Rachelle Goguen talks with writer Joshua Elder about Tokyopop’s Mail Order Ninja and DC’s The Batman Strikes!
Goguen: One of the criticisms I read somewhere of Mail Order Ninja (and I don’t know if this is a common criticism) is that the premise is ridiculous, or at least poorly explained. It struck me that there is something tragic about the modern comic reader’s inability to embrace absurdity. In the silver age a story about a kid ordering a ninja out of a catalog would have been downright sensible. Do you feel that there are limits on what a comic writer can get away with these days ? Are you as sad as I am that everyone needs their comics to make sense all the time?
Elder: To puree a metaphor: People in spandex houses shouldn’t throw stones. At least the premise (Boy orders ninja from catalogue, ninjinx ensue.) of “Mail Order Ninja” doesn’t ask anyone to actually take it seriously. Unlike, say, the straight-faced assertion that the Hulk’s many, many rampages never generated a single fatality, or that ultra-dense material from a white dwarf star can somehow be engineered into a shrinking device. These critics are encountering my out-there premise as adults rather than children and judging it accordingly while giving equally outrageous superhero conceits a pass because that’s what they grew up with. I speak from experience on that one.
Elder’s first issue of The Batman Strikes! was August’s Issue 36. According to the interview, he’ll be writing more early next year.