DAN JURGENSThe following is an e-mail interview with DAN JURGENS, who has worked both sides of the pencil with such high-profile projects as THE DEATH OF SUPERMAN, ZERO HOUR, TANGENT, JUSTICE LEAGUE, TEEN TITANS, and now THOR. This interview took place July 26, 1998.
JOHN DALTON: What is your earliest comic book memory?
DAN JURGENS: Seeing the other kids in the neighborhood sit and swap comics on the back steps when I was about 6-years-old. The first comic story I remember was the famous "Robin Dies at Dawn" issue of Batman.
JOHN DALTON: What was your earliest work in the industry, and how did you get the job?
DAN JURGENS: My first work was for DC Comics, in Warlord #63. I had met Mike Grell a few months earlier while he was making a personal appearance at a comic shop and showed him my work. At the time, he was writing the book, and he got me put on the title as artist.
JOHN DALTON: Chris Claremont said that if you want to be a writer, you should be able to draw. What is your take on this?
DAN JURGENS: I'm not sure, unless he was alluding to the number of artists who ended up writing their own material. In a way he's right...it's one way of becoming a writer. Most didn't, however. Many started as editorial assistants and later quit to write.
JOHN DALTON: Do you have a preference for writing or art?
DAN JURGENS: I see it as different aspects of the same job rather than two different jobs.
JOHN DALTON: You are often called "The Man Who Killed Superman" for your work on the popular "Death of Superman" story arc. What have you most enjoyed about your work on Superman?
DAN JURGENS: Mostly the number of stories I've done that were nowhere near as famous, but I feel were much better stories, that contributed to the overall tapestry of the Superman legend.
JOHN DALTON: You are now taking on another heavy hitter--Thor. What are you most excited about, or looking forward to with the book?
DAN JURGENS: Dealing with more fantastic worlds and concepts than Superman offers, and the problem of being a god in a mortal world. The two books are vastly different.
JOHN DALTON: Another exciting project you have been behind is the Tangent books from DC. How did you develop this fresh look at the DC Universe?
DAN JURGENS: When I was doing Zero Hour I often found myself thinking about what it would be like to start over scratch with the entire DC galaxy of characters. It's an idea that I never abandoned and ultimately became Tangent. It's much more a job of creation than just using the name "Superman" and creating a variation of the character. This is cutting from whole cloth.
JOHN DALTON: What would you like to do that you haven't had a chance to do?
DAN JURGENS: A number of books that I haven't written at both companies, like Legion, Green Lantern, FF and more, as well as some ideas of my own that have been cooking for some time.
JOHN DALTON: What work are you most proud of?
DAN JURGENS: Superman and Booster Gold because they both represented strides in my career.
JOHN DALTON: We can't let you escape without asking about "Destiny's Hand", a Justice League story rated one of the best ever by Wizard Magazine. A great alternate universe story that brought many back to the JLA fold.
DAN JURGENS: Thank you. That was a real favorite of mine as well. Strangely enough, I've always wanted to do more with it but DC isn't interested. If not a reappearance of sorts, I'm rather surprised it's never been done as a TPB. I've always enjoyed playing with different worlds and some elements of that story led to work I did in Solar and later, Tangent.