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James Robinson stopped by the CBR Tiki Room at WonderCon Anaheim just before his 50th birthday to discuss his then upcoming burlesque-themed birthday party, the level of freedom he experiences working in DC Comics’ Earth 2 universe, emphasizes the long-term importance of the new Earth 2 Batman saying the character will have a huge impact not only on “Earth 2″ but the entire DCU, rediscovering himself and his approach to work post-“Starman” and much more.
On his burlesque-themed party for his 50th birthday: I’m having a burlesque party at the uptown in Oakland, really the cream of San Francisco burlesque will be performing there. Yeah, I’m sort of part of that community and it was sort of a birthday present. They’re all driving in and they’re all going to perform. It’ll be a hell of a night. It was my wife’s idea, so I’m very happy. Cully Hamner did the flyer. … You should see my 60th birthday where I set fire to myself and jump off the Empire State Building.
On his work in the “Earth 2″ universe: I do enjoy the freedom, but the one thing that I’m beginning to tell people now is that issue #13 … really is the beginning of all the pieces coming together for a big event at the end of next year. Obviously, everybody can guess that it’s when these Earths are going to finally meet for the first time. Those pieces are starting to be laid in my book and you’ll also see things happening in other books. Yes, I have this independence and I’m creating all these characters and creating this world, but I do have to be aware that it is a part of the DC Universe. Yes, I have freedom, but I do have to be mindful of what’s going on in “Justice League” and various other books.
On the new “Earth 2″ Batman: He’s very different. I’m saying this at every interview, I really want to stress that I was reading a message board — I try not to — a CBR message board, actually … and they were guessing who this Batman was going to be, various names, and some guy said — I thought it was a quite fair remark — “I don’t care who it is, I just don’t want it to be one of those gimmicks where it’s just a crazy guy for two issues and he just get killed off.” We’ve seen that. Marvel and DC have both done it in the past and it’s always a little bit unsatisfying. I just want to stress that this is a character that will be around permanently. He’s not going anywhere, he’s going to have a huge impact on Earth 2 and on the whole DC Universe. This is definitely a big character we’re bringing into the DC world. This isn’t a gimmick.
On where he feels his career is now: I don’t know that [writers get better with age]. You hopefully get better, but you can burn out, sometimes there’s an energy that comes with your youth that you lose. In terms of my writing now, I think I’m kind of having a bit of a renaissance. I think I got lost a little bit after “Starman.” I spent too much time in Hollywood and that really took my heart a little bit. When I got back into comic books, I remain very happy with what I did on “Superman,” but it was amongst all these other writers. I don’t think what I was trying to do with Mon-El really shined. I really did get lost a bit with “Justice League” and I feel I’m back and I’m doing the kind of work that I used to be known for.