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Matt Wagner

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Comic artist

From an April 2000 interview conducted Christopher Butcher by for PopImage:

Matt Wagner has personally created some of the most important and recognizable comic characters of the last 20 years. His creations, MAGE and GRENDEL are possibly two of the true inheritors of the "modern myth" moniker that is often applied to comics. And along with the notable exception of Dave Sim's CEREBUS, MAGE and GRENDEL are some of the only creator-owned and characters still in print after 20 years. His work on mainstream characters, revamping the Golden Age SANDMAN and his revolutionary BATMAN stories have marked him as someone who can take a venerable concept and make it fresh and exciting.

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What is the Grendel to you?

A continual examination. I think it's a question that can never be answered but must be eternally asked. For, if we ignore darkness and the consequences of aggression and violence, then the shadows cast by our own blindness only grow all the more powerful. This is why most religions, specifically Christianity, hold such little sway with me. To turn your face away, to only face the light and benevolent thought is naivete at his worst. Just the way Jimmy Carter claimed to have committed adultery in his heart, I've committed murder in my heart. And I think, answering truthfully, most everyone has.

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What's your take on religion?

Heh. How long do we have? Guaranteed it's not enough... I don't practice any religion but consider myself fascinated and well-versed with the entire schism. I describe myself as an atheist which seems to scare a LOT of people. But the other day my son asked me, "Dad, what God do you believe in?" And I answered "All of them." After making my own myths for so long, I can't really accept the unbending views of anyone else's version.

The interview may be found at http://www.popimage.com/apr00/profile/wagnerint.shtml.