[Presented via Dynamite Entertainment, here’s the first in a series of peer-to-peer interviews with writer Jim Zubkavich interviewing various Dynamite creators on their recent work. First up, Jim Zub, as we all know him, interviews Jai Nitz on Green Hornet #42.]
ZUB: What draws you towards Green Hornet as a character, or the pulp genre in general?
NITZ: Pulp characters are much more grounded than their superhero counterparts. Pulp heroes live in a normal world with normal physics and normal villains. That said, there’s nothing wrong with throwing in some supernatural and superpowered elements; the pulps sure had a lot of fantasy in them. From the first issue of this series that Kevin Smith and Phil Hester wrote they established that this wouldn’t be a dark-and-gloomy pulp book. I tried to continue that with Green Hornet Legacy. I had a great partner in Jethro Morales. He really made GHL look and feel like an earth-shattering superhero book even though we stuck to pulpy storylines.
ZUB: How much detail do you put into your comic scripts?
NITZ: It really depends on my collaborators. In the beginning of my Green Hornet run I put in a ton of detail because I didn’t know what Jethro was capable of. So I put in lots of descriptions and emotion and what characters were thinking when they delivered their lines. After a few issues I found out that Jethro brought a ton to the table artistically and still hit all the high points in my scripts. So by our last issue I was giving him a lot of room. It didn’t take Jethro and I long before we were on the same page. I’ve been lucky with my runs on Green Hornet. I had artists Colton Worley on Kato Origins and Nigel Raynor on Green Hornet: Parallel Lives who really made me look good the same way Jethro has done.
ZUB: How much research did you do on Green Hornet before you started writing the comic series?
NITZ: I read every issue of the Kevin Smith/Phil Hester/Ande Parks run of the book so far. I was already up to speed on Green Hornet as a character because I’d worked on Kato Origins and the movie continuity books. But that’s no excuse for lack of research, so I read everything that came before me to make sure I didn’t repeat any storylines or contradict any set up information.
ZUB: What new element to Green Hornet that you added in the comic are you most proud of?
NITZ: Jethro and I created several new characters for the book. We created new heroes and villains alike. I’m proud that we added some cool diversity to an already diverse book. We added El Gato Rojo (a Mexican hero), Pyramid (an Egyptian hero), Blamazon (a transgendered hero), and others. I’m proud of some of the soap opera storytelling we did about finally answering the will-they-won’t-they question about Green Hornet and Kato finally hooking up. I think I’m most proud of Blamazon giving GH a kiss before her untimely death. Is that the first transgendered kiss in comics? I don’t know, but it was a sweet moment to write.
ZUB: Since this issue is the end of the series, how much planning went into wrapping up the plot threads?
NITZ: It’s funny because of the circumstances of me taking on the book. I took over the writing chores on the book from Ande Parks and had a set five-issue arc planned. After that I was informed that I’d probably only have a few issues of the book before the series ended so I should stick to one-and-done issues. But the book kept performing so we got to keep going and the stories started to gel together. Then I got to expand on some of the elements Jethro and I set up in our first five issues. Then we’d do another one-and-done then another then another arc and before you knew it we’d had 15 issues done with a well-conceived ending. If you go back and read all our issues it would look like a very tightly plotted book but a lot of it was a happy accident.
ZUB: Do you have any other comic projects coming out in 2014?
NITZ: I’m writing Grimm: The Warlock for Dynamite right now with art by Jose Malaga and covers by Greg Smallwood. The first issue is out in December but the other four issues will be out (and probably a TPB) in 2014. Also in December I’ll have a story in Marvel’s A+X title with Greg Smallwood and a Conan story in Dark Horse’s Savage Sword anthology. I’ll also have several projects coming out from Dark Horse in 2014.