Gods and Gif Files: How Tom Taylor Manages DC’s Injustice

In late January, Tom Taylor — along with artist Jheremy Raapack — delivers Injustice: Gods Among Us #1 (NOV120289) from DC Comics, based on the video game from the makers of Mortal Kombat. In this exclusive interview, Taylor talks about how the book was developed, and how he believes it will surpass expectations.


PREVIEWSworld: This book you're doing for DC is a print version of stories which will first be released digitally. Who approached you to do this adaptation and explain how you landed this gig.

Tom Taylor: I’d recently written National Comics: Rose and Thorn and a Batman LOTDK story, and I was really keen to keep working with the fine people out at DC Comics in Burbank. I have a real soft spot for the Burbank crew. This began when Kristy Quinn and Ben Abernathy let me hang out in the DC Green room at ComicCon, even before I’d landed the gig writing The Authority for them back in the Wildstorm days.

Earlier this year, I was just coming off writing the Darth Maul: Death Sentence mini-series and Boba Fett is Dead, and I had a rare window. The very first editor I contacted was Jim Chadwick, who I get along with really well and had wanted to work with again ever since our days on The Authority.

From here, I landed the book the usual way; through an unhealthy mix of extortion and blackmail.

PREVIEWSworld: As the stories are digital first, can you explain what the process is for you translating these stories into a print presentation?

Tom Taylor: Honestly, I’m writing these stories with all of the formats in mind. The digital issues are ten pages each. The print versions are thirty pages, which just means three digital chapters. We’re telling a huge story and you can follow it by downloading the digital issues every week, by waiting for the print version every month, or by waiting for the trades. Whatever way you like to read your comics, I’m writing for you.

I’m loving writing ten page comics, and I’m trying to make sure that every ten pages has as much packed into it as a twenty-page comic.

PREVIEWSworld: As your story is linked to the Injustice: Gods Among Us video game, who on the video game team of creators do you consult with when trying to get your hands around the scope of the story? Are there one or two gurus that you play phone tag with (or email tag), or were there actual meetings scheduled so everyone got on the same page?

Tom Taylor: I was given copies of the brilliant game script and the character bible and that really was enough to work with. I have chatted to a couple of the NetherRealm guys behind the scenes and on Twitter, but the material they created was so extensive that my job was simply to come in and write a story that leads up to theirs.

This story is huge. The events really do shake the world and shake our heroes to the core. You will see why those who were once superfriends now want to drop buildings on each other.

PREVIEWSworld: Give us a mental picture about what it’s like to be Tom Taylor working on Injustice: Gods Among Us #1. What mental workout is involved when you sit down and unleash your imagination? Who or what helps to be your muse?

Tom Taylor: A mental picture of Tom Taylor writing Injustice… okay. Picture a cup of coffee. Now add more cups of coffee. Now picture a guy who watches hundreds of emails roll in, and ignores them, because he can’t be a professional writer and respond to that many emails.

Now picture a guy with the whole Internet in front of him, desperately trying to concentrate on the job at hand instead of Twitter, Facebook, Skype and a million animated gifs. Honestly, the main thing that helps is my wife, Megan. She accepts and makes possible the extreme hours I have to keep, here in Australia, to be able to talk to America and London when they’re first getting into work. I say this as I finish this interview at 3am. Now picture more cups of coffee.

PREVIEWSworld: For those not up to speed on this book, is there anything you can tell us about where this project may be going? The PREVIEWS catalog solicitation does not say if the first book is a one-shot, or a continuing series. Can you tell us how to read the tea leaves?

Tom Taylor: The series is coming out ten pages at a time every week for, hopefully, quite a while. The series itself deals with a massive tragedy that hits home for a lot of the heroes. It means a number of them rethink their place in the world and how they use their abilities. The tragic events and the fallout for these heroes that I’ve grown up loving, means this is one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to write.

It’s the sort of story that makes you want to take a long break every now and then, and stare at a million animated gifs.

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