Nolan Bensen
Nolan Bensen
: New York, NY USA: nzbensen@gmail.com: http://columbia.academia.edu/NolanBensen

What is your favorite comic book and why?
My favorite comic is probably the first volume of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

If you could have one superpower what would it be?
For a super power I choose … either the ability to go back in time and inhabit my former self, or to see the future. It amounts to much the same thing.

Which comic makes you happy?
Squirrel Girl and Cartoon History of the Universe make me happy. Most comics I like are tragic, darkly comic, or awe-inspiring though – not altogether very happy.

Which comic character do you most admire?
I admire Uncle Ben a lot. Hank McCoy, Wilhelmina Harker née Murray, and V are also pretty inspiring.

Which comic character do you most despise?
I always feel like the villain makes or breaks a piece of fiction, and relish a story with a good villain. So I never really despise them. That said, Sebastian Shaw is pretty despicable for pretending to protect mutants from the sentinels while secretly funding them. But he’s also fun to read, and kind of a good leader. So it’s hard to despise him, right?

What is the quality you most like in a creator (writer or artist)?
J. Michael Straczinsky exemplifies my ideal creator, both for his TV show Babylon 5 and for his run on Amazing Spider-Man, which tried to do what comics can never do: to have everything planned out from the very beginning.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
I say “crucial,” which I first heard from a DC crust punk and his usage of it made me laugh out loud for a full minute. There was a time in my life when I would quote The Dude in response to almost everything, saying, “That’s fucking interesting man …” I even had to watch myself around extended family.

Which comic book character would you most easily fall in love with?
Squirrel Girl? I don’t think our personalities would mesh though. Honestly, I have no idea. Maybe Shae from the comics based on A Song of Ice & Fire. But that’s cheating.

Which creator talent would you most like to have?
Well I wanted to be an illustrator when I was in high school, so let’s say … John Romita Jr.

What fictional universe would you most like to live?
Me as I am? Star Trek. Me if I were like an adventure-having badass? Hard to say. Maybe something with pirates. Marvel 1602? Spelljammer?

What comic is your most treasured possession?
I guess it must be one of my IDW Star Trek omnibuses. Hard to say which one though. Probably the Next Gen one.

What do you most value in your friends?
Humility and curiosity.

Who are your favorite writers?
Aside from JMS, George RR Martin, William Gibson, Iain Banks, DC Fontana, Kim Stanley Robinson, Michael Chabon, David Foster Wallace, and a bunch of academics. Wait was this supposed to be comic book writers?

Who is your hero of comic book fiction?
Spider-Man, gotta be Spider-Man.

Which comic book figure do you most identify with?
Same as the last answer, but also Beast – part of the reason I admire him.

Who are your heroes in real life?
Some of these writers for sure, also Noam Chomsky and this guy: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vasili_Arkhipov.

What is the comic book that you most dislike?
I’ve never really read one that I hated. Maybe the Clone Saga in Spider-Man? I do think there are way too many Star Wars comics out there, so probably one of those. Or maybe some kind of Marmaduke collection? (Edit: I just learned that there over 20 Marmaduke collections.)

What comic storyline would you most like to change?
Hmm I’d kind of like to see the concept of time travel not have ever been introduced to X-Men. That or I wish LXG had gone differently in various ways, starting from a certain moment in the second volume that I can’t reveal, except to warn you that it’s triggering.

Which comic book character do you think should die a permanent non-comic book death?
Jean Grey. And Scott while they’re at it.

What is your personal motto?
I’ll go with Radioactive Man’s, as mispronounced by Rainier Wolfcastle: http://youtu.be/457nGTf4fsQ

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