Fanboy Factor Exclusive: C2E2 Interview with Charles Soule

FF: I am here with Charles Soule, writer of 27 for Image , Strange Attractors for Archaia, Swamp Thing and Red Lanterns for DC comics, and Thunderbolts for Marvel. CS: […]

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FF: I am here with Charles Soule, writer of 27 for Image , Strange Attractors for Archaia, Swamp Thing and Red Lanterns for DC comics, and Thunderbolts for Marvel.

CS: Yep, that’s right.

FF: With 27 you really dealt with the mystical powers and properties of numbers. I just started Strange Attractors; I am seeing sort of that same theme of numbers being really important to the the Universe and how it works.

CS: Right.

FF: Is that a theme that you really enjoy writing about? How does that come about?

CS: Well, I’d like to say it’s kind of both. Any writer…there are going to be common themes based on things they know very well or they enjoy or just that they believe to be true. And I believe the world does have a sort of underlying order to it. There are underlying patterns that just exist. So they show up in my writing. I am sort of a fan of numerology in a way, and I like math. I am not a brilliant mathematician, but I enjoy math—if that doesn’t sound too weird. I don’t think it is weird that that stuff shows up in my books. So far I haven’t put any of it in Swamp Thing, but never say never.

FF: While doing some research on you I noticed that you are an attorney…

CS: (Laughs) Yes.

FF: And a musician AND a comic book writer.

CS: Yes. That’s all true.

FF: How do you have time to do all of these different aspects of your life? Are you able to do other things while you are in the comic [convention] circuit?

CS: Well, the main three things that I do right now are: write comic books, I do have a little law practice that I run that I have had for about a decade, and then I play music. Honestly, that’s enough. I mean, I get all the things I need from those things. Obviously the creative outlet. Professionally I like being a skilled…it’s weird because I almost never talk about the law stuff with the comic stuff. Actually, I think it is the first time I’ve been asked about it in an interview. I work very hard and I work a lot but I love all the things that I am doing. So it doesn’t feel like work most of the time…SOMETIMES, but not most of the time.

FF: Awesome. Who are your inspirations in comic book writing?

CS: You know it’s hard to ignore Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, who else? Brian K Vaughn has been a big one for me. Brian Bendis actually was a big influence. I don’t know about you, but I had periods where I came out of comics and would come back in and Brian Bendis’ run on Ultimate Spider-Man, like the early issues, he was probably twenty or so issues in when I found it, and that brought me back after being out for a little while, so that was influential. I am sure I am missing wonderful, wonderful writers but, you know all those guys. I read a ton of novels from guys like Neil Stephenson, China Miéville. I read all the time. I think any writer has to read constantly and I do that.

FF: Who are your inspirations in music?

CS: In music? I mean, I am mostly a guitarist. Guitarist and singer. So Hendrix has always been a gigantic…no one has ever played like he played. So Hendrix for sure. I’m also a big jazz guy so people like…I don’t want to just name the biggest names ever but Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, whose compositions are a big influence on the way I write mine. Lee Morgan I really think is great. There’s a lot. I could sit here literally all day and list musical influences.

FF: Any influences in law?

CS: No. Laws is something that I think of as more you want to be as good at it as you can. There’s a lot at stake if you get something wrong. The nice thing about the law background is that it has given me a lot of discipline. You know, you can’t get it wrong and that brings a lot of focus to your work. I think that can be applied, certainly, in the writing so I can hit dead lines when I need to, I sit down and get it done.

FF: Last one. This is going to be a Swamp Thing question since I am such a fan.

CS: Great! Sure.

FF: I really love the mystery you are building with the character The Seeder. I was curious if you could say anything about [the character]? Is this a new character you’ve created or a chance to reinvent someone for the New 52?

CS: Right. That is a question that I don’t want to answer right now, but I will give you something. I’m not going to leave you high and dry. Seeder is someone that I think is a really interesting character who’s motives are going to become very clear around issue twenty-four. I think he is going to be a really big part of the book for a little while to come and I hope the readers enjoy the character as much as I do.

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