Interview - Vice Admiral Victor Von Doom Gischler

Victor Gischler is the current X-Men writer for Marvel comics and author of between one and eight novels... the answer is seven. Local to Baton Rouge, Louisiana he earned a Ph.D in English at the University of Southern Mississippi and worked as a Professor of something before becoming an Edgar and Anthony Award nominated author. No less than three of his works are currently destined for the silver screen, Gun Monkeys, Pulp Boy and the incredibly dark, witty and debaucherous Go-Go Girls of the Apocalypse. His stories are filled with unassuming protagonists who are thrust into ridiculous situations full of sex, ultra-violence  and mayhem all the while driven by an undercurrent of dark humour.

Ryan: First of all let's establish the naming protocol. How would you like to be addressed? Mr. Gischler, Victor, The Gisch, Doctor. G?

Vice Admiral Victor Von Doom Gischler: My preference is Vice Admiral Victor Von Doom Gischler, but I can't get anyone to actually call me that. So Victor works fine.

This month will mark your tenth issue on X-Men and in your time you've shown that the world is secretly overrun by vampires and lizard men. What other clandestine communities are you hoping to introduce?

Oompa-Loompas. They are everywhere and bloodthirsty. Also, they are commies.

That explains the overt uniformity. You've also had guest heroes in both of your X-Men story arcs in Blade and Spiderman. Who else will we see team up with Xavier's finest?

Actually, Marvel likes to be the entity that gives out that sort of information. Suffice it to say, we have a nice variety, and some characters you might not suspect. I'm putting the finishing touches on a one-shot now with a guest character I've always liked. Cool stuff.

Looking through the Marvel solicits for June and July and noticed that Chris Yost is on X-Men writing duties. Does this mean that you'll be hanging up your X-Hat?

Yost is coming in for a very special, cool guest run, and then I'm back.

Which characters would you most like to write that you haven't already?

Whenever I'm asked this I always say Dr. Strange. And, yes, he has cool wizard powers and all that, but the main selling point is his wicked-keen moustache. Not every dude can make a moustache work. He can.

After reading a few of your novels, most notably Go-Go Girls of the Apocalypse and Vampire a Go Go, it appears that you walk a fine line between the far-fetched and the absurd. How much consideration goes into creating a situation that is crazy but not silly?

I seem to walk this tightrope fairly naturally. I think it's a zone my brain naturally gravitates toward. The books you mentioned are good examples. I want to take the reader on what could legitimately be described as an action adventure, but I can't bring myself to me too serious about it. I want the reader o feel that everything that's happening is just a bit ridiculous.

Your writing style has drawn comparisons to Kurt Vonnegut, Thomas Pynchon and Douglas Adams. If you could die happy after being compared to one writer, who would it be?

The writer's you've listed work well for that, I think. Kurt Vonnegut was my "primary figure" in grad school and a big influence. You can toss Philip K. Dick in there too.

Although you've been compared to Vonnegut, Pynchon and Adams, it is incredibly difficult to compare them to each other. Their writing styles aren't particularly similar at all. Do you think this has anything to do with your varied style and genre?

I think if you squint and sort of turn your head and down a few quick beers you can see some similarities with those authors. But yes, I think my eclectic influences are maybe why not all my novels fit easily into a single category. But I have to keep myself interested. If I'm bored, then the reader will be too.

A movie that you wrote, Pulp Boy, is in post production with a potential release in 2012. Can you tell us what it's about?

I co-wrote that with a pal named Anthony Neil Smith who is also an excellent novelist. It's about washed up pulp sci-fi writer Emerson LaSalle trying to save his failing career. The producers are currently securing funding, so all rich people who read this should get out their checkbooks immediately. But this is a small indy film, and a very humorous look at what it might be like to be an under-appreciated pulp author.

Back in 2009 there were talks about a big screen adaptation of Gun Monkeys with legendary Japanese director Kitamura Ryuhei (Versus, Azumi, Godzilla: Final Wars) attached. What is the current state of this project?

I just traded e-mails with the producer about this yesterday. Kitamura is still attached. We had a huge A-list actor set to play the lead, but it's starting to look like this might not pan out. The good news is that they're getting close to a new lead, and I really feel like we're on the verge of this project finally clicking into place.

Go-Go Girls of the Apocalypse is possibly your most cinematic novel and you've previously spoken about a potential production in the works. Where are we at with this one?

I was fortunate enough to write the script for this one. Things seem to be happening fast. The script is in the hands of talent right now. Fingers crossed. Producer/Director Jason Hewitt told me he wants to MAKE movies ... not talk about making them. So far he's as good as his word.

When having your story optioned for a film or TV series, how much say do you get into its production? Do you get your two cents or are you generally left in the dark?

That depends on the particular circumstance. With some projects, the book is optioned and I just stand back and let it happen. But as I said with Go-Go, I got to write the script. The director has been good about consulting me about casting. I feel a little more involved.

It looks as though visual effects guru Tim Miller will be in the directing chair for the still unconfirmed Ryan Reynolds fronted Deadpool film. Who would you choose to direct and star in your version of Deadpool Corps?

Ha. I can't even imagine.

What else do you have anything else in the pipeline? In the immortal words of a nameless journalist from 1940's cinema "what's the scoop chief?"

I'm currently working on a private eye novel. And I'm also scripting the Hulk vs. Dracula Fear Itself tie-in for Marvel. I've co-written a zombie screenplay with director Adam Egypt Mortimer, and that might be going into production soon. I hope. It'll be a small film but with the potential for that "cult classic" status. I'm pretty jazzed about it.

Many thanks go to Vice Admiral Gischler for taking the time to speak with me.

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