In January, the Weird Worlds monster-themed anthology of the 1970s will return to DC.
The debut issue will feature three 10-page stories written by Aaron Lopresti, Kevin Van Hook and Kevin Maguire, with each story continuing over the six-issue series.
While Lobo is featured in Van Hook's story with Jerry Ordway on art, Maguire will be introducing a brand new character called Tanga.
Lopresti's story will also feature a new creation, the kind-hearted monster called Garbageman. And if things go well with the first six issues, Lopresti is planning to bring DC readers more adventures of Garbageman in future installments of Weird Worlds.
Newsarama talked with Lopresti to find out more about the creation of Weird Worlds and Garbageman.
Newsarama: Aaron, it's great to see you writing. Was this a priority of yours, to get to write along with your work drawing at DC?
Aaron Lopresti: Yes. It was one of the first things I spoke to Dan DiDio about when I was considering coming aboard at DC. I always have been more comfortable writing my own projects and I think my artwork has always been better when I do. I did a fair amount of writing early in my career but as time went on I realized I had to focus on getting better as an artist and getting on more high profile projects if I was going to stay in comics.
I think I am finally at a place where editorial trusts me enough to allow me to write and draw some projects.
Nrama: What can you tell us about the idea behind Weird Worlds?
Lopresti: As far as I know, Weird Worlds was developed as a low risk vehicle for creator owned projects and new material. Anthology books are usually not as popular as regular books but they do allow you to experiment with multiple ideas/characters at once. Garbageman was originally going to be a back up in some regular titles, then it was going to be a mini-series, then an on-going regular title and now one of three serialized stories in Weird Worlds. I am not sure if the Weird Worlds concept was created to showcase Garbageman or if it was already under development and Garbageman added later.
Weird Worlds was originally an anthology title back in the early 70's that featured Edgar Rice Burroughs characters. This new version will act in the same way except showcasing horror/ sci-fi/fantasy stories and characters by multiple creators.
There has been some confusion out there about exactly what format this book will take. As I stated earlier this is an anthology book, not a team book. Each issue will contain three separate stories. The current format is for the initial series to be six issues, and then to be followed by another six-issue series.
Nrama: So we may be getting more Weird Worlds? Does that mean there will be more Garbageman?
Lopresti: As of right now, there is a second six-issue Weird Worlds mini-series planned to start up about a month or two after the initial mini series concludes. Garbageman is slated to run through that as well. So I will be essentially doing a 12-part Garbageman story.
Nrama: What's the inspiration for doing this type of comic? And what's the style or approach you're using for this monster-themed book?
Lopresti: I originally created Garbageman at the urging of Dan DiDio. The DCU needed a monster/hero character to replace Swamp Thing which at the time was being held captive by Vertigo. I am not sure if that is still the case now. So I started developing this character about three years ago with classic Swamp Thing by [Bernie] Wrightson and [Len] Wein) in mind. My intent then and now was to create a character that was both familiar yet at the same time different. I really wanted to revisit the monster as superhero genre that had a run in the 70's. Characters like Swamp Thing, Man-Thing, The Golem, The Living Mummy, Werewolf by Night, etc. Fun adventure books that just happened to have monsters as the lead characters.
Nrama: Who is Garbageman?
Lopresti: The Garbageman story does not start at the beginning. I did not want to start with 20 to 30 pages of back-story before the character was created and revealed. The story begins with Garbageman and through a series of segmented flashbacks we learn who he was and how he came to be. It is a much more interesting way to tell a story than in typical linear fashion. We get to see his current journey and adventures while slowly learning who he used to be and how it might shape what he is to become.
Garbageman has the classic elements of a Muck Monster story. Once a man now a monster. A monster trying to remember his past and find those responsible for his condition. As he moves forward he wrestles with the morality of "revenge" along with struggling to come to an acceptance of what he has become and how he fits in with humanity if at all.
Nrama: Who are some of the characters we'll meet in your story?
Lopresti: Garbageman's journey of redemption takes him back to Gotham City where he crosses paths with a certain Dark Knight. He also has to overcome several other "monsters" that were spawned from the same circumstances that created him. He is befriended by a reformed pastor with a checkered past that ministers to a congregation of homeless people under the streets of Gotham and there is even a "Beauty and the Beast" type scenario that develops with a former co-worker who he reaches out to for help. Hopefully lots of stuff that people will find entertaining and engaging.