• Interview - Duncan Rouleau

    Artist and co-writer for Alpha Flight volume 2 - #12 to #20 spoke with AlphaFlight.net shortly after the series was Canceled.

    First, let me thank you for coming, I'm quite looking forward to this. I'll start off with more general questions, and we can narrow it down from there

    Duncan Rouleau: Sounds good

    AlphaFlight.net: I know that you and Steven Seagle have worked together on other books before, with Dark Horse. Tell me a bit about that.

    Duncan Rouleau: We came up with several predator story lines that have appeared in D.H.P. Steve and I had wanted to work with each other for quiet some time. That was our first opportunity.

    AlphaFlight.net: Is that what lead you to Alpha Flight?

    Duncan Rouleau: Actually, I was going to start with issue one of the second volume, but my commitments on X-Factor got in the way.

    AlphaFlight.net: Who is your favorite Alphan (both to draw and as a character)?

    Duncan Rouleau: I love drawing Puck, but as a character Flex has proven to be quiet entertaining...the more character related moments.

    AlphaFlight.net: Duncan, how did it feel to take over for Scott Clark, considering the Alpha Relaunch was first started by him? What was your goal as far as "fixing" up the consistency in the art?

    Duncan Rouleau: I took it as a challenge. Steve and I had a lot of interesting stories and characters we wanted to explore. Consistency, real character development, quiet moments, and a real sense of place i felt where all missing. Steve had these wonderful plots within plots, but the art wasn't supporting the intricacies. Not only providing consistent art, but providing it consistently.
    I've always loved these characters ever since John Byrne first brought them to life.

    AlphaFlight.net: I know that the fans were glad to see a regular artist with talent come in. Especially since Clark wasn't that reliable on deadlines.

    AlphaFlight.net: How did you feel coming into the series?

    Duncan Rouleau: I was happy. I was working on character's I thought i had something to say about.

    AlphaFlight.net: This is a bit out of context, but why the handle-bar mustache look for Puck?

    Duncan Rouleau: I saw him as a gentleman's grappler, like the old bare fisted boxers of the twenties...a John L. Sullivan type. They had those wonderful moustaches...lots of character, but still tough.

    AlphaFlight.net: But more seriously, concerning some of the changes you did make, what were your motivations on the costumes, ect. Was any of this due to fan feedback, or more a matter of making them more your style?

    Duncan Rouleau: A little of both that details, like Puck's cauliflower ear to heather's glasses are important. That, they are what make the book unique. Fan's were complaining and rightfully so. That was my first rule of order. Other changes came with time and settling into the "books look."

    AlphaFlight.net: Personally I love the changes you made on Heather's costume, as well as puck's arm bands and gloves.

    Duncan Rouleau: Thanks. I thought that Heather's outfit didn't look like a uniform enough. Her arm bands are meant to look like gauntlets but still keep a little of what Scott has started. Puck and Radius were my next challenges. When I say uniform, I mean military.

    AlphaFlight.net: I'm glad to see you got rid of Radius' silly jacket

    Duncan Rouleau: I hated that too. He's a tough guy. He likes to show off his muscles.

    AlphaFlight.net: I just have to ask you about #17. I know that many fans didn't get the full value of this issue. You guys showed some really strong satire, and are poking fun at several things at once. What was the true goal of this issue.

    Duncan Rouleau: Big Hero Six is a whole bag of stories. They were originally supposed to be introduced much like Alpha Flight was introduced in the old X men books, they were going to come in and try to forcibly take SunFire away. Like Alpha to Wolverine.

    AlphaFlight.net: Now I guess it's time to talk about what every one want's to hear. The cancellation. How were you guys told of the cancellation of Alpha? How did you react?

    Duncan Rouleau: Cancellation. I was sad. I didn't think that we were given enough time to "re-establish" the book. It was short sighted of Marvel. Personally the book is just starting to come to the place that Steve and I wanted to take it. We had another year of plans at least.

    AlphaFlight.net: I know that in the fan base, the feeling is strong that it would have made more sense for Marvel to spend a little extra money promoting it, or advertising it. They do lots for the X-titles. And Deadpool month saved it.

    Duncan Rouleau: I couldn't agree more. Steve and i were both willing to do what extra work it would've taken to properly promote the book. Once again I'm not sure that all the decisions being made at Marvel these days are fan based, more bottom line...Deadpool is an excellent example. Joe is doing great work, and the Deadpool month has kept it from the cutting block for now. I wish ( and not from our lack of asking) Alpha Flight was given the same chance.

