On The Run: Interview With Paul J. Salamoff

LOGAN'S RUN: LAST DAY #4 Bluewater Productions’ vision of William F. Nolan’s Logan’s Run launched earlier this year from the creative team of writer Paul J. Salamoff and artist Daniel Gete. This series will be released in four installments of six issues each, telling Logan’s story over a total of 24 issues. The first installment, Logan’s Run: Last Day, focuses largely on the story, locations, and characters from the first Logan novel, originally published in 1967. Cosmic Book News caught up with series writer Paul J. Salamoff at the mid-point of Last Day, and discussed how he became involved with Bluewater Productions, collaborating with Logan's Run creator and best-selling author William F. Nolan, the time gap between issue releases and more. CosmicBookNews: How did you become involved with Bluewater Productions’ Logan’s Run mini-series? Paul J. Salamoff: I had already been writing a number of titles for Bluewater including Roger Corman Presents Black Scorpion, Puppy Power: Bo Obama and issues of Vincent Price Presents when they got the rights to do Logan’s Run. Darren G. Davis knew I was a huge science fiction fan and understood the type of projects that I was right for. He called me one day, told me to sit down, and offered me Logan’s Run. Needless to say, I didn’t stay seated for long. LOGAN'S RUN: LAST DAY #4 CosmicBookNews: Had you read the original novel or seen the movie prior to committing to work on this series? If so, what effect or influence did it have in your approach to this series? Paul J. Salamoff: One of my first memories as a child was seeing a double feature of Star Wars and Logan’s Run at a drive-in theater in Cape Cod, MA. I was hooked from then on. I think I’ve seen the movie well over 20 times at this point and I’ve read the series of books more than once. Being a fan had a huge influence on how I approached the material, because for me I wanted to write something that I would appreciate reading and would live up to my expectations. I think I’m harder on myself than William F. Nolan ever was. If I was going to take this on, it had to be worthwhile. I didn’t want to do what had been done before. I wanted to come at it with a fresh perspective and a modern perspective as well. CosmicBookNews: How much collaboration or interaction did you have with Logan co-creator William F. Nolan when planning and writing this series? Does he continue to be involved in the creative process as the series progresses, in either the story and/or the art? LOGAN'S RUN: LAST DAY #4 Paul J. Salamoff: The greatest single thing about working on Logan’s Run has been collaborating with William F. Nolan. He is one of the greatest science fiction authors of all time and it’s been an honor getting to work with him and getting to know him on a personal level as well. He definitely has his fingerprints all over the series, which is something I welcomed. I write the comic scripts but Nolan and fellow collaborator Jason V. Brock approve and comment on everything I write for the series as well as offer suggestions. CosmicBookNews: What liberties are you allowed with regard to fleshing out the rest of the Logan-verse? Were there certain events or characters that you wanted to modify from the original novel and were turned down? Where do you draw the line at preserving the integrity of the original story versus updating plot elements and characters’ personalities? LOGAN'S RUN: LAST DAY #4 Paul J. Salamoff: I was given a lot of creative freedom, but it was clear very early on that we were all on the same page. We knew that aspects of the story needed updating and clarifying and tonally we wanted it to be darker. More like Blade Runner. I had all three Logan books to cull from, so the story I conceived used elements from mostly the first and second books weaved through an updated structure. Ultimately the story is different in many ways from what you’ve seen or read before but still feels 100 percent like the Logan’s Run William F. Nolan and George Clayton Johnson conceived. I felt it was my duty to do this. Like I said, I’m a fan too, and if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. In regards to characters, I was very adamant about how I wanted Logan portrayed. In the film Logan is sort of a nice guy. Misguided, but his heart is in the right place, the Logan in Last Day is a killer for the system. He’s not nice at all and is very Machiavellian about his relationship with Jessica, but over the course of the story he begins to question his beliefs and starts to have legitimate feelings for her. Ultimately he kills to protect her, but like William Munny in Unforgiven, Logan is a killer. Once again this will be further explored in the later series. Speaking of Jessica, she has had the most work done character-wise. I’ve tried to make her more strong-willed and a more active character in the plot. Her journey is just as important as Logan’s and this will become even more evident in the future Logan series (especially Aftermath). The character I’m most excited about is Box. I was always a fan but felt he hasn’t been represented properly. Our Box is a far more complex character and is going to play a much more important role in the entire series. LOGAN'S RUN: LAST DAY #4 CosmicBookNews: We are now at the midpoint of the Logan’s Run: Last Day series, with issue #3 having been released in June. Will the remainder of this series continue to follow the plotlines in the first Logan novel, or are readers in for some surprises? Paul J. Salamoff: As I mentioned before, Last Day culls from the first two books, so I feel like people who know the story specifically from the movie (which is different from the book) will be surprised and people who know the books will see a different take on familiar material. CosmicBookNews: There has been a bit of a delay between recent issues of Last Day, what can you tell us about that? Yes, this is very frustrating but unfortunately the delay between #3 and #4 was beyond our control. Our incredible artist Daniel Gete and his wife had their first child a month ahead of the due date (both mother and daughter are happy and healthy). Daniel had planned on having #4 done before the baby arrived, but life has its own plans. Just know that we are committed to the entire series. Last Day is already completely written and I have already written the first two issues of Logan’s Run: Aftermath. There’s a new artist* on the series who is already hard at work, so the theory is, once Last Day wraps up with issue #6, Aftermath will begin right away and come out on a more consistent basis. I truly thank all the fans that have stuck with us and continue to do so. Please know that the series is going strong, we’ve just had a minor hiccup. CosmicBookNews: Bluewater Productions has solicited the next Logan mini-series, Logan’s Run: Aftermath. Will this and subsequent Logan mini-series follow plotlines and characters from the other Logan stories (Logan’s World, Logan’s Search, and Logan’s Return), or will these mini-series contain some original stories and plotlines? Paul J. Salamoff: Logan’s Run: Aftermathuses a tweaked version of the set-up from Logan’s Search, but by issue #3 we’re into new territory. From that point on it’s all brand new material as it races towards a conclusion that has been mapped out already for two more series beyond Aftermath. Tentatively they are called Logan’s Run: Rebirth and Logan’s Run: War, so that should give you a sense where we’re headed. Everything matters in these series. There have been things set up in Last Day that won’t pay off until Aftermath or beyond that. Characters that you might assume are minor turn out to be very important to Logan’s journey. LOGAN'S RUN: LAST DAY #4 CosmicBookNews: If the demand is there, are there any plans to expand the title beyond the initially-planned run of 24 issues? Paul J. Salamoff: I honestly don’t have an answer for that. At this point, the story has a very definitive conclusion. It’s being written as a quadrilogy, which will tell Logan’s tale. Could there be more stories to tell? Possibly, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it. If the demand is there … well, anything is possible. CosmicBookNews: Many thanks to Paul J. Salamoff for his time, and to Bluewater Productions’ President and Editor-in-Chief Darren Davis for making this interview possible. Also, congratulations go out to Daniel Gete and his wife on the birth of their daughter! Look for Logan’s Run: Last Day #4, hitting comic book stores on September 22. *Editor’s note: Bluewater Productions has informed us that the new artist’s name is Jacob Bear, who will be filling in on art chores for issues #5 and #6. Galleries of his work can be viewed on his website, http://www.bearclawstudios.com, and also at http://bearclawstudios.deviantart.com.