Simon Furman has kindly allowed us to pitch him a bunch of questions, submitted by this forum!
A pile were submitted, please accept my apologies if yours missed out this time. They have been organized by topic/context as best is possible.
18 questions submitted in total and here today we questions 7-18!
If you want to read more of what Simon is up to, check out his blog @ HERE!
C'mon, who wouldn't?!?
ENJOY a Q+A with Simon Furman below!
IDW and Transformers
7. IDW has been holding off telling anything about your next project. Can you give a timeframe when we can expect an announcement or a hint at what it might be about?
SF) Currently at least, to the best of my knowledge, there is no next big project. I’m always ready and willing to step back in the IDW TF front, and it’s certainly been talked about, but as of now there’s nothing on the slate or even in any kind of embryonic state. It doesn’t help that I’m very busy on other stuff currently, and my available time is limited, but it’s not like I’ve turned anything down either. Watch this space.
8. What do you see for Transformers in the future?
SF) Hopefully me doing something for someone anyway. Actually, I am going to be doing a new Transformers story for Million Publishing in Japan (in the second of their two TF Generations 2011 magazines), and the entirety of the Unite for the Universe storyline (including the never-before-published part 5) will appear in the first TF Generations 2011, along with a new introduction from me. I’ll certainly be talking to Titan about their plans for the third movie in terms of origination and, as stated previously, I’m always on call should IDW find a spot for me. It’ll be interesting to see what happens with the movie franchise post-Michael Bay, and, subsequently, how much TF comic material is being produced. Lots, I hope.
9. Simon - what happened to Blaster's letter answering career after issue 332 of the old UK comics? Is he still locked up somewhere with a now-very-dusty Variable Voltage Harness? And do you think Soundwave, Ratchet, Grimlock and Dreadwind are proud of their letter answering legacies?
SF) It’s funny. Though I was Soundwave, Grimlock and (for a while at least) Dreadwind, I wasn’t ever Blaster. That was well after my time on staff at Marvel UK. But I like to think he’s still there, somewhat neglected and dusty, waiting for the next pile of mail to land on the mat at Arundel House. Loved doing the letters pages (just the idea that the more dismissive and rude you were, the more people seemed to love it!). That and doing the cover designs, awful though my sketches were, were the best part of my editorial role at Marvel UK.
10. Simon - you've mentioned recently in blogs about screenplays and possible film projects. What updates can you give on these, and how did you go about pitching them? Did you have to get a writing agent?
SF) I’m still working with film journalist Mark Salisbury on any number of potential film projects, but, unsurprisingly, the world of Hollywood is proving a hard nut to crack. Oh, we’ve made inroads. One option and a few direct pitching opportunities, but everything moves with a kind of glacial slowness, and there’s plenty of Hollywood tumbleweed strewn across the route. But, we’ve always got new ideas and new projects bubbling under. One in particular we’re very excited about but can’t say anything about the moment (as the saying goes, there’s many a slip ‘tween cup and lip). As and when I have anything remotely firm to announce, trust me, it’ll be plastered all over my blog! As for how we’ve got as far as we have, that’s largely down to Mark’s contacts in the movie biz. We don’t have an agent, as such. Strangely, it’s an inverted chicken and egg thing, where the agents want you to sell something first, and then they’ll represent you. It’s a strange business.
11. You do a lot more than just write Transformer comics, you are working on many different titles. Can you mention some of your current works?
SF) Right now, I’m adding to and refining the now monumental 120-page StarCraft original graphic novel, and the rest of my time is pretty much filled up with The Matt Hatter Chronicles (animated TV show), where I’m wearing two hats (as script supervisor and head writer). But I’ve also been working with friend and colleague Adam Jennings, writing web copy for various sites and projects, I’ve been doing talks (on comics and other related stuff) to kids in schools, and Andrew (Wildman) and I are developing stuff on the Wildfur front again. Again, announcements to follow as and when! Other than that, just bits and pieces like the recent Hulk vs Death’s Head story for Panini’s Marvel Heroes, my Comics Candy review column and odd bits of Transformers for Million Publishing and others. It’s an exciting, varied and different time.
