2011 Comic-Con starts this Wednesday (if you count preview night, which we do!) and our interview countdown is winding down with Executive Story editor for Warehouse 13, Deric Hughes.
Hughes will be one of the panelists appearing at BuddyTV’s “Obsession: “How TV and Movies Go from Fascination to Phenomenon” panel this Thursday (July 21 at 11am in Room 23ABC). He recently took some time to talk about Warehouse 13’s new character Jinks, favorites moments and Comic-Con (having gone to every Comic-Con since ’95 he’s a real expert).
Steve Jinks has been added to the team, what can you tell us about the character?
What’s great about him, Steve Jinks, definitely, as you saw in the premiere “The New Guy,” is that Jinks shakes things up a bit because he’s like a human lie detector. So he’s not easily won over by Eddie’s charm. As we go through the season, you’ll get to learn a little bit more about him. Aaron Ashmore’s fantastic; he really was more of a surprise. We had been looking for a long time for a Steve Jinks and we came close a couple of times and it looked like an eleventh hour sort of situation, where he came into the picture and helped save the day.
What’s it like writing for a new character?
Writing for [Jinks] has been a lot of fun. I get to play with him in an upcoming episode down the road, that’s just a lot of fun. I think the audience is going to be delighted and entertained.That’s all I can really say right now, it will definitely be a roller-coaster of a season.
For a Syfy show, Warehouse 13 tends to get a strong female audience. Do you ever consider that when you’re writing for the show?
We’re definitely aware of it and we became aware of it after the first season. I think it’s is a testament to [EP] Jack Kenny and to all the great writers we have on our show, not to mention the cast, and how it was really striving for it being family-first. All our characters — they’re a big family. They care about one another and it’s really character-driven in that way. At the end of the day, all the wonderful artifacts, the world of endless wonder is a backdrop for caring about our characters. That’s really first and foremost. If you don’t care about them, then you really don’t have much of a show. So yeah, definitely we’re aware, but I don’t think we try to write towards one or the other demographics. For us, we just want to write the best. You have a lot of fun, coming up with stories.
In the last two seasons of Warehouse 13, and this current season, what has been your favorite moment or mystery to write for?
I think it was our first episode we got to write, which was “Duped.” It’s a fan-favorite of quite a few people. We had our idea that we wanted to tell and through the genesis of it, it was just really sort of our first foray into writing for television and really having fun with it, with the characters. I think “Duped” definitely. This year, we — Ben [Raab] and I — we’ve written two episodes, and on top of it, the webisodes, and we’re also in the process right now of putting on the comic book, which will be coming out in August. So we’ve been really into Warehouse 13 this year. And then there’s one episode that we wrote this season, this big episode, we had a lot of fun writing it and I think a lot of fans are really gonna enjoy it too.
Can you tell us a little bit more about the Warehouse 13 comic book?
Yeah, we got a comic book. Dynamite Publishing is publishing [it]. This will be non-canonical. It will be a story of Pete, Myka with Artie and Claudia, but it has 5 issues and there’ll be a sort of connecting story but each will be stand-alone stories, so it won’t necessarily depend on the show. What happens in the comic book won’t affect the show and what happens on the show won’t affect the comic book. The first issue will be out in August right after the week at the Comic-Con.
Speaking of Comic-Con, our panel is about obsessions. Do you have a TV show that you’re obsessed with, aside from Warehouse 13?
Definitely. When it was on the air, The Wire! The Wire was my obsession. Hands down, it was one of the best produced series that existed in half a decade. It’s just amazing. The writing, the talent on there. Everything about that show is damn near perfect.
On the sci-fi/fantasy side, Game of Thrones this year. Worked really terrific for me. In the past, kind of the same trappings as most fans: Battlestar Galactica, Lost and Friday Night Lights, that’s another one. I’m actually three episodes into the final season and I was telling somebody the other day, I can’t muster up the courage to push play. I can’t do it! It’s just in my DVD player.
What are you looking forward to this year at Comic-Con?
I’ve been to Comic-Con since 1995. I don’t think I’ve missed a single year of Comic-Con.
Our panel for the show [Warehouse 13] is just gonna be great because this year we’re actually in Ballroom 20. It’s gonna be huge and I can’t wait to see and actually witness that. I definitely want to go to the Locke & Key panel. I’m a huge fan of the comic book series and I thought [Josh Friedman] did a brilliant job with the pilot. It’s probably one of my favorite written pilots from last year. I’m just really sad that it didn’t get picked up. Then of course Game of Thrones. I would love to go to that panel.
I really haven’t had too many opportunities to go to panels. Last year, the one for me was the Walking Dead panel.
You said you’re a fan of Locke & Key, what other comics are you a fan of?
I’m a fan of — there are various books. I like [Brian] Bendis’ writing. I love the Ultimate Spider-Man run. I just picked up “Death of Spider-Man.” On top of that, I like Powers. I’m really looking forward to that pilot as well. There’s another favorite one of mine. It’s called Chew, through Image comics, it’s John Layman and Rob Guillory. It’s really good.
Out of habit I go to the comic book store every Wednesday. My favorite comic book store here in the valley is called Earth 2 Comics. So I pick up thinks like the Flashpoint series, I’m a fan of Matt Fraction’s work. I already picked up the last issue of Locke & Key, right after that, I think the week after that, they released the first volume, the hardback cover of it. It’s beautiful and even though I have all the issues I’ll still pick that up. On an average, I probably spend $30-40 a week on comics but since I don’t have any other bad habits guess I will spend my money on comics.
One last question: Who was your all-time favorite superhero growing up?
Spider-Man. When I was five or six years old, living in Okinawa, I saw this comic. Because I’m half-Japanese, I grew up on Japanese animation and manga, and so a lot of my influences and people that I enjoyed come from Japan. The first time I saw a Spider-Man comic book, it was Green Goblin holding him over a vat of molten metal. It was just this cover that was just so unique. I was just like “I need to pick this up.” After that I think it was X-Men, but definitely Spider-Man.
Want more from the Warehouse 13 writers? Check out yesterday’s interview with Benjamin Raab where he talks season 3 mysteries, guest stars and of course Comic-Con.
Read more interviews from BuddyTV’s Obsessions panelists:
Amy Berg of Eureka and Leverage
Mel Lowry of ChuckTV.net and True-Blood.net
Allison DuBois, the inspiration for Medium
Zack Stentz of Fringe and Terminator: The Sarah Chronicles
Chase Masterson of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
(Images courtesy of Syfy)