Bill Williams talks about MARY MIRACLE
I saw the Exciting Comics cover with Mary Miracle and I couldn’t help noticing the strong resemblance to Mary Marvel. I contacted Mary Miracle writer Bill Williams and he was nice enough to stop by First Comics News to let our readers know all about Mary Miracle.
First Comics News: Is the Mary Miracle story in Exciting Comics an origin tale?
Bill Williams: Our two-page story in Exciting Comics #3 has an origin. Let me use the occasion of your question to tell that story.
I travel to the weekly Antarctic Press meetings every so often. The guys in the office like our Punchline comic. Touching base in person opens opportunities. Our FCBD Punchline comic happened in part because I was there when the promotion was discussed. After one formal meeting, Brian Denham approached me about contributing to their public domain heroes anthology. We had a sole focus on Punchline at the time. I told him that I have no interest in writing a Black Terror comic and that Dynamite has a pretty good grip on that end of the spandex publishing world. In the ongoing discussion, someone said that Mary Marvel was in public domain. That person was wrong.
My understanding is that when Fawcett went away, no one was around to do maintenance on their legal documents. While some of those Marvel Family stories may have fallen into public domain, DC Comics owns Mary Marvel. She’s in the comics, the movies, and if they still made the hard metal lunch boxes anymore, she’d probably be on one of those.
But the thought of a hero who does not hate her job stuck with me. I decided to try to write as short a story as possible. Our story is one long scene with our Mary escaping a deathtrap. It runs two pages, seven panels in all.
The Antarctic Press guys liked the story and the cover we created for the issue, the one that became the variant.
1st: Is Mary Miracle, Mary Bateson?
Bill: As far as I know, Mary has no other identity. She’s just Mary all of the time. Much like people who dive into their jobs one hundred percent, Mary is always herself, doing her job. For most costumed heroes, the secret identities are holdovers from an earlier age and an excuse to insert domestic drama in between fight scenes.
1st: Does she have a brother?
Bill: Not as far as I know. My first focus is writing a good entertaining story. I tend to build the world as the project goes along. Much like Mel from the Punchline comic, Mary has been a hero for a very long time. Other non-heroic family members she might have had once would be long gone by now.
1st: Does she say a magic word to become Mary Miracle?
Bill: Mary is always Mary. She does not undergo a transformation. There is no extended Miracle family. There’s no cave with leering statuary. Mary is not powered as an afterthought of six random deities.
1st: How many pages?
Bill: The story in Exciting Comics runs two pages.
Because the guys at AP loved what we did, I wrote a first issue with Mary. It’s in that story where her environment is fully fleshed out. Mary protects books, so in one sense, she is a librarian. Mary is charged with protecting a very old library from internal and external threats. In the first issue, she chases a villain that has escaped from a book and bumps into characters originally introduced in Punchline. She fights a misguided Lancelot du Lac. She also invades a favorite book of mine and fights a pirate.
1st: Will this be ongoing or just issue 3?
Bill: I really like that first issue I just described. If we get a good reaction, we’ll probably see a green light on that comic. Then it starts lurching to the shelves and who knows how long that takes or even if it hits the page right. Matthew Weldon will not be drawing the continuing adventures of Mary, so that will complicate the process.
Bill: The two-page story was a stunt, a pop quiz. Any Mary stories going forward will be of a more standard length. That first issue runs about twenty pages and it’s packed with fun and guest-stars.
I may write a shorter back-up story for the ongoing Punchline comic, but I don’t quite have the right story for that.
1st: Is there a Captain Miracle?
Bill: Mary is a solo act. If she decided to give herself a rank besides Doctor, maybe she would be the Captain. Sounds better than General Miracle.
1st: What makes Mary Miracle’s story so compelling it’s worth the price of the entire comic alone?
Bill: You’ve put your finger on the problem with many anthologies. For every feature you love, there might be one that just doesn’t connect with you.
But every dollar is a little vote. We hope that people will try Exciting Comics #3 and be moved by the Mary Miracle short story so we can expand that corner of the comic book world.https://www.firstcomicsnews.com/bill-williams-talks-about-mary-miracle/https://www.firstcomicsnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Exciting-Comics-logo-600x257.pnghttps://www.firstcomicsnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Exciting-Comics-logo-150x64.pngInterviewsTalking About...about,miracle,talks,williams