As part of Dynamite's new attempt at a Gold Key Comics revival, naturally the publisher had to bring back what is arguably the most successful character of the bunch: Turok: Dinosaur Hunter. With several comics, a video game franchise, and more to his name, Turok is easily the most recognizable of the Gold Key characters to the general public at large.
The publisher tapped writer Greg Pak to bring the character into a new comic book series, and with his first issue on the stands now, fellow Dynamite writer Jai Nitz chatted with Pak to find out why he likes dinosaurs, what he hopes to do with Turok, and how accessible a character that's decades-old with multiple interpretations can really be.
Jai Nitz: Greg, what’s your favorite memory of dinosaurs?
Greg Pak: When I was a kid growing up in Texas, my mom took me to a museum that ran fossil hunting tours down into a chalky riverbed. I didn't find any dinosaurs, but I did find a small, intricate fossilized shell that totally captured my imagination.
Nitz: Turok has been written and revived several times (original Son of Stone, the Valiant/Acclaim comics and video game, the recent Dark Horse revival). Do you want fans to be aware of those iterations? Or do you want them to come to your book with a clean slate?
Pak: Totally fine either way. Folks who loved previous incarnations of Turok may take special pleasure in seeing how we're envisioning him this time 'round. And folks who have never read a Turok book in their lives will be able to start right up here with issue #1 -- you don't need to know a thing before you start reading, and in fact, that might be the best way to jump into it.
Nitz: What are some other dinosaur comics/movies/books/TV you like the most?
Pak: The dinosaur sequences in "Fantasia" are forever branded on my brain. I saw that movie when I was six or seven and loved every second of it. I think I was particularly impressed by the less-than-happy ending, which was pretty intense for a young kid.
Pak: This doesn't involve real dinosaurs, but I always loved the Herculoids, that Alex Toth/Hanna-Barbera cartoon.
Nitz: You've worked at Dynamite before. How did you come to this project? Does Nate Cosby have compromising pictures of you?
Pak: I loved working on Battlestar Galactica for Dynamite back in the day. And Nate and I had an amazing run on various Hulk and Hercules comics over at Marvel. So when Nate called and said he was editing a line of books for Dynamite, he already had me hooked. He told me about Turok and had me reeled in and flopping around on the floor of his boat.
Nitz: Does your process differ at all on Turok versus your Batman/Superman work? How do you write a script?
Pak: The process is pretty much the same. I come up with an idea for a story and bounce it off my editors. It either gets approved or I need to revise. Eventually we agree on something awesome and I outline the first issue. Usually I run that outline past my editors, then dive into the full script.
Nitz: What’s the story about and how long do you want to write this book?
Pak: Turok tells the story of a young Native American who's been exiled from his tribe due to the crimes of his parents. And then... DINOSAURS. It's big, emotional high adventure with some crazy alternate-history worldbuilding. I'm having a massive amount of fun and have at least a year of stories plotted out in my head. The world we're creating provides some pretty huge opportunities for future stories -- I could keep running with this for a long time. So please buy several copies so we can keep going! ;-)
Nitz: Mirko Colak is blowing my freaking mind. Where did he come from? Who discovered him? Why doesn't the comic world know who he is? Talk about Mirko and what he brings to the table.
Pak: Mirko and I worked together on the Red Skull Incarnate miniseries I wrote for Marvel a couple of years ago. I'm not sure who discovered him, but I tip my hat to editor Alejandro Arbona, who pulled him on board for the project. Mirko's got a gorgeous, clean line that he combines with a very realistic style. He was amazing on all of the historical details in the Red Skull book and is bringing that same feeling of authenticity and grit to Turok.
Nitz: What’s next for you at Dynamite? What other projects do you have upcoming?
Pak: I've got a pretty full plate, so I'm sticking with just Turok for now.