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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Aquaman Shrine Interview with Laurie S. Sutton

As promised yesterday, here's a chat the Shrine had with The Penguin's Crime Wave author (and uber-Aquaman fan) Laurie S. Sutton!

The Aquaman Shrine: After being an Aquaman fan for decades, is this your first chance to actually write the character?

Laurie S. Sutton: Yes, and I'm as happy as a clam about it! Every chance I get, I try to bring an aqua-element to whatever story I'm writing. One example is a Star Trek: Voyager miniseries I wrote for Marvel titled "Splashdown". I put Voyager underwater. I sank the starship. I'm sure the crew wished there had been an Aquaman on that planet! Things would have gone better for them.

sgAnother case was my Capstone book Fear the Shark! that pit Green Lantern against The Shark. It had all sorts of aqua-action in it, even though Aquaman wasn't! It was my nod to the Sea King. With The Penguin's Crime Wave I decided that it was time for the Maritime Monarch to make a full-fledged appearance.

TAS: How did this book come about? Did Capstone want Aquaman to guest-star in a new book, or did you pitch that to them?

LS: My editor, Dauntless Donnie Lempke, expressed a preference for a story about the Penguin. As I started to formulate plots I realized it was the perfect opportunity to put the villain into his namesake's Antarctic environment. Now, the Antarctic is a continent surrounded by raging ocean currents. Hmmm. How's Batman going to navigate that? Aww, who am I kidding? I wanted to write Aquaman into the story and so I plotted a story to include Aquaman! Daring Donnie liked the pitch and so the team-up was approved.
TAS: Batman is so serious. Aquaman is so serious. As a writer, how do you differentiate between the two to keep them distinct?

LS: Ha! Define "serious". There's serious and then there's SERIOUS. Aquaman can be serious. Batman is SERIOUS.

I've always viewed Aquaman as having a nobility about him, and not just in the literal sense. He has grandeur, dignity, and depth of character, much like the ocean itself. I'd go so far as to say he is the personification of the mystery and mutability of the sea. That sounds rather poetic, but that's what I see as the necessary attributes of a Sea King. Aquaman's serious demeanor in The Penguin's Crime Wave is part facade to make the Feathered Felon shake in his spats, and part leashed fury at the harm that Penguin has inflicted on his subjects. Batman's seriousness is part and parcel of that character. He leads a tightly focused life. He's one wound-up guy.

But remember, I'm writing for younger readers, so I didn't get too SERIOUS.

TAS: Was the Penguin your first choice as villain, or was it a natural considering Batman's co-star?

LS: Initially I had a choice of villains presented to me. Then Indomitable Donnie mentioned that he'd like a Penguin story and the rest just flowed from there. Other authors in the DC Super Heroes series had been expanding into writing team-ups and I took this precedent and ran, or rather swam, with it. I must admit I had to hold myself back from making the story too much about Aquaman! The series is called The Dark Knight after all!
TAS: So now that you've officially written Aquaman, are you dying to do it again?

LS: Oh yes, yes, yes! But, you know, I'll continue to "write Aquaman" in future books or stories even if I have to disguise him as another character. I'll keep concocting plots that involve sea monsters and other maritime menaces. You'd think I had this kooky obsession or something.
TAS: What other Capstone books do you have coming up?

LS: This Fall will see the release of (tentatively titled) Hex Marks the Spot, a DC Super Villains book starring Circe and Wonder Woman. And guess what? The story includes arctic icebergs, the rescue of a ship at sea, an underwater temple in the Bermuda Triangle, AND a battle through Miami. 

Also, I've just completed the manuscript for a Scooby-Doo adventure all about a sea monster.

Sea, er, see… I can't help myself! Sufferin' seaweed. 

TAS: Awesome! Thanks Laurie!

Today's interview was our second with Laurie, and she was also kind enough to contribute to our Aquaman 70th Birthday mega-post back in 2011. She's been a real friend to the Shrine, so we're thrilled that this life-long Aqua-Fan finally got the chance to write the Sea King. Not only that, but she did a terrific job!

If you would like to see for yourself by ordering a copy of The Penguin's Crime Wave, use the handy link below. Not only will you get yourself this handsome little book, but you'll throw the Aquaman Shrine a few shekels in the process:

Other Capstone titles featuring Aquaman:

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