Interview: Ron Garney

BookGateway (Scott Asher and David Mason) had a chance at Comic Con Nashville for a quick interview with Ron Garney one of the most iconic artists in comics since the 90s. From Wikipedia: Ron Garney is a comic book writer/artist, known for his work on books such as JLA,The Amazing Spider-Man, Silver Surfer, Hulk, Daredevil and Captain America. Garney has worked on JLA,The Amazing Spider-Man, Daredevil, Ghost Rider volume 3, Wolverine, Captain America, X-Men, Silver Surfer and Hulk. He has also written for Hulk in collaboration with Jerry Ordway. I’d like to ask you about a couple of your older runs. Captain America with Mark Waid (1995-1996). Did you guys know when it changed over to Heroes Reborn… did you know that was coming?

Ron Garney: No. It was a… it was a surprise to both of us. We were um in the middle of a run and it was going really well and we both got a call from the editor and he told us that the book was leaving house to Rob Liefeld. So we were pretty shocked.

cap445BG: After that run, you guys came back for a few more for Heroes Return (1998).

RG: Yep.

BG: That lasted like 4 or 5 issues with you.

RG: Yeah that lasted like 4 or 5 issues then they wanted to start the new book Sentinel of Liberty (1998).

BG: You wrote that and drew that, right?

RG: I helped. It was [a collaboration.] But um, yeah, after that I went from Cap to Silver Surfer (#123 cover) to Heroes Return. Then to Sentinel of Liberty. I can’t remember what I did after that. It’s been a long career.

BG: That sorta segues to another question. You’ve had a very long career – right now it’s Uncanny X-Force (2013), I believe –

thorRG: I did Uncanny X-Force then I did Thor, God of Thunder (2012). Now I’m working on a creator owned with Jason Aaron, Men of Wrath (2014).

BG: Through Icon?

RG: Through Icon. It’s the first book they’ve put out in a while. So we’re excited about it. It comes out in October.

BG: What would you credit to your longevity in the business. You don’t see guys in the business like that. You’ve been on some big books throughout your career.

RG: That’s a great question. Um, You know just persevering and grinding it out you know? I think you get a reputation for being pretty dependable. Within reason. It’s a hard industry to be dependable in.

BG: You seeing that more and more? Not meeting deadlines?

Uncanny_X-Force_Vol_2_1_Garney_VariantRG: You know, I mean, to be really excellent like a lot of these guys are it takes time. God bless John Buscema, you know. For a guy like that who can draw as well as he can. No, it’s much more developed sensibility now than it was back in the 70s. Or the 60s. So I think artists are artists and they tend to do their thing. There is a certain type. I am fortunate that I’m a… can be a workhorse if I have to be. So that’s probably why. And I’ve also been successful, like with Cap. You have a successful run like that, you know, it lasts a career. People remember you for that. They appreciate it so they give you other opportunities that other people might not necessarily get.

BG: Another run you did with J. Michael Straczynski on was on Spider-Man (2006). That also happened to be right before they made a big change. Is that something you knew was coming? With One More Day (2007-2008) and all the changes?

RG: As far as changing the marriage and the Mephisto thing? I didn’t know about that either.

mofwBG: How was that working with J. Michael Straczynski?

RG: Honestly, to be perfectly frank, I couldn’t tell you because I didn’t speak to him once. I have my personal opinions about that that I’ll keep off record. We’ve never spoken.

BG: So what’s Men of Wrath about?

RG: It follows a lineage of hit men back to this old farmer, sheep farmer, who ends up accidentally mixing his sheep with another farmer and they get in an argument about it and this guy Wrath stabs the other farmer in the neck. Just over the argument. His little kid is watching, his son, and it starts a succession of violence through the generations and it ends up where we end up with this hit man in the mafia in modern day is sick and ultimately contracts a hit on his own son. So the story goes from there. We learn the history fo all this and all the incidences that led to this being just a complete bastard and wanting to kill his own kid.

BG: Limited run or a series?

RG: Five issues. It was a story Jason wanted to tell and he asked me if I’d be interested. When he told me the story it appealed to me because it wasn’t superhero. It’s more real. I’ve been doing superheroes for so long I felt like I wanted to do a real movie in a comic book, you know? Not just the superhero thing. Something like Road to Perdition (1998)…

BG: Image Skybound has a whole mess of books that are not superheroes, like Thief of Thieves and so on where it’s basically like a movie. I think they’re going for that…

RG: That’s kinda what we’re doing. I’m enjoying it.

BG: It’s exciting. Aaron’s on a big roll right now.

RG: It’s a good time to be friends with Jason Aaron.

BG: Thank you for your time!

RG: I appreciate it.

RAW audio of Ron Garney interview with (Scott Asher, David Mason) 9/27/14. (c) / Scott Asher. Attribution Required.

@ashertopia is the Managing Editor of He is an avid reader and a lifetime learner. His favorite genres include science fiction, fantasy, as well as theology and Christian living. His personal blog is AshertopiA – a land flowing with milk and honey… and a lot of sticky people.

David Mason has been a comics aficionado since the late 80s and is passionate about the creators in the industry. David, his wife and six kids live in in Middle Tennessee. He loves Jesus and was wet t-shirt contest winner at Smyrna High School in back to back years (1997, 1998).