ComicsVerse spoke with Warren Simons at New York Comic Con 2017! The editor and chief of Valiant Entertainment discusses the companies’ titles!

This transcript has been edited for clarity.

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ComicsVerse: ComicsVerse is here at New York Comic Con 2017, at Valiant Entertainment, here with the chief editor. Am I correct?
Interviewee: Editor and chief.
ComicsVerse: Editor and chief. I got it wrong. We’re here to talk about-
Interviewee: Chief editor works also.
ComicsVerse: Chief editor? It sounds a little cooler, doesn’t it?
Warren Simons: Chief editor’s pretty cool.
ComicsVerse: We’re here to talk about Harbinger event, Faith, Bloodshot. You guys have got a lot going on, especially in the last couple months.
Warren Simons: Yes.
ComicsVerse: Is there anything you like to touch on before we get into the questions?
Warren Simons: We’ve got Harbinger Wars 2 coming out in May of 2018. It’s going to be not for a little while, but we’re pretty excited about that. We’ve got Eric Heisserer who wrote the Arrival movie last year, which is nominated for Academy Award. He’s going to be writing it for us, along with Matt Kindt who’d launched X-O Manowar for us. We’ve got two killer artists here, Raul Allen and Tomás Giorello. So, we’re pretty excited about that. We think it’s going to be a hell of a lot of fun.
ComicsVerse: Now, events are usually big for publishers obviously. It gives you buzz. It gets everyone excited. Why are you guys so excited about the second Harbinger event?
Warren Simons: Well, this is going to be a event unlike any that we’ve ever done before. That way that we’re looking at it is it’s a little bit like a world war where you’ll have multiple battles occurring on multiple fronts. It’s not going to be your classically structured event, which possibly has been done to depth to a certain extent. We have a bunch of characters and [crosforeshurs 00:01:31] that get together and [inaudible 00:01:32] for five or six, however long it is. They team up to either fight each other or defeat the bad guy. This would be a little bit of a different thing, where hopefully, a realistic kind of depiction of what a war might be and where we’ll have a Russian front and maybe a far east front and maybe a front in Africa. So, something which is really more about the realism of what a battle might encompass. Something along those lines as opposed to a traditional event, which these days seems to be done to depth for to pump numbers. We’re not doing that. We just feel like it’s a good natural storeroom we’ve arrived in. So, we’re pretty excited.
ComicsVerse: Now, who’s the big creative lead on this project and how much are the product or project is actually finished or is it just ready to go to publishing now? You guys are just waiting?
Warren Simons: Well, we’ve been architecting it really over the past six to 12 months. We’ve been seeding it throughout books like Bloodshot U.S.A. which is written by Jeff Lemire; Secret Weapons, which is written by Eric; X-O Manowar, which is written by Matt. So, the universe is kind of moving towards a certain point. That point will be Harbinger Wars, which will feature characters like Peter Stanchek, X-O Manowar, Ninjak, Bloodshot, Livewire, the Secret Weapons kid. So, a lot of our universe will be involved.
ComicsVerse: How much of your universe will be affected after Harbinger Wars? Is it something that’s kind of more of like a what-if story, or it will have direct consequences afterwards?
Warren Simons: This will have direct consequences. This is going to have a major impact on the universe. What I’d say right now is that everything that comes after this point will be much different than everything that came before certainly.
ComicsVerse: Now, you have a lot of other books here. Harbinger War is a big event coming up. Bloodshot’s about to go to the movies. Faith is doing well.
Warren Simons: Gangbusters.
ComicsVerse: Yes. Manowar. I mean, you guys got a lot going. How exciting it is for you to be a part of Valiant as they’ve kind of … I don’t want to say, Blown up,” because that’s the wrong terms, but have you got a lot going on in a very short period of time?
Warren Simons: Yeah. It’s been great. I’ve been in Valiant since 2011, about six years, seven years at this point in time. It’s really fantastic to see this stuff. It’s really fantastic to watch a script become art, to watch the get published to become a comic, to watch the comic get collected into a trade. It’s really great to see this stuff become action figures.
ComicsVerse: Like Bloodshot Bear.
Warren Simons: So really awesome to watch it become pins. Stuff like this. It’s crazy every time you see something like this. It’s crazy when they turn into toys and you’re watching something that you’ve helped play a role in designing and building, become a three-dimensional thing. It’s great to watch it become things, like translate into other media. It’s wonderful. It’s a lot of fun. It’s a joy.
ComicsVerse: You have obviously the web series. A bunch of series are getting looked at as actual film titles. What’s it like as a creator to have taken part of that and what do you hope to accomplish after the fact? Because, obviously, Marvel, DC, those are the big head honchos in that area. What’s it like for you? What are your goals essentially? That’s I guess what I’m trying to get at. What are your goals moving forward?
Warren Simons: You know what? I think our goal is simply just to tell good stories every single month in comics. Month in, month out. I think if we do that everything else will fall into place. I think if we take our eye off of that, then we risk everything. I think if we keep focusing on that and just make good comics and month in, month out, and not be satisfied with the comics we’ve done but keep trying to improve every month to work with the best creators in the industry. I think if we do that we’ll be in good shape.
ComicsVerse: Do you have a favorite series through Valiant right now? If you had to pick one? Are you just happy with happy everything?
Warren Simons: They’re all my children. I love them all equally. I’m really proud of X-O Manowar, which we just launched about seven months. I think Matt and Tomas have done a fantastic job on that. I’m really proud of Secret Weapons. I think that that’s a fantastic one. Faith and the Future Force I think is great. I’m really proud of all of them. There’s something that I could look at in every book and feel happy about it. It having coming out and the work that we’ve done, the creators have done on it. So, I feel like a proud father.
ComicsVerse: So, as a proud father to close out, well say, how much of a hand do you have in each project and the vision as a whole, or do you kind of let the artist do their thing? You say, This is the blueprint. You make it happen,” or you kind of let everyone navigate a little. Give little pushes.
Warren Simons: I think that we hire our creators to create. We want to capture their voices on the page. We’re not hiring them to execute something that we tell them to do. By the same token we like collaboration. We like creators who want to work with us. We don’t like things that are delivered in stone. So, it’s a process, but over time I think that the most important thing is just to have clear collaboration with the creators to be open and to be honest and just we all have the same goal, which to make the best comic possible. I think when you start off in that place, generally you attract the best talent. I feel like we got some of the best talent, if not the best talent in the industry. So, we’re really proud of what we put together.
ComicsVerse: Well, we appreciate your time.
Warren Simons: Of course. It’s my pleasure.
ComicsVerse: We appreciate Valiant’s time. We got a lot to look forward to in the next year. Don’t miss out on Harbinger Wars 2 as well as all the other mediums that Valiant’s going to be taking over the next couple years.
Warren Simons: Next couple of years.
ComicsVerse: So, you can find ComicsVerse everywhere on the web. Every social media handle. Just look up ComicsVerse, Thank you.

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