    AlphaFlight.net: Do you think that your long term plans for the book will ever be used?

    Duncan Rouleau: Well, with so many mysteries still "unresolved" I would think they'd have to...if they ever plan on re launching the book. Steve and I didn't want to shove a bunch of pat answers in at the last minute. We felt that some mysteries could float for a while.

    AlphaFlight.net: Would you return to Alpha Flight if Marvel re-activates the title again sometime down the line?

    Duncan Rouleau: If it was with Steve...Yes

    AlphaFlight.net: Do you think Steve would return? I know he must be a little upset with Marvel by now.

    Duncan Rouleau: You know...you'd have to ask Steve that. My feeling is this. If we were asked to re launch the book...the problems that he is experiencing right now... would be gone...So, he might consider that if the climate was right.

    AlphaFlight.net: How were you guys told of the cancellation of Alpha? How did you react?

    Duncan Rouleau: Jaye (Gardner) called us. He said that the book was going to be canceled at #18, but when we told him the plans for weapon x, and some of the resolves, and quiet frankly fan response to the changes...we were given until issue 20. We knew that this thirty five thousand cut off line was going to be implemented, so it wasn't a huge surprise, but it was very disheartening

    AlphaFlight.net: Duncan, you mentioned to me earlier the chance of a special issue coming out later on to clear up some loose ends. How are the chances looking for this?

    Duncan Rouleau: Well, like a said the firings that happen several weeks ago really changed the landscape of things. Jaye was talking about the annual with us. Jaye is no longer there. Chances...in the near future...look grim.

    AlphaFlight.net: That's a shame, we fans might be left hanging for a long time. And who knows how these loose ends could be perverted by other writers in other books.

    Duncan Rouleau: Believe me when i say to you. Both Steve and I feel them same way.

    AlphaFlight.net: The fans on the Internet, spearhead by Seng Mah, along with the Alpha Waves mailing list have set up a large "Save Alpha" undertaking. Did Marvel acknowledge this in any way? Did they even notice?

    Duncan Rouleau: They do listen, but with so many changes over there you have to ask yourself who's hearing. Bob Harras is the person that needs to be talked to the most, and told to listen. By the way thanks Seng Mah.

    AlphaFlight.net: Now everyone wants to know what you were planning for Alpha after #20. Could you give us a little insight into what we are missing?

    Duncan Rouleau: I don't want to spoil any of the surprises that are coming up in the final issues. This is a promise after twenty hits the stands...I'll tell all.

    AlphaFlight.net: I'll look forward to it.

    Duncan Rouleau: Steve and I still care about giving people the best ride for their buck. Not knowing it until it happens keeps the ride all that more interesting.

    AlphaFlight.net: Do you see any chance for the series to start up again further down the road?

    Duncan Rouleau: Starting up further down the road? Sure.

    AlphaFlight.net: But the question is "how much further?"

    Duncan Rouleau: This is my bet, but it is only a bet. End of next year.

    AlphaFlight.net: Really? is this just an educated guess, or do you have any leads?

    Duncan Rouleau: Really more an educated guess than anything.

    AlphaFlight.net: What will you personally miss most about Alpha Flight?

    Duncan Rouleau: I love these characters. I love the mysteries of Department H. Both Steve and I enjoyed making the building and it's business as much a "character" as New York is to SpiderMan. But I also like heroes and that's what these guys, and girls are. There's not enough of that in comics these days.

    AlphaFlight.net: So do you have any words you would like passed on the fans on the list, and through out the net?

    Duncan Rouleau: I believe I'd be speaking for both I and Steve in saying Thanks for all the discussion, both pro and negative...it's what makes good comics better. I hope we've added a little to the Alpha Flight lore.

    AlphaFlight.net: That you did, and fans around the world are grateful. It has been said many times that the work you guys have done was by far the best since Byrne.

    Duncan Rouleau: Well, I don't know about that, but that's praise indeed.

    AlphaFlight.net: Well, I thank you for giving me this chance to speak with you. It was a real blast, and maybe we can do it again sometime. And hopefully Steve could join us

    Duncan Rouleau: Yea. It was real, I had blast too. Keep in touch.
    Comments 1 Comment
    1. Flightpath07's Avatar
      Flightpath07 -
      Cool. Love to read this stuff!