J. Michael Straczynski Gives Great Interview

Next time you see him show everyone that you’re really cool by calling him “Joe.”

J. Michael Straczynski Talks Studio JMS, Joe’s Comics, EPIDEMIC, VLAD DRACULA, His Desire To Work With Neil Gaiman, and More – by Bill Graham

Earlier this month I had the opportunity to sit down with creator J. Michael Straczynski, widely known as JMS, to talk about his past, present, and future.  JMS has had long tenures as the creator and head writer for Babylon 5, a long and well-received run on Thor and Spider-Man, time spent as a journalist, script writer, and much more.  Straczynski was a willing participant as he fielded all manner of questions about him being a control freak, how he tried to hide from the crossover events that he clashed with in The Amazing Spider-Man by taking over Thor, and how he plans to utilize the Joe’s Comics imprint at Image Comics.  Hit the jump for a full transcript of my interview.

Collider: You’ve had a hell of a career… and it’s ongoing.

Joe Michael Straczynski: To everyone’s amazement. [Both laugh]

You’ve worked on my side of the fence where you’re interviewing people.  You’ve worked on the other side of the fence where you’re being interviewed.  You’ve worked in television, film…

Straczynski: So the fence is obviously the problem.

I can imagine you’ve had a lot of projects where you were interested—and creative people talk about it all the time where they may have a project and it falls apart and it hurts—do you have any that have really stuck in your gut?  Maybe even some you wish to get back to?

You had this very famous run on Babylon 5 where you wrote over 90 of the 110 episodes.  How would you characterize working with yourself?  To outsiders, that would seem like you are a control freak.  Would you say that that was just your baby?

Straczynski: Well, I am a control freak.  I will admit that freely.  It didn’t start out that way.  It was going to be more of a freelance oriented show.  But I did half the first year scripts, did half the second year scripts, and by the third year it go so interwoven that I couldn’t say to a writer, ‘Start it here, end it there.’  It all started to blend.  So I told Warners [Bros.] I’d just write it myself.  And they said, ‘Shit, we’re not sure about letting you do this, but take a shot at it.’  So I did it and Warners [Bros.] was very, very happy and said, ‘Can you do that again?’  Sure, so I did the fourth season on my own.  I had been chasing Neil Gaiman for years to do a script for me.  And just to make me shut the fuck up he finally said, ‘I’ll do one for you.’  I did all but one of the fifth [season], which was Neil’s script, and then I wrote the TV movies we produced.  I like writing.  It’s partly control freak, and partly I really like what I do for a living.  I have the luckiest job in the world.  I can get up every day and do what I love for a living.

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See? Great interview indeed. Such a good guy! Wonder if he’ll read our next script…