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Dr. Apocalypse Examines: Massive Comics Legend Brian Wood


If you like comics, and don’t know the work of Brian Wood, you deserve to be gunned down in the war-torn Manhattan of his DMZ, battle-axed in his Viking epic Northlanders, and be forced to hear the lamentations of your women in his new reboot of Conan the Barbarian. This is a guy whose “day job” was once at Rockstar Games, designing for Grand Theft Auto and Max Payne.

This June, he and artist Kristian Donaldson are coming out with a very wild and VERY wet apocalyptic epic though Dark Horse called The Massive (sneak peek here) — which naturally set Dr. Apocalypse’s “deathoscope” a-tinglin’.

Brian was gracious enough to answer a few highly inappropriate questions from the Dr., and provide some more EXCLUSIVE VISUALS from this event comic (scroll to the bottom if you’re an illiterate cretin).


In The Massive, you blame the forthcoming apocalypse on a giant mass of tidal water. Why do you have it out for water? Did it touch you as a child?

I blame it on the planet finally having enough, actually, giant waves being one aspect of the push-back. I think we all have it out for the ocean, don’t we? Isn’t that where all our poop goes? This is why I don’t eat seafood. Especially shrimp, total bottom-feeders. The cockroach of the sea.

The Massive is about environmentalists in a world where the environment is wrecked. What will be their driving passion now, other than eating as much veal on Styrofoam as they can?

I can think of a dozen really tasteless jokes before I realized I forgot I am an environmentalist (such as one can be living in New York City). So I don’t want to diss myself, but it had something to do with Greenpeace stickers on old Volvos and college girls in baja hoodies.

The back story to THE MASSIVE ranges from Europe to Japan to the Arabian Peninsula to Louisiana. Did you make it touch the whole world so you could line up more tour dates, or because you’re ADD?

The day comics makes anyone enough money to pay for a tour, yeah.

Dr. Apocalypse hates to nitpick, but in naming this “The Massive,” you seem to have left out a noun at the end. May I suggest “Thingee?”

I tried a few combinations, like Brian Wood’s Massive, or Brian Wood: Massive, or The Massive Brian Wood (vetoed that one myself), but they all seemed too subtle. Maybe I need to spice it up with comic terminology like “floppy” and “hardback” and “bag and board” and my favorite, “longbox”.

One of your best-known works, DMZ, features a future Manhattan torn apart by heavily-armed warfare. Is this based on your current experience living in NYC, or just the fantasies you have daily while riding the subway?

You actually aren’t that far off, no joke! I’d like to spark an insurgency against those assholes who take one step onto the subway car and then stop.

Many of your works – Channel One, DMZ, Supermarket– take place in wrenching future dystopias. Have you ever been tempted to create a future where bunnies and unicorns hug it out in “Cuddledome?”

Every time I do something like that, like my Young Adult series The New York Four/The New York Five or the female-centric Local or Americana, I get called an emo f-g hipster [DOCTOR’S NOTE: That title has just been optioned as a series by Oni]. Ah, comics fans, don’t ever change.

Your post-apocalypses tend towards the naturalistic – no zombies or triple-breasted whores. Do you ever wish there were more drugs in your life?

I just turned 40, have two little kids, and spend too much time sitting in a chair. The drugs I need are ibuprofen and valium.

As a writer with numerous titles on the way, are you secretly hoping the Mayans are right about December, so you won’t have any more deadlines?

If the world ends I won’t get the chance to write my superawesome Batman idea.


Talk about “leave ’em wanting more!” Instead, we now leave you with some massive glimpses at what’s in store:




Dr. Apocalypse, aka Rob Kutner, is a writer for CONAN and the author of APOCALYPSE HOW: TURN THE END-TIMES INTO THE BEST OF TIMES and the new e-book, THE FUTURE ACCORDING TO ME.

Send your apocalypse questions to [email protected]
Follow Rob on Twitter: @ApocalypseHow.

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