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Writer and former editor Peter J. Tomasi visited the CBR Tiki Room during New York Comic Con 2012 and spoke about his upcoming work on DC’s New 52 including “Batman and Robin” and “Green Lantern Corps,” the current status of his screenplay and participating in two mini-events in the DCU. Plus, he reveals why he refuses to wear Hawaiian shirts and his experience shooting Super 8 and 16mm films as a kid.
On the status of his screenplay: “DC has been so great, they’ve buried me in work for almost 7 years. When I left the office and I had a three month window before I had to get my first script started for DC, so I gave myself three months to knock out a screenplay. I did. That was 7 years ago and that was the last one I’ve ever been able to get to. … I’m having great fun with [comics]. It’s great fun. When I look at my life, there were three things — baseball, filmmaking and comics — when I was a kid. Those were the three dreams that I wanted to get to. When you can get to one of them and really get a toehold in it, it’s gravy.”
On “Batman and Robin” #0: “I’ve been working so much with the father/son dynamic. I was going to do it again in the zero issue and I started to do a beat sheet with the father/son stuff, with Bruce and Damien. Then I realized, he did have a mother. I threw everything out that I had and I said, ‘Let me just focus on the mother/son relationship. All that just kind of came out from there. Once I got the hook on the birthing angle — he had one burning question in his mind from when he was a kid, which was, ‘Who’s my father?’ That was my through line and it all worked out.”
On the pressure of participating in both “The Third Army” and “Death of the Family”: “It’s been smooth, honestly. I’ve been doing this for so long, it’s kind of second nature. When you’re on the editor’s side of it, you’ve got to take a specific mindset when you approach it. When you’re on the writer’s side of it, it’s not like you throw away that hat. You still have that hat. It helps you and grounds you and you’re able to navigate all the stuff that can pop up kind of smoothly. It allows you to just focus and get the meat of the story and the characters. Honestly, working with the people I’m working with on all this stuff — Geoff [Johns] and Scott [Snyder] and all the other guys, Pat Gleason and Fernado Pessarin — Pat and Fernando to me are two of the most under-rated artists right now in comics. It’s my pleasure to be working with guys like that.”
On why he won’t wear a Hawaiian shirt: “My father had a collection of Hawaiian shirts. He was in the service, he had these amazing shirts from when he was stationed in Hawaii — great shirts. But when I a kid, I used to make Super 8 films and 16mm films. One of the films we made, I played this killer, this assassin and I was going to wear an army jacket for that role, but … my friend said, ‘Maybe you should do something a little different. Everybody’s always got the army, the taxi driver Travis Bickle look — why don’t you try a Hawaiian shirt on?’ I was like, ‘Really? I don’t know if it’s going to gel.’ He was like, ‘No, go for it!’ … To this day when I watch that film — and it was a 40 minute film. We made epics. I look at myself and I just cringe. I see that Hawaiian shirt just blaring on camera as I’m mowing down people, I’m shooting people and — every time I see my friend Anthony, I say, ‘You made me wear that Hawaiian shirt.'”