Garth Ennis Interview (2008)

 height=(WoW NOV 08)

Garth Ennis is the popular writer of such books as DC's Hitman, DC/Vertigo's Preacher, and Marvel's Punisher. He recently began series of war stories from DE, Garth Ennis' Battlefields. This month, he brings us Garth Ennis' Battlefields: Dear Billy. Westfield's Roger Ash recently contacted Ennis to find out more about this book.

Westfield: You seem to enjoy writing war stories, both with Battlefields and work such as War Stories and Unknown Soldier at DC. Why to you find these stories appealing to write?

Garth Ennis: I've always liked war stories, largely because of the war comics and movies I enjoyed as a kid and the interest in military history that resulted. I don't know of any other human activity as dramatic, as disturbing, or as utterly shattering in terms of its effects on the world.

Westfield: What can you tell us about your new Battlefields story, Dear Billy? Any story teasers?

 height=Ennis: Dear Billy is the story of Carrie Sutton, a young nurse caught up in the Japanese invasion of Singapore in 1942. Much to her amazement she manages to survive the experience, though not unscathed, and goes about trying to put her life back together as the war continues to engulf the far east. Hope appears in the shape of a young pilot, with whom she begins a tentative affair- but then fate drops the opportunity for revenge in her lap, and Carrie seizes it with both hands- with somewhat disastrous results.

It's a strange story, this one, and I'm not quite sure where it came from, but I knew it had to be told. I personally feel that it's one of my all-time best.

Westfield: How much research do you do for the war stories?

Ennis: A ton, but I've been reading military history all my adult life and I'm familiar with a good deal of the material anyway. One of the nice things about writing these stories is putting all those facts and figures to good use.

Westfield: Have you enjoyed working with artist Peter Snejbjerg on Dear Billy?

Ennis: Thoroughly. Peter's done fill-ins for me before, on Preacher, The Boys, The Demon, Hellblazer, etc., but this is the first time we've started something together from scratch. I think he's a superb artist, brilliant storyteller, great with characters and drama. The first half-dozen pages he sent me were truly amazing; they involve a sequence that's been haunting my imagination for the past seven or eight years, but Peter nailed it like he was looking directly into my mind.

Westfield: You also write The Boys for DE. Is there anything you'd like to tell people about what's coming up in that series?

Ennis: We've just begun We Gotta Go Now, the new seven part storyline in the monthly, and coincidentally I've just finished writing the epilogue that'll take us to the halfway point in the book's run. The end of the story is pretty dramatic, but I think the epilogue is a nice little chaser of rattlesnake venom that'll help all the carnage go down.

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