you know, writes crime and detective fiction, you know, as a job. I don’t know if you’ll get as much. Out of it as I did. and you might think it’s trite or whatever, but I read some of the books.
I really enjoyed it.
Greg Rucka: Yeah. It looks like a hoot.
Casey: Yeah. Yeah. And it’s, it was one of those shows we kind of had to [00:50:00] strategically watch around the kids.
Greg Rucka: To me, it strikes me as pretty much for adults.
Casey: Yes, yes. So, you know, if the kids were in the playroom, we could watch
Greg Rucka: it. Right.
Casey: You, you will not have that issue.
Now having, having older children
Greg Rucka: and, and they, they don’t have any interest in watching what I watch. So, you know, we’re good. Oh, yeah. Okay.
Casey: So, okay. I’m going to start landing this ship because I don’t want to take up any more of your
Greg Rucka: time. We’ve been talking for about two hours, so, Oh my gosh.
Casey: Yes. I’m so sorry.
Local comic shops. Yeah. Where do you go? Like who’s doing it right, at least.
Greg Rucka: Oh, well, okay, so immediately local in Portland bridge city comics and cosmic monkey are my favorite shops. I think. and also relatively convenient to where I live, which may impact their status, but I [00:51:00] quite like, I quite like the staff and I quite like the stores.
Olympic cards in comics in Lacey, Washington is run by a woman named, Gabrielle shepherd, who’s married to. Eric Troutman. and I spent a lot of time in that shop and I adored that shot. It is as much a comic book in game store as it is a community center. and it is such a vital place for its community, and in what Gabby does.
for her customers and for her kids as she calls them. I think it was just incredible. So those would be, those would be my three shout outs would be bridge city comics, cosmic monkey, and, Olympic cards in comics.
Casey: That’s awesome. I love what you said about Olympic being that it was a like a community center and
Greg Rucka: it is, it is literally like walking in, walking into a community [00:52:00] center slash comic book library games.
Festival place. I don’t even know how to describe it, man.
Casey: And that’s what we need to keep around because I didn’t have those places when I was a kid. I bought all my comics off of a spinner rack at the grocery store because that’s the only place that had them in the town I grew up in, in Birmingham. yeah.
But, now, you know, going into the comic shop, just talking to the people at the counter and seeing all the different people that come in and the different types of people that come in, it’s really fun, but it’s also part of a huge part of the local arts community.
Greg Rucka: Yeah, it’s, it, it is. It is a social nexus, and it’s a place where you find people like you.
You know, these are important places to our community. This is where we meet. This is where we convene and [00:53:00] talk. this is where, you know, when, when you talk about this culture, we talked about the culture of divisiveness, right? But it is a place where really, it doesn’t matter how you go, everybody can, you know, you can, you, we can all love Superman, right?
You know what I mean? We can all think Batman’s cool. it is vitally important to have this spaces. you know, not just for what I do for a living, but I think for all of us as fans, so
Casey: Greg, thank you so much for coming onto the show. I appreciate, I appreciate your time and again, it’s been awesome talking to you.
Greg Rucka: Oh, it’s absolute pleasure case. Really glad we were able to make this happen,
Casey: dude. Thank you again. And, anytime you want to come on and talk or if you have anything you want us to promote or anything, let us know. We’ll be more than happy to do that for you.
Greg Rucka: Very good. Thank you so much. Yeah.
Casey: Alright, thank you.
Take it easy,
Greg Rucka: brother. You too. Have a very good night.
Casey: Alright. Same to you and stay safe and, and
Greg Rucka: you as well.
[00:54:00] Casey: Same to you man. Alright,
Greg Rucka: bye.
John – Greg Rucka – Intro Outro: after another non canned outro on the fly, all new.
Kenric – Greg Rucka – Intro Outro: that was cool, man. You could tell they had a
lot of fun together.
John – Greg Rucka – Intro Outro: Yeah, Greg’s a cool guy. I I’ve met him a couple of times in, in Portland and talk to him about, you know, this is back in when he was still working on Batman and, uh, you know, he’s, he’s a cool guy. He’s he
was a lot of fun to talk to you. There you go. I have a story about Greg record that I’ve told him that other podcast before, but I’m not going to say on this one.
Cause if I want you to go and find it on her old podcast, right. It’s all a really funny story about
Kenric – Greg Rucka – Intro Outro: So
why would you do
John – Greg Rucka – Intro Outro: to get people to
go listen, to some taught episodes where it’s, so it’s probably it’s somewhere in episodes between episode 120
podcast of spoiled country
Kenric – Greg Rucka – Intro Outro: Oh, [00:55:00] that wasn’t very clear.
John – Greg Rucka – Intro Outro: I guess. Cause I’m I do, I do. I am on a lot of podcasts, so
understand why you’re confused of what
Kenric – Greg Rucka – Intro Outro: every time I talked to Tony, what’s going on, I’m going to be on this podcast. What podcasts? I don’t know. They just started.
How many cherries have
you popped? can say. It sounds disgusting, but I mean, seriously, how many podcasts
John – Greg Rucka – Intro Outro: First
Kenric – Greg Rucka – Intro Outro: Have you done
John – Greg Rucka – Intro Outro: a lot?
uh, at least at least
Kenric – Greg Rucka – Intro Outro: Half a dozen. I know my buddy that I’ve known since like seventh grade fricking calls you to be on his fricking misery point radio. And
like, wait, what?
