Friday, July 8, 2011


Here's an interview with me conducted by Gary Groth that was originally slated to appear in an upcoming issue of The Comics Journal. However, it was replaced with a 12-page review of Dan Clowes' Wilson at the last moment. Enjoy!

Groth: So tell me about your childhood. What were some of the first comics you read?

Allison: Oh, man. So many great ones. I think the first comic I bought was SUPERMAN #1, or #3. My memory is a little fuzzy (laughs). We had a comic book shop that was part of a flea market that was in an old movie theater and I recall seeing that Kirby cover and literally being like “Wha-huh!?!” I had to have it. Now, this was in the early 80’s so comics weren’t thought of as collectible so I was able to buy that issue for very cheap. I think I paid around $2,000-$5,000 for it, still in the original mylar bag. It’s the issue where Superman dies. Talk about heavy stuff for a 9 year-old. (Groth chortles, clears throat)

Groth: (still clearing throat)

Allison: You okay?

Groth: …yeah…hold on…


Groth: Okay. Sorry about that. I didn’t catch that last part. You were saying…

Allison: I said that reading Superman #1 (or #3) was a heavy for me. It was like…

Groth: No, I mean before that. I asked you about your childhood. What comics you read. I missed what your answer was.

Allison: Oh…I read a lot of comics.

Groth: Wow. Nice. Um…did you have a favorite artist?

Allison: Man, did I. I don’t recall his name and I’ve never seen his work since but it was the guy that drew Daredevil for all those years…

Groth: Right. I know who you mean. Who else?

Allison: So many…so many (pauses)…Al Milgrom.

Groth: (interrupting) Did you ever read the issue of Superman where he died?

Allison: Al Milgrom?

Groth: No, Superman.

Allison: Oh. Yes.

Groth: What happened in it? I never read it.

Allison: Um, it’s literally been years since I looked through that. I think he gets shot or something.

Groth: Really? I thought he hated guns.

Allison: I know. Ironic, right?

Groth: Right! (laughs) Okay. Who are your biggest influences, besides Al Milgrom?

Allison: Good question. As a teenager I would have said Jim Shooter. Everything he touched turned to gold…MUCH LIKE MY CHARACTER, MIDAS GRUB ! (Many laughs)…Oh, too funny. Anyway, when Shooter brought back Magneto: Robot Fighter it was a revelation for me because I had always heard about that character but could never find the original comics. I’ve always felt that robot-fighting would make a good story and/or comic book so to see that actually happen was like “Whoa. Hold on a minute. Where are we going here?” because this is literally the future we’re talking about. You’re telling me that in the next century we’ll have to contend with robots? I literally had a tough time sleeping after reading the solicits for that book and to this day I still refuse to read that comic. So, bravo, Jim shooter. Kudos. I’d like to literally offer him kudos.

Groth: I’ll tell him. We have an interview scheduled next month at Splendor-Con. Let’s see…um…who would you like to see play Cobraxe in a Calamity of Challenge movie?

Allison: Tough one. No wonder you have such a reputation for being a hard-hitting comics journalist! (soft, thoughtful laughter)

Groth: Thank you. You don’t stick around in this business throwing softballs.

Allison: I have to say that after seeing him play Deadpool in that X-Men movie my first choice would be Ryan Reynolds. Talk about acting and swordplay. I would literally have to imagine that he could handle axes fairly well as well. If not him then I’d go with Tobey MaGuire or the guy that played Wolverine. Or Brandon Roth. I’ll always have a soft spot for Superman.

Groth: Great choices. That’s like my dream list for a Daredevil-meets-Ghost Rider movie as well. I also…

Allison: (interrupting) Christpher Bale. I mean, come on. Darkest Night? Are you kidding me? Him, or the guy that played Darth Vader.

Groth: Hayden Christianson…

Allison: No, the orginal one. James Earl Jones.

Groth: Right. I think you nailed it.

Allison: Thank you.

Groth: (checking notes) So….those were all the questions I had. I appreciate it.

Allison: You’re welcome, Gary (offers hand for shaking)

Groth: (takes hand. Shakes it)


shannon said...

You almost made me spit coffee from laughing! Great stuff!

Televex said...

"We had a comic book shop that was part of a flea market that was in an old movie theater..."

I remember this place. ;)

I saw a double feature of The Boatniks and The Gnomemobile when the theater was still open. Also the flea market was where I first saw Garbage Pail Kids.

Strange Kid said...

Haha, you're the champion of strange, Matt!

Televex said...

I think Gil Gerrard would make a great Cankor.

Paleo said...

Tipically nerdy TCJ interview, how come they never ask what brand of ink artists use?! cause ink is giving me a eelstruffel full of headaches right now. It is true that hermit's hemorroid blood drops on the ear cure it?

Your colleague

David Paleo

Matthew Allison said...

Groth did spend a lot of the interview rubbing my paper stock between his finger and thumb while mumbling "good...good paper."