At this year’s Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo (C2E2), there was excitement and adventure around every corner. From the Crown Champions of Cosplay, to the various celebrities and creatives in Artist Alley. The show had something for everyone of all ages, interests, and fandoms.
One of the talented creators in attendance was Gail Simone. Gail is a beloved writer in the comics industry, having created characters and written comics that continue to have widespread appeal. Some of her work includes Secret Six and Birds of Prey for DC Comics, Welcome to Tranquility for Wildstorm and Agent X for Marvel Comics.
PopCultHQ sat down to chat with Gail about the greatest challenge she has faced in her writing career, her thoughts on the comic book industry changing to be more inclusive, and the characterization of a specific character in the Birds of Prey movie.
Writer Gail Simone
PopCultHQ: You’ve had an amazing career in comics over the years. What has been the biggest challenge in working on either an existing series or starting from scratch and building from the ground up.
Gail Simone: I think the biggest challenge is always getting the word out, to be honest. I know you probably didn’t expect that as an answer. But you know I love the challenge of writing and creating worlds and bringing these characters to life. If you give me an old, tired, not-working character and ask me to do something with him, that’s one of my favorite challenges to get, but getting the word out is the challenge I think.
PopCultHQ: With Secret Six, you created a team that was a mix of existing villains like Deadshot and Cheshire and new ones with Scandal Savage and Ragdoll. Were there any members of the group you enjoyed writing more than others?
Gail Simone: I loved writing Secret Six and I miss writing it so much. If I was going to have to choose one of them, it would be Scandal Savage. And even if I’m not writing her, I wish someone else would be writing her cause I feel like she’s a great character and a great addition to the DC Universe.
PopCultHQ: This year marks the 21st anniversary since Women in Refrigerators hit the Internet. Since its publication, do you that feel there has been progress made with female characters being more than just plot devices to advance a story?
Gail Simone: Oh my gosh, I am so glad you asked that question. I was just, I mean we’re here at C2E2 and I was just on the Women of Marvel Panel. And they put up a slide that had, I’d say 8 or maybe 10 pictures of covers of comics that are existing and upcoming, all female lead books. And she said they would have needed to have a couple more slides to get them all in there. And my heart just leapt because this is something that has taken a while to get here and now we’re here and I’m so excited between that and the female lead films that are doing well out in the world. I just couldn’t be a happier female fan.
PopCultHQ: What do you hope the new decade, the new Roaring 20’s, will bring forward as comics work to be more inclusive to people from all walks of life?
Gail Simone: I always feel that comics should be way ahead of the curve on any entertainment. They should be leading. We have the people with the most imagination. We aren’t restricted by film special effects budgets and that kind of thing. We’re restricted by our own imaginations is all. Which means anything should go. We should be telling stories about anything and everything. And as we’re getting a more variety of creators and publishers in the industry, we’re seeing that come to life now. And I just want more of it. More ways to use the actual medium to its full advantage. You know, comics are here to stay.
PopCultHQ: With the Birds of Prey movie, the character of Cassandra Cain is different from her comics counterpart. Do you think, as somebody who has spent time working in the world of Gotham, that Ella Jay Basco could eventually become Batgirl on the big screen or will she continue in her adventures with Harley?
Gail Simone: I’m not sure what their plans are for that. I was a little bit surprised in the difference of the characterization of her on-screen and I don’t understand all the reasons that went into that with Warner Bros. But I think that anything is possible and I always like stories about characters who work their way to greatness, that aren’t necessarily born with greatness and have it given to them, that work their way to it. So it’d be a cool storyline, so we’ll see.
PopCultHQ: Thank you so much for giving me the gift of your time.
Gail Simone: You’re welcome, thank you so much.
Even though this year’s C2E2 is now come and gone, it is a convention that brought a lot of smiles and memories to the hearts and minds of everyone who attended. A special thanks to Gail for her wonderful work in comics and for the gift of her time, and to the fine folks at ReedPOP for all that they do to put on a great weekend each year!
Be sure to check out the rest of our C2E2 coverage:
Adam Savage Sightings
Interview w/ Writer Gail Simone
Interview w/ Cullen Bunn
Friday Cosplay - Part 1
Friday Cosplay - Part 2
Saturday Cosplay - Part 1
Saturday Cosplay - Part 2
Saturday Cosplay - Part 3
Saturday Cosplay - Part 4
Saturday Cosplay - Part 5
Saturday Cosplay - Part 6
Sunday Cosplay - Part 1
Sunday Cosplay - Part 2
Sunday Cosplay - Part 3
Sunday Cosplay Masquerade
Writer – Gail Simone