Monthly Archives: February 2016

Interview with Omar Doom

omar doom image

 

by Andrew J. Rausch

Omar Doom is an actor, director, musician, and artist. After meeting Quentin Tarantino, the filmmaker convinced him to shorten his birth name (“Omar Makhdomi”) to the shorter stage pseudonym. The Reservoir Dogs helmer also persuaded the young musician to consider acting. “Quentin told me I’d be great in movies,” Doom would later say in a press junket. “He really pushed me. I decided to go for it. I took his advice and I studied acting.” This would ultimately pay off for the would-be actor, who landed his first role in Tarantino’s Death Proof as Vanessa Ferlito’s love interest. Tarantino would later cast Doom a second time as Private First Class Omar Ulmer in Inglourious Basterds.

Tarantino and Doom remain good friends, and Tarantino often invites him to his home for movie marathons. One year Tarantino threw the actor a birthday party in which he screened cartoons and movies, including Hammerhead and The Mack.

When did you first meet Quentin Tarantino?

We met through mutual friends around 1998.

Were you a fan of his work prior to meeting him? Did he influence you as a filmmaker?

I was and have always been a huge fan of his work. I still watch his movies pretty regularly. Everything I’ve learned about making movies I learned from watching him work. You’ll be able to see what I come up with in the near future.

I understand that Quentin actually came up with your stage name, “Omar Doom.” Tel me about that.

When I was twenty-three, I was having lunch with Quentin at the restaurant Toi on Sunset in Hollywood. I was telling him that I was thinking of shortening my name from Omar Makhdoomi to Omar Makhdoom. He said, “Why not just be Omar Doom?” I had never thought of that, and at first I thought it was a little too ridiculous, but after a while I was convinced. I was like, “Fuck it, I’m gonna do it.” And I’ve never regretted it.

What do you see as being Quentin’s biggest strengths in terms of directing?

People normally praise him for his writing, but I think he is also a phenomenal director. He has a very artistic way of blocking his scenes and framing his shots. As with everything he does, he shatters any rules or conventions. Also, he has very strong convictions. He was so adamant about doing real non-CGI high speed car chases in Death Proof that he built a supercharged camera truck that he sat in, driving over a hundred miles an hour to get those amazing shots.

What’s the most interesting conversation you’ve ever had with him?

That’s a hard one, because there are so many. I don’t know which is the best, but one that stands out in my mind was about his meeting Bob Dylan. Apparently Bob Dylan boxes and has his own boxing ring. And Quentin and Bob Dylan actually boxed. The thought of that happening just blows my mind.

How did you become involved with Death Proof?

I got ahold of the script and basically begged him to read for it. He may have already been planning to bring me into the fold, but I didn’t waste any time making sure it happened.

What were your thoughts on the script the first time you read it?

It was like reading any of his scripts for the first time. They’re always read in one sitting because they’re just impossible to put down. And the endings always make the hairs on my arms stick straight up and I get chills down my neck. But with Death Proof in particular, knowing that he names characters after his close friends, and then seeing that he’d named a character Omar was just an incredible thing. I was basically in the movie before I was in the movie.

What was that cast like to work with?

We were mostly all the same age on that set, so we hung out a lot. I made some lifelong friendships on that movie. That doesn’t usually happen on movie sets. But something about Quentin’s sets makes it really feel like everyone is part of a big family. There’s no set like a Tarantino set. Everyone knows that the next movie set experience you have after working on a Tarantino movie is gonna suck, no matter what the movie is. Quentin told me that himself. Except it turned out that he was all wrong because my next movie ended up being Inglourious Basterds. I remember asking Quentin, “Remember telling me my next job was gonna suck? You were wrong.”

I’ve heard that he screens movies for the cast and crew sometimes. Did he do this on the two movies you worked on, and if so, what were some of those films?

