InterviewsNote: 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 CARLINby 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)
IntroductionThe Superman Homepage has had the pleasure of interviewing various Superman Comic Book creative people about their work.
Question and Answer Interviews:
- Interview with Christopher Priest about the Superman vs. Deathstroke story in Deathstroke #8 (November 2016)
- Interview with Sterling Gates about the 'Adventures of Supergirl' digital-first comic book series (January 2016)
- Interview with J. Michael Straczynski about Superman: Earth One - Vol. 3 - Writer J. Michael Straczynski talks to us about the third volume in the Superman: Earth One graphic novel series (February 2015)
- Interview with Jim Krueger - Writer Jim Krueger talks to us about his The Dark Lantern story in the Adventures of Superman comic book title (November 2013)
- Smallville: Season 11 Interview with Bryan Q. Miller - Writer Bryan Q. Miller talks to us about his work on the Smallville: Season 11 comic book title (October 2012)
- Supergirl Interview with Mahmud Asrar - Artist Mahmud Asrar talks to us about his work on the monthly Supergirl comic book title (July 2012)
- Superman/Batman Interview with Joshua Hale Fialkov - Joshua Hale Fialkov answers our questions about The Secret 3-part story in Superman/Batman #85-87 (July 2011)
- Supergirl Interview with Sterling Gates - Sterling Gates answers our questions about where Supergirl is headed post War of the Supermen (June 2010)
- Supergirl Interview with Sterling Gates & Jamal Igle - Adam Dechanel chats with the Supergirl comic book team about the Maid of Might (March 2010)
- Behind the Scenes of the Super Friends - Four part indepth look at the Super Friends comic book title with artists J. Bone and Stewart McKenny (February 2010)
- Interview with Landry Q Walker and Eric Jones - The writer and artist discuss Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the Eighth Grade (May 2009)
- Interview with Elliot S! Maggin - Legendary Superman writer and novelist discusses his career (January 2009)
- Interview with J. Bone - Artist discusses Super Friends comic book (November 2008)
- Interview with Mark Bagley (September 2008)
- Interview with J. Torres - Writer discusses Legion of Super Heroes in the 31st Century #18 (September 2008)
- Interview with Jake Black (May 2008)
- Interview with Cary Bates (June 2008)
- Interview with Jack Briglio - Writer discusses Legion of Super Heroes in the 31st Century #14 (May 2008)
- Interview with Ken Pontac - Writer discusses Justice League Unlimited #44 (May 2008)
- Interview with Karl Kerschl (April 2008)
- Interview with J. Torres - Writer discusses Legion of Super Heroes in the 31st Century #13 (April 2008)
- Interview with J. Torres - Writer discusses Legion of Super Heroes in the 31st Century #11 (February 2008)
- Interview with Fabian Nicieza - Writer on Superman comic books (June 2007)
- Interview with Danny Fingeroth - Writer of the book Superman on the Couch (May 2007)
- Interview with Jesse McCann - Writer on the Krypto The Superdog comic books (December 2006)
- Interview with Matt Haley - Artist on the Superman Returns comic book movie adaptation (November 2006)
- Interview with Ethan Van Sciver - Artist on Superman/Batman (September 2006)
- Interview with Mark Verheiden on taking over the writing duties on Superman/Batman (April 2006)
- Interview with Matt Idelson on taking over as Superman group editor (March 2006)
- Interview with Jeph Loeb on Sam and Superman/Batman #26 (February 2006)
- Interview with Roger Stern (December 2005)
- Interview with Marv Wolfman (November 2005)
- Interview with Gail Simone (May 2005)
- Interview with Greg Rucka (April 2005)
- Interview with Brad Meltzer [Identity Crisis] (January 2005)
- Interview with Glenn Whitmore (November 2004)
- Interview with Jeph Loeb (September 2004)
- Interview with Karl Kerschl (September 2004)
- Interview with Ron Garney (September 2004)
- Interview with Greg Rucka and Matthew Clark (May 2004)
- Interview with Ed McGuinness (March 2004)
- Interview with Brad Meltzer [Identity Crisis] (March 2004)
- Interview with Mark Millar [Superman: Red Son] (March 2003)
- Interview with Min S. Ku (September 2001)
- Interview with Jeph Loeb (May 2001)
- Interview with Joe Casey (April 2001)
- Interview with Mike S. Miller (September 2000)
- Interview with Denis Rodier (August 2000)
- Interview with Grant Morrison (December 1999)
- Interview with Mark Millar [Part 2] (November 1999)
- Interview with Mark Millar [Part 1] (April 1999)
- Superman vs. Terminator - A Chat with Fight Promoter Alan Grant. (January 2000)
- Superman: The Dailies (1939-1940) Graphic Novel Review.
- The Rebirth of Superman (Part 1) - Superman is reborn... again.
- The Rebirth of Superman (Part 2) - Eddie Barganza on taking the character in a new direction.
- The Rebirth of Superman (Part 3) - Jeph Loeb discusses writing the Man of Steel.
- Lex Luthor For President - Forget Superman. An updated Luthor's new enemies are Gore and Bush.
- Superman: Last Son of Earth - Steve Gerbern Interview - The writer discusses flip-flopping the Man of Steel's origin. (August 2000)
Krypton Club Interviews:
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.
- Interview with Roger Stern (June 1995)
- Interview with John Byrne (June 1995)
- Interview with Mike Carlin (July 1995)