Guest Q&A: Russell Lissau

russell lissauChicago-area comic book writer and journalist Russell Lissau may be a Vegas Valley Comic Book Festival first-timer, but he’s no stranger to Las Vegas…or comic books. A regular contributor to anthology series Omega Comics Presents—published by Vegas’ own Pop! Goes the Icon—Lissau got his big break into comics on no less than Batman (specifically, Batman Allies: Secret Files and Origins). Since then, he’s written a ton of creator-owned comics as well as licensed properties such as Shrek and Strawberry Shortcake. His latest series for Pop! Goes the Icon with artist John Bivens, Old Wounds, is set to debut early 2015. You can meet Lissau at the Pop! Goes the Icon booth in the main hall during the festival, or attend one of his panels or workshops throughout the day.

1. What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Sitting poolside on a chaise lounge in the Caribbean or Florida, with a book in my hand and a cool drink on a table next to me.

2. On what occasion do you lie?
Never. It’s pathological. I abhor people who lie.

3. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I’d like to control my temper better.

4. What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Graduating from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism.

5. What do you most dislike about yourself?
I’m not as kind as I’d like to be.

6. Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
The various permutations of the F-bomb.

7. What is your most treasured possession?
My comic books.

8. What do you most value in your friends?
Loyalty.

9. The quality you most admire in a person?
Honesty.

10. What supernatural gift would you most like to possess?
Flight.

11. What is your favorite food?
Chinese. Specifically, Szechuan.

12. What is your favorite color?
Purple. Go Cats!

13. Who is your favorite fictional character?
Batman. (Look at my résumé. Is there any question?)

14. Who is your favorite person in history?
I can’t say that I have one.

15. Who is your favorite artist?
Comic book artist Tim Sale is an old friend and we’ve never worked together. I hope that is rectified some day. His work has been incredibly inspirational.

16. Who is your favorite musician?
A British prog band called Marillion is my favorite band.

17. Who are your favorite writers?
In comics, Greg Rucka and Ed Brubaker. Outside of comics, my favorites include Stephen King, Clive Barker, Tim O‘Brien, Bill Zehme and Hunter S. Thompson.

18. Who are your heroes in real life?
I can’t say that I have any. I have outgrown “heroes” as a concept. People are flawed and when you put them on a pedestal, it’s disappointing when they fall.

19. DC, Marvel, Lovecraft or Whedon Universe?
As a kid, my tastes were strictly Marvel and DC. But hey, what about Vertigo? Or Boom or Dark Horse? There are a lot of great comics out there, and some of the smaller publishers are taking tremendous creative risks. It’s a wonderful time to be in comics.

20. What is your present state of mind?
Tired!

21. What is your motto?
“Do, or do not. There is no try.”

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