Usually they have something to do with whatever we’re shooting or the actors we’re working with. For example, during Death Proof we watched Used Cars with Kurt Russell. That was quite an experience. Kurt got a real kick out of that, just as we all did.

What was Kurt Russell like to work with?

He’s a very humble guy who, like the rest of us, really felt that working with Quentin is just really something special. He didn’t treat it like it was just one of the hundreds of movies he’s worked on. For me personally, as a big fan of his work, it was an absolute joy just to be around him.

You worked pretty closely with Eli Roth on that picture. What’s he like?

I worked on both Death Proof and Inglourious Basterds with Eli Roth, so we had already become friends. He’s a great guy. Before meeting him I saw Hostel with Quentin opening night in New York City, and I was just blown away. It’s such a fun movie. Eli and I have a lot of similar interests film-wise. We both love a lot of the same horror/Giallo films and he has introduced me to some great ones I had never seen. Eli and the rest of the Basterds all formed a brotherhood on that picture. We would all hang out on and off the set. It was a great time. Filming Basterds in Berlin is one of my fondest memories.

What are your thoughts on the final film Death Proof?

I love Death Proof. Quentin can pull off any genre, and it was a real treat to see his take on grindhouse horror/car chase films. I don’t think anyone could have done it better. People have very short attention spans, so they weren’t really ready for such a long double feature in theaters. But it’s become a cult favorite since then. I get recognized a lot for that movie even though my role wasn’t all that big.

How did you end up working on Inglourious Basterds?

I didn’t go through the same audition process as I did for Death Proof on Basterds. Quentin just called me two weeks before I got on the plane and gave me an enthusiastic and bloody description of what I’d be doing—that I would be scalping and slaughtering Nazis left and right with Brad Pitt. He finished by saying, “Basically I want you to come to Berlin and be a Basterd.” I just said, “Quentin, I’ve been preparing for this role my entire life.”

What was working with Brad Pitt like?

Brad Pitt is a great example of how actors should conduct themselves. He’s the chillest, most humble actor I’ve ever worked with. Some of the other big names showed up with a thick entourage of men in suits, while Brad just showed up with a six pack for the Basterds, saying, “You guys want a beer?” He was very encouraging to me during a lot of scenes with him, telling me that I had really come into my own throughout the film. It meant a lot to me. I hope I get to work with him again sometime.

Were you at all nervous going in to act in a big film like Basterds, where you’d be working alongside so many talented performers?

I actually wasn’t. Working on Basterds was a pure joy. I was excited to get up and go to the set every day. Even when I was working in front of three or four hundred people, it was nothing but fun. Something about the way that Quentin works makes acting for him easy and such a thrill.

You were quite good in that film. Do people come up to you and recognize you from Inglourious Basterds?

I do get recognized for Basterds more than anything else. People ask me to do the Italian hand gesture for a picture, or say the Dominic DiCocco line. Depending on how many drinks I’ve had, I just might do it. I’m more proud of the work I did on that film than on anything else in my life, so it’s nice to be recognized for it.

What was your favorite scene on that film, and why?

Busting through the door and killing Hitler and Gobbels with Eli would have to be my favorite day on set. When is someone ever going to have a chance to say they killed Hitler? In a Tarantino movie, no less! Well, I can now. I feel like I should make a business card that says “OMAR DOOM. I KILLED HITLER.”

“Snow White and the Seven Bastards”

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by Andy Rausch

As they sat together in Joe’s Tavern, Prince Charming couldn’t take his mind off Snow White’s past. It had been weighing on him a lot lately. Sure, she was beautiful, but he also felt she was white trash. She was beneath him. They were from different stations in life, and their differences were becoming ever more apparent. Despite her claims that she had never really slept around, Prince Charming was having a difficult time taking her at her word. She had drank her fair share of tequila tonight, and the other drunks, obviously men from her past, were talking to her as if they’d once been intimate. The worst offender was an inebriated cowboy in a camouflaged ball cap who kept making remarks about her breasts.

