While attending this year’s Emerald City Comicon I was able to sit down with scribe Jeff Parker, author of Kings Watch and the current iteration of Flash Gordon.
UTF: My first question is going to be: where did the idea for King’s Watch come from?
Jeff Parker: Initially I was planning to do Flash Gordon, and the King Features people asked Dynamite if they could do something with all three, like a big event, and then they ran it by me. I thought for a minute, and in my mind they all existed in the same time period pretty well. I didn’t think it would be that weird to bring them into the modern day. That’s when I got to the point of thinking how Mongo, if they did have a space-time tunnel where they could kind of invade from, how would they attack? And I thought, a big super EMP that just kills all of Earth’s technology. That would level the field pretty well and from there, it just kind of grew on itself. I could easily see those characters working together and kind of complementing. Especially if you bring Flash [Gordon] out as like he’s beginning his career, you know the new adventurer that doesn’t quite know anything yet. And put The Phantom at the other end of his career where he’s just been practically through hell for years, punching skulls into people’s faces. Mandrake is hard to judge because you can’t tell if he’s even been aging.
UTF: Oh I definitely think that dichotomy does come through because you have that interpretation of the Flash Gordon character. I was absolutely ecstatic when Ming the Merciless showed up, I thought maybe you were going to try and rework the villain in as something else, but it was actually Ming. I have to give you kudos for that. So what’s the future beyond Kings Watch look like?
Jeff Parker: It’s going to lead right into the Flash Gordon comic. I’m not at liberty to say if it’s going to launch any others, but I definitely know about that one. It’s Evan Shaner, Jordie Bellaire, Simon Bowland and I working on that. So yeah, I don’t want to speculate on some other stuff that’s probably going to be cool, but yeah, Kings Watch ends and leads right into Flash [Gordon].
UTF: All right, I can speak for the rest of the site and say that we are really looking forward to that, and I just have one last question and the interview will be over. If you had anything to say to the fanboys and fangirls that frequent Unleash The Fanboy, maybe advice on getting into the industry or a final word of some kind, what would it be and why?
Jeff Parker: You can still turn yourself mostly by creating new original creations and characters and you probably will end up working on all these things you love. But really what you need to be thinking about is bringing new things in for us all to enjoy because that’s the way something that hasn’t been done before, or done differently, is going to happen. It’s not at odds with doing work for hire but everybody’s going to look at your stuff. Just sit down and pour yourself into it.
I want to take the time to thank Mr. Jeff Parker for chatting with me. It was a pleasure, and if you haven’t dived into either one of these titles then you need to rush to your local shop and catch up!
So what did you think of the interview my fellow fanboys and fangirls?
Sound off with your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below!