Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Interview with... Scott Allie

Scott has been the Dark Horse editor for many a year now, steering the comics in many fantastic directions, all at the same time!
He's been with the company in the time of both Hellboy movies, of which he edits the comic book series.
I take this great pleasure is interviewing Scott, and I hope you enjoy.

1. Since the Hellboy movies were such huge hits, how has this affected your role as editor for Dark Horse Comics?

Only in that the movies helped create more demand, so we increased our publishing schedule. But that's the only direct effect the movies had on us. Sold more books. It's not like I have to deal with studios, like you do on licensed books.

2. How does one become a comic book editor?

Everybody I know came at it a different way. I was working at a literary magazine, saved some money, self-published some comics for a while, and turned that into a job at Dark Horse. I don't know if anyone else went down a road like that. A lot of guys at Dark Horse interned in the department, did a great job, and got hired as assistants. Most editors start at the bottom, without much previous experience, and work their way up. Some come from other areas of publishing or even other areas of comics—Sierra Hahn was a publicist at Vertigo when I recruited her to come edit at Dark Horse. So everyone has their own story.

3. From Hellboy, to Buffy, to Star Wars, Dark Horse has gone from strength to strength. What do you think is the underlying appeal of these properties?

Well, I think the trick is that each of those have their own appeal. I don't think there's an underlying appeal, the way all superhero books appeal to a certain male teenage power fantasy, among other things. Dark Horse publishes a wide range of projects, and we publish what really turns us on. And like everybody out there, each of us as individuals, and certainly Dark Horse as a company, has a range of tastes. Like I'm a horror geek, that's sort of my main fan jones, but I love Bob Dylan and 30 Rock. What's the underlying appeal of Like a Rolling Stone, Tracy Morgan, and Texas Chainsaw Massacre? I don't know, but they all really work for me. Certainly Star Wars, Buffy, and Hellboy are a more narrow selection, and probably have more common overlapping than the things I mentioned, but we prefer NOT to try to load the schedule down with books that look a lot like Hellboy, or every other big space opera we can find, just because Star Wars is a strong seller. I love that we have a broad range of properties, but it definitely presents marketing challenges.

4. I’ve noticed that a lot of women seem to be getting into comics these days, and it’s becoming more socially acceptable. How does this make you feel, as an editor?

I love it, since I met my girlfriend when she came to work at Dark Horse. I think it's great. It's progress. And it brings something wonderful to the mix, and hopefully will diminish the misogyny that so dominates the mainstream of comics. You know. Eventually. There's always been women involved in comics—Marie Severin, ladies and gentlemen ... but as more of them occupy positions of power in companies, and there's more of a presence of women in every aspect of the business, things will have to change. It's hard to push that old shit when you're surrounded by smart women that you respect and have to deal with face to face.

5. What can editors, and the comic industry in general, do to have fans return to reading comics?

All about making better comics. There's a million other things we can do, bells and whistles, but the main thing is to just do better comics.

6. What’s coming up next for Hellboy, and the B.P.R.D.?

Ohhhh, man, so much. Liz is about to blow up the world, and there will be repercussions. Hellboy is about to make a major sacrifice in order to confront the Queen of Blood. Things are changing for these characters. It's not gonna be pretty. And we've got more Richard Corben, so even if the characters are miserable, the readers, and me and Mike, have cause to rejoice.


Now if this doesn't get you rushing to the comic book store to pick up some Hellboy gold, I'll be sure to do be doing it anyway!

Thank you VERY much for your insights Scott.

I wish you all the very best.
What did you think of this interview? Please comment, or email me directly at mgbouw@yahoo.com.au
Til next time.

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