Being the gentleman that he was, Prince Charming defended her honor, but it became more and more difficult to do so as horny drunks continued swarming out of the woodwork to make lascivious remarks. She was his wife, goddammit. Why didn’t these men respect that? Even if they had slept with Snow White, why would they be so cruel as to rub it in his face now? And Snow White herself was no help here, either, because she was just drunk enough to flirt back with them.

Prince Charming drank from his gin and tonic and excused himself to the restroom. Inside, the urinals were nasty and overflowing, so he was forced to urinate in a stall. As he stood there pissing, he glanced down and noticed a sentence scrawled about two feet off the ground. It read: “Call Snow White for a good time.” Her cell phone number was written there. It was an outdated number as she’d just recently changed calling plans, but it was a number he recognized.

“Goddammit,” he muttered. The scrawling was down low to the ground, just at the height of a dwarf. Prince Charming’s mind started to race. She’d insisted that she’d never slept with any of the loathsome little sons of bitches, but this written statement seemed to tell a different tale. Jealous, Prince Charming could feel his face turning flush with embarrassment. He walked back to his table to find another redneck leaning over and flirting with his wife. When Prince Charming reached them, the man staggered away.

“Another friend of yours?” asked Prince Charming.

“Just a guy I used to know,” said Snow White, taking a drag from her cigarette. This was another sore spot with Prince Charming—he didn’t smoke and he absolutely loathed the stench of her Pall Malls.

He looked at her sternly. “It seems that you know quite a few men in here.”

She looked at him. Despite her exceeding level of inebriation, she caught the gist of his implication. “Is there something you want to say? If there is, don’t beat around the bush. Just say it.”

And so he did. “Are you sure you told me the truth when you said you’d only been with five men before me?”

She was visibly offended. “Of course it was true.”

Prince Charming said, “I’m not so sure.”

Anger flashed in her eyes now, and she stubbed out her cigarette into the ashtray. “Why is that?”

“You seem awfully chummy with more than a few men in here.”

“And?” she asked.

“And just how did you manage to convince the Woodsman to release you into the woods rather than kill you?”

“What are you asking?”

He just stared at her, unblinking. “Did you have sex with him?”

“No, he was atrocious.”

At this Prince Charming turned and looked at the other men at the bar in an exaggerated motion. “And these men aren’t?”

“Everyone’s got a past,” she said. “Even you.”

Prince Charming took another drink. “I’m not sure I believe you anymore.”

“What are you saying?”

“That you’re a liar.”

This infuriated Snow White. “How can you say that to me? Where do you get your nerve?”

He just looked at her. “Let me ask you another question.”

“Shoot.”

“Those dwarfs you lived with—are you sure you didn’t sleep with them?”

She threw her hands up, implying there was just no talking to Prince Charming. “Are we really going to have this conversation again?”

“Have we ever really had it?”

She glared at him, fire in her eyes. “And what does that mean?”

“It means we never really had the conversation, because you put an end to it. God forbid you should ever have to talk about something you don’t want to talk about.” Prince Charming took another drink. “You’re a spoiled rotten brat.”

Snow White lit another Pall Mall. “Where is all this coming from?”

“You’re so chummy with all the guys in this bar. Are you really going to try and tell me you’ve never been intimate with any of them?”

She looked at him, but said nothing.

Prince Charming said, “That’s what I thought.”

“What do you want from me?” she asked, fidgeting in her seat.

“I want you to be straight with me.”

“How so?”

He sneered at her. “I think you screwed those nasty little dwarfs.”

“You would think that,” she said, taking another drag from her cigarette.

“There’s a message written in the bathroom,” he said quietly.

She looked up. “What kind of message?”

“It says to call you for a good time.”

“And?” she asked.

“And it has your goddamn phone number on it! And it was written about two feet from the ground—right there at dwarf-level.”

She blew out smoke. “So what are you saying?”

