Christos Gage interview (March 2008)

 height=(WoW MAR 08)

Christos Gage is the writer of such books as Marvel's Avengers: The Initiative and House of M: Avengers and DC/WildStorm's The Authority: Prime and StormWatch: PHD. This month he brings a classic Clint Eastwood character to comics with Dynamite Entertainment's Man with No Name: The Good, The Bad, And the Uglier. Westfield's Roger Ash contacted Gage to learn more about the book.

To link to this interview, use this link (right click and copy)

Westfield: How did you become involved with the Man With No Name project? Are you a fan of the films?

Christos Gage: I'm a huge fan of the films! That's why, when I was talking with Nick Barrucci at last year's New York Comic-Con and he mentioned Dynamite was close to landing the Man With No Name license, I insisted I had to write it. I didn't want to hear about anything else; this was the book I had to do. We talked about our feelings regarding the approach the book should take, and had very similar ideas about what would work and what wouldn't, so it just went from there. MGM approved the story and me as the writer, and we were in business.

Westfield: Does Clint Eastwood have any involvement with the book?

Gage: Not that I'm aware of, although if he doesn't like it, I'm sure that even at 78 years old he could kick my ass.

Westfield: What challenges did you find in bringing the Man with No Name to comics?

Gage: Being true to the films while still realizing this is a comic book. I've written both movies and comics, so I know the difference, and I know what works in one and not the other. What I've tried to do is capture the flavor of the films, their spirit, without being a cheap rip-off. For instance, in the movies there isn't a lot of talking, and I've kept to that. In our first issue, I think the first actual line of dialogue comes on Page 6. But despite the minimalist dialogue, there's a lot happening in the films, and that's true for the comic as well. It's a different kind of storytelling for me, and I hope I've risen to the challenge.

Westfield: What can people look forward to in the series? Is there anything you can tell us about the story?

 height=Gage: We're opening with a six-issue story arc that follows directly from events in The Good, The Bad And The Ugly. The Man With No Name still has the bags full of Confederate gold, and he's being chased by both the Confederacy (for the money) and the Union (for blowing up their bridge). As he tries to keep a low profile, he discovers that the Catholic Mission (whose monks saved his life in the film) is under attack by an army of bandits, both Union and Confederate deserters. Against his better judgment, he gets sucked into the battle. We'll see the return of a character from TGTBATU - not Tuco, but someone with the same last name...

Westfield: Are you enjoying the collaboration with artist Wellington Dias?

Gage: Very much. When I got the art for the first issue, I was blown away. My wife, who is not a mainstream comics reader but is a fan of the films, thought it looked fantastic, so I have high hopes that we will be able to appeal to folks who may not be traditional comics readers (as well as diehard fanboys like myself). If we do, Wellington deserves a ton of credit for that. He's done an amazing job with a very tough subject.

Westfield: Any closing comments?

Gage: Just that I have taken the responsibility of bringing this iconic character to comics very seriously, and I hope it shows... and I hope readers will give it a try!