Walt Simonson on the Origins of Beta Ray Bill
Legendary creator Walt Simonson spoke with i09 on about the fan-favorite Korbinite, Beta Ray Bill, who first appeared in Thor #337.
Simonson comments on creating the character and offers up some very interesting insights.
For one, Thor wasn't selling too good and was on the verge of cancelation. When Simonson presented his ideas to editor Mark Gruenwald, Gru gave it the go.
"Editorially, it was not a problem at all. My editor, the late Mark Gruenwald, was a good guy and offered Thor without conditions. The book wasn't selling very well — I heard it was in danger of cancelation, but I don't know if that was true. The good part about that was that Mark said, 'Do whatever you want. We'll support it. Just go for it.'"
And what Simonson did was base the new character off the design of a "bad guy."
"Every month was your chapter, so writers took a number of shortcuts to get their stories across as quickly as possible. One of those shortcuts was simple –- mostly, 'bad guys are ugly and bad girls don't wear a lot of clothing,'" Simonson told i09. "I thought it would be kind of fun to put this on its head. When I designed Bill, I made him look like a monster.."
Simonson continues, noting that the design for Beta Ray was based off a horse's skull, and explains just where he got the idea.