Jason Aaron is a busy man, but he was gracious enough to briefly sit down with us at this year’s C2E2 in Chicago. Jason’s had an incredibly prolific year and he talks about the end of his Thor run, what he’s been the proudest of, and his Conan work!
Hussein Wasiti: You’ve been writing Thor for a long time now. I’m wondering if there’s been any change to your process since starting that run in 2011?
Jason Aaron: I’ve learned a lot about Thor and certainly about doing world-building with the realms and the supporting cast around him, but hopefully I’ve gotten better as a writer. I don’t think my style or approach has really changed all that much.
Wasiti: Do you feel emotional or excited now that your run is coming to an end?
Aaron: I don’t feel sad about it. I feel excited because this is something that I’ve been laying tracks for, for so long. It’s a story I’ve known was coming for so long. It’s weird that something is in your head for that long and you get to it eventually. It’s nice. It’s kind of a release to finally get to write it after having it on paper, or bouncing around in your brain for so many years.
I felt the same about the Jane Foster stuff. It’s always exciting to get to the point where you’re doing it. I’m sure that after I’m all done with Thor there’ll be some sadness where I don’t get to play with those toys anymore in that way. I’ll still be writing Thor in the pages of Avengers, so I won’t be completely done with the character.
Wasiti: What moment in your run are you most proud of?
Aaron: I’m really proud of the whole Jane story that we did. There were different versions or phases of that story along the way, but once we got to the part of what it was really about, which was about a woman who was fighting cancer and at the same time going out and battling bad guys as Thor — the fact that she was doing that and picking up the hammer was killing her, making her condition worse… I was really proud of that story. To me that was the most “Thor” story in any of the Thor books I’ve done. It went back to that idea of picking up this hammer and being transformed, and it also felt like a very Marvel kind of story. The fact that she’s a hero is also killing her, where her strength is also her weakness. I’m proud of that and what Russell Dauterman and Matt Wilson were able to do on that run.
Wasiti: For Conan the Barbarian, did you approach Marvel or were you the obvious pick for the character?
Aaron: Hopefully both. As soon as I got wind that the rights were coming, I made it clear both publicly and privately that I wanted to do it. I’ve wanted to write Conan for a long time. I don’t have a long list of characters that I’m chasing after. Thor was never a character that I was that into until the opportunity arose, so it’s all about that moment and what story I can figure out to tell for this character. It was cool to do Star Wars, the first Star Wars book Marvel had done in a lot of years, so I knew this would be something similar. I threw my hat into the ring in a big way and threatened to fight any writer they would try to hire. Thankfully it didn’t come to that.
Wasiti: How’s the editorial process of Conan? Is there more pushback or is it more lax, given the type of character he is?
Aaron: The rights-holders have been super cool to deal with. As long as I’m not doing anything to directly contradict those original Robert E. Howard stories, they’re really open to just do a cool story. I have so much respect and reverence for those original stories; I’m not going to do anything that goes against them. It’s cool to just have to worry about that. There’s not much filled in or locked down so there’s a lot of room.
Wasiti: Are you staying past #12 are is it just this long arc you’re doing?
Aaron: We’ll see. I haven’t decided yet. This is for sure one big, 12-issue story and where we go from there, we’ll have to wait and see.
Wasiti: Please stay. Can you talk about your creator-owned projects?
Aaron: The books I’ve been doing are still in the works. There’s still more to come. Goddamned should be able to be solicited soon. Southern Bastards is coming back hopefully later this year or early next year. The first thing I have solicited that should be imminently announced is something new. I’ve only just teased it and I haven’t formally announced it yet. It’s something completely different than anything else I’ve ever done creator-owned-wise.