The editor-in-chief of Marvel Comics from 1987 to 1994, Tom DeFalco entered the publishing industry in the summer of 1972 as an editorial assistant for Archie Comics.During the time he spent with Archie, DeFalco initiated and developed the Archie Comics Digest Series, which is still being produced today and remains the companyís most profitable publishing series.
Learning his craft from the ground up, DeFalco eventually became a best-selling writer for such diverse characters as Archie, Spider-Man, Scooby Doo, the Fantastic Four, Wolverine, Josie and the Pussycats and the Flintstones.
The author of over a dozen graphic novels, he has created and developed over three dozen characters that have all been licensed for television, toys, t-shirts, posters, trading cards and other forms of mass merchandising.
Working closely with Hasbro
in the early Ď80s, DeFalco headed the creative team that produced the backstory
and dossiers that served as the basis for the relaunch of the phenomenally
successful GI Joe toy line and animated television show.He was also part of the creative team that
introduced the Transformers to the American public.|
While editor-in-chief of Marvel Comics, DeFalco supervised a staff of nearly a hundred editorial and production people and almost fifteen hundred freelance creative people. He dramatically increased the number of monthly publications from around fifty to nearly one hundred twenty.He also introduced over fifty new publishing formats that included lifestyle magazines about the Marvel superheroes, hardcover graphic novels and the highly acclaimed Marvel Masterworks series.
While under DeFalcoís editorial supervision, Marvelís net profits from publishing increased almost 500%.
Since leaving his staff position in 1994, DeFalco has served as a creative consultant or story editor for various publishing ventures, toy lines, computer and video games, and television projects. He has also written a few hundred new comic book stories, a few dozen cyber-comics, a handful of short stories, three novels, and six Childrens Books, including the best-selling Spider-Man: The Ultimate Guide and Hulk: The Incredible Guide. DeFalco currently writes a monthly comic book called Spider-Girl, which features the adventures of Spider-Manís teenage daughter.
Lori G:Tom, thanks so much for taking the time to talk to me about Khan. Can you give our readers a little overview of this new KHAN book, if you would be so kind?
TOM D: Genghis Khan is the real life prototype for Conan the barbarian. He was the son of a slave girl and an outcast who was sold into slavery. He never learned how to read, but he eventually conquered almost the entire world.
Lori G: So, tell me, how did this project come about? Is KHAN something youíve always been itching to write?
TOM D: I have always been fascinated by sword & sorcery and by history. KHAN allows me to combine two of my hobbies and have some fun telling high adventure stories. The first issue of KHAN actually contains more than one complete adventure.
Lori G: So, this is a first for you then? How fun, we here at Moonstone are pleased as punch that you have done this project for us! I canít believe you, being the prolific writer that you are, that there would be a genre out there that you havenít touched yet!
TOM D.: This isnít most first sword & sorcery comic.† I wrote a few issues of RED SONJA in the 80ís for Marvel. I guess Iíve dabbled in almost every conceivable genre over the years. Iím easily bored and like trying different things.
Lori G:>Did you have to do any research for this project, or have you always been interested in the historical figure of Genghis Khan? How historically accurate is your version of Khan?
TOM D: I read a couple of biographies, saw a couple of movies and read ďGenghis Khan or the emperor of All MenĒ by Harold Lamb. KHAN is sort of/kind of historically accurate. Unfortunately, real life isnít as ordered and dramatic as fiction. All the events occurred in KHAN #1, but not exactly the way I wrote them. I changed a few things to make the story a little more dramatic and to protect the guilty.
Lori G:I understand you have worked with KHAN artist Don Hudson before, what projects have you worked on together over the years?
TOM D:Don and I worked together during my days at Marvel Comics, but this is the first time weíre actually collaborating together. I love working with an artist as good as Don. His pictures are so beautiful and exciting no oneís even going to bother looking at my words.
Lori G: I have to agree with you there, Tom. Donís work is just AMAZING! Iím telling you boys and girls, you NEED to get this book! I have posted some of Donís interior pages here for you all to check out! Dig it baby!