“I want a divorce,” he said, pulling the ring from his finger. He dropped it into his drink. He started to stand, and she reached out to stop him. “Please don’t do this,” she pleaded. But it was to no avail. “I’ll be in touch, Snow White.”

He turned and walked out of the place, leaving her sitting there with her tequila and a half-smoked Pall Mall on a Budweiser ashtray. George Strait was singing on the jukebox, and even though he was her favorite singer, Snow White didn’t notice. She raised her cigarette with trembling hands, tears welling up inside her eyes now.

Prince Charming was the only thing she’d ever really wanted in life.

He was the only man she’d ever truly loved.

And now, as she sat there crying, her tears served as man-repellent, and no one came to her aid. There were no more comments about her breasts. Nothing.

She reached into her purse and caressed the chrome pistol with her fingers, making sure the loaded gun was still there.

Someone was going to pay for what had happened to her.

Someone.

She stood up, George Strait sounding muted in her ears, her balance just a little off. She drank the last of her tequila and turned for the door. She had tears streaming down her face like tiny snakes trying to make their way down to her neckline. Again, no one approached her, and no one spoke in her direction.

She walked out of the bar, surprised to find her Camaro still parked outside. Prince Charming must have walked home—as if home was where he was really headed. And for the briefest of moments, Snow White considered shooting her lover. But no, she knew what she had to do. She knew who had to pay.

She unlocked the door to the Camaro and turned the key in the ignition, Lorrie Morgan coming to life in the speakers. She put the car into drive and peeled out of the gravel parking lot, kicking up a massive cloud of dust behind her. Her hands still trembling, she lit another Pall Mall. She stomped on the gas now, and the car lurched forward towards its destination.

Six minutes later she was there, parked in front of the seven dwarfs’ trailer house. She turned off the ignition and stared at the house, contemplating what she was about to do. She reached into her bag and grabbed the .45, pulling it out. She climbed out of the Camaro and marched up the gravel driveway towards the trailer house. She then made her way up the stairs, flicking her half-spent cigarette out into the fenced-in yard. She raised her right hand, the hand clutching the gun, and banged on the front door. She could hear Megadeath blaring from inside the home.

No one came to the door, so she knocked again, harder this time.

Finally the wooden door opened and Doc peered out through the tattered screen door.

“Let me in, goddammit,” she said, the cold air chilling her bones.

Doc opened the door and let her inside. She raised the pistol as she entered.

Doc raised his arms to show her he didn’t want any trouble. She moved the pistol up to her left, seeing Dopey there snorting a line of crank from an aluminum TV dinner tray.

“What’s the problem?” Doc asked nervously.

She turned the pistol back towards Doc and squeezed the trigger, and Doc was no more. Dopey looked up. He started to run towards the back of the house, but Snow White caught him with a clean shot. The bedroom door to Snow White’s right opened and Grumpy peered out. “What the hell is going on out here?” he asked.

Snow White shot through the particle-board door, catching Grumpy at center mass, and he fell out of the way. She turned and kicked the door open, seeing Sneezy there naked and crouching doggie-style, where he had been waiting for Grumpy to return. She shot Sneezy, painting the blinds behind him with the contents of his head.

Snow White turned back towards the living room, where she saw Bashful standing there with a naked dwarf woman held out in front of him, his big hand-cannon aimed at her temple. “Shoot at me and this bitch gets it,” Bashful said.

“Who wrote my phone number in the bathroom down at the pub?” Snow White asked, trembling with anger. She did not lower the pistol.

“Goddamn Doc,” Bashful said. “I told him not to write that shit, but you know Doc…”

Snow White squeezed the trigger, firing off a round through the female dwarf’s chest and striking Bashful in the heart. They both fell over dead in a heap of flesh and bones. Snow White moved past their fallen bodies in search of the other two little bastards. She peered down the hall, and Sleepy peeked out through the doorway at the end of the hallway. Snow White fired two rounds, splintering the particle-board wall and catching Sleepy in the throat. She made her way down the hallway, past the row of stockpiled Pepsi twelve-packs line up against the wall. She stumbled, momentarily losing her footing, and she fell towards the floor.

