Interview: Greg LaRocque on DC Retroactive: The Flash – The ’80s

Starting in July, DC Comics Retroactive series will bring back classic creators to the characters they helped define.  Covering the last three decades of the 20th Century, the three Flash issues will feature writer Cary Bates (1970s), writer William Messner-Loebs and artist Greg LaRocque (1980s), and writer Brian Augustyn (1990s).

LaRocque was the penciller on Flash for the entirety of Messner-Loebs’ tenure from 1988 – 1991, and illustrated a portion of Mark Waid’s run including the classic “Born to Run” and “The Return of Barry Allen”.  In all, LaRocque pencilled nearly 60 issues of Flash over a five-year stretch.

We’ve previously interviewed LaRocque about his work on “The Return of Barry Allen,” and contacted him via email when the Retroactive issue was announced.  Once the artwork was complete, he provided us with some details.  He also posted preview images on Facebook last week, and those are included below along with the solicited cover.  See what the man has to say after the jump…

Q: How did DC approach you to do this book?

GREG LAROCQUE: DC contacted me through a blog that my daughter set up. 😉  They have my address & current email, why the message went there?  I never asked.

Q: How has it been working on a story with William Messner-Loebs again?  Had you two kept in touch over the years?

GL: No, Bill & I  haven’t kept in touch.  I see some old friends from the comic world at conventions, but Bill usually does not attend.  I’ve met Bill once in NY, living in different cities make it difficult to develop friendships.  Working with Bill is great, I miss his particular take on comics.

Q: You had mentioned that he allowed you a great deal of freedom to interpret his plots during your run together – is that still the case?

GL: Bill writes the best scenes for an artist who likes to story tell. His script requires acting.  His set up requires pay off.  That is what I look to embellish on.

The retro story is titled “The Path of True Love”. it’s about a young lady who aspires for a relationship with Wally.  Bill captured the essence of the comic book fan base in her character & the feelings of anyone who aspired to live their dream.  The set up to the last scene was in a sense a farewell.  Ironic that it may possibly be the farewell to Bill & my work together with Wally.  I never rewrite anything Bill gives me, but I embellish what I think he wants.  My contribution to this scene are the backgrounds on pp 25 & 26.  Adding those ‘what is going on back there’ touches are what I believe nailed the pay off of what Bill wanted for this script.  I can’t tell you more than that now, contact me after the book is released for a follow up.

Q: How would you say your work has changed over the years?  You’ve posted some images of Flash here and there, and there’s the Flash jam sketch you started, but will we be seeing other elements you’ve incorporated since your Flash days?

GL: I have the opportunity to ink my work on this project. Respect to every inker who worked with me on Flash, but, I’m really thrilled to finally get to show the fans my own finishes.  Specifically with the costume.  Unlike an athlete, an artist should not lose his skills over the years.  I feel my work is better than ever. I can’t wait for the fans to see this project;-)

Q: Do you know which of your Flash stories from the original run will be reprinted?

A: No, I don’t.  I’m curious.

DC Retroactive: The Flash – The 80s hits stores on August 3rd.  Be sure to check back here once it is out for more with Greg LaRocque!


7 thoughts on “Interview: Greg LaRocque on DC Retroactive: The Flash – The ’80s

  1. YraniGami

    The Return of Barry Allen Arc, for me, is very special since it’s the story that kept me guessing and fully confirmed me as a Flash fan. Great interview!

  2. Kyer

    Man, those pictures are making me drool with anticipation. Tell me there’s a mistake and it’s actually being released this Wednesday!

    In fact, I may buy two…one to read as soon as I can rip off the mailing cover…the other to stow away so I can read it five years from now and remember Wally like the book was truly newly issued.

    God…I’m going to start blubbering. Gotta go.


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