Interview conducted by CB and Tony D, two comic book outlaws in their own right.
1. Michael, congrats on Outlaw Territory Volume 1 out in stores now from Image Comics. We hear reviews are great, particularly for the “Ahiga” short story. What gave you the idea for the book?
Michael Woods: Thank you very much. With Outlaw, I wanted to do something that was a polar opposite of the previous anthology (Low Orbit) and a western theme seemed to just fall into my lap.
2. How hard was it to handle Christian Beranek as a creator? We’ve heard he can be quite difficult.
Michael Woods: I have booze and pictures he’d rather not get out.
3. At anytime did Christian Beranek go renegade on you? Did he ask you to meet him in that dive bar he likes to frequent in Silverlake? The one where those people were murdered?
Michael Woods: People were murdered there? I thought we were just going for drinks.
4. What are the plans for future editions of Outlaw Territory? Any creator names you can mention?
Michael Woods: There will be a volume two, which is almost finished. Creators include Stuart Immonen, Sean Phillips, Greg Pak, Joshua Dysart, Paul Azaceta, Jeff Lemire, Francesco Francavilla, Rafael Albuquerque, Dustin Weaver, Tom Fowler and many more.
Oh, and that Christian Beranek guy is back again. I mentioned about the pictures and the booze, right?
5. What is your craziest convention experience?
Michael Woods: My lawyers have advised me against telling that story.
6. Who is the best dresser in comics?
Michael Woods: Grant Morrison, hands down. The suits are classy.
7: Tony DiGerolamo is also contributing to the third volume, did you choose him because of his writing ability or his long criminal record?
Michael Woods: Definitely the criminal record. I believed his sordid past would serve the book well.
8: Are there any real life outlaws that you admire?
Michael Woods: No, because they’re never as noble as they are portrayed in the movies.
9: Have you had any true life encounters with real outlaws?
Michael Woods: Does Christian Beranek count?
10: What separates an outlaw from your average criminal?
Michael Woods: I think an outlaw is someone who lives outside the law as a way of life where a criminal is someone who simply broke the law.
11: Why are outlaws considered so heroic?
Michael Woods: Probably the rebellious nature of the nation. The lust to be able to do what we want in spite of the rules and the admiration towards those men with the courage to do it. Plus, most times the line between a lawman and an outlaw was a tin star, and many walked on both sides of that line.
12: Give us a personal account of your own “outlawness”. Something you’ve done in your own life that makes you an outlaw in some way.
Michael Woods: Outlawness?
13: What do you think you’d be doing if you were alive during the Wild West?
Michael Woods: I dunno. A cook maybe. I’d really like to think I’d be the drinking type who got himself shanghai’d somewhere in the Barbary Coast Quarter of San Francisco to parts unknown, but cook sounds more my speed.
That’s assuming someone didn’t gun me down for being too damn big first.
14: Who would you consider a modern-day outlaw?
Michael Woods: When I think of outlaws today, I’m not intrigued. I’m disgusted or horrified. There is nothing romantic about those people. They lack the charm and charisma of a Jesse James or Billy the Kid or even someone as recent as John Dillinger. It’s an era probably seen with rose colored glasses from a good hundred years in the future.
15: How will the final anthology push the boundaries of the outlaw story?
Michael Woods: Not sure I can speak for the thirty some odd people writing those stories, but I can tell you the last story in volume three will sum everything up beautifully.
CB and Tony D thank the immensely talented outlaw Michael Woods for his time. Pick up Outlaw Territory Volume 1 at finer comic shops across the land!
Christian Beranek co-founded and runs Disney’s Kingdom Comics with Ahmet Zappa. CB has a first look film/tv deal with Disney/ABC via his Lead Pipe Entertainment banner. He has several projects in development around town including Dracula vs. King Arthur, based on the graphic novel he co-created. He is currently working on his first novel and an album. CB is never late for dinner and invites you to add him on twitter: http://www.twitter.com/beranek
Tony DiGerolamo is a writer for the Simpsons and the Bart Simpson comic books. He is the creator of The Travelers and webcomic Super Frat, posted at www.superfrat.com. Don’t miss his monthly comics column in KODT magazine called Lookin’ at Comics and his other deranged projects at www.thefixsite.com. Twitter him at http://twitter.com/TonyDiGerolamo. Tony D is never late for twitter and invites you to dinner.