Spotlight On Portsmouth Comic Con 2019: Kieron Gillen


Writing His Own Career

Portsmouth Comic Con 2019 is only three months away and here’s a spotlight post on one of the show’s UK guests, Kieron Gillen…

Kieron Gillen is a British writer with an impressive CV that includes creator-owned books Phonogram and The Wicked + The Divine both with artist Jamie McKelvie. He has also worked extensively for Marvel on books like Young Avengers, Journey Into Mystery and Uncanny XMen. He was also the writer on Marvel’s popular Star Wars: Darth Vader and is currently the co-creator of Image’s popular DIE series with artist Stephanie Hans.

Gillen talked about writing Star Wars and how he was drawn to dark characters in an interview on”I was phoned and asked, do you want to write Darth Vader? And, of course, Darth Vader led to Aphra. Aphra has “evil” leanings, let’s say, because she hung out with Darth Vader.

So part of me is like, ‘Oh, it’s just circumstance, but I think the reason I was offered Vader is [because] I write a lot of bad people. In my work for Marvel Comics, there is a tendency to try to write the villain. I have a Loki run people seem to like, I write a lot of dark books… Even the heroic figures tend to be pretty much conflicted.”

The Wicked + The Divine has ended and Die has just started and Gillen sees the latest part of his career as a new chapter, as he told an interview for The Comics Beat:”WicDiv was designed to be a chapter end, and DIE! is definitely the start of a new one. If you were writing the biography of Kieron Gillen, it would be “Volume 1: Kieron’s birth to WicDiv”, “Volume 2: DIE! to death”, possibly. Part of it was leaving space to figure out what kind of writer I want to be. I haven’t quite decided yet, but I’ve got it boiled down to the options, and I’ve got a list of – that writer does this; this writer does that; where do you actually see yourself? I’ve got some guiding principles, and you’ll see some of that in DIE!

I want to write better. That sounds absolutely banal, but it’s also true. And to write better, you have to at least try to write better. I want to put out less books and try slightly different things. I started using Scrivener recently, so I’ve even changed my writing software. There’s TV stuff happening, so maybe I’ll get more involved in that, or maybe I’ll write a novel. It’s an interesting space I’m trying to fill. WicDiv’s done well enough to give me the financial security so I can actually think, and that’s so rare. It’s great. This is a once-in-a-lifetime kind of book.”

Gillen’s distinctive writing has got him fans all over the world.

We are pleased to welcome him to Portsmouth for the first time. Tickets for the Portsmouth Comic Con are available online here

Here’s the other spotlight posts so far too

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