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SHOLLY FISCH talks MIGHTY MOUSE #1, on sale in JUNE!

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  • Byron
    started a topic SHOLLY FISCH talks MIGHTY MOUSE #1, on sale in JUNE!

    SHOLLY FISCH talks MIGHTY MOUSE #1, on sale in JUNE!

    SHOLLY FISCH talks MIGHTY MOUSE #1, on sale in JUNE from Dynamite!

    BYRON BREWER: Sholly, after years of being associated with Scooby-Doo, how does it feel to return “the world’s greatest superhero” (solicit quote) to comics by way of Dynamite? Cool, eh?

    SHOLLY FISCH: Cool indeed! Over the years, I’ve written quite a range of stuff -- everything from Superman to Bugs Bunny to Clive Barker’s Hellraiser -- but yeah, I’ve done a whole lot of Scooby too. Actually, I’m in the middle of a Scooby-Doo script right now, and I’ll have to get back to it once I finish procrastinating with this interview. Thanks for giving me an excuse to procrastinate instead of working, by the way.

    I guess, in a lot of ways, Mighty Mouse and Scooby are polar opposites. Mighty Mouse is a fearless hero, while Scooby is a far-from-fearless dog who constantly has to overcome his fears to become a reluctant hero. But both of them are beloved characters with entire generations of fans. Both have fun, exciting adventures, and they’re both pretty funny too. One of the great things about my job is that I get to play with characters whom I’ve loved for years, and Mighty Mouse certainly fits that mold.

    BB: Were you a fan of the Terrytoons titan in younger days (like me)? And if so, how many times did the catchy “Here I Come to Save the Day” theme song (by either the Terrytooners or the Sandpipers, however you lean) pop into your head as you began your first plots/scripts?

    SF: Oh, you don’t even want to know how much that song has been running around in my head for the past few months! At one point, it got so strong that I even had to stop working and pull up Andy Kaufman’s old Mighty Mouse schtick on YouTube. Fortunately, though, it’s a good song, so I haven’t minded too much.

    Anyway, I’ve absolutely been a Mighty Mouse fan for pretty much my whole life. When I was a kid, I used to watch the original cartoons on TV – and, in fact, I still have the 45 rpm record that my sister and I used to listen to when the show wasn’t on. Twenty years or so later, I rediscovered Mighty Mouse in a whole new way, through Ralph Bakshi’s brilliantly insane New Adventures of Mighty Mouse series – and I’ve got that whole series on DVD too. So it’s pretty cool to have the opportunity to create my own unique approach to the character now.

    BB: What would you say has been your biggest influence on “your” iteration of Mighty Mouse? Tell us a little bit about the hero as a character, in your eyes?

    SF: When I start writing any character who’s been around for years and years, the first thing I do is try to find the core of the character by immersing myself in the character’s history and classic adventures. In Mighty Mouse’s case, that meant sitting down and re-watching a whole bunch of the original cartoons (plus a few of my favorite episodes of the Bakshi series, just for fun). And what I realized is that the core of Mighty Mouse is really all there in his theme song: Mighty Mouse is his world’s greatest hero – a prototypic superhero who’s always there in the nick of time to save the day...and he just happens to be a mouse. I carried all of that over into our new series, updated him a bit, and added in just a touch of the ironic, self-aware attitude of the Bakshi series. So, for example, we’ve got some moments where Mighty Mouse saves real-world humans in true, Superman-like fashion...but people tend to react completely differently when their savior is a cartoon mouse.

    BB: What can you tell us about the storyline for this first adventure?

    SF: Well, the story opens with Joey, a lonely, bullied eleven-year-old kid who escapes from his problems by watching cartoons and drawing his own homemade comics. Joey really could just use a friend...but he gets a lot more than he bargained for when Mighty Mouse is suddenly thrust out of the cartoon universe into Joey’s living room in the real world.

    Once Mighty Mouse arrives in our world, things keep escalating. So he starts off trying to help Joey and find his own way back home. But, by the end of the five-issue series, Mighty Mouse has to find a way to save the world – or maybe even both worlds.

    BB: So we are talking Mighty Mouse … in today’s REAL world?! What sort of challenges does that concept present, and how did you overcome them?

    SF: Yup, it’s absolutely the real world – which means that Mighty Mouse has to adapt pretty quickly to a world where people don’t pop back up if you drop them off a cliff or blow them up with dynamite.

    For that reason, entering the real world is a big challenge for Mighty Mouse, but for me, it’s less of a challenge and more of a huge opportunity. On one level, it makes it easy for me to stay true to the character but tell a story that’s completely different than any Mighty Mouse story we’ve ever seen before. It also gives me the chance to bring in some realistic characterization and emotional depth through Joey and his relationships with both Mighty Mouse and the real-world people around him. And the incongruity of mixing the cartoon and real worlds makes for tremendous fun – think about things like Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, for example – and I’ve been trying to make the most of that. If people like any of the stuff I’ve written in the past, whether it’s the character-driven backup stories I wrote for Grant Morrison’s run on Action Comics, the all-ages action of The All-New Batman: The Brave and the Bold, or the wacky humor of Scooby-Doo Team-Up, they’ll find elements of it here.

    Well, maybe not Clive Barker’s Hellraiser. Then again, I haven’t written the last issue yet, so you never know...

    BB: How is it working with artist Igor Lima?

    SF: Actually, I’ve already asked Igor about buying a couple of pages of the original art, so that should tell you something right there. This is a challenging series for an artist, because it requires several different art styles: a realistic style for the real world, a cartoony style for Mighty Mouse and everyone in Mouseville, and yet another style for the comics that Joey draws himself. That’s not easy to pull off, but Igor’s been doing a great job of blending all of those disparate styles so that they come together, while also making it obvious how out of place Mighty Mouse is in the real world.

    And, while we’re talking about art, I can’t go without saying how amazing it is that we’ve got variant covers by Neal Adams and Alex Ross! How crazy is that? They’ve been two of my favorite artists for years, so having them draw covers for a comic book I wrote – about Mighty Mouse, of all things – is a real, unexpected thrill.

    BB: Adams AND Ross?! That IS kinda neat! … Sholly, are there any projects current or near-future you’d like to tell readers about?

    SF: Let’s see... At the moment, I’m writing my usual array of all-ages comics for DC: Scooby-Doo Team-Up, Teen Titans Go!, Looney Tunes, and the regular Scooby-Doo series, all of which keeps me happy. I enjoy writing both kid comics and grown-up comics, though, so I’ve also been talking with Dynamite editor extraordinaire Anthony Marques about pitching ideas for a couple of possible series for older readers after I finish Mighty Mouse. Nothing definite yet, but they’re pretty cool ideas, so we’ll see.

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    Guest replied
    Since it's only a five-issue series and it's written by Sholly Fisch, I may be tempted to give it a try.

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