She heard the gun cock behind her. She turned around and saw Happy standing there, his nine-millimeter pistol trained on her. She went for her gun, which she had dropped in the fall, and Happy fired a round through her left shoulder.

Unnnngggggg,” she blurted.

“Turn around and look at me,” said Happy.

She turned to her right, twisting a bit, and she looked him directly in his eyes. He had his pistol trained on her, and he was holding his cell phone up to his ear with his other hand. Before the 911 operator could respond, Snow White came up with the .45 and shot a round through Happy’s forehead. The diminutive gunman toppled back into the half-assed trailer house kitchen.

Snow White raised herself up from the ground, her shoulder hurting like all hell. She could hear the police sirens in the distance, getting closer and closer. She raised the .45 to her own temple and squeezed the trigger.

And Snow White was no more.

Interview with Matt Wagner

by Andrew J. Rausch

Pennsylvania-bred comic book writer and illustrator Matt Wagner started his career with a story that introduced the world to the assassin character Grendel. That character would ultimately become the stuff of legends, resulting in not just its own title but two Grendel/Batman crossovers. Perhaps best known for Mage, Wagner has also worked on many established characters, including the villain Two-Face for the graphic novel Faces. Wagner is also responsible for Trinity, a series combining the forces of Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. In recent years he has been closely associated with Dynamite Entertainment’s Zorro, in which he reimagined the classic character from the old West.

This led to the Wagner-written crossover comic Django/Zorro, which served as an official sequel story to Quentin Tarantino’s film Django Unchained. Speaking on the crossover, Tarantino told reporters, “I loved the idea. One of the things I liked so much, I grew up reading Western comics and entertainment in general, whether it was the Zorro comics, or the Disney show, or Zorro’s Fighting Legend. What I thought was such a great idea was taking the most famous fictional Mexican Western hero, and putting him together with one of the most famous black Western heroes.”

Were you a fan of the original film Django Unchained?

Oh, fuck yeah. I had a friend who’s a local reviewer take me to a press screening. He told me later, “I’ve got to take you to more of those.” Because all the critics sit there very seriously considering the film, and I was just laughing and howling and clapping. [Laughs.] I just enjoyed the hell out of it. I’m a fan of Quentin’s stuff in general.

How did you become involved with the Django/Zorro comic?

The whole project was put together by Nick Barrucci, the guy who runs Dyamite. He was a long-time friend of Reginald Hudlin, who was a producer on Quentin Tarantino’s film. They just kind of put this idea together, I think half-joking to begin with. Then things started to get more serious, and Nick contacted me and said, “We’re talking about doing this. Would you be interested in writing it?” I just thought, That’s never going to happen, but I said, “Sure.” If the opportunity comes up, I’d love to do it, but it’s not going to happen. So I completely forgot about it and then four or five months later, I got another very energized call from Nick. He says, “I sent Quentin all your Zorro stuff and he loves it. He wants you to come down next week to talk about this.” Even then I was like, really, no, it’s not going to happen. But then, yeah, it all came true. I was surprised, but they pulled it off.

What was meeting Quentin like?

Here again, I was like, “This could fall apart at any minute.” Quentin’s such a famous guy, and I’m sure there are about a million people demanding his time. Even when I pulled up to his house I was thinking, “Something’s gonna fall through.” [Laughs.] But no, he met me at the door. He pulled me in and took me and showed me his comics right away. He has a very unique and cool box where he keeps his comics. If we’re not the exact same age, Quentin and I are pretty close in age, so our cultural touch points are kind of similar. His is of course more movie oriented, and mine more comic oriented. But I know plenty of movies and he knows plenty of comics.

Did you guys talk a lot about other comics?

