John Layman recently talked about the end of his run on Detective Comics with the "Gothtopia" story to focus on his other comic "Chew" since he will be replaced on Batman: Eternal by Kyle Higgins.
Newsarama: John, first off, can I go to Gothtopia? 'Cause it looks sweet!
John Layman: Uh….
Newsarama: OK, OK… maybe not the high suicide rate. Plus, I get the feeling this whole story's motivated by the dangers inherent with the human desire for "escape" from the real world, so I probably shouldn't admit I want to escape there. Am I interpreting the theme correctly? Is the story that "psychological?" Or am I reading too much into it?
John Layman: I think all Batman stories are psychological to some extent, because Batman villains are so psychologically complex… as is Batman. Of course you can say Scarecrow is one of the more psychologically complex in an already very diverse and disturbed stable of Batman villains.
Newsarama: Now that you're finishing up your run as a Batman writer, do the themes you're exploring in this final story relate to what you've been exploring over the last year and a half in Detective?
John Layman: No, not really. I went into this arc before I knew it was my final arc, so it wasn't about thematically tying everything together so much as it was about exploring a character I had not before, in a way that I hope had not been done before.
Newsarama: It's definitely a new approach. As you look back, what are you most proud of about your run on Detective?
John Layman: There's really nothing I'm not proud of. Issue #19 stands out because I did 50 pages, which for me is quite a bit. I'm proud of how the book was able to roll with the punches and reflect other events going on in the Bat-verse without compromising the stories we were trying to tell.
Newsarama: You're writing 4 issues of Batman Eternal, and we've already talked to the other writers on the weekly about the characters they're concentrating on during their stories, as well as what genre or approach they're utilizing in their issues. Anything you can reveal about your issues and the approach you took?
John Layman: Well, we're following a story architecture given to us by Scott Snyder and James Tynion, and my stories have a bit more "street-level Gotham" to them — stuff with rival gangsters, new Gotham "bosses," and the role of the GCPD.
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Posted by Dane Haji