Word Balloon: Kevin O'Neil on League, Marshall & More

Top Shelf Announced 2009 Plans

On this edition of the Word Balloon podcast, we present a conversation with artist Kevin O'Neil, to discuss this month's release of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (Vol III): Century #1: 1910 drawn by O'Neil and written by Alan Moore.

Kevin discusses the background of the story, and his views on past characters like Mister Hyde, Mina Murray, the mysterious Orlando, and the Family line of Captain Nemo. We also touch upon his thoughts on the LXG film, and the origins and future plans of his co-creation with Pat Mills, Marshal Law .

The interview does cover plot points and setting that have been discussed in other preview articles and reviews of the book, so beware for spoilers.

Her are some non spoiler quotes from the talk...

On the inclusion of Nemo's daughter in the 1910 League:

"She occupies a great part of the story, and we will follow her in later books."

On the process of putting the literary cameos and pop culture Easter Eggs in a subtle way:

"We just have to tread a careful line as to how we populate the book…as we proceed with incredible numbers of different characters in street scenes and backgrounds or newspaper headlines ...it's a lot of work, but we realize we have these Jess Nevins books analyze every single panel and we know a lot of people who like that it...however if you don't know the references, it won't spoil the enjoyment of the story, it's just another layer of fictional stuff going on alongside the main story."

On the creation of Marshall Law, and - could such a story be told today?

"I scribbled out an idea of the name, and rough character sketch for Marshall Law and sent we sent it as a ‘Mad Max’ type of thing for Epic to Archie Goodwin. Archie had warned us that Marvel will take a hell of a longtime to do creator contracts...it ended up taking a year, during which Dark Knight and Watchemen were released...during the interim Pat said 'Why don't we do Marshall Law as a super hero hunter I said 'well don't you mean super-vilians?' and Pat said , 'No superheroes, I hate them" (laughing).

“I felt the energy of that loathing, and that's what we did...Chris Staros did the first ever 1987 review of Marshall Law in his pre-internet era Staros Report...cut to us doing League for Top Shelf. Chris asked who owned the rights to Marshall Law, and I told we did (Pat Mills & O'Neil). op Shelf will do a big slipcase edition of Marshall Law featuring every story appearance of the character to be released hopefully later this year...and now reviewing the stuff for the Top Shelf collection I'm surprised at how strong it was and how far it went because I think it would be harder to get that material passed today."

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Part one of our conversation with Alan Moore here, part two here, part three here, part four here, part five here, and part six here. Preview of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Century: 1910 #1 here, review here.

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