Yeah. He had just gotten back from this big San Diego con, and he had bought up a whole bunch of the oversized black-and-white magazines that Marvel used to publish in the seventies. That just thrilled the hell out of me, because I had loved those when I was young. Even though they didn’t have very strong subject matter in them, they felt more adult when I was buying them at twelve and thirteen-years-old. I guess because they weren’t racked with the other comics—they were racked at the magazine rack. So he had maybe fifty or a hundred of those, and we just pored through those and reminisced.

I read that Quentin was adamant that Zorro be the same Zorro you had already redefined at Dynamite.

When I went down there, I was thinking we’re gonna have to have a legacy Zorro, since Django occurs so much later than the Zorro adventures. But when we first started talking about it, he was adamant. “I want the old Zorro.” Considering Django’s relationship with King Shultz in the film, where he already had this openness towards having an older mentor-like character, it just fit like a glove. Then we had to talk about what had happened to Django since the film, because this took place about two years after the film. He told me Django’s wife was down in Philadelphia, and that he’d taken her there. He was very much a wanted man. It had taken them a long time to get out of the South. They had fought there way out of there, and Brunhilda was now working with the underground railroad. So he’s gone back to doing the only thing he knows how to do, which is bounty hunting. And he just keeps pushing farther and farther West, because there’s not as much institutionalized racism out there.

Did you get much direct input from Tarantino while working on the project?

Sure. We spent two days with the first go-around. I had already heard this from somebody else, but when Quentin first starts working with you, he likes to screen movies for you. So he had a whole litany of stuff he wanted us to watch in this very cool, very comfortable screening room. So we watched a couple of films, and we watched a couple of chapters of old Zorro serials. We’d kind of watch a little bit and then go up to his porch and chat, working out storyline stuff. So when I went there to meet him, I was down there for two days. It was a very open, very free-form kind of meeting. I didn’t know if I’d need to come back the second day. We didn’t even know if we’d get along. But he said, “No, no, no, you’ve got to come back tomorrow so we can keep working on this.” I went back to the hotel that night and I wrote the first six pages of the script to kick it off and get it started, so I could get direct feedback from him in regards to Django’s voice in particular. One thing he cautioned me about, he said, “Don’t try to write black dialect. Try to write more cowboy dialect.” Of course a few of Django’s enunciations are more black than cowboy, but that was a very cool and insightful bit of direction.

So then I came back and started to work on it, and maybe three months later I contacted him and said, “We need one more meeting. We’ve got the general outline, but now that I’m kind of blocking it out, I have a few more questions for you.” So I went back down for another afternoon, and we got everything accomplished that we wanted to do. He had very quick answers for each of my questions. And it was valuable, because there’s a scene in there that’s a flashback where Django remembers a little adventure with King. That scene was actually in Quentin’s first draft of Django Unchained. He still had it in handwritten form. But he’d cut the scene because he felt it was a little repetitive and that the film was already long enough. He brought this up because I felt we needed some sort of reminiscence about King, because he was such a powerful figure. With this being the first new Django adventure, I thought we needed to see King in some fashion. He had the scene already, and we found a place where it fit in nicely. He pretty much acted the entire scene out, telling me all of it. He kept telling me he was gonna get me his original handwritten script, but he never did because he got started on The Hateful Eight preproduction. And when you start working on a movie, boom, you just disappear into that hole. Since he had acted it all out for me, I just kind of wrote it from memory and just filled in the spots that needed filled myself. I was pretty happy with it. I felt that I hit King’s voice pretty well.

How much freedom did you have in crafting this story? Did you ever feel at all hamstrung, having to answer back to Quentin?

