Great, great interview celebrating the thirty-fifth anniversary of a great book. I especially like this bit:
If you can’t create characters who can make a resonant point, a relevant point, then what the fuck? What is the point of doing the series? Anyone can write superhero adventures about mass quantities of people punching the living daylights out of each other.
If a story is to have resonance, if a story is to be worth the time and effort it takes to create it and then the time and effort it takes to read it or earn the money to buy the book and then read it, then it ought to have a payback.
I’m 34, just about as old as the book. And I really find it fascinating that you all were referencing your own realities and the discrimination you saw — things that I wasn’t old enough to comprehend at the time. Today, I find myself coming back to the book and seeing it reflect modern-day conflicts. How does it feel to have created a touchstone/lesson/piece of art that’s transcended a generation or two or three?
The reality of its impact has only come to me gradually, as it was reprinted roughly every three years for a couple of decades. What convinces me that Chris and I had created something truly notable has been people commenting on it favorably and meaningfully over the years, expressing the positive impact the story has had on their lives. As one of its creators, I am gratified it has attained this level of acceptance, criticism, and stature.