Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Interview with... Michael Reaves

You've got to love this next interview.
What do Star Wars, Gargoyles, and the TV show Sliders all have in common?
They've all been written by Michael Reaves.

Honestly, any one who has written for Sliders is okay in my book. Man that was a good show!

Enjoy the interview!

1. You've written some of the major cartoons of the 80's and 90's. Are any particular favourite of yours?

BATMAN: TAS, of course-- how often do you get to re-interpret and redefine a legend? And win awards (and get paid) for doing it? Hard to see the down side … GARGOYLES, because it's just as much fun being in on the ground floor and creating something iconic. GHOSTBUSTERS, because I love writing comedy action-adventure -- and I actually got to write a episode called "The Collect Call of Cthulhu". A pity no one knows what a collect call is any more …CENTURIONS, because it gave me the chance to do what is arguably the first "cyberpunk" episode of anything on American TV. And, of course, DUNGEONS & DRAGONS, which still nets me more fan mail than any other show.

2. Most of your work has been writing for teams of characters. How is this different from writing for solo characters?

Well, let's not forget Batman -- you don't get much more solo. For the most part, though, it was just a matter of finding the particular character's voice -- which, unfortunately, usually meant finding that character's schtick. Whenever I could, I would try to take the comedy relief/jerk/weak-willed character and give him more depth. Eric from D&D was a good example of this. (An added benefit of doing this is that the actor will generally love you for it, and give you his best effort.)

3. What writing processes do you take on before tackling each project?

"Writing processes"? I suspect you're speaking of something analogous to an actor's "motivation". For my part, I find checking my bank balance can provide considerable motivation.

4. What are the differences between writing for cartoons, as opposed to writing novels?

The main difference is more words = less pay. Other than that, the ability to get inside the characters' heads in a novel, and not as much slavish adherence to structure, there's not that much differ-

Wait. I forgot budget. John Sayles once said something to the effect of never once having the money people tell him that he'll have to forget about Chapter 3 because they're losing the light. Writing a book, your only limit is your imagination, whereas even cartoons have budgets.

Wow! Thank you Michael.
Now if that interview wasn't all kinds of awesome than I don't know what is.
What did you think of this interview? Please comment, or email me directly at

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