Ron Marz really needs no introduction a true comic icon who has been part of some the biggest events in the industry. He was gracious enough to give us a few moments of his time.
Q) You have been worked with a lot of different companies but what was your first paying writing gig and how did you get it? Any advice for how other writers can break in?
RM: My first paying writing gig was as a sports reporter for the local daily newspaper, a job I did for a few years. My first comics gig was a Silver Surfer Annual for Marvel. My friend Jim Starlin showed me the ropes of writing a comic and got me the gig,
and I’ve been doing it ever since. Obviously I was very, very fortunate to just walk in and start playing in the major leagues, so to speak. That really doesn’t matter anymore. Now writers have to pay their dues elsewhere before they ever get a chance at Marvel and DC. For comics, that means working up through the ranks of self-publishing to small press or maybe the web, then
Image. Someone pointed out that there are fewer people making a living doing comics in the U.S. than there are NBA players. That gives you an idea of the competition.
Q) You are working on a lot of titles for Top Cow. Do you have standard schedule or method that you use to keep
things on schedule and prevent you from getting burnt out?
RM: Right now, I just work on whatever my editor is yelling the loudest about. It’s a juggling act to keep everything on track, but once Angelus and Velocity finish up things will be a bit more sane. I think taking a break and walking away from the work is important to recharge your batteries, but at the same time, “burnt out” is a relative thing. Let’s be honest, I have
a pretty awesome job and I love to do it.
Q) One of your projects is Velocity, which was part of Top Cow’s Pilot episode, was it strange working up a premise for a series not knowing if the fans would vote for the project?
RM: I actually didn’t write the Pilot Season issue of Velocity. That was by a different writer-artist team. The political way to put it is there was a difference of opinion in terms of the creative direction of Velocity, and Top Cow parted ways with that creative team. I was eventually offered the writing gig, and Kenneth Rocafort’s schedule then freed up enough that he could do the art. We just approached it as a fresh storyline, rather than trying to mold what we do to somebody else’s vision. I like the Velocity character a great deal, and I’ve wanted to work with Kenneth for years, so everything fell into place perfectly.
Q) It Seems like a lot of the comic companies is going back to the point where one writer is becoming the primary voice for the shared universe – like Bendis at Marvel of Johns at DC and to a smaller extent you with Top Cow. Do you think this is a temporary thing or are we seeing a return to the days of Stan Lee?
RM: I don’t know that it’s a return to the days of Stan Lee as much as a continuation of the “event story” mindset. So many books in the Marvel and DC Universes are interdependent, with readers needing to pick up a myriad of titles in order to follow a particular storyline. And I certainly understand that from a marketing and sales point of view. Comics are a bottom-line business, and getting the audience to pick up multiple titles helps the bottom line. You might have Brian or Geoff in lead roles, but the beauty of a shared universe is that you get to cull the best ideas from a range of creators.
Q) You have been part of quite a few events in comic books, like emerald twilight, the marvel /dc cross over and now with Top Cow’s Artifacts’. Do you take a different approach to them than when writing more character driven pieces? Is it a challenge to give each character their moments?
RM: There’s no reason an event storyline can’t be character-driven. In fact, I’d say a storyline that’s not character-driven is
ultimately a failed storyline. If you don’t care about the characters, the story is just so much bluster. The scope might be different in an event, but the goal is the same.
Q) If people want more info about your top cow comics or other projects you have coming up where should they go?
Final Four (questions we ask everyone)
When the zombies take over the world where will you be?
RM: On the menu, most likely.
Jedi, Ninja, vampire, were-wolf, pirate, fairy or Spartan?
RM: Pirate. Has anybody EVER answered “fairy”?
What one piece of art, be it music, book, film or picture, do you think people must experience before they die?
RM: I think it’s a different answer for everyone, because art affects everyone differently. One person might have a transformative experience listening to Beethoven Ninth, while someone else might have that moment while looking at a Renoir.
Give one fact that most people would not believe about you?
RM: I own four horses.