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Dynamite Entertainment is pairing classic Gold Key characters with some of comics hottest creators, including the all-new ongoing adventure series, Turok: Dinosaur Hunter  from superstar writer Greg Pak (Batman/Superman, World War Hulk). Interview by Robert Place Napton.

1) Greg, your first project for Dynamite was Syfy’s Battlestar Galactica. As with Battlestar, Turok is a pre-existing concept with plenty of history.  What is your approach in general to jumping into a creative sandbox and making the story your own?

I just dive in with foolhardy abandon and come up with the best story I can using the available material and hope it resonates. With both the BSG series back in the day and the Turok series now, I’ve been incredibly lucky to work with great licensors who have basically greenlit my biggest, craziest ideas. It’s been a blast — can’t wait ’til y’all see what we’re cooking up!

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2) As a follow up, Turok has a long publication history — from the 50s to the present, with some interruptions.  What influences did you draw upon for this new iteration of Turok from that vast canon of source material?

I read a bunch of the original Gold Key comics, which I loved. Huge emphasis throughout on killing and eating various prehistoric animals. Just crazy fun adventure stuff. And I read a number of more recent books, just to get a sense of what different writers and artists had done. But editor Nate Cosby gave me the green light to approach the character with a clean slate.

3) Turok is an outcast when we meet him in your version.  What was the appeal of making him a loner?  Does he have something to prove?

I didn’t really think about it too much when I came up with the idea of making Turok an outsider — it just felt right. But now that I’m rolling it around in my head, I think it’s just a classic set up for this kind of story. Shane, Wolverine, Harry Potter, Toshiro Mifune in “Seven Samurai,” Ripley in “Aliens”… there’s just something really compelling about the central character being drawn into a fight for a community that doesn’t accept him or her.

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4) Dinosaurs and Lost Worlds never seem to lose their appeal.  I’ve always thought it was because they were here first (on earth) and now they are gone, so they seem almost fantastical to humans, but we know they were real, so there’s a primal thing there.  What’s your take on your appeal?

First, dinosaurs are awesome and we all wish we could see ’em for real. Second, the more regimented and regulated and antiseptic our modern lives become, the more susceptible we become to the fantasy of escape into a primitive world. I think that’s part of the draw of both “Walking Dead” and “Lord of the Rings,” in a funny way. The characters in both of those worlds are constantly under threat — but they’re fighting concrete things that can be defeated with enough grit and smarts and physical effort. In everyday life, we face terrible bureaucratic snarls that can be more deadly than any dragon — but we can’t just draw a sword and hack off the monster’s head. Lost World stories put us in a place where we CAN fantasize about fighting our way through, and that can be a very attractive fantasy.

5) Lastly, I have to end on a fun note.  Turok versus the Hulk.  You know them both VERY well, how do you see that match up?

Turok, obviously. On sale February 5! 😉

Thanks, Greg!

Thank you!

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