ComiConverse contributor Craig Caudill brings the second installment of his series, Speculative Yahtzee. Today he interviews noted writer and eighth degree black belt, Jonathan Maberry.
CC: What novel changed your life, and who is your favorite author?
JONATHAN MABERRY: Richard Matheson gave me a signed first edition of I Am Legend when I was thirteen. A Christmas present. That book absolutely changed my life. It’s landmark in that it’s the first novel in which hard science is used to tell a horror story. And, also, having Matheson and Ray Bradbury as mentors when I was a teen was pretty amazing. Without I Am Legend I would never have become a science geek and would never have written the Joe Ledger series or most of my other science-based horror and thriller novels.
CC: Do you think Wonder woman is sexy, specifically Lynda Carter, and why?
JM: First, I was a Marvel kid, so Wonder Woman wasn’t on my radar until the TV show came on in 1975. I was seventeen. There is not one straight carbon-based male life form who was not in love with Lynda Carter. Anyone who denies it is lying.
CC: You are a super hero, what is your name, power, and costume? Who is your Arch Enemy?
JM: My super power is flight. I used to fantasize about it while sky-diving. (Luckily I’d come to my senses and pull the ripcord!). I would not, under any circumstances, wear skin-tight spandex. Trust me on this. My costume would be a baggy flight suit with cool insignias My enemy would be a villain called Flak who tried to shoot me down.
CC: What is your preference, cosplay or LARPing?
JM: Cosplay. I am a huge fan. I did a bit of it in the past, mostly in zombie crawls. I have friends who LARP, but I haven’t participated. So far.
CC: Can you name a trendy drink named after a superhero?
JM: Even though I’m a Marvel guy, I’m partial to a drink called The Dark Knight. Vodka, black raspberry liqueur, a lemon twist and served in a martini glass. Trendy yet very cool.
CC Who is your favorite villain?
JM: Doctor Doom, but written with subtlety and restrain. The way Lee and Kirby did him in the late sixties. An aristocrat, not a raving lunatic. I tried to capture that vibe in my Marvel miniseries DoomWar.
CC: Are vampires ruined and not scary anymore or just played out?
JM: Vampires, like zombies and werewolves, can be comical but they can always be made scary again. Twilight made them romantic and Count Chockula made them funny, but books like The Strain and my own V-Wars series bring back old school badass vampires.
CC: Could we Co-exist with vampires in a True Blood scenario?
JM: Society will panic and people will flip out –for a while, but then things would settle down. What you’d have, tough, would be an immediate political battle between right and left wings. Always. No matter what the controversial issue is.
CC: Are you high on V right now?
JM: Not anymore. It wears off. I bring myself down to earth with a nice, cold Dark Knight cocktail.
CC: Stephen Hawking has warned everyone not to interact with aliens. However if you suddenly meet one. what would you talk to him about?
JM: Logistics. How the hell did they travel so far and why the hell did they come here? They’re reasonable questions.
CC: Do you believe in Life on other worlds?
JM: I do. But I don’t pretend to know what it’ll be like.
CC: Did you cry when E.T. Died?
JM: I did, and I’m man enough to admit it.
CC: Roger Moore or Sean Connery?
JM: Sean Connery. The Bond in the books was a cruel bastard. Roger Moore always seemed too genteel.
CC: Does working for Rotor-Rooter qualify anyone to be an expert on the paranormal?
JM: I should think so. There’s some very weird shit down there.
CC: Do you fear a zombie reality?
JM: No. But I do think that a plague scenario is more likely than is comfortable.
CC: If your significant other was a zombie would you let them eat you?
JM: Nope. I would be merciful but not suicidal.
CC: If someone you knew was made out of chocolate would you eat them?
JM: In a heartbeat. And pour some wine to go with it, because chocolate goes great with coffee. And enough wine would soothe my remorse for eating a friend.
CC: If there was an election now between Emperor Kang Vs Emperor Kodos who would you vote for?
JM: I’m Team Kodos all the way.
CC: Who would win in fight Sawyer from Lost or Daryl Dixon from The Walking Dead?
JM: Daryl would cheat, so…him. He also takes a better punch than Sawyer.
CC Same question but the original Ricardo Montalban, Wrath of Kahn vs Benedict Cumberbatch in the Star Trek reboot?
JM: Ricardo was badass, but Cumberbatch was more restrained and calculating. So…Cumberbatch.
CC OK, True or False: There is only one Batman, Adam West?
JM: False. Sue me, but I have high expectations for Ben Affleck. The thing is, much as I enjoyed the old Batman show, I generally don’t like campy versions of super heroes. I like dark, edgy, and as realistic as the subject matter allows. It’s why I liked Christian Bale and why I will probably dig Affleck,
CC: Okay, Big Foot is now discovered he’s booked on your talk show, but everything he says is outdated, racist, sexist, and Homophobic…but he’s Big Foot. How would you handle this situation?
JM: I’d want to kick his hairy ass. Being a legendary monster doesn’t excuse that kind of behavior. Or, I might get him rocked on Dark Knight cocktails and try to talk sense to him.
CC: What superhero would you like to portray?
JM: Reed Richards or T’Challa (I know, bad casting choice, me being a white guy). Those are my two favorite heroes. Tough and smart.
CC: Big Foot, Chuck Norris and Danny Trejo are in a room. A brawl breaks out. Who is the last man standing when it’s over?
JM: I hate Chuck’s politics but he used to be a superb fighter. And I knew him. He’d kick Big Foot’s ass. Danny is great, but he’s an actor. Now, if the question was Chuck Norris or Machete…then, Machete, clearly.
.CC: Ok, seriously, the last question. How has moving changed your writing better worse and what surprises await your fans
JM: I get to sit at my desk and watch whales and dolphins outside my window. That is a measure of what my writing career has done for me and my family. I grew up dirt poor in the inner city.
The 8th Joe Ledger book, Kill Switch, comes out in April. Other new releases include the anthologies I edited, The X-Files: The Truth is Out There, V-Wars: Night Terrors and Out of Tune Vol II. And my 2nd middle grade novel, The Nightsiders: Vault of Shadows, debuts in a few months. Plus my first board game just came out, V-Wars: A Game of Blood and Betrayal.
Jonathan Maberry Essentials:
NY Times Bestseller and 5-time Bram Stoker Award winner
The Nightsiders Bk 1: The Orphan Army – Simon & Schuster
Rot & Ruin Series- Simon & Schuster
The Joe Ledger Thrillers- now in development by Lone Tree Entertainment and Vintage Picture Company
Bad Blood – from Dark Horse Comics
X-FILES: a series of all-new anthologies from IDW Publishing
V-WARS: IDW -anthology and comics; now in development for TV
Ghostwalkers – A Deadlands novel from TOR
Website & Blog: www.jonathanmaberry.com