TOM D: Don is an amazing talent.
Lori G: Tom, why did you choose to write this book for us? I would like to think it is because we are all charming individuals here at Moonstone, but could it be that in your heart of hearts you root for us little guys, the small quality publisher?
Tom: UhhhÖyeahÖsure! The truth is that I like all you guys at Moonstone and I still love writing comics.† I was thrilled when you gave me the chance to produce something new, fun and exciting like KHAN. Even an old dog likes to try new tricks!
Lori G: and that is what we here at Moonstone are committed to giving you, the comic reader, FUN and EXCITING stories that canít be found anywhere else!!! OK, I have to ask you a few other questions that quite frankly I would like to know the answers to myself, and I can only assume that our readers would like to know more about the MAN himself, not just the LEGEND that isÖTom DeFalco. How long have you been writing comics professionally? Can you tell us, or is it just too damn embarrassing?
TOM D: Itís
pretty embarrassing, but Iím game. I began working in the comic book industry
in 1972. My first job was for Archie
Comics and I began my first day by opening the mail addressed to Dear Betty
Lori G:I donít know why, but I find that rather disturbing. Did you actually have to respond to these letters? How could you possibly respond to 10 year old girls that thought they were sending their letters to the REAL Betty and Veronica?
TOM D: I just opened the letters to make sure the kids had addressed them properly. Sometimes the readers sent in money for subscriptions or individual issues. Once I made sure a letter really was addressed to Betty & Veronica, I forwarded it to the artist who answered it.
Lori G: I just canít let this subject go TOO quickly, so you just HAVE to tell me: if you were Archie, which would you pick? Betty? Or Veronica?
TOM D: Betty is sweeter and very low maintenance. Veronica is sexier and high maintenance.I like strong women so Iíd probably choose Veronica.
Lori G: And do tell us Tom, what was your first published work?
TOM D: I began writing for a local newspaper while I was still in college and had a couple of short pieces published. My first professional comic book work was an Archie story that I believe was called ďDelivery DumbbellĒ but it might have also been a one page gag for one of the Archie Jokebooks.
Lori G: HmÖfrom what youíve been saying here in this interview we, the comic buying public, owe all the amazing Tom DeFalco stories that have been published over the years to none other than the red-haired eternal teenager: Archie?
TOM D:I owe my entire career to those wonderful people over at Archie Comics who gave me my first break and took the time to teach me the craft.
Lori G:>Besides KHAN, what has been your all-time favorite project that youíve worked on?
TOM D: Iím really
not sure. Iím very fickle and just seem
to fall in love with whatever project Iím writing at the moment. I had a great time doing things like
Spider-Man, Thor, Fantastic Four and Thunderstrike, but I realllllllly love
doing Spider-Girl and KHAN!|
Lori G: Your Spider-Girl fans are just super enthusiastic, how does that make you feel as a creator?
TOM D: I am so
very thankful for all the fans who have supported Spider-Girl over the
years. No oneóincluding meóever thought
Spider-Girl would last very long and weíre presently headed toward issue #100.|
Lori:What are some of your favorite comic book reads these days?
TOM D: Anything by Marc DeMatteis, Stan Lee or Will Eisner.
Lori G:Iím sure you dread this question, but if you could have ONE super power, what would it be and WHY?(Gee, I hope my fan-girl tendency isnít TOO transparent here!
TOM D: I wish I could type at super-speedÖso that I could keep up with my deadlines.
Well children, I think Iíve taken up enough of Tomís time,
so for now, I will bid you good boys and girls, adieu.Donít forget, if you havenít picked up the
ALL NEW KHAN #1 from your favorite retailer, you can always order it RIGHT HERE
on this here site!OR you can DEMAND
that your local retailer order more copies today!AND for all you Tom DeFalco completists out
there, you should also pick up The Phantom: Valley of the Golden Men
and Moonstone Monsters: Vampire Vixens
for a fun little 10 page story he wrote, again available here, for your
The Moonstone Gal!
Click here for great Moonstone Merchandise!|
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Thursday, February 09, 2012