Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The Return of CHUCK


The fans of Bane, artist Graham Nolan and writer Chuck Dixon were surprised to learn that there is coming soon a 12 issue series telling the new chapter of BANE.  It is called BANE: Conquest and I spoke to Chuck Dixon about the news.

At the heart of him, who is Bane?  Is he evil, misguided, or mentally ill?

He's more nurture than nature. If you can call growing up in a vicious third world prison anything like nurturing. Like Bruce Wayne, Bane is a self-made man. In fact, self made in a far more unforgiving environment. And we have to remember that Bane, at his heart, is a wrongly punished innocent. A lot of his reactions to his crappy upbringing is revenge for being abandoned. 

With a character able to grow and shrink according to the drugs going through his veins, is it most essential to have a certain kind of artist?  If so, what kind?

A good one. In the case of Graham Nolan, a great one. Bane doesn't so much Hulk-up as pump up. It has to look believable, not a supernatural or sci-fi kind of transformation. 

When writing Bane stories, as he is your creation along with Graham, do you feel that you have a proprietary interest in his development?
  If so, what do you do differently?

We absolutely feel closer to the character than any other creator who's worked with him. Graham and I share a vision for Bane that Knightfall was only the beginning of. We've always had an epic arc for him in mind. Bane: Conquest is the next chapter in that story.

How true does Bane ring in this era of Steroid addled sports heroes and WWE people?

I think he's very believable. We've seen him off his fix and the results are tragic. We'll see more of the negative affects of his addiction in this new series. 

Tell about this new Bane story?  Will it lead to more of the same? I hope so.

Me too!  The series concerns bane's expansion as a player on the world stage of crime. Gotham is too confining. His disastrous association with Ra's Al Ghul has left him with a desire to expand his reach; take his ambitions global. OF course, that leads to complications, betrayals and lots and lots of violence. It's a classic gangster story. 

Of all of Batman's enemies, who is the hardest to write?  Why?

The Riddler. Those damned riddles. To write a classic Riddler story takes a lot of time.
OK, Riddler tough, got it.  What villain outside of Bane do you feel is the easiest to write?

For me, Catwoman has always been fun to write. I think it's because she actually likes her self and enjoys life. That's so rare in a modern comic book character.

Since writing comics is similar to writing plays or for film, do you have unwritten but planned out stories for the other media?

I'm a dedicated comic book writer. I never saw it as a stepping stone to some other medium. In recent years though I've turned to writing novels as well as doing some work in electronic gaming. 

If given carte blanche to take 2 years on any given character, which would be the most rewarding for you?  Nightwing? Batman?  Superman?

I'd like a crack at a run on Superman. But he's in such good hands now with the return of Dan Jurgens. 

How long from ruminations/start to finished work/end does it take you for a typical script?

Typically I can easily finish a full script in four days. Ruminating is my constant state so I can't really gauge that time. The scripts that take longer are the ones that have to be funny. A SpongeBob script can take much longer as it also needs to be honed down to only what moves the story along.

Who is your favorite Batman writer outside of your prestigious being?

Bill Finger was king. Denny O'Neil saved Batman for future generations, of course. And I really like Frank Robbins' writing after he picked up on what Denny was doing with the character. 

When writing the Batman what do you do differently that others, making your work memorable?  Is it your take on the character, his setting, his secondary characters?

I'm not good at examining my own work. But I think my use of humor (sardonic or dark) is something I don;t see many other writers using. A lot of Batman stories I see are unrelentingly grim. For me, there's plenty of room for humor (NOT comedy) that does not mock or deconstruct the character.

BANE: CONQUEST #1, written by Chuck Dixon with art and cover by
Graham Nolan and colors by Gregory Wright, hits shelves May 3rd

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