Another great interview Seb!
In the aftermath of Comic Con, fan favorite Todd Nauck took some time to shoot the breeze with me. As a long time fan ( I so LOVED YOUNG JUSTICE), this was a real treat, with Todd humoring me and answering some of my more frivolous questions as well letting me pick his brain about his creator owned success, WILDGUARD! But don't take my word for it, come see for yourself...!
SEBASTIAN: OK, for the three people who don’t know, and for that one sad little man who found this site on accident while looking for porn <
> , can you tell us who you are and what you do?
TODD NAUCK: Sure. My name is Todd Nauck. I’ve been drawing comics for 14+ years. I’ve worked on Young Justice, Teen Titans Go, Teen Titans, Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man, American Dream and my creator-owned comic, WildGuard (to name a few).
SEB: How did you get your start in comics?
TODD: A friend from art school showed my WildGuard mini-comics to Dan Fraga from Extreme Studios at a comic book convention. He took them and showed them to his boss, Rob Liefeld. I got a call 2 days later to come work for Extreme. That was back in 1994. Then I moved on to work for DC and Marvel Comics.
SEB: And, I’m sorry Todd, but for all our readers struggling with it, how do you pronounce “NAUCK”?
TODD: In America, our family pronounces it “NOK”, like “knock” on a door.
But I’ve recently learned the German pronunciation is more like “NAY-yook”.
I’ll answer to both but I grew up with “knock” so that’s the one that sounds familiar to me.
SEB: While I’m asking the really hard-hitting stuff, MST3K: Which is better Mike or Joel?
TODD: For me, it depends on my mood… I like both guys. They both are hilarious. But I have to admit, Seasons 8-10 are some of my favorites. I felt they took the show to a new level at Sci-Fi with the serialized host segments of Season 8.
SEB: T.V.’s Frank or Professor Bobo?
TODD: Hmm. Kinda the same as the previous question. Both of those characters are so great, I can’t say one or the other. I’m an MST3K fan through-and-through!
SEB: Favorite episode? I’m partial to “MITCHELL”, myself,....
TODD: It changes from time-to-time. For a while, it’s been “Hobgoblins”. I loved it when the did movies from the 1980’s and 90’s. “Laserblast”, “the Incredible Melting Man”, “Pod People”, “Being from Another Planet”, “Space Mutiny”, “Time Chasers”, and “Werewolf” are some of my other faves.
SEB: Now, I know you like MST3K, and between your work with PETER DAVID on YOUNG JUSTICE and FRIENDLY NEIGHBORHOOD SPIDERMAN, and with your creator owned WILDGUARD ,it’s clear you have a fondness for the light-hearted. What got you into that aspect of the genre?
TODD: I like comics that are fun. Not so much silly or ridiculous (though I can enjoy those as well). I like books that have a light side but can still bring a dark/serious side (like we did in Young Justice and FNSM). For me, it is an escape into hope with some grounding in reality.
SEB: WILDGUARD, while it certainly does spoof both the Super Hero genre and Reality Television, is so more than just satire. How did you come up with the idea, and what was it that you wanted to do with this?
TODD: I created WildGuard back in 1992 while at art school. I was really into COPS and MTV’s the Real World at that time. While watching an episode of COPS, I wondered what it would be like if cameras followed superheroes around. And WildGuard was born!
After the big reality TV boom of the early 2000’s, I decided that in Casting Call I would tell how WildGuard came to be and used American idol as a template. This allowed me to introduce a lot of heroes and use aspects of a show people were familiar with.
I’ve had these characters and this concept for so long, I really wanted to tell my superhero stories. After I wrapped up Young Justice at DC Comics, the timing just felt right.
SEB: From the get go, WILDGUARD had a literal cast of thousands. Were these characters that you’d been working on for a while or did you make them up specifically for the series?
TODD: Both! I had a number of characters already developed. Some I had ideas for (like a name or a design) that needed to be fleshed out some more. And some were created right there on the original art. Some of those started to take on a life of their own. There are still a number of characters I created back in the art school days who have yet to be integrated into the WildGuard Universe.
