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Backstage - Interviews

John Delaney Discusses Justice League Unlimited #44
by James Harvey

Justice League Unlimited #44 features a story with artwork by you and John Delaney. What people may not know is that this story was originally written up when Justice League Adventures was being published. Billed as a "untold tale" by DC, how does it feel to see this comic finally come to print?

It feels great. I really liked the story and I thought Ty's inks were really nice. I never thought this one would see the light of day but I always hoped it would.

Many fans heard that DC commissioned a host of issues for Justice League Adventures before the title switched over to Justice League Adventures. As a result, many fans figured that these comics would never see the light of day. Is the practice of having a commissioned story shelved for many years common among comic publishers? Are there stories that are written up, art provided, and then just put away for good?

Its pretty common to have inventory stories set aside should they be needed. When I was told that the book was changing over to JLU I was told this one would be put in the drawer for possible publishing at a later date. However with the direction the book and series was heading (ie: Hawkgirl's fall from grace) I had doubts this one would be used as it has Hawkgirl in her original uniform.

Can you remember, vaguely, when you first started working on this particular comic?

Gosh, I think it was about 3 or 4 years ago. I was working as a creative director for Radical Games' animation division at the time so it would have been around 2004.

Now, can you fill us in on some work you've been doing since your time on Justice League Adventures? From what I've heard, you've been working on a lot of things, including the Futurama comic for Bongo, teaching, and working on the cartoon Chaotix. What have those experiences been like for you?

I've been keeping very busy in my main full time job Directing & Designing animated TV series as well as doing a lot of work for Bongo Comics on Simpsons & Futurama. I also did a lot of work on the latest Futurama calendar including penciling the cover. I illustrated the Superman Handbook for DC that came out in conjunction with Superman returns. That was a really fun project.

I was senior director and contributed designs as well on Chaotix for 4Kids on FOX TV. This was a very cool project which combined many different animation approaches including combining Flash, 3D and traditional 2D animation with after effects. Very fun indeed and a great crew to work with. I got my start in animation so I developed the work ethic and storyboarding for live action film (Smallville, Harsh Realm, & Millennium to name a few) as well as animation really helped to strengthen my storytelling abilities for comic book work.

With such a full schedule, working on cartoons and comics and teaching, how do you find time to juggle all of these successfully? Do you worry that focusing too much on one thing could hinder your output on others?

Great question. As I said above I have a pretty strong work ethic and I really enjoy working on a variety of projects so no I don't worry about one over powering or hindering another. I'm doing a Simpsons comic right now while at the same time I'm working on concept designs for the new Tom Swift animated project that WorldWide Biggies is doing. And no I can't talk about it except to say they have a very cool concept and I've really enjoyed the work.

What can expect down the line from you? Any big things coming up that you'd like to fill us in on?

I have several things going right now as I mentioned above I'm also going to be taking on the regular penciling of a very cool action/adventure sci-fi comic in the future which I promise to let you know about first as soon as the deal is done. I will be doing in my own personal more realistic style as opposed to the animated stuff I usually am known for which will be really nice. Needless to say I am very excited by the opportunity to do an ongoing series that way as opposed to one offs and pin ups.

Thanks Jim always great to reconnect with all the people at Toon Zone.

The Worldís Finest would like to thank John Delaney for his participation in this Q & A and his inclusion of the popular Marvel character Phoenix, done in his own style.

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