Stephen King & Peter Straub Talk Comic Books

The Comic Book "Voice" of Stephen King

On Oct. 21, the first issue of Del Rey Comics' adaptation of Peter Straub and Stephen King's 1984 collaborative novel "The Talisman" hits comic book shops.

The series is written by Robin Furth, King's former research assitant who also adapts King's "Dark Tower" novels for Marvel Comics, and illustrated by Tony Shasteen.

"The Talisman," which is also being developed by television by Steven Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy, tells the story of young teen named Jack Sawyer, who can save his dying mother only by retrieving a magical talisman. To find it he must cross back and forth between our world and the frightening and dangerous landscape of its “twinner” counterpart.

Both King and Straub recently spent a few brief moments with us talking comic books…

Newsarama: Stephen, Peter, did you read comics growing up? Which ones? What were your favorites?

Peter Straub: As a kid, I loved comics. They taught me to read. Among my favorites were Superman, Captain Marvel, Batman, the Hawkeyes (I think – about a group of proto-fascist airmen who yelled “Hawkaaa!” whenever they went into battle), Mary Jane, Henry, Nancy, Pogo, L’il Abner, and many others.

Stephen King: Oh, come on … everything! But my favorite, by a country mile, was Plastic Man and his pal Woozy Winks. I dug Plaz's dark glasses! Uh...Peter probably means the Blackhawks. The really cool violence-oriented one was Combat Casey.

Nrama: How about contemporary comics? Do you guys still read comics today and if so, what are you reading?

Straub: Let’s see… I reread "Watchmen" after I saw a DVD of the movie, and I’ve been reading a five-part Batman tale, "Gotham Central", that focuses mainly on the Gotham police force. And I try to keep up with John Constantine.

King: I've been reading "Scalped" and "Northlanders". I've also been reading my son Joe's "Lock and Key" series

Nrama: As creative people, are either of you artwork lovers, and have you created your own artwork?

Straub: I buy a good many paintings and graphics, and I like to make elaborate collages.

King: If I drew a cat, you wouldn't know what it was. Soh-ree.

Nrama: Who would you rather be drawn by: Jack Kirby or Will Eisner?

Straub: Will Eisner.

King: Kirby.

Nrama: Betty or Veronica?

Straub: Veronica, no contest.

King: Betty. Can I say "both?"

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