RICH INTERVIEWS: Lou Mougin Writer for Flare: The Anthology

First Comics News: What inspired you to become a writer?

Lou Mougin: Reading! Watching TV! Listening to stories my mama told me. Stories are a primal form of communication among human beings. I’m proud to contribute what I have.

1st: What as your first published story?

Lou: Possibly “Family Ties” in AIRBOY #38-40 (1988). Len Wein rewrote them from my plots. The first completely-scripted-by-me story to be pubbed, I think, was the INHUMANS SPECIAL in 1990.

1st: What about the character Flare do you like?

Lou: Besides the fact that I get paid to write her? She’s sexy, she’s funny, and she’s heroic. She also tends to leave a great impression in readers’ minds. A supermodel superheroine makes for great copy…kinda like Millie the Model with superpowers!

1st: Do you prefer writing a prose book to a comic book?

Lou: They both have equal appeal. With a prose book, you don’t have to depend on anyone else for the story, except, of course, the publisher. With a comic, you’re just one component in the machine, but it’s always a thrill seeing what the artist does with what you give to them!

1st: Who is the villain Flare faces in your story in “Flare: The Anthology”?

Lou: That…would be telling. But she faces three of them!

When writing Flare what personality do you give to her?

Lou: Sexy, funny, and tough. Flare knows about her strengths and doesn’t mind playing to them. But she understandably gets fed up when people impose on her, and there’s no lack of that in this story!

1st: Are there any other characters from Heroic Publishing you would like to work with?

Lou: I have worked with a lot of them. My fave is still Sparkplug, who I wrote for 2 stories and a mini-series. Olga has a lot of depth. But I’ve written a couple of League of Champions stories, and there’s much more that’s still in the offing. We’ll have more for you soon!

1st: You worked on “Inhumans: By Right Of Birth” what was the story about?

Lou: Actually, I didn’t work on “By Right of Birth”, but my story ended up being bundled in with that one in an anthology. Rich Howell and I put together a series of stories originally intended for WHAT IF?, but later collected into the INHUMANS SPECIAL. The stories fit in just before FANTASTIC FOUR #36 and just after #48. We found out how Maximus stole the throne of Attilan from Black Bolt for several years, how the Inhuman Royal Family sought out an amnesiac Medusa, and what happened in the Great Refuge just after they were trapped within the negative barrier. It was a lot of fun.

1st: You wrote the Swordsman’s origin, how did you come up with his circus ties?

Lou: Actually, the circus ties (which figure into Hawkeye’s origin) weren’t part of my story. I was looking for another story to pitch to Marvel, and Mark Gruenwald, God rest him, was taking stuff for AVENGERS SPOTLIGHT. I thought of the Swordsman because (1) he never had an origin, and (2) he was dead, so I didn’t have to bone up on the last x-number of years of Marvel comics!

With the Swordsman, I had to put together what few clues we had to his origin: that he could speak French, that he was wanted by a whole buncha countries, and that, in the past, men had died at his hands. I also wanted to do an anti-Communist story, but not a stupid anti-communist story; you had to know why a man would want to follow that path. Anyway, Mark liked it, Tom DeFalco liked it, Don Heck (who drew it) liked it, and even Stan Lee said he liked it when I gave him a copy. It’s still possibly my favorite comic story.

1st: What does an Encyclopedic chronicler of Marvel Comics do?

Lou: When I was one, I reviewed George Olshevsky’s Marvel Indexes for errors, by his request. It was a lot of fun. Later I wrote or co-wrote DC indexes for Murray Ward. The biggest sellers were the CRISIS INDEX and the CRISIS CROSSOVER INDEX, which Mark Waid and I did together.

1st: You wrote for “The Creeps” what story of yours appears in it and which issue?

Lou: It’s called “Monster Hunt” and it’s in issue #9, out probably by the time anybody reads it. The art on that thing is superb. Everybody go out and buy a copy and write them if you like it!

1st: Would you like to do more work for “The Creeps” magazine?

Lou: You bet! I’m also writing for Lucky Comics on BEETLE GIRL and a secret project or two and I’ve had a couple of stories pubbed so far in CHARLTON ARROW #1 and 4. FORBIDDEN GALLERY #1 has another tale of mine. For Empire Comics I’ve had a short vampire story in a CEMETERY PLOTS ashcan, and a couple of eps of DR. SEVEN online, In prose, I’ve had my first book, a Frankenstein tale called MONSTER IN THE MANSIONS, published by Pro Se. One of my short stories, featuring Joe the hardboiled detective computer, appeared in LEGENDS OF NEW PULP FICTION. Both of those are on Amazon. The latter will also serve as a great doorstop. There’s a lot more coming up but we’ll have to wait for it.

1st: How do you send any free time you get?

Lou: Messing about on the computer, hanging out with friends, listening to music, catching up on movies.

1st: What would you like to say to the readers who enjoy your stories?

Lou: Thanks! And keep buying them, pals!

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