Interviews

Note: In fairness to Mike Carlin, it should be noted that when Craig Byrne asked him his opinion of Lois and Clark in 1996 (during the middle of the New Krypton Arc), he very pointedly refused to comment. The following interview took place in June 1995, at the end of the second season.

KRYPTON CLUB INTERVIEW #3: MIKE CARLIN

by Craig Byrne

When the name "Carlin" is mentioned to a "Lois & Clark" fan, one might think you were referring to Ariana Carlin, ex-wife of Lex Luthor who appeared in "Madame Ex." To more die-hard fans of "L&C" who have also been reading the Superman comics for the last few years, one would easily think of Mike Carlin, who has served as editor of the Superman comics for the last nine years and has won several awards for them as a result.

Upon interviewing him, I found out that the "Ariana Carlin" name wasn't the only Carlin reference ever found on "Lois & Clark." As early as the pilot episode, Perry White makes a comment about ordering food from "Carlini's." Carlin himself appeared at the beginning of "I'm Looking Through You" alongside several other noted creators of the Superman comics.

Carlin's first entry into the comics field came from the Marvel Comics humor magazine CRAZY (which was somewhat like MAD or Cracked), where he met editor Larry Hama, who let him do "Mike Carlin's Page O' Stuff" for several years. This led to an assistant editor's job at Marvel (one of the many things Carlin did during his time as an assistant editor at the company was send the super- hero team the Avengers to "Late Night With David Letterman," during a month called "Assistant Editor's Month" when the assistants were put in charge). Carlin also wrote several comics, including Ka-Zar and The Thing for Marvel and the Star Trek series for DC, before becoming an editor of the Superman comics for DC.

Carlin and the rest of the Superman comics staff were all "totally stunned" by the hype surrounding the "Death of Superman" in 1992. "Characters die and come back all the time," Carlin said, noting that all they had planned to do is write a "cool story" about a "return to greatness."

When asked what he thought about the TV series "Lois & Clark," Carlin responded that the show is "80% on the mark." He said that he is always disappointed by the scenes with Superman, and that the show "needs a good menace." He also would like to see the show follow the show more closely--for example, for an episode with a clone (like "Vatman") they should call the clone "Bizarro." I asked Carlin if Super-menaces such as Kenny Braverman (Conduit) were allowed on the show, and he said they were. There would, however, be problems with using villians such as Mr. Freeze and the Joker, since they are "Batman villians." But as far as DC Comics is concerned, there seems to be no problem with using the villians from the comics.

The people at DC Comics get to read all of the scripts for "L&C" in advance, and they can make any comments that they wish. Even if the DC Comics people do not approve, the people at Warner Brothers can go ahead and do things their way anyway.

Carlin is proud of the good continuity found between the different Superman titles, even though you "can't expect to be perfect." "Everyone is aware of what the others are doing," says Carlin, who oversees them all.

Since Mr. Carlin has worked on so many Superman comics in the past few years, it would be hard for him to pick one of which he is the most proud. However, the "wife-beating" story that was done in 1992 and the "Death/Funeral/Reign" storyline are just a few of the storylines of which Carlin is proud.

Coming up in the Superman titles (on sale every week) is an "intergalactic trial" where Superman is accused of being the murderer of the Kryptonians by association.

The story will tie in with the upcoming SUPERMAN: MAN OF STEEL #50. Wedding plans are still being held off, as the comic would like to be simultaneous with the TV series. Carlin is very pleased with the new paper used on the Superman comics, which he says is "getting better with every issue," citing the ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN issue that came out the previous week as being the best use of the new paper yet.

Carlin has announced that he will no longer be editing the Superman titles soon, as KC Carlson will be taking over his position. Carlin will soon be overseeing the entire DC Universe line of titles. Good luck, Mike!

You can find the Superman comics at any comic book store or newsstand. There are five core Superman titles--the monthly ACTION COMICS by David Michelinie and Kieron Dwyer, ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN by Karl Kesel and Stuart Immonen, SUPERMAN by Dan Jurgens and Ron Frenz, SUPERMAN: THE MAN OF STEEL by Louise Simonson and Jon Bogdanove, and the quarterly SUPERMAN: THE MAN OF TOMORROW by Roger Stern and Tom Grummett. There are also several Superman tie-in comics such as SUPERBOY and STEEL. All of thse comics have a cover price of $1.95 each. Try them, you'll like them!

Thanks again Mr. Carlin for taking the time to do this interview.

(this interview was originally published in The Krypton Club Newsletter #32 on July 30, 1995)


Interviews

Introduction

The Superman Homepage has had the pleasure of interviewing various Superman Comic Book creative people about their work.

Question and Answer Interviews:

Interviews/Articles:

Krypton Club Interviews:

Lois When “Lois & Clark” started production in 1993, there was an obvious relationship between the comic book people and the Hollywood people.

A trade paperback “Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman”, was published, with Dean Cain and Teri Hatcher on the cover. It included reprints of comic book stories that were the inspiration for “Lois & Clark”, helping to define the characters. Comic's included are: The Story of the Century (Man of Steel miniseries #2), Tears for Titano (Superman Annual #1), Metropolis - 900 mi (in SUP #9), The Name Game (SUP #11), Lois Lane (in ACT #600), Headhunter (AOS #445), Homeless for the Holidays (AOS #462), The Limits of Power (AOS #466), and Survival (ACT #665).

A number of comic book writers and artists had roles as extras in the episode “I'm Looking Through You” (Season one, episode 4). Their presence was immortilized in the Sky Trading Card #34.

Craig Byrne, president of the online “Lois & Clark” fanclub The Krypton Club, carried out a series of interviews with comic book writers. The interviews are reprinted with permission of the Krypton Club.

Check the Television section of this website for some “Lois & Clark” Interviews conducted by The Krypton Club.

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