November 6, 2016

J. Michael Straczynski Quotes

“A changeling is one child substituted for another. I couldn’t find anything more apt. We had to kind of fight that supernatural element in the publicity, and I offered to try and find another title, but Clint liked it, and it stayed.”

“A lot of the futuristic space stuff seemed to me to be a very cool form of science-fiction, so that was my first real baptism in the genre.”

“A movie is a movie and a book is a book, and they have different rules.”

“A story is a story is a story. The only difference is in the techniques you bring to bear. There are always limitations on what you can and can’t do. But I enjoy that. Just like when you write a sonnet or haiku, there are rules you have to abide by. And to me, playing within the rules is the fun part. It keeps the brain fresh.”

“Again, one of the problems I have with television, as I mentioned before, is it’s trivial in many ways, and I think that a lot of folks out there are looking for new metaphors and new ways of thinking about things.”

“All love is unrequited. All of it.”

“All you can do is focus on telling the best story you can with compelling characters. If you do it right, it will endure. If you do it wrong, it won’t.”

“Anyone who sets foot into the ‘Watchmen’ universe and isn’t just a little nervous should be given a few days of electroshock therapy. I’ve always considered ‘Watchmen’ to be one of the best graphic novels ever written, and when it came out back in 1986 I was as blown away as everyone else. Just masterful.”

“As kids, we spontaneously sing and dance and tell stories, and along the way, someone comes and says, ‘No. You shouldn’t be doing that.’ And we slowly begin to unlearn our passions. I think you have to hold on to those things.”

“Coming from TV and film, rule number one is that you always service the main character first and foremost. If that’s not working, you’ve got nothing.”

“Every time I got ‘Amazing Spider-Man’ or ‘Fantastic Four’ or another book firmly on the rails, we got pulled into some big event book or crossover and it cost momentum and messed badly with the pacing and structure of the book.”

“Everyone in the entertainment business gets crappy contracts when we start out, and into the middle of our careers. It’s the nature of the business.”

“Follow your passion. The rest will attend to itself. If I can do it, anybody can do it. It’s possible. And it’s your turn. So go for it. It’s never too late to become what you always wanted to be in the first place.”

“For a lot of people, Superman is and has always been America’s hero. He stands for what we believe is the best within us: limitless strength tempered by compassion, that can bear adversity and emerge stronger on the other side. He stands for what we all feel we would like to be able to stand for, when standing is hardest.”

“For me, growing up in a ridiculously poor family living in dead-end neighborhoods, Superman was a deeply personal icon, one that said you can do anything if you put your mind to it. What he stood for formed the core of who I wanted to be as I grew up, and informed how I view the world and my responsibilities to other people.”

“For me, there’s nothing sexier than a woman who can argue me into the ground and outsmart me… a woman who knows her own mind and isn’t afraid to speak it.”

“Growing up as a kid, we moved all over the country on a fairly frequent basis, from New Jersey to Texas, California, Illinois… we moved 21 times in my first 17 years.”

“Here’s the miracle: I grew up thinking, ‘Wouldn’t it be great to write ‘Superman’ someday? Wouldn’t it be great to create my own show, or work on ‘Lensman,’ or ‘Forbidden Planet?’ Those were very literally the goals I set for myself, the dreams that I thought I didn’t have a chance in hell of ever actually achieving. But it’s happened.”

“I also like to look at the dynamic that takes place between religion and science because, in a way, both are asking the same questions: Who are we? Where do we come from? Why are we here? Where are we going? The methodologies are diametrically opposed, but their motivation is the same; the wellspring is the same in both cases.”

“I always knew that I was going to be a writer. There was no question in my mind about that.”

“I am a control freak. I will admit that freely.”

“I am a huge zombie fan. I have probably seen the George Romero movies 100 times each, without exaggeration.”

“I can easily come up with ten really iconic stories/trade paperbacks for Superman, Batman, others… name me ten equally big, iconic Wonder Woman stories. Much harder. That ain’t the character’s fault, that isn’t sexism, that’s just not servicing the character.”

