Interview - Paul Tobin

Marvel Adventures
Super Heroes #7
on sale 27 October
The superstars just keep coming here at The Geek Of Oz! This time I had the opportunity to speak with one of my favourite writers out there at the moment, Mr Paul Tobin. The scribe of the current Marvel Adventures Super Heroes and Spider-Man books and upcoming relaunch of Spider-Girl.

Ryan: There has been a very postive reception for your all ages books in the Marvel Adventures line. That being said, why all ages?

Paul Tobin: A cross between "that's where the opportunity was" and "I love these books." My pal Jeff Parker had been writing a few of them, and because of his excellent work I got a taste for them. I love the freedom of being able to tell a story without being caught up in 40+ years of continuity. The stories can be a little wilder... a little more true. And, I've never believed that an all-ages book was a children's book, so I've been doing some fairly mature stories. I grew up reading complex stories with real characters... and because of that I don't feel the need to shave off any intelligence points when I start to work on a script for the Marvel Adventures line. 

So far we've seen Cap, Nova, Rhino, Bullseye, Wolverine and Spidey, amongst others. What other characters will we be seeing in the "Adventures" books?

Whatever characters pique my interest at any time. I love the Blonde Phantom, so she'll be around. Same with Emma Frost, in her role as the Silencer. And some costume changes for Spidey are on the way. Kitty and Wolverine make some appearances. I'd love to get Modok in there at some point. Hasn't happened yet... but where there's a will there's a way. 

November 10th sees the release of Spider-Girl #1 in her all new ongoing series, written by yourself, Mr Tobin, and with art by Clayton A. Henry of Uncanny X-Men fame. What can we expect from the web-headette?

Some turmoil is on the way for Spider-Girl. And I'm starting her with a new group of friends as she gets her grounding as a new hero. Her life is really going to change. And, a certain big red brute hurries those changes on the way. 

Which Spider-Girl is this? Arana or Mayday Parker? And is she in continuity in the 616 or the MC2?

It's Anya Corazon, of ex-Arana fame. But... she's moving away from her time as Arana. It's something she's putting in the past as she accepts her new role as Spider-Girl. And it's full 616 continuity. 

Robert Kirkman previously teamed up Spider-Girl/Arana with X-23 in Marvel Team-Up vol. 3. Any chance of a Paul Tobin and Marjorie M Liu team-up?

That would certainly be fun! I love Marjorie's writing, so it would be interesting to see how we worked together. 

With two current series and Spider-Girl about to drop, what else can we look forward to from the mind of Paul Tobin?

Hmmm. There's some Conan work on the way with Dark Horse, and then I'm also working in conjunction with Dark Horse on a project for a certain sci-fi television show. I'm working on some interconnected annuals for Marvel and having a lot of fun with those. A series announcement is in the offing... but a bit down the road. Also, my wife Colleen Coover and I will soon begin serializing our Gingerbread Girl graphic novel online, on the Top Shelf website. Really looking forward to that. A few other things are in the offing, too. I sometimes get almost close to sanity, but if I work enough... I avoid that. 

To me it seems like  match made in heaven, but what are the chances of seeing you team up with Skottie Young or Chris Samnee?

I LOVED working with Skottie on the covers of my Spider-Man title. Each month was a new bit of joy. Maybe someday down the road we'll team up again. And Chris...? Yeah. That's probably going to happen. Nothing scheduled yet, but Chris is a hell of a guy, and a hell of an artist, and he doesn't slam the door in my face when I show up at his house, so that's probably a good sign. 

Will we ever see Tobin in the writing credits of "Marvel Max Presents: The Blood Soaked Tales of Flesh Eating Jim"? (That title is copyright by me but I'm sure we can work out some arrangement if you're interested...)

I'd have to be assured a speaking role in the movie, and then we could work it out. 

There seems to be a tight comic book creator community including Jamal Igle, Jeff Parker, the Samnee's and, of course, Colleen Coover. This sounds like a fanboys dream but how much comic talk actually takes place?

Depends. Colleen is my wife, and Parker and Samnee both live here in town (Portland, Oregon) with an INCREDIBLE ARRAY of other comic talent. For Marvel writers alone, Portland boasts me, Parker, Bendis, Remender, Fraction, and a few others. I'm trying to get Jamal Igle to move here. Think I have him convinced. Sometimes, when I'm hanging out with fellow creators, it's nice to NOT talk about comics. Still, we're all in this because we love them, and conversations do roll around. 

What's in your buy pile?

Mostly European creators. Things like Okko, and Route Des Maisons Rouges, and anything by Jordi Bernet or Hugo Pratt that I don't already have. It's somewhat difficult for me to read straight up superhero works... because I start to analyze how I would do things differently, or why I should have gotten the job, or so on. So... for fun... I read outside the genre I (largely) work in. 

Many thanks go to Mr. Tobin not only for taking the time to speak with me but also for the fantastic and enjoyable work that he's been pumping out lately. He's got me extremely interested in November's release of Spider-Girl.


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