12. Do you have anything new in the works?
SF) Yes, lots, but nothing I can talk about yet. Some very exciting stuff bubbling under, on the personal, movie and Wildfur fronts. Plus, the return of Death’s Head in Marvel Heroes has stirred me to start thinking in that direction again too. I’m working with an artist on a pitch that will, at some point, go to Marvel. All very speculative, but I’d love to get something going with the original DH again.
13. If we start dropping “Furmanisms” into our writing, would you be flattered or sue?
SF) Oh, flattered for sure. It’s a strange phenomenon the ‘Furmanisms’ thing. And I do now scour my writing and try make sure no ‘vast, predatory birds’ are lurking, but inevitably the odd one creeps in. I had a lot of fun with one of the recent Auto Assembly voice actor plays, wherein one character struggles for a Furmanism and has to get the audience to help him out. It worked really well on the night. I guess they’ve just sunk into fandom’s collective consciousness, which is kind of nice. I definitely encourage this kind of good-natured ribbing. It’s healthy.
14. How do you feel about the way Death's Head has progressed since you created him? Were you happy with any of that DH 2/3.0 stuff?
SF) Well, it’s still hard for me to be entirely objective about DH2. I understood and still understand the reasoning behind/need for a complete revamp, but I do feel that the essential core of the character got lost along the way and he became just another badass mech, which was never the point. Likewise, while I was happy to write it and did the best I could, DH 3.0 never felt like “my” Death’s Head. Even my vague attempt to meld 3.0 into the original was kind of editorially censored. In the end, while I was happy for the work (and thought the end product was a decent read), I wondered why Marvel even bothered with that new incarnation. The whole thing came out of a reader poll, asking fans which character they’d like to see return. All well and good, but ultimately it wasn’t that character that made it back into print. Shame, really. A missed opportunity. But it’s great to see the original DH creeping back in. Kieron (Gillen) did a great job with him in SWORD, and having him battle the Hulk in Marvel Heroes was pure joy, especially as Simon Williams (who has a special and some might say strange love for the character) got to draw him!
Personal (if you don’t mind!)
15. You can often be found in the pub after events, what is your favourite brew?
SF) Hm. Honestly, I’ve never met a beer I don’t like. But if I had to choose, I’d probably opt for Staropramen on the lager front and something by Fullers on the real ale side of things. Red wine rather than white. And Japanese sake is probably my favourite ‘treat’ tipple.
16. What is your favourite cookie (biscuit)?
SF) Choc chip. But I’m a bit of a chocolate hound generally, so anything with an integral part or covering is usually a winner. Currently sampling chocolate-covered peanut cookies. And actually, now I think about it, my wife makes simply to-die-for peanut butter cookies. Yum!
17. Other than work, what do you enjoy doing?
SF) I’m a big film buff. Love to go to the cinema, watch DVDs, read about film and filmmakers. I read a lot. What I want to (which is usually crime fiction) and what the Book Club I belong to tells me to. So it makes a nice, varied mix. Recently read House of Mirth by Edith Wharton, Worth Dying For by Lee Child, The Black Arrow by Robert Louis Stevenson and Death is a Lonely Business by Ray Bradbury (a book I’ve read many, many times and never tire of). Been watching the likes of The Killing (amazingly good Danish crime drama), Nurse Jackie, Being Human, True Blood and Wonders of the Universe on TV recently. Spending quality time with my wife, good food, good company and travel are probably my other essentials for a happy life.
18. What would you like us to know about you?
SF) Isn’t that enough? Okay, okay — I cried at the end of Toy Story 3. Happy now?
Honestly, I balled at the end of TS3 as well...
Huge cheers to Simon for agreeing to do one of these again.