SEB: You’ve done WILDGUARD: CASTING CALL, WILDGUARD: FIRE POWER; and you have the WILDGUARD WebComic, which, of course, has been published as WILDGUARD: INSIDER. We’ve seen various characters in the back-up features, so it’s obvious that you don’t consider even the least shown characters to be “throw-aways”. How developed are each of the characters?
TODD: Since there are so many, there is definitely a varying degree of development for each character. It often times depends on the story I’m working on and how they fit in at the moment as to how much more they will be developed. Characters like Strong-Bot, Power Temp, Running Girl, and Mover & Shaker are the most recent players getting set up for a role in the WildGuard Universe. But they’re not the only ones!
SEB: Which characters, team and non team, are your personal favorites?
TODD: That’s like asking a parent who their favorite child is! But Ignacia and Red Rover were two of my first WG creations back in 1992. So they hold a special place for me. Four, as well. I created her during my Fashion Illustration class. Four’s name, Teri Vaughn, is a shout out to my Fashion Illustration instructor, Vonne Solomon.
SEB: Which characters, team and non team, do the fans seem to want?
TODD: Travel Agent and Wandering Eye have been two characters fans have been very vocal about. Especially Wandering Eye!
SEB: With all those characters, the room for a spin-off is obviously there. In fact, in our world, shows like American Idol return every season. You would think, that with the ratings CASTING CALL got in their world, that a season two would be a no brainer? Any plans for spin-off? Or any desire to revisit the casting call format?
TODD: Yes to both! I’ve considered doing mini-series on Little Miss Sunshine, Strong-Bot, and Ignacia (in a solo mini). I’ve also thought about a second casting call to expand the current team.
SEB: Are you working on anything outside of WILDGUARD?
TODD: Right now I’m wrapping up a licensed Spider-Man comic book for a toy company. And I’m drawing a 6-page Kaine story for Spider-Girl #25.
SEB: What title or property would you most like to work on, if given the opportunity?
TODD: X-Men! I would love to work on an X-Men book. Especially one that has some of the original New Mutants in it. I was a big New Mutants fan back in the 1980’s.
SEB: Are you listening MARVEL? Todd Nauck + The Original NEW MUTANTS = My Pull List!!
SEB: OK, we are called Project FANBOY, so let me ask some real fanboy type questions.
What comics do you read?
TODD: I read a lot of Marvel and DC Universe comics. I love superhero stuff. I read Noble Causes and Dynamo 5 at Image. But my favorite comic is Robert Kirkman’s Invincible. I love that book! It is a lot of fun!
SEB: What was the last movie you saw?
TODD: Dark Knight on opening night. It was great. Heath Ledger’s Joker was amazing. He took Joker to a new level for me. Oh! Forgot! I saw Stepbrothers. It had a few chuckles in it. Not a Will Ferrel movie on par with Elf, Anchorman, or Talledega Nights.
SEB: Who would win Red Rover or Wolverine?
TODD: Even though Red Rover’s my boy, Wolverine has claws, an adamantium skeleton, and a fast healing factor. Though (from what we know currently about Red Rover) Red Rover could hold his own for a while, but ultimately, I think Wolverine would be able to edge out a win…. For now!
SEB: Is there anything you’ve really wanted to discuss in an interview, but nobody ever asked?
TODD: Not that I can think of. Anything you want to discuss?
SEB: I think we covered that with the MST3K and "fanboy stuff" questions!
Any parting words?
TODD: People are welcome to visit my sites wildguard.com and toddnauck.deviantart.com to check out updates on my projects, appearances, and new art I’ve posted.
Read WildGuard and tell your friends to as well!
SEB: Well, Todd, thanks for taking the time to talk to me. It’s been an honor!
TODD: It was my pleasure. Best of luck to Project FANBOY
Last edited by SebastianPiccione; Saturday, August 09, 2008 at 01:47 AM.
"Living Robert Venditti's Plan B!"
Another great interview Seb!
I just ask the questions. It's the answers that make it a good interview.
Otherwise it's more like taking a quiz you didn't study for!
"Living Robert Venditti's Plan B!"