John – Greg Rucka – Intro Outro: Hey, I have more to
Kenric – Greg Rucka – Intro Outro: offer
John – Greg Rucka – Intro Outro: sorry you have the voice.
Kenric – Greg Rucka – Intro Outro: What talent.
John – Greg Rucka – Intro Outro: The talent of being on podcasts.
Kenric – Greg Rucka – Intro Outro: Oh, my God. That’s hilarious. All right guys. Sorry for that. But if you like listening to Greg Rucka and Casey, Casey has done a ton of [00:56:00] interviews with us and for us, and he has a lot of fun and you can hear him in his laid back style and the Southern drawl, which, uh, kinda LOLs you in and, and just kinda makes you feel a little,
a little safe
John – Greg Rucka – Intro Outro: in as best NPR
Kenric – Greg Rucka – Intro Outro: It is best NPR voice, which cracks me up every time he starts, just so people know that is him trying to do his best NPR voice at the beginning
every interview he does. Yeah. So feel free to tweet at him at robots, eats guitar, robots, eat guitar. Yup.
John – Greg Rucka – Intro Outro: or the
Kenric – Greg Rucka – Intro Outro: Twitter handle or robot seat guitar, whatever one you want to call it as and giving some shit for isn’t it for a shitty NPR voice.
John – Greg Rucka – Intro Outro: just do it.
Kenric – Greg Rucka – Intro Outro: But if you do love all that and you you’re having a lot of fun, go back to spoilers.com, check out all we have to offer. Cause there’s a ton ton there for you to peruse and to download and not just with sport in the country, but with shooting the Sith. Bridging the [00:57:00] geek, dumb nerd talk lips, a narrative gunslinger.
Yay. Yup. And coming soon, or are they there yet? I think they’re
soon nurturing the
John – Greg Rucka – Intro Outro: crypt. There’s some of the campuses that are on their way. They’re halfway there. They’re almost there. They are. Can’t even put it out in episodes that soon. And
we’re super excited to have them on the network.
Kenric – Greg Rucka – Intro Outro: Yeah.
ruins a an announcement today
John – Greg Rucka – Intro Outro: know you didn’t know because we’ve talked about before. It was fine.
Kenric – Greg Rucka – Intro Outro: good. Just making sure
John – Greg Rucka – Intro Outro: Yeah no you’re good You’re good
Kenric – Greg Rucka – Intro Outro: I’ve
been drinking some
beer during this
John – Greg Rucka – Intro Outro: one.
Kenric – Greg Rucka – Intro Outro: Okay. Just a couple one, a couple of one, but it might turn into two when we get off here. That’s right. But. I digress, not only do we have other podcasts, we have articles that are being written almost daily and press releases for all the major comic book publishers like
Is it lion point or lions?
my forge stress so much only press [00:58:00] source point press.
else is on there? Donny?
John – Greg Rucka – Intro Outro: Oh my God. I does, uh, action
Kenric – Greg Rucka – Intro Outro: studios.
John – Greg Rucka – Intro Outro: you’ve got Johnny on the spot. Yeah.
Kenric – Greg Rucka – Intro Outro: How many there is though?
John – Greg Rucka – Intro Outro: Well, you’ve, you’ve already
a bunch of them. I trying to think of what not to say.
Kenric – Greg Rucka – Intro Outro: but that, but that’s the point though? There’s so many on there that we push out all the content.
So if you, you know, if you’re a comic book
nerd, it’s a great place to go. You find out so much news and so much what’s going on and listened to so many great interviews with like Walton Louis, Simon, CIN, and Greg Rucker that you just listened to. And Ben temple Smith, who, who was co-creator 30 days of night, which is one of the greatest horror comics
John – Greg Rucka – Intro Outro: in the last 20 years. Easy.
Kenric – Greg Rucka – Intro Outro: Right. I
would agree. Yeah. And not only that Eric Larson and, and Jerry Conway and the list is so much of, of greats. I can’t even begin. And there’s, if you’re not into mainstream, the amount of independent [00:59:00] comic
we have pushed and given a platform to is tremendous, and you’re going to find so many amazing people, amazing creators that have a real passion for what they’re doing.
And not only in comic books, but in movies and music and actors and directors and producers and all that
kind of fun stuff.
It’s all right there at your fingertips.
John – Greg Rucka – Intro Outro: Yeah. So do all that. Go there, go to your favorite podcast or type in split country. Hit subscribe, hit, download all episodes, listened to every episode, back to back. It’s it’s a good use of your time at 360 episodes. You’re looking at a good couple of days that have time.
So you might a week. You might as well just do it. I mean, well, it’s Kelvin. What, what else are you doing right now? But then go, as you’re doing that, go to spillovers.com and then that center bar at the top, click on the store link. And from there, go to our public store and buy something, buy a tee shirt, buy a hoodie, buy a mug, something, if you want to, you don’t have to, but if you do, you’ll help support us.
You’ll help keep us going, help pay our bills a little bit for the podcast
that we’re doing for you.
for free, no paywall.
Kenric – Greg Rucka – Intro Outro: You guys go. All right, Johnny. I think we’re out of here. Alright.
Shouldn’t serve podcasts, compels you to do up and read.