Terry Moore is the creator/writer/artist for the critically acclaimed Strangers In Paradise. Terry is also no stranger to comics as he has worked on several comics in different genres for several publishers. Terry is currently writing and drawing his own comic Echo along with writing Runaways and Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane Season 2. Terry took some time out of his busy schedule to answer a few questions for us.
Comic Vine: Your decision to end Strangers in Paradise affected a lot of people. Are you happy with the way it ended? Do you have plans or get the urge to revisit them in the future?
Terry Moore: I spent several years considering how to end SiP. When the time finally came, I’m happy with what came out. I miss them, but I have no plans to resurrect the series.
CV: You're known for your realistic depiction of characters. How did the idea to steer away from the stereotypical comic portrayals come about?
TM: I wanted a story about people we could relate to, with art good enough to show you what they really looked like. That’s pretty much it, really. I wanted my fantasy as real as possible.
CV: Have you had a lot of feedback or response on this?
CV: Do you think you've influenced others to try for more realistic portrayals?
TM: Not that I'm aware of.
CV: With Echo, you've created another 'realistic' character with obvious flaws. Is she your way to bridge your style with the super hero format?
TM: No, she’s my action hero. Before I knew what Echo was, I knew I wanted to write a story that was a cross between The Fugitive and X-Files. I came up with Echo.
CV: After this first run of Echo, do you think you'll continue her story right away?
TM: It depends on what is happening around me, on what I want to write when the time comes. If a lot of people are reading Echo, that’s very motivating. If I decide I just have to write Furbush-Man for X-Comics or I’m going to burst, then I’ll go with that. We’ll see.
CV: You like to publish your books in black and white. I've read that you feel "color complicates things." Do you think this affects sales or the marketability of your books?
TM: Working in black & white doesn’t help sales or marketing. But there are artistic satisfactions to the medium that make the limits worthwhile. I try to enjoy those and not focus on the fact that I’d gladly work in color if I had a colorist working closely with me in my studio. Unfortunately, I don’t. Houston has like three guys in the comics business, including me, and the other two are busy. So, B&W it is.
CV: You're writing Runaways and Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane, books that consist of teenage casts. What do you do to capture the way the kids in these book speak? Do you 'spy' on them at the mall or something?
TM: No. Fortunately, I’m very immature.
CV: Do you have a favorite Runaways character?
CV: How long do you plan on writing the books?
TM: Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane is a 5-issue story. I’ve finished work for that. My stint on Runaways is 9 issues. I’m on issue 7 now. Echo was planned to be 18 issues but is now planned for 30 issues. After all that, I expect to be writing something new.
CV: 30 issues? That's great!
Any more covers drawn by you?
TM: I drew all five SMLMJ covers. No covers for Runaways.
CV: I've read that you have a desire to do a syndicated strip. What format would you be interested in doing? Drama? Comedy?
TM: Black humor. Like Bik & Beep (see my blog).
CV: Peanuts was a big inspiration for you. Do you have a favorite character?
How often do people ask you about an Echo/Strangers in Paradise crossover? (I won't ask if it'd ever happen).
TM: Four times, I think. It’s not out of the question because I do consider them living in the same Terryverse.
CV: Do you have a certain place you need to be when writing?
TM: My happy place. If I can’t get that, I’ll write anywhere as long as people understand I’ll have to shut them out completely. I can’t be in my world and yours at the same time.
CV: I was watching an old episode of Scooby-Doo with my five year old daughter last weekend and somehow caught, during the credits, an effects editor by the name of Terry Moore. Can I assume this wasn't you?
TM: Wasn’t me, but my agent has certainly gotten my name out there, don’t you think?
What was the name of your band? Do you still play? What bands are featured in your playlist today?
TM: I played in many bands. I still play and post things on MySpace. My playlist for Photoshop work has a lot of misc. things from artists like Nellie McKay, Pink, NIN, Loudon Wainwright III. If I’m writing I listen to jazz. When I’m drawing or inking, I like Pink Floyd. To me, they still make the rest of us look like dorks.
CV: I hear you're a fan of Neil Gaiman (who isn't?). Any chance you two would ever collaborate on something?
TM: Anything’s possible.
CV: Has any of your fans approached you or sent you pictures of Strangers in Paradise tattoos? Any over enthusiastic fans?
TM: Oh God, yes. There are hundreds. I thought about making a picture book of all the tattoos of my characters out there but rounding up printable photos of them all proved to be impossible. I wish I’d been taking pictures from day one.
CV: Thank you so much for your time. I'll let you get back to work.