From Duncan Hines to the Beyonder: Six questions with Charles Soule
Thirty-six questions. Six answers. One random number generator. Welcome to Robot Roulette, where creators roll the virtual dice and answer our questions about their lives, careers, interests and more.
Joining us today is Charles Soule, writer of Thunderbolts, Strongman, 27, Swamp Thing, Strange Attractors, Red Lanterns, Superman/Wonder Woman and more.
Now let’s get to it …
1. At what particular point in your career — a specific comic, job offer, convention, etc. — did you realize you’d gone from wanting to be a comic creator to knowing you’re a comic creator?
A few moments stand out – when I got my first paycheck on my first published book (Strongman, put out by SLG back in 2009), when I realized I’d have a book out through Image (27, which ran from late 2010 through early 2012), and then, of course, when DC tapped me to take over Swamp Thing from Scott Snyder, which happened officially around November of last year. These days, my favorite part of being a comic creator is knowing other comic creators. I get to hang out and talk shop with some of the most brilliantly talented people I’ve ever met in my life, and it just doesn’t get better than that.
8. What five things would you absolutely have to have in your dream home?
A view of water, solitude, big open windows, a fireplace, a hammock and, obviously, blazing-fast internet.
14. What is your “guilty pleasure”–it can be a comic, a TV show, a food, etc.?
Last year I would have said the show Falling Skies, but I dropped off that with the third season, so I suppose I just got too guilty about it. I will watch any Resident Evil (live-action) movie you put in front of me – I have seen every last one of them in theaters and plan to continue to do so. As far as food goes, it’s probably Betty Crocker/Duncan Hines cake in a box – I’ll sometimes make one of those (with dark chocolate frosting) and then enjoy it over the next few days – a piece for breakfast, another for dessert after dinner, etc. SO GOOD. SO TERRIBLE. BUT SO GOOD.
17. Name one of your pet peeves. Why is it a pet peeve?
NEGATIVITY. Can’t stand when people assume the worst about a project, story, movie before they’ve actually read/seen it. You want to be negative, fine, but why spread it around? Why tarnish someone else’s optimism? Blah.
Also do not like people who walk slow on the sidewalk. I am a New Yorker, and we walk FAST. Total cliche, I know, but stick me behind someone who’s just daring to enjoy a nice stroll on the streets of the greatest city in the world (which they are perfectly within their rights to do) and steam will slowly start to come out of my ears.
30. What hobbies or interests do you have outside of comics?
I’m a huge music guy from way back. I’ve been playing the violin since I was three, and guitar since I was about fourteen. I studied composition in college, and I’ve had and played in a million different bands. It’s my biggest passion outside of writing (and depending on the day it might exceed it). If I wasn’t writing comics, I’d be doing my best to play music as much and as long and as loud as I could.
36. How old were you when you started reading comics, and who introduced them to you?
I know I was old enough to read – maybe 6 or 7? I was sitting in the back of my family’s station wagon with my siblings (I had two at the time, although another came along not too much after this), probably squabbling away, while my dad ran into the drugstore for something. He came back out with a comic for each of us. Mine was an issue of Fantastic Four that had Asgardians in it, although I couldn’t tell you much more than that. I might try to track it down someday – I suspect it might have been a John Byrne issue, since this would possibly have been during his run. Anyway, I distinctly remember being struck by the fact that the story didn’t end in that issue, and that there was a big blurb at the back entreating me to find the next issue to see what would happen. I’d never heard of such a thing. I didn’t have much access to comics, or dough to buy them, but over the next few years that started to change – lots of doing chores to save up quarters and so on. Secret Wars II was also a big gateway drug for me. I thought the Beyonder was incredibly rad (and still do.)