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    SHOLLY FISCH talks MIGHTY MOUSE #4, on sale in SEPTEMBER from Dynamite!

    BYRON BREWER: Sholly, how does it affect the brain of a writer when they have to juxtapose happenings in a high fantasy world (like Mouseville) with the VERY real world of Joey?

    SHOLLY FISCH: Oh, I don’t know. It’s not really such a stretch for me, since I spend most of my time with my head half in the real world and half in cartoons anyway. But maybe that’s just me...

    Actually, the juxtaposition of the real and cartoon worlds is a lot of what makes this Mighty Mouse series fun for me (and, hopefully, other people too). The clash of throwing cartoon characters into the real world is loaded with opportunities for humor. And the contrast of the goofy cartoon world helps to highlight some of the very real issues Joey faces in his own life, too. Playing the two worlds off each other opens up a lot of possibilities.

    BB: I am sure you did your share of research on the Mouse of Tomorrow to the extent that the cartoon jinge is tattooed in your memory. But was there anything you learned as a writer about the iconic Mighty Mouse character when writing this book? Not minutia but some sense you had not thought of that makes the toon rodent a real hero?

    SF: I did indeed do a bunch of research -- assuming you can call watching lots of old cartoons “research.” Because I’ve been a fan of Mighty Mouse most of my life, I had a pretty good handle on the character already; he’s a classic, prototypic super hero who just happens to be a cartoon mouse. But what dawned on me as I re-watched the cartoons is that, because he is a mouse, there isn’t really another hero who fights quite so literally for the “little guy.” That’s what led me to the idea of teaming him up with a lonely, bullied kid who’s also a “little guy” and faces a lot of the same sorts of issues himself.

    BB: What can you tell us without spoilers about the aliens invading both realities in #4? (We’re not going to see Oil Can Harry in a bubble helmet, are we?)

    SF: Let’s see… How about this: Rampant destruction! The Earth in peril! The police and army helpless! Mouseville enslaved! The senses-shattering battle that YOU demanded! And the fate of two worlds lies in the hands of an eleven-year-old kid and a cartoon mouse!

    Oh, and as for Oil Can Harry, well, that would be telling...

    BB: Just curious, and I don’t think it has been asked: Was there any inspiration from your own life for the character of Joey?

    SF: Funny you should ask. The whole series is based on the time when a cartoon mouse came flying out of my TV set, and...

    No, no. I’m happy to say that when I was a kid, I was never bullied like Joey is, but I’ve known kids who were. Like Joey, though, I was a nice, slightly geeky kid with an overactive imagination who liked to write stories and make my own homemade comics – which I think is probably pretty common among comics pros as a whole. Years ago, my old buddy, penciler James Fry, told me that when he was a teenager and got really mad at people, he used to add to an ongoing homemade comic that he called “James Fry Blows Up the Universe” or something like that. That was the inspiration for the wish-fulfillment comic that Joey draws, in which he transforms into a super-hero to triumph over the bullies who make his life miserable.

    BB: Whither Pearl Pureheart?

    SF: At the moment? Pearl’s been enslaved by the aliens, along with everyone else in Mouseville. But, somehow, I suspect that by the end of the five-issue series, Mighty Mouse just might show up to save the day...

    BB: Can Igor Lima draw mice and men or what?!

    SF: Boy howdy! Igor’s been doing a great job blending several different art styles to bring the real world and the cartoon universe together into a unified whole – while also making it really obvious just how out-of-place Mighty Mouse is in the real world. That’s not a simple task to pull off, but Igor makes it look easy.

    BB: What’s up project-wise for you, Sholly?

    SF: Oh, a bunch of things. There’s all the stuff that I write for DC on a regular or semi-regular basis: Scooby-Doo Team-Up, Teen Titans Go!, Scooby-Doo Where Are You?, and Looney Tunes. I’m also doing a couple of stories for the new Gumby series at Papercutz, which is something I’ve been dying to do for years. (Remind me sometime to tell you the story of why my wife and I had bride and groom Gumbies on our wedding cake.) And I just did something particularly cool, writing some sample script pages that’ll be part of a Stan Lee “How to Draw Comics” book that Dynamite is publishing. Being part of any book of Stan’s would obviously be an honor, but what made it really fun is that I got to write the pages as a pastiche of a Stan Lee comic, featuring the pulse-pounding adventures of everyone’s favorite superhero/sidekick team, True Believer and Excelsior!

    All of that is on top of my day job, in which I’m working on a few educational TV series and digital games, and helping create a set of educational materials for Syrian refugee kids. So, like always, I’m just having fun, trying to do a little good...and people are paying me for it! It’s not a bad life.