Victor Gischler’s career has been built around gritty/edgy storytelling. Whether in his novels like Gun Monkeys or Go-Go Girls Of The Apocalypse or his comic work on anti-heroic characters like the Punisher and Deadpool, Gischler has always had a noir feel to his work. Jai Nitz sat down and talked to the writer about his new pulp filled series Noir for Dynamite Entertainment.
JAI NITZ: Vic you’re writing NOIR at Dynamite. It’s an ass-kicking girl team up. Who’s your favorite ass-kicking girl in fiction (or reality)?
VICTOR GISCHLER: You know, with characters like Red Sonja and Miss Fury (and now Black Sparrow!) Dynamite has a pretty good roster of ass-kicking ladies. I’ve also always been a huge fan of the Katee Sackhoff portrayal of Starbuck on Battlestar Galactica. There’s just something about that combination of tough and sexy that really hits the target. Uma Thurman in KILL BILL is pretty kick ass too. I think there is a sub-category of female characters in comics and movies and literature unofficially known as “I dig her but she scares me.”
JN: You’re a novelist and comic writer known for crime works. Everyone should read your novels and comics to see your unique blend of humor and blood. What are some of the movies or TV in the genre you like the most?
VG: Something like The Rockford Files for TV. Jim Rockford is always getting his ass kicked, yet he comes out on time (more or less) every week. As a kid, I stayed with my grandparents a lot, and they were the first people on their block to have cable TV. (Back then that was like a whopping 14 channels or something.) The result is that I saw a lot of old movies that were a big influence on my story telling. Noir films like DOUBLE INDEMNITY and westerns like SHE WORE A YELLOW RIBBON. Those influences were huge … as well as old sci-fi movies like LOGAN’S RUN and PLANET OF THE APES. Words “B movie” and “Pulp” figure strongly among things that influence me.
JN: You’ve worked on a few different titles at Dynamite. How did NOIR come to be?
VG: It was kind of an off-handed comment to Joe that two kick-ass female characters like The Black Sparrow and Miss Fury should team up together. The idea just clicked. It was one of those ideas that really pitched itself. Then it was either Joe or Nick that tossed in the idea we should toss The Shadow into the mix to kick things off. It was really a friendly organic kind of conversation and before I could say BOO I was scripting.
JN: You’ve enjoyed success at Marvel, Dark Horse, and Dynamite while still writing novels. What does a Gischler comic script look like? How do you write a comic script?
VG: When I first started writing at Marvel, I was given a script and told “This is what they look like.” I haven’t deviated from that format since although I’ve come to realize formats vary wildly from one creator to another. Some panels I’m almost like the director of a film and I want the character to stand a certain way with certain things visible in the background and it’s very detailed. Then in other panels I might write “Character A punches character B” and let the artists decide which way is best to present that. If I catch myself getting overly detailed in a description and I think I might be stepping on the artists toes, I’ll pull it back a bit. A good artist will make MER look good, so it’s always smart to give them enough room to let that happen.
JN: Can you describe NOIR in one sentence for a newbie?
VG: A rollicking Indiana Jones style adventure with a gritty noir vibe.
JN: Talk about Andrea Mutti and what he brings to the table. You’ve worked together before right?
VG: Actually, it’s out first time teaming up. I’m thinking of a specific panel in the first issue in which we are close up on Black Sparrow smoking a cigarette and the vibe is very noir. I think that’s what Mutti brings to the book is a visual sense of what “noir” means.
JN: What’s next for you at Dynamite and other companies? What other projects do you have upcoming?
VG: Nothing solid with Dynamite yet, but I had a good talk with Nick at NYCC about what sort of thing I might do next, and I’m eager to clear my schedule so I can do the next big thing … whatever that might be. Dynamite has a stable of great characters and they’re always coming up with new things. For Dark Horse, the next issue of KISS ME, SATAN should be hitting soon and also the first issue of CLOWN FATALE my homage to and parody of 70s exploitation and grind house films with a goofy twist. And currently, Amazon’s 47North is serializing my epic fantasy novel INK MAGE.
Noir #1 goes on sale tomorrow.
Jai Nitz is a writer in his own right having written for Marvel, DC, Image and currently Dynamite on Grimm: The Warlock debuting next month.