No, he was really open to everything. Again, he really loved my version of Zorro, so… When I went down the second time, the questions I had were very specific. I said, “In all your films, there’s some chunk of pop culture.” In Django you could argue that that’s not there, but it is. Mandingo fighting was a pop culture thing of its time. You could almost compare it to the S&M dungeon in Pulp Fiction. We were determined to examine racism not through black people, but through the local indigenous population. I said, “We need something the Indians do that signifies their despair. A dark, sort of subcultural thing.” So he very quickly came up with the idea of playing chicken with sticks of dynamite. That fit right in and certainly fit the bill for what we were going for. The other big thing was when I told him we needed a significant death of some kind. So I suggested we kill Bernardo, Zorro’s longtime servant and brother-in-arms. And he just thought that was a terrific idea.

What are some of the challenges you faced on this particular project?

The big challenge was that it wasn’t as neat a pairing as I had originally thought it would be. I had thought, yeah, that sounds neat. That sounds cool. But the two characters are very different ages, and they come from very different worlds. That’s always fun to meld, but one operates completely incognito and the other one doesn’t. So I found in writing it, I really couldn’t have the two of them fighting back to back, so to speak, until the grand finale. Otherwise you’ve got one guy in a mask and another guy not in a mask. The bad guys are gonna go, “We don’t know who that guy is, but go get the other guy who doesn’t have the mask on.” [Laughs.] They’re also very different in their approaches. Certainly in the heat of battle Zorro will kill somebody if he has to. But he’s not like Django who will just happily blow their head off. It was a really neat challenge trying to make those work, and I think I pulled it off.

What are some of the challenges to writing for someone else’s character as opposed to one you’ve created yourself?

Both of those are somebody else’s character. Over the years I’ve done a lot of that. I don’t know how familiar you are with the comics industry, but I’m sort of more known for my two indie characters, Grendel and Mage. Over the years I’ve had lots of opportunities to work with other characters for other comic companies. I’ve done lots of Batman for DC. I’ve done lots of stuff for Dynamite, like Zorro, The Green Hornet, The Shadow—all those old cool pulp characters. I’m currently working on the relaunch of the Will Eisner character the Spirit. I find it an interesting challenge to play with someone else’s toys like that. One difference is that with a character like Batman, you have a history of like seventy-five, eighty-five years. You’re kind of free to pick out the stuff you like and toss out the stuff you don’t. But with something like The Spirit or with Django, you’re suddenly working with a character that is closely identified with one particular voice and one particular author. So that’s a neat challenge also—to try and strike that author’s tone, and yet bring something of your own to the table, as well. Ever since the death of Ian Fleming, you’ve seen many officially-sanctioned other people writing James Bond books. And some of them are more successful than others in striking that tone.

What are some of the joys and challenges that came with writing about an older Don Diego character?

Once Quentin suggested that to me, it all sort of made sense. He also brought up another interesting factor in that Don Diego sort of puts on this foppish demeanor to deflect people from his true identity and adventures as Zorro. Quentin pointed out that after that many of years of living like that, wouldn’t he actually become that persona? Wouldn’t he actually be that kind of fussy older aristocrat? And I thought, yes, he absolutely would.

Quentin hints at the beginning of issue one about a possible future Django/Lone Ranger team-up. Is that something we might actually see?

They haven’t contacted me, so I don’t know. I don’t write The Lone Ranger. If they did that, I would think they would turn to one of the regular Lone Ranger authors. I don’t know. Maybe. I wouldn’t say no.

What kind of feedback did you get from Quentin once the comic was finished?

He loved it. I would say for the first half of production I heard from him pretty regularly. Then, again, he started Hateful Eight, and I didn’t hear from him until the end. I would assume with that he’s keeping watch over me with his character, and I’m sure that once he saw that I could handle it he was okay with it. He told me at the end he loved the way it turned out.

What elements of the Django/Zorro comic are you the most proud of?

Meshing these two characters that on my second thought of it didn’t seem to mesh as well as I initially thought they would. I’m certainly proud of having had the chance to work with Quentin. He’s really one of the most vital film directors working today. I’ve enjoyed his work for many, many years. Also, my son colored the book, which was pretty cool. I think it just turned out beautifully.

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