Darwyn Cooke’s panel on Saturday was filled with his trademark no-nonsense take on comics including thoughts about who should and shouldn’t be writing Wonder Woman.
Much of his discussion was about the impact of digital on comics. Cooke is very focused on the medium and said his next creator-owned project will be digital. And in addition to discussing his plans he was blunt in discussing the impact digital could have on comics and how it was a time of great change and great danger. On the rise of webcomics and their threat to traditional comics, he noted “one creative smart kid pushes a button and the whole thing goes out the window. A 15 year old kid has the same power as Time-Warner.”
Cooke sees great potential in digital as a creative form giving an example of where splash pages could become interactive.
For now, however, he prefers to create his art in analog because the sales of his original artwork are still an important part of his income. He also said the “warmth” you get from art on paper is different than with digital.
The session concluded with a Q&A session that turned up some interesting comments including updates on his Parker series and his reaction to Action Comics #900.
Among the points touched upon by Cooke:
- He loved working on Batman: The Animated Series for Bruce Timm and related with glee the moment when Timm called him about adapting The New Frontier. “I guess I’m going to have to make a movie of your book,” said Timm. Cooke, still giggling at the memory, responded, “I guess you will.”
- He thinks the problem with Wonder Woman is “Women should be writing and drawing Wonder Woman.” He feels women are better able to have get handle on the character and get into her. “Guys shouldn’t work on it.” He also said that Catwoman should written by a woman.
- He has another Parker book coming out next summer. In July at SDCC they will be releasing a “Martini” edition of Parker. Twelve copies of the book will have blank cloth covers and Cooke will hand paint each one. He’s very fond of the character and said he’ll “be a big part of my life for a long time.”
- He’s working on a “big” project for DC, “the biggest project I’ve done for them yet.” He originally turned it down but came back to them a week later when he had come up with the story.
- His original art for The New Frontier was very Kirby-esque i.e. He talked about his love for Kirby and said he’ll relax by printing out Kirby drawings and inking over them.
- His favorite of his works? Selina’s Big Score. Dream book he’d like to adapt? Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead.
- On why comics have changed. “They used to be simple morality tales. About bad guys and good guys. But now they cater to adults who want flaws.” He added, “once Batman is having sex with Black Canary in their costumes you’ve crossed the line.” He said he didn’t think Warner Brothers reads their comics. “If they read three months of DC Comics, they’d lose their minds.”
“Everyone knows what a superhero is. Pick a guy on the street and ask him and he’ll tell you. The ones who don’t know are comic people.”
- When asked about Action Comics #900 and David Goyer’s story where Superman says he will renounce his US citizenship. Cooke, who hadn’t heard of the news, called it “bullshit” and said, “Why would you want to be a citizen of the world when you can be a citizen of America?” He added “Superman being an American is very important.”