Writer Tony Lee on the comics that made him.

Writer of count­less Doc­tor Who comics and things

Comic Heroes - - Contents -

FIRST COMIC I EVER READ

It was a 1960s Iron Man. I can’t hon­estly tell you what it was, but I re­mem­ber he was guest­ing with the Fan­tas­tic Four. It looked like Kirby. The sec­ond one was a Bri­tish ’70s re­print of Nick Fury. It was so men­tal. One page of a Ster­anko Nick Fury story is a four-part minis­eries now. This guy com­pressed ev­ery­thing. I think that was a big in­flu­ence.

FIRST IN­FLU­ENCE ON MY WORK

Alan Moore, by far. Ev­ery­body says that, but that’s be­cause we all grew up read­ing his Time Twis­ters. I still re­mem­ber one vividly, a mickey-take of

Drag­net. It was ba­si­cally Joe Fri­day and his part­ner. They were the time de­tec­tives. Ev­ery­body I speak to al­ways goes, “Oh yeah, that one.” That one re­ally got me. It made me think, “Wow, you can do that.” War­ren El­lis and Neil Gaiman, when they started do­ing the darker stuff and Ver­tigo turned up, that fas­ci­nated me. De­lano do­ing Hell­blazer, too.

FIRST PRO COMICS WORK

Fe­bru­ary 2004, X-Men Un­lim­ited #1. I wrote an 11page story star­ring Sage. I was one of dozens of new writ­ers they con­tacted, so I had to earn ev­ery step I made. I chose Sage partly be­cause she was a favourite and un­used char­ac­ter, but also be­cause I knew that at least 50 per­cent of the other pitches would be Wolver­ine or main team. I sent in four pitches in to­tal; the other three were ex­actly that.

MY FAVOURITE COMIC EVER

Tough call. I think it’s Laika by Nick Abadzis. It’s the story of the first dog into space, and I’ve told Nick many times that it’s my favourite book ever. I don’t know what it was that touched me so about it, but it’s al­ways stuck with me.

THE BEST COMIC I’VE WORKED ON

Hope Falls, I think, is one of my best cre­ator-owned books, but I think one of my best works is Doc­tor

Who: The For­got­ten. That’s the one peo­ple come up to me and tell me, “You made me cry.” It was prob­a­bly one of my favourites to write as well, be­cause at the time, I never thought I’d get an­other chance. I threw ev­ery­thing in there, in­clud­ing the kitchen sink. And I’m a mas­sive fan­boy. At the time, Amer­ica had a year gap be­tween sea­sons. When we were show­ing Donna No­ble, Amer­ica was still show­ing the be­gin­nings of Martha Jones. And then half­way through

For­got­ten’s run, that changed. Suddenly, BBC Amer­ica had it, and it jumped a year. We had Martha as the com­pan­ion, now Martha’s not a com­pan­ion. So how do we put that into the story? We were do­ing mas­sive rewrites. It was the most Who­vian story – we were start­ing at the be­gin­ning, get­ting to the end, and then start­ing back at the be­gin­ning while chang­ing the end.

THE CHAR­AC­TER I’D MOST LIKE TO WRITE

Cap­tain Bri­tain, with­out a mea­sure of a doubt. Me and Mark Buck­ing­ham of­ten have con­ver­sa­tions about how we’d do it, be­cause he’s also a mas­sive fan. He’s a very un­der­stated char­ac­ter. And I would re­ally kill to do Booster Gold. I’ve got­ten close a cou­ple of times. One day, maybe.

THE COMICS I’M CUR­RENTLY READ­ING

A lot of DC and Marvel. I’d walked away a lit­tle af­ter New 52 but Re­birth is bring­ing back old favourites. Lov­ing Doc­tor Aphra, Wicked + Di­vine, Saga. I’m do­ing a Ti­tan Whoni­verse book soon, so I’ve been read­ing up on ev­ery­thing they’ve been do­ing and lov­ing it. Sher­iff of Baby­lon is a must pull. So much stuff...

Top: Lee pitched a Sage story partly be­cause he knew ev­ery­one else would be fo­cus­ing on Wolver­ine. Above: The For­got­ten was IDW’s sec­ond Doc­tor Who story arc, and the first of­fi­cially sanc­tioned spin-off to fea­ture all ten in­car­na­tions of the Doc­tor to date. It was an an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tion de­lib­er­ately re­call­ing all ten.

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