Comic Book Resources Interviews Fabian Nicieza on June 17th, 2008
Nicieza’s remarks sound like those of a new ongoing writer for “Robin” as opposed to a fill-in, as he has lots planned for the rest of 2008 and beyond. “Plans aren’t finalized yet, but I know Spoiler will be very heavily involved in the proceedings, though how she plays into things will surprise people,” said Nicieza.
Newsarama Interviews Fabian Nicieza on August 4th, 2008, complete with preview for Robin # 176
NRAMA: Fair enough. So what can you tell us about # 176? The cover there...does Tim find Batman? Does the Penguin find him?
FN: Oooh, it comes out this week, what should I say, what should I say? I will say that Robin and Spoiler continue their hunt for Batman, but they may not be on the same page in their pursuit..... And we have a surprise revelation that could put a severe crimp in Tim’s love life.
NRAMA: Robin # 177 begins a multi-part storyline called “Search for a Hero". Broad strokes – we’re still a couple of months out, but what can you tell us about the arc?
FN: ....Robin has to dive headlong into this boiling stew while he’s worrying about Spoiler continuing her own agenda, Jason Todd rallying the gangs and... a very unexpected surprise hits Gotham.
Nevermore999 aka CyberNev, the administrator of this wiki, interviews Fabian Nicieza at Big Shiny Robot
BSR!: On the DC message boards, back when the fanbase was not aware Robin was ending, you acted like you would be on the book a while, hinting at things like wanting to fit in a Batgirl and Spoiler reunion. Was that just to throw us off the scent because you were told to keep the cancellation confidential, or is there more for Tim to do post Battle for the Cowl?
FN: Yes and no. The truth is, the final issue was coming, but which issue would be was not yet set in stone. There were discussions that varied from ending it with # 182 and the conclusion of Search for a Hero or as high as # 185 or # 186. Within THAT context, I would have had a Batgirl/Spoiler meeting. As it stands, that didn’t work out, though I will continue to develop Spoiler’s story in Gotham Gazette, a series of two one-shot issues that comes out during “Battle for the Cowl".
BSR!: What’s with Spoiler’s random invisibility powers in Gotham Underground and Batman and the Outsiders? It’s really bothering me.
FN: It’s not bothering me at all. I have to be honest, I read GU and I read OUTSIDERS as I get them in my DC comp copies, but I hadn’t noticed where Spoiler turns invisible. Beats the heck out of me.
Newsarama Interviews Fabian Nicieza about Gotham Gazette
NRAMA: Was the overall approach, that is, a look at Batman's absence, DC's idea, or was it something that you wanted to look at?
FN: It's been a real team effort. Mike had the basic game plan to do two one-shots that framed Cowl and call them Gotham Gazette, I came up with the headline concept of Dead? and Alive? to frame the thematic approach to the stories. We discussed a man on the street perspective, but then decided it would work best from the points of view of characters we know. We discussed options on various characters we could spotlight and I pitched who I thought would work best and why for the kinds of mini-stories we wanted to tell.
NRAMA: So how does the city react to Batman's absence? I guess, before you answer that one, we should probably talk about how the city "knows" Batman is around in the first place... There've been many views of how Gotham reacts to Batman over the years, so in your view, and as a foundation for Gotham Gazette, how does the city "know" its protector?
FN: ...With Gazette, we're dealing with characters who all know Batman exists, so the stories are really more about how his loss affects them personally or professionally. In Batman: Dead?, each one of them starts from a standpoint of loss, either the loss of Batman or, as importantly, each comes from a position of having lost something, which is thematically reflected by Gotham's loss of Batman. To the second one shot, Batman: Alive?, each character finds a ray of hope, so again, that is reflective of things going on in Cowl that affect the lives of the characters and the city.
NRAMA: Moving to your viewpoint characters - why Harvey, Vicki, Leslie and Stephanie? What unique points of view do they offer on the city and its situation?
FN: ...For Stephanie, it's about making the right choice. After the events of Robin, this marks a very important decision on her part as to her future as Spoiler -- if she is going to continue wearing a costume at all, and if so, how will she operate in a Gotham City crimefighting hierarchy that might not appreciate her efforts anymore.
NRAMA: Explain the “bookend” nature of Gotham Gazette a little more if you can – things start in March with Dead?, then Cowl happens, and in Alive? we catch up with the same characters to see their reactions to the return of “Batman?”
FN: Yeah, pretty much. We're still working to see how the pieces all fit together. Juggling the timelines between Cowl and then the individual mini-stories of four characters isn't easy. Each character gets five page chapters in the two bookends, so little things like, this scene needs to take place in the daytime, that one at night, this has to be the next day to show a headline versus this has to be two nights from now for the Robinson Ball to take place, etc. --
I won't pretend the puzzle pieces aren't still just a little bit scattered, but they're coming together. Really, as an ancillary to the lead title, it's more my job to fit into Tony's story then it is theirs to fit into mine. It'll work out to near-flawless perfection the way these things always do...
I think the tapestry of characters available in Gotham City make the potential for future Gotham Gazette issues surrounding other events scenarios, or even as a regular series of one-shots, a very real possibility, depending on reader interest.
All the writers who have worked on the Bat-titles or are working on them now appreciate the depth of stories that can be told with all of these supporting characters. Gotham Central brilliantly focused on police work, and with Gotham Gazette, we take it out a little further than that (though I won't claim it's as wonderfully written as that series was, because, hey, it's me writing it and not Greg Rucka and Ed Brubaker).
In Gazette, we are also looking at things through the eyes and attitudes of journalists and the medical community, as well as the police and vigilante elements.
Though all can be thought of as "small stories," I think they are also very interesting opportunities to provide both closure and future fodder for these characters that the on-going Bat-titles can choose to explore.