Eisner award-winning writer Chris Claremont will grace the El Paso Convention Center this Saturday and Sunday, April 22-23 during El Paso Comic Con. He wrote Marvels’ “Uncanny X-Men” for 16 years and created the classic storylines “Days of Future Past” and “Dark Phoenix,” both of which have been folded into the current “X-Men” movies.
“I have the ridiculous treat of watching the characters I created and the characters I designed in the X-canon brought to life by some of the finest actors in modern cinema,” Claremont said. “The fact that many of the films incorporate significant elements of the stories I wrote – that is way cool.”
Claremont is also responsible for the characters in new FX TV series “Legion.” He helped create classic “X-Men” characters Psylocke, Sabretooth, Gambit and Mister Sinister – to name only a few.
“In terms of something like the Marvel catalogue of characters, you sort of focus specifically on the book that’s being written and the story that’s being told,” Claremont said. “If it’s work that’s mine, part of the gestation process is figuring out who the story is about, what they want, how they’re going to try and get it and building the character in a way that the character defines events.
“You start by building the character, then turning him or her loose on the event. But in the same process, the events will shape, focus and then define the character that much more.”
Claremont wrote the “First Flight” science-fiction trilogy as well as “Chronicles of the Shadow War.” The books were novel adaptations of the Ron Howard sci-fi flick “Willow.”
The idea for the movie came from George Lucas. The novel series takes place fifteen years after the events in the film. Lucas outlined the trilogy and hired Claremont to write the books. He also wrote for the superhero novel series “Wild Cards.”
“I grew up reading British weekly comic newspapers,” Claremont said. While he grew up in Long Island, his grandmother had gotten him a subscription to “Eagle,” a British periodical published throughout the ‘50s. “It was a mixture of historical fiction and contemporary, i.e. 1950s, adventures of a sergeant in the Royal Air Force. Dan Dare was my guy until I discovered Dr. Who.”
“Unfortunately, the magazine went out of business and I lost interest in comics until I tripped over Stan [Lee] and Jack [Kirby] with the ‘Fantastic Four,’ and that started me down a long and winding – and apparently – not yet ending road.”