NYCC 2013 – Fans and creative questions with writer Ron Marz!

Some of Ron's great work includes Witchblade, Silver Surfer and Green Lantern.

Some of Ron’s great work includes Witchblade, Silver Surfer and Green Lantern.

This year at New York Comic Con, I was able to catch up with talented, prolific writer Ron Marz, well known for his work on Witchblade, Silver Surfer and Green Lantern, as well as the Marvel vs DC crossover and Batman/Aliens, and many other titles for DC, CrossGen, Dark Horse and Top Cow. (You can find him online at ronmarz.com and on Twitter at @ronmarz.)

WAA: You’ve had to deal with backlash from fans who were unhappy with your creative choices in the past! Has it ever influenced your choices in later projects? Social media creates an almost immediate communication between fans and writers/artists – do you enjoy that level of instantaneous feedback? Does it concern you as an artist?

RM: No, I don’t let audience reaction influence what I’m writing. I appreciate the audience, I respect the audience, but ultimately I’m not writing for the audience, I’m writing for me. I know on the surface that might sound arrogant or at least self-indulgent, but I feel like my job is to tell the best story I can tell, and be as true to that story as I can. I’m my own primary audience, I’m the guy whose tastes I know best. So I write a story to entertain myself first and foremost, and hope the audience comes along for the ride. If you’re pandering to what you think the audience wants, you’re just a monkey dancing for spare change. I like the connectivity between audience and creators. Obviously what artists and especially writers do is a pretty solitary pursuit, so social media allows interaction that hasn’t been possible before. But that interaction is separate from the work for me.

WAA: Art and commerce are always a tightrope for creative folk – What’s your greatest source of inspiration at this point in your illustrious career? What gets you excited to work?

RM: Inspiration comes from everywhere — things you see or read or experience — and from nowhere. It just appears. I never question it, or try to force the process. I’m just thankful that it seems to work. I like to make up stories. That I get paid to do so is a continual blessing. Writing is a job, and like any job, you have to show up for work every day, even on the days that you don’t feel like doing it. That’s the commerce part of, if you’re doing this as a vocation rather than a hobby. The mortgage has to be paid, my kids are fairly attached to eating. Yes, some assignments are more enticing than others, but I don’t think I’ve ever taken on a gig solely for the money. Everything has had some allure or challenge that made it worth doing.

WAA: Comic con and events like it – what’s your favorite part of fan events? Favorite story or memory? And what turns YOU into a fan?

RM: Conventions are like family reunions. You get to see your friends, both professionals and fans, and you get to meet new ones. I’ve had all kinds of experiences at cons, from the ridiculous to the sublime, and I’ve been able to visit amazing places across the New Zealand to Europe and the Canadian Rockies. But the connections you make with people are what really last. Cons are work for professionals, so there’s not usually much time to experience the con as a fan. In all the years I’ve been to the San Diego con, I’ve witnessed exactly one panel that I was not a part of. For me, the fan part of it is getting to spend time with people whose work means so much to me, people like Joe Sinnott and Walter Simonson and a lot others. They’ve become my friends, but that just makes it more meaningful.

WAA: What’s coming up for you?

RM: I’ll start my second run on “Witchblade” with issue #170, which will be released at the end of October. I write 70 issues of the title, then stepped away for a while, but now I’m back with Italian artist Laura Braga. Within the next month or so, Vol. 2 of my “Ravine” graphic novel series with artist Stjepan Sejic will also be released. It’s a big fantasy tale, with a large cast and a sweeping story. Both of those projects are from Image Comics. And there are some projects for 2014 that are yet be announced.

Thank you Ron for speaking to With An Accent!