THE SOURCE: How do you introduce a new hero?
JT KRUL: As always, with a bang. You want to see them come right out at you in a big and bold way. Show why these heroes are not only cool, but also totally kickass. From the first few pages, you want readers to be like – “Damn, I want to be Green Arrow.” I kept thinking of all those great James Bond openings in all the films. Intense action, incredible odds, and there’s this guy in the middle of it – cool as a cucumber (or whatever your vegetable of choice is).
How do you introduce a new villain?
Introducing a new villain can vary greatly depending on the core psychosis behind the character. Some are more visceral characters that come right at you. Again, a big bang. For instance, Doomsday crashing down in the middle of Metropolis to destroy everything. Others work better with a slow burn. You give the reader a taste of them, without really saying just how good or bad they are going to be. Blur the lines a little before you pull back the curtain and reveal their horrific nature.
What was the first comic you ever worked on?
My very first story ever was a short story in X-Men Unlimited #1 drawn by Tom Mandrake. It was a small story about mutants on Halloween being able to blend in with the rest of society for a brief time. My first story DC was a two-part Doctor Mid-Nite story in JSA Classified all made possible by Mike Marts giving me a shot. Alex Sanchez drew the issue about the good doctor going up against a man convinced he was an actual vampire.
Who was the first character you followed?
Batman. I mean, who doesn’t immediately start following him the moment you discover him? Most likely, the greatest comic book hero of all time.
What was the first series you collected?
Uncanny X-Men was the first one that really burned in my brain. During those Chris Claremont days, I really got into the serialized aspect of the storytelling. I was hooked.
Who was the first writer you followed?
Chris Claremont for Uncanny X-Men, and Dennis O’Neil. I discovered him with Green Arrow then hunted down all his Question stories. An amazing book.
What was the first convention you attended as a professional?
Wizard World LA in Long Beach. It was also the first time I met Dan DiDio.
What was the first comic book you read?
Uncanny X-Men #132 & Action Comics #482. They belonged to my uncle. I found his stash of comics in an old Canada Dry box.
What was the first piece of original art you bought?
The first cover to my first full issue story. Fathom: Dawn of War – Cannon Hawke Special. Art by Koi Turnbull.
What was the first digital comic book you downloaded?
I think my very first one was Blackest Night #0.
Skitch Commentary: Not much about Captain Atom or Green Arrow in this interview, though I did like his comments about trying to capture a reader from the first line. Freddie Williams III’s interview did a much better job on selling me on Captain Atom.