Paul Dini interview (August 2007)

August 22, 2007 | Interviews

Award-winning writer Paul Dini.

They’ve been the secret architects behind some of your favourite TV shows for years.
From cult classics like Buffy The Vampire Slayer and its spin-off Angel to such recent hits as Lost and Heroes, veteran comic book creators have been writing the adventures on your tube every week.
“If you’re writing comics and doing it well, it shows that you have a visual sense and you can really figure out how to make things look dramatic,” says Paul Dini, an Emmy Award-winning TV writer and producer, who is also a prolific and successful comic book creator.
“I would say it makes an excellent calling card for someone looking to get into movies or film.”
Some notable crossover creators include: Ben Edlund, creator of The Tick and longtime writer for Buffy and Angel; Jeph Loeb, who’s known for writing the acclaimed epic Batman: The Long Halloween as well as working on the breakout hit, Heroes; Brian K. Vaughan, the award-winning co-creator of Y: The Last Man, also a staff writer on Lost; and Dini, one of the main men behind Batman: The Animated Series and piles of other award-winning cartoon projects. He also did a two-year stint on Lost before becoming the current writer of Detective Comics.
The reason comic creators are getting scooped up by Hollywood is simply a love of the medium, says Dini, a featured guest at this weekend’s annual Fan Expo Canada ( at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.
“I think a lot of it is that the producers who are doing TV now either grew up reading comics as fans of the books themselves or wanting to write comics,” he says. “So when they look around for writers, they choose writers whose work they like in different mediums.”
Dini’s life has been a hectic one since leaving Lost, as he’s taken on penning Batman’s monthly adventures in Detective as well as becoming head writer of DC Comics’ hot new weekly series, Countdown.
“I’ve been living with it for almost a year now and I’ve enjoyed it since the moment it started,” Dini says of Countdown, a prequel series for DC’s highly anticipated 2008 crossover event, Final Crisis.
“It’s a lot of hard work, but it’s satisfying to see it come out and it’s great to hear fans are reading it and enjoying it.”
As for his preference between working on comics and on TV shows, Dini says it’s no contest.
“Between the two of them, for creativity, I prefer comics because you can generally do what you want,” he says, “and if I’m dealing with my own characters then the sky’s the limit.”

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