SPAWN WEEK, DAY 1: New Spawn Writer Will Carlton
SPAWN WEEK, DAY 1: Writer Will Carlton
As of Spawn #201, a new creative team will be taking on Todd McFarlane’s horror/supernatural epic. Artist Szymon Kudranski (Manhunter, Zombie Cop) and newcomer writer Will Carlton will be taking the reins, bringing the current Spawn, Jim Dowling, face-to-face with one of his predecessors’ greatest foes: Clown.
Newsarama: If you could sum it all up, Will – what would you say the Spawn title is at this point when you take over with issue #201?
Will Carlton: As someone who’s been a huge fan of the book since I was a kid, to be able to come in and add story lines is a daunting, but exciting task. Todd’s been very kind in letting me add new ideas that I hope readers have never seen before. I don’t want to say too much yet since #200 isn’t out yet, but I think readers will like it.
Carlton: One of the biggest discussions I’ve had with Todd is that he’s had many great ideas in the book and many he’s verbalized to me, but I felt like the story was moving a little slow. Under his direction, I hope to deliver some of the bigger ideas at a faster pace than originally produced.
Nrama: And where is it going – tell us about the first storyline and ones to follow.
Carlton: When I begin work on the series, I’ll continue the same storylines Todd’s already started, but will take the focus away from the prying eyes of humans. Up until now, it seems as though everything has been somewhat out in the public. Todd stressed my main goal is to try to make the story more realistic than presented in the past.
The original Spawn – Al Simmons – plays a big part in the Image United series as the big bad guy, Omega Spawn. Will that book affect anything going on with the Spawn title?
Carlton: Yes! Todd explained to me how he sees the relationship of Omega Spawn in relation to Al Simmons, and it’s not quite as simple as what’s being posed in Image United.
Nrama: Image United writer Robert Kirkman is doing a short in Spawn #200; will this be addressed in that?
Carlton: I know Robert Kirkman has ideas for issue #200 of Spawn, so I’ll wait to see what happens there. However, Todd has given me some very specific directions on where he sees Al Simmons in the grand scheme of things. It’s not quite as obvious as people might think it is.
Carlton: Well, as I mentioned before, I was frustrated at his pacing, and the lack of focus on giving answers to key questions in the story to fans, which needed to be addressed. He challenged me to give him ideas that would work at a better pace, but still provide suspense. I gave him an Olympic size swimming pool of ideas, and he obviously liked some of them, or I wouldn’t be where I am.
Carlton: He had input on how to shape those ideas into better stories, which I respect. It’s a very collaborative effort. I’m not just working on this in a vacuum. I’ll still be as close to Todd as any writer can be, which should help if I ever need clarification on the mythos, or a fresh set of eyes on a plot or script.
Nrama: Pardon me for saying this, but you’re a new name to comics pages. Can you tell us your background and how you got the job writing Spawn?
Nrama: Wow. How does it feel to be dropped into this position as writer of Spawn?
Carlton: I’m very fortunate to have this opportunity now. I know it’s not the typical path, but I’m excited to become a contributor, not just a fan. I’m going to have a direct impact on the characters and universe I grew up following. I feel like Todd’s been good at giving opportunities to lesser known artists and writers, like myself. I just feel like I was at the right place at the right time.