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TUESDAY, MAY 9, 2006

MARVEL PRESS CONFERENCE: MOON KNIGHT'S CHARLIE HUSTON

Moon Knight writer Charlie Huston said that he is on board for the first 12 issues of the title, and then possibly could do more.

"I'm actually writing those issues now, what will comprise the second arc of the series," Huston said. "Beyond that, it's going to be contingent. I'd like to stay with it. I'm having a really good time, and I have an affinity for the character. And I certainly have a backlog in my mind of stories that I'd like to tell.

"But I really make my living as a novelist and it's really going to be contingent entirely upon on what my schedule will allow."

Huston said plans are for artist David Finch to be on the book through #12, as well.

"We've talked beyond issues 12 if there's a chance we get to do them together," Huston said.

Huston, with three novels done, will have his fourth and fifth novels coming up.

Other highlights from the press conference:

* Asked about what's coming up in the book, Huston, said the whole point of the first six-issue arc is to lay out how Marc Spector comes from the bottom to becoming a hero again.

"Along the way, he's going to crossing paths with his old nemesis Bushman, and I think the cat is out of the hat that The Taskmaster is going to be making an appearance," Huston said. "There's also a brand-new villian that will be making his first appearance in the next issue."

* Huston said he and Finch are formulating "Moon Knight's corner of the Marvel Universe."

* Huston was originally approached by Marvel for writing licenesed novels, which he wasn't really interested in. "But writing a comic book sounded cool," he said.

* Asked about Moon Knight's different personalities, Huston said, "To me the split pesonalities are a manifestation of larger problems that Spector has. These problems mostly has to do with the fact that he has no social skills whatsoever. The only social skills that he has is beating people up. So he's a guy who is trying to find a way to express himself in the world, or be in the world, or behave in the world with no tools at his disposal except for violence.

"Because it's the only he's ever been rewarded for and it's the only thing he's good at."

* Huston said that any confusion about the character will be cleared up by the third issue. "He's just crazier than a muckhouse rat, completely unhinged."

* Huston said that the visuals are "the big, big, big difference" in writing comics and novels. "My novels have no pictures," he said. "It is a completely different world."

He said here is a learning curve and that he noticed in his early issues a lot of "talking heads."

Moon Knight editor Axel Alonso sent Huston some comics script to help him adapt his style.

He said he does break down every page into panels -- "It's not hyper detailed, but it's fairly detailed," he said -- but Finch is in control of page layouts.

Huston said his fight scenes are pretty heavily choreographed. "But in terms of how it's rendered, how the characters are positioned in the frame, the layout of it, I leave that to David," he said.

* Huston acknowledged the series has a lot of skull and death imagery, but that it wasn't planned.

"There was a certain point in where I was scripting the second issue that I realized it was possible to request an image, two panels where it was going from Bushman to Moon Knight, that the closeup on Moon Knight be skull-like," he said. "And then after that, it started feeding in. And then later, I kind of had a moment of revelation were I was scripting the issues where Taskmaster appeared where I had another one of those "D'oh!" moments where I went, 'Taskmaster has a skull mask! I can do that! I can do that!

"And it did come back and there are some things that I did, whether the reader will key into it or not, are meant to reference things that happened in the earlier issues with Bushman."

* Huston said that by the time that David Finch became the artist and began drawing, he had already written the first six issues.

"When the pencils started coming in, I went to the later issues and started tweaking things," Huston said.

* Huston said Finch's impact on the way he scripts the book will be seen more vividly in the second arc.

"I was able to not only talk to him specifically about the kinds of images he likes to draw, but see them," he said.

"There are things that I think David excels at that he thinks are his weaknesses. I love seeing what he does with the quieter moment. The full page in issue one of Marc Spector... the panel where you turn the page and you see Marc Spector in a wheelchair for the first time, just knocked the wind right out of me the first time I opened the file."

* According to Huston, Finch wants to give the city a claustrophobic feel. "The panels, particularly the exteriors in issue one, it's so much detailed in the background," he said.

Huston said to play off of that, he wanted to have Moon Knight "really big in the panels."

* Huston said he's enjoyed the collaborative effort of comics, as opposed to the solo nature of writing novels.

* How will Civil War impact Moon Knight?

"In the second arc, one of things I wanted to do was I wanted to show him in context of the larger Marvel Universe," Huston said, "without getting too carried away.

"Part of this was that I thought it was just part of the job. Part of it was entirely selfish, which was I wanted to find who this guys is and what other characters think about him before other writers started pulling him and him in their books are starting to define that.

"So it seemed natural to me, considering some of the things that will happen in later issues, that some of the heroes out on there on the street will take interest in the fact that he's back in the game. But Civil War changed everything because we knew the second arc would be publishing as Civil War was right in the thick of things.

"So it is not a crossover story, but not only would it be willful not acknowledge an event of that scale in your book, but it would also just be ignoring an opportunity because there are some great story opportunities with Civil War.

"So there will be characters who are hip-deep in Civil War that will be passing through the second arc of Moon Knight. Hopefully, we're in executing in a better way than the old-fashioned, Moon Knight sees Iron Man and Captain America fighting off in the distance and, 'That must be that Civil War they're having off over there.' I'm not involved in that."

Huston said it's too early to reveal which characters would be showing up in Moon Knight during the second arc.



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