Comics Creators

Wednesday Fan Chat #22 - Jonathan Hickman

  1. I got divorced.
  2. Honestly, I worry about getting sued more than anything else. Thank god for good lawyers.
  3. Nick and I could do Manhattan Projects forever. (But we’re actually taking a break to do a new thing next).
  4. Sure. Marvel’s a great company and have been very good to me. But I probably won’t ever do this volume of stuff again.
  5. I have no idea and I try not to think about it.
  6. Depends if I suck of not. My preference is to only write 3-4 hours a day. Get in. Get out. But that’s a pipe dream. And I was kidding about getting divorced.


No. Things changed. The velocity at which things happen at Marvel has changed considerably in the last five years. So I thought I was going to be working at Fantastic Four pace when doing Avengers but it was much. much faster than that.

It used to take 5 years to do 60 issues and I did more than that in half the time. It’s one of the reasons I’m no where near as happy with my Avengers stuff as I’d like to be.

But, you know, I cashed the checks.


I have, at least, four new books coming out from Image next year.

  1. I’m drawing some books next year. It’s the thing I miss the most and what I’ll be doing more of going forward. But Marvel wanted me to write, so I wrote.
  2. My script change entirely based on who is drawing them. A script for Esad is structured completely different than a script for Nick Dragotta.
  3. Well, most of the artists I work with are waaaaaay more talented than I am, so I don’t do a lot of second guessing. But if I have an idea of how something specific should look, I’ll doodle it down. I’ve done 20 odd issues of East of West and I’ve had redraw notes on two panels.


Honestly, after the last couple of years. I’m just happy to take a win.

I hate those dudes so much.

  1. Half of it is in the first HC, Half in the second.
  2. Yep.


That’s interesting. I would have figured scripts would differ depending on if you or someone else was illustrating it but I’d never considered different script styles for different artists. Does this have a knock on effect in creating new properties before selecting an artist or would yu team up and creat something new together?


Also, who do you list as your influences as an artist? And a writer?

Many thanks again!


Do you already have a (rough guesstimate or rock solid) final issue # in mind for

  • Manhattan Projects?
  • East of West?
  • Dying & the Dead?

are any of the new projects finite, or are they all ongoing series?

seriously, take my money. all of it.


I didn’t have much doubt because Marvel was totally behind me. There were a few things that happened that made it rocky at the start, but they weren’t story problems.

As for reviews and such. I used to look at that stuff, but when you start working on bigger books at the big two, you can’t really keep doing that. It gets too negative. There are just too many readers/fans/reviewers that are more invested in the characters than you as a creator. Which is fine for the fan, but bad for the artist.

It’s one of the reasons that some many of us love doing creator-owned. It’s not just that the market has changed and we’re making more money on those books, it’s that the fan is there for the creators not the franchise. It’s just a healthier experience.

And my favorite part of that F4 run is that last issue of FF. I’m not sure I can write a better mainstream book than that.


The new 52 cannibalized the sales on the Ultimate relaunch. We were DOA.

Bummer, as that was going to be some very cool stuff.


I can’t listen to anything with words. So it’s all soundtracks and stuff like that. I mostly write in quiet.

And I tend to do work years.


Wow. Sorry to hear that.

It seemed like we only got the tip of the iceberg. What was out there was very cool. It really felt fresh.


Yes. There will be a ninth issue.

(I just got up. I haven’t read the press release so I’m not sure what I’m allowed to say).


Thanks Jonathan. That issue isn’t just one of my favourite comics. It is one of my favourite things in the world.

On the other point, I have been reading your work since Nightly News, but do you find that readers will try out your creator owned work once they become familiar with you from FF or Avengers etc. ? What’s your experience there?


The majority of my time will be spent doing Image books. Too much opportunity. Too much fun. The money is more fair. Etc.

The mainstream books I grew up reading were the Legion, X-Men, and Teen Titans and I haven’t gotten to do any of them. So I guess some of that. I have tons of stories for those books, but so much more goes into taking a job than that.

I see Marvel buying a small country in the next 10 years.


Well, I don’t pick artists. I work with fellow creators and together we decide what book we want to do. I mean, I can always come up with something, that’s my job. I want everyone working on the book to be excited about it, so I’ve found that it’s best to figure out who you want to work with – see if you click – and then worry about the project.

I’ve only done the ‘I have a great story I need to find someone’ thing one time.

And there are, literally, 30-40 people I could name that I’d love to work with and haven’t yet. So many talented people in comics.


It goes both ways, actually. There are A LOT of people reading comics that don’t read big two books.


Okay. I’m out of here.



Thank you for visiting Millarworld, Jonathan. We appreciate your time and you are always welcome here.