Mondays With Marts: March 20th, 2006

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Trevor -- David Hine is slated to be doing the writing chores for X-Men: Civil War. Can you give the fans a brief outline of what the story covers, some of the goals that the X-office has for this story, and some of the characters that will be playing a role and what that role might be?

Mike -- CIVIL WAR: X-MEN will be a lot of fun. David Hine of X-MEN: THE 198, SON OF M and DISTRICT X fame tackles the writing chores while the great Yanick Paquette makes his triumphant return to Marvel as artist of the four-issue limited series. X-MEN: THE 198 cover artist Juan Doe returns for another dose of powerful and iconic covers.

People who have been reading the X-Men books over the past few months know that mutants (and the X-Men in particular) have had their hands full since the events of M-Day and Decimation. With The O*N*E and the Sentinel Squad camping out on their front lawn, the X-Men’s lives have been anything but easy. Now, with the start of Marvel’s Civil War, the X-Men soon find that the harder they try to stay out of this war, the more they get drawn right into the thick of it.

Expect to see everybody who’s everybody in this series—the Astonishing X-Men, the 198, X-Force, Sentinel Squad and The O*N*E.

Trevor -- Artists are an important part of a Comic Book’s success. Who are some of the artists that you consider a sure bet to make a Comic Book a success?

Mike -- In my eyes, the guys and girls who combine three elements—talent, dependability and good attitude, are always the artists that I like the work with month in and month out. If an artist has even two of those qualities they’re usually a keeper, but if they have all three—hang on to them for life! Salvador Larroca, John Cassaday, Chris Bachalo and Billy Tan are four quick examples of this type of artist.

Trevor -- What artists are coming to the X-Franchise in the near future that you’re most excited about?

Mike -- Seeing Yanick Paquette come back to Marvel after a five-year absence is truly exciting. I had the pleasure of working with Yanick some years back on GAMBIT, which was great art at the time, but WOW—he has really stepped up his game since then! We’ll also see Mark Brooks and Clayton Henry play larger roles on the X-Universe over the next year or so. And I almost forgot—painter John Watson will be doing some amazing X-Men covers for us very soon.

Trevor -- Any new blood artists out there that you guys at the X-office might be trying out?

Mike -- Juan Doe is probably the newest of the new in our office—and we’ve been KNOCKED OUT by the great covers he’s been doing for us.

Trevor -- Staying with artist questions; can you name off a few classic X-Artists that in your mind helped build the franchise, or just ones that you are a fan of?

Mike -- In my mind, four guys defined the “look” of the X-Men that we all associate with everyone’s favorite mutants: John Byrne, Dave Cockrum, Paul Smith, and a few years later, Jim Lee. Other great contributors include John Romita Jr, Marc Silvestri, Frank Quitely and Chris Bachalo, but those first four guys I mentioned are really the cornerstones of the X-art world, in my opinion.

Trevor -- As Senior Editor of the X-Line you’ve worked with numerous artists in your career. Which artist(s) do you consider the best or easiest to work with?

Mike -- The easiest to work with by far is Salvador Larroca. He is a true professional and a great artist. I’ve never sweated a deadline with him. The best to work with…that’s a tough one to answer but John Cassaday is definitely near the top of my list.

Trevor -- How many submissions to you surmise that you might receive from inspiring artists a month?

Mike -- Approximately fifty a month.

Trevor -- Can you tell the fans about an incident, good or bad, that might center around an inspiring artist and their first meeting with you?

Mike -- Here’s something—I think it’s extremely important to always be nice and constructive with aspiring artists, no matter what their level of talent or experience is. Sometimes you hear horror stories about editors being rude and abrasive to young artists at conventions…that’s NOT the approach I like to take. I’ve always found it’s best to be 100% honest with the artist—point out his or her weaknesses and suggest ways to improve upon them. Be positive and constructive.

As an editor, you might forget a specific aspiring artist that you randomly met at a convention, but trust me—that artist will never forget the editor. So years later, when said artist has made leaps and bounds and has become the next Jim Lee, it will be VERY IMPORTANT to your artistic stable if that artist remembers you as being nice and constructive early on…first impressions are paramount, no matter which side of the creative table you’re sitting at. I’ve had several professional artists come up to me and thank me for being constructive and nice to them years before…Mark Brooks is one example.

Northstar777 – “With the recent Apocalypse VS Dracula mini-series, is there any chance of Dracula appearing in any of the X-books?”

Mike -- With the Prince of the Undead, anything is possible.

Waredcraft -- “With the upcoming Jubilee/Wolverine (and Cable) team up in Robert Kirkman's Marvel Team Ups and (on another board) Daniel Way admitting it is a SURE THING Jubilee will factor into Origins it appears we're seeing, for the first time in a long time, glimpses of the old Wolverine/Jubilee Father-Daughter, mentor-sidekick, team ups again. How does that make you feel?

Mike -- It makes me feel hungry…not sure why. Seriously, though, it’s wonderful to see these two characters interacting…they have such a rich history with one another.

firebrandx5 – “Are we gonna see the return of the phoenix force anytime soon? Such as when Rachel beats up the Shi’ar?”

Mike -- Umm….

TNabe -- “Okay so Joe Q recently revealed that Northstar will be appearing in X-Men, can you give us any further details?

Mike -- It will be a teacher/student reunion the likes of which Xavier’s has never seen.

I know you don't edit X-Factor, but since for the moment it seems Bishop isn't a regular in any X-book will we see more of him in X-Factor?

Mike -- He’s a regular in UNCANNY X-MEN right now and will be until June…after that, check out CIVIL WAR: X-MEN.

Who are your dream creators to work on X-Men, that haven't?”

Mike -- It was Joss Whedon up until two years ago…  …I guess I’d have to say Ronald Moore as writer…Travis Charest as penciler.

cannonball ace -- 1) Just wondering is there going to be any plans for the remaining New X-men that weren't put on the special team by Emma?

Mike -- Yup. Most of the kids will see some type of spotlight in one book or another—ASTONISHING, X-MEN, etc.

2) Are there going to be any big plans for the horseman characters after Blood of Apocalypse? Especially Gambit and Sunfire.

Mike -- Yes. For those two, especially.

shmaggle -- How come Bishop gets a Sentinel escort when he goes into New York in Uncanny 470, but Wolverine doesn't get one when he hops around in his solo book, goes to Africa in Uncanny 470, or hangs out with the New Avengers?

Mike -- Because he’s the best he is at what he does?

The Seer89 – Is it possible to see Karima Shapandar again? Maybe have her join up with the New Avengers?

Mike -- She won’t be joining up with the Avengers anytime soon, but perhaps in one of our titles…?

b unit13 -- Where will Bishop and Angel be after the new creative teams show up?

Mike -- See CIVIL WAR: X-MEN.

Goodhomerjay1 -- I've got a challenge for the X-office:

Is the origin of Gaia ever going to be revealed? You know, the girl that was a member of Generation X once. She up and left and was never shown again. This could even make for a great story for X-Men Unlimited.

Mike -- If the right writer has the right idea, we’ll consider it.

3. Is it possible that Ghoul from Generation M is a result of the energy wave that Wanda’s depowering created?

Mike -- It’s possible, but not likely.

Also, will it be explained how Gazer got powers from Apocalypse since he was shown to be depowered?

Mike -- Yes, check out the “Riddles of the Sphinx” back-up stories we’ve been running in X-MEN during “Blood of Apocalypse”.

cannonball ace -- 1) Do you have any big plans for the 198 characters after the series is over?

Mike -- Yes, see CIVIL WAR: X-MEN.