“I don’t need to write comics for a living. I have movies and TV for that. I write comics for one reason and one reason only: I love comics. I love the form, the structure, the storytelling process, I love everything about it.”

“I don’t start writing a script until I can see it all in my head, then it’s a matter of getting it down in white heat.”

“I grew up on comics and cartoons. So, as an adult, I like comics and cartoons.”

“I keep waiting for a paradigm shift to happen that will let network and studio execs see that sci-fi is the same as any other genre in terms of how you approach it – logically, character-based, with challenging ideas and forward thinking – but I worry that it might never happen in my lifetime.”

“I like writing. It’s partly control freak, and partly I really like what I do for a living. I have the luckiest job in the world. I can get up every day and do what I love for a living.”

“I sometimes find reality far more fantastical and unlikely than what I could just make up.”

“I think that we are already making steps toward mapping out the brain so we can identify the chemical patterns that create and store memory.”

“I wake up every morning knowing how ridiculously lucky I am to be able to do what I love for a living, and that sense of wonder never, ever wears off.”

“I was born in Patterson, New Jersey, and raised pretty much all around the country. My family tended to move from place to place following economic prospects and jobs and looking for new opportunities, so we changed schools, colleges, grade schools, high schools every 6 months to a year – depending on the breaks.”

“I was very clear that I wanted to keep ‘Thor’ out of the rest of the Marvel universe for no less than the first six issues. And the success of the book, I think, speaks well to that decision.”

“If a person with a bullet in Dallas can change the world, imagine a person with an idea could do.”

“If I feel that I’m not able to do my best work – whether that’s my own fault or as a result of an editorial situation – then I need to stop doing it. I would rather not do something than do it badly or ineffectively. It’s the only way I can live with myself and do right by the fans in the long haul.”

“I’m a big believer in the idea that while we are the sum of our tears, we are also the product of our choices in how we deal with those tears.”

“I’m delirious with joy. It proves that if you confront the universe with good intentions in your heart, it will reflect that and reward your intent. Usually. It just doesn’t always do it in the way you expect.”

“In every other science fiction series, humans are at the top of the food chain. In the ‘Babylon 5’ universe, they’re in the bottom third.”

“It’s been amazing to watch, because for ‘Thor’, which was always a mid-selling book, to be in the top ten for every single issue since the reboot is just a great compliment.”

“It’s really important to me to keep growing as a writer, to look for new challenges and be harshly critical of my own work in order to learn and tell better stories.”

“I’ve always been a science fiction fan since I had understood the conception of what a story was.”

“I’ve always been kind of a mutt creatively. I started off in journalism, and I’ve actually done more police and procedural shows than I’ve ever done science fiction shows. I was on ‘Murder She Wrote,’ I was on ‘Walker, Texas Ranger,’ I was on ‘Jake and the Fat Man.'”

“I’ve made a decision and now I must face the consequences.”

“I’ve written for every medium except poetry, at which I suck.”

“Life isn’t about the final moments, it’s about the journey, it’s about process. What makes ‘Rocky’ work as a movie is seeing him working his way up from the streets to the arena and the fight of his life. You could just show that fight, and it would be great, but seeing that journey illuminates that fight and adds profound meaning to it.”

“My house looks like it was decorated by a 14-year old with a platinum American Express card.”

“My philosophy: find what it is you want to say, walk in the room, say it, and get the hell out.”

“Never follow somebody else’s path; it doesn’t work the same way twice for anyone… the path follows you and rolls up behind you as you walk, forcing the next person to find their own way.”

“No dictator, no invader, can hold an imprisoned population by force of arms forever.”

“On a certain level, I don’t think there is an answer to what the American way is, because it is constantly being re-defined. It’s also been exploited and capitalized upon and politicized by one side or the other to the point that a certain degree of cynicism has attached itself to that term.”