I’ve got a special treat for you Poesters this week. Comic scribe extraordinaire Geoff Johns, the writer behind DC Comics’s mega-popular Blackest Night storyline, has graciously agreed to answer a few questions for my little toy blog. Read on to find out which toys Geoff loved as a kid, what he collects now, and what’s it like having figures made of your own characters.
Real Name: Geoff Johns
Specialty: Comic book writer, toy collector
Base of Operations: www.geoffjohns.com
History: Geoff Johns originally hails from Detroit, Michigan. He attended Michigan State University, where he earned a degree in Media Arts and Film. He moved to Los Angeles in the late 1990’s in search of work within the film industry. Through perseverance, Geoff ended up as the assistant to Richard Donner, working on Conspiracy Theory and Lethal Weapon 4. During that time, he also began his comics career writing Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E. and JSA (co-written with David S. Goyer) for DC Coimcs. He worked with Richard Donner for four years, leaving the company to pursue writing full-time. His first comics assignments led to a critically acclaimed five-year run on the The Flash. Since then, he has quickly become one of the most popular and prolific comics writers today, working on such titles including a highly successful re-imagining of Green Lantern, Action Comics (co-written with Richard Donner), Teen Titans, Justice Society of America, Infinite Crisis and the experimental breakout hit series 52 for DC with Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka and Mark Waid.
1.) What were some of your favorite toys growing up?
Super Powers, He-Man and the early McFarlane figures. I remember pouring over the He-Man characters because their backstories were so unique and the diversity was amazing (except that Moss Man was Beast Man only green and fuzzy). I vaguely remember the Remco Universal Monsters figures, which I loved. I had always been a big fan of the Universal Monsters so those were great. I also always wanted the vinyl Monster Cereal figures, but I never had them. I think Badrock was well-loved when I was a kid because there was so much plastic.
2.) What toy lines do you collect these days, if any?
I mostly collect Mattel and DC Direct. All the DC figures. I also have started getting those lead figurines of the DC characters. Those are amazing, but I guess they aren’t really toys. My current favorite figure is Saint Walker from the Blackest Night line, but I am biased.
3.) What are some of the prize items of your collection?
The bendable animated Clayface, the new Fakor those 13″ Flash and GL figures, Mattel’s animated Stargirl figure (I want a S.T.R.I.P.E.!) and, though not a toy, most recently the multi-colored ring display from DC Direct. Also the San Diego Comic Con exclusives from Mattel and DC Direct.
4.) What’s it like seeing some of your own creations come to life as action figures–for example, as part of DC Direct’s Blackest Night line?
When the figures are that good, as is the case of Blackest Night, is the best thing in the world. DC Direct did an unbelievable job. And Mattel just started doing the Sinestro Corps with Romat-Ru and Karu-Sil. Those are fantastic figures. I am waiting for them to tackle the other Corps.
5.) Is there any toy property you’d love to have a crack at writing a comic book for?
He-Man. That’s about the only one.