EXCLUSIVE: Interview With Joe Caramagna, Writer of Upcoming ROCKET RACCOON One-Shot Comic

We recently had the pleasure of interviewing Joe Caramagna, writer of the upcoming Free Comic Book Day (May 3rd) 'Rocket Raccoon' one-shot comic (pictured to the left), as well as the fully-funded Kickstarter comic, 'The Further Travels of Wyatt Earp'. Joe was kind enough to answer all of our questions, and we look forward to reading much more of his work in the future! Check out the interview below!

Guard The Galaxy: "Tell us a little bit about how you got into writing comics, and what your first job for Marvel was."

Joe Caramagna: "I started out wanting to be a penciler. I went to the Joe Kubert School of Cartoon & Graphic Art and everything! But somewhere in my second year there, I realized I wasn't really cut out for a successful art career, so I started to write my own school assignments and learned as much as I could about comic book writing. I'd always written prose stories growing up, but it was my education at the Kubert School that helped me learn how to tell stories visually. It turns out that I didn't break in as either an artist or a writer, I broke into comics as a letterer. But that got me close enough to editors to show them that I could write, too. For a long time they ignored me, haha, but I eventually got a shot at writing Marvel Adventures Fantastic Four when then editor Nate Cosby was in a pinch and needed a quick script."

GTG: "Were you a fan of Rocket Raccoon before getting the task of writing the one-shot, or did you have to do some research?"

JC: "Rocket Raccoon wasn't a character I was familiar with until I lettered Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning's Guardians of the Galaxy series. I liked the character right away (how could anyone not?) so I dug up the old Bill Mantlo/Mike Mignola series and some other old Marvel cosmic books and fell in love with the whole universe. When I got the call to write the Free Comic Book Day book, I was already very deep in love with Rocket. It didn't take me very long to say yes."

GTG: "With the comic being set on Halfworld, will it be a continuation of the 80's 'Rocket Raccoon' miniseries or the one established by DnA in the 'Annihilators' side feature?"

JC: "I wouldn't say that it's a continuation of the '80s Rocket Raccoon, but it is heavily influenced by the things that Bill Mantlo was doing. I wanted to take Rocky away from the Guardians and the Annihilators and give him his own team where HE was the leader. I wanted it to look and feel like an animated series, separate from the comics, where Rocket could really shine."

GTG: "Over the past few years, there has been much debate over Rocket Raccoon's accent. Did you write Rocket with a specific accent in mind?"

JC: "I didn't. I've seen Rocket's appearances in the Marvel animated series', and he has a different voice each time, so I felt like I had the freedom to do what I wanted with it. In my head, he always speaks with a false bravado to hide his fears and insecurities about being so small, going up against bad guys who are much bigger than he is. And every now and again he's humbled and lets his guard down. But with no particular regional accent."

GTG: "What are you most looking forward to about the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy movie?"

JC: "The humor, for sure. I was really worried about how this movie would be handled because I'm such a fan of the comics. When I first saw the trailer, I was expecting something much different. It caught me by surprise. I had to watch it again because I was so confused by what I saw, and after the second viewing I said to myself, "that...was...AWESOME!" Now I'm 100% sure that the movie's in great hands, and I can't wait to see it!"

GTG: "Did the movie version of Rocket Raccoon influence your take on the character at all?"

JC: "When I wrote it, I hadn't seen any of the movie at all, so there is no influence there. When I was hired, I think I asked about how he was being portrayed in the movie, but of course that stuff is top secret. My editor Mark Paniccia encouraged me to make the character my own, so that's what I did."

GTG: "Any plans to work on other 'Guardians of the Galaxy' related projects in the future?"

JC: "I haven't been asked yet, but I'm ready, willing and able to report for duty if they want me!"

GTG: "Your Kickstarter comic, 'The Further Travels of Wyatt Earp' was just fully funded. What brought about wanting to tell that story?"

JC: "I never had much interest in westerns, but one night I decided to watch 'The Good, The Bad & The Ugly', and I was floored. It was such a great movie. So I got on a western kick for a while. I knew about Wyatt Earp because I was always into history, but I knew about his time in Dodge City and in Tombstone, so I was surprised to find out that he died in Hollywood. I started to read a bit more about him, and I found out that his life AFTER the Gunfight At The OK Corral was just as interesting, if not MORE interesting, than what we see in the movies. For example, I found out that he lived in San Francisco for a long time, he raced horses, he joined the gold rush in Alaska where he opened a saloon, and at the end of his life he was a consultant on silent western films. I also found out he was a celebrity of that time because of the OK Corral, but he was a private man who didn't cooperate much with the media that hounded him wherever he went. A lot of what we know about his later years were written by scorned reporters and people who didn't care for him very much. So I decided to write a series of stories based on what his side of the story might have been. The first two chapters, drawn by Scott Koblish with colors by Andrew Edge, were funded through Kickstarter, and I hope to have an announcement on formal on sale dates and all of that fun stuff very soon. Follow me on Twitter @JoeCaramagna to keep up!"

Learn more about Joe Caramagna's Kickstarter project here. Also, don't forget to pick up his Rocket Raccoon comic in comic stores everywhere on Free Comic Book Day (May 3rd). Thanks again to Joe for the great interview. It was awesome getting to learn more about him and his process writing Rocket! What did you think? Drop us a comment below!


  1. Fantastic interview guys. Joe seems like a real cool guy. I can't wait to grab this comic, I'm going to get to the comic store early so that all the copies don't get taken. Also its been great seeing this site grow over the past year. Looking forward to what lies ahead.

  2. Nice interview, Cam! Wish I could've helped more, but I was a bit overwhelmed, only could think of the one question (he Halfworld continuity one, if anyone's interested). But you had some really good questions there and the interview turned out great. And it was so awesome for Joe Caramagna to do this!

    1. Thanks for your question Leo! I just wanted to make sure our head Raccoonatic was represented!

    2. Thank you. And I think that was a good answer. :)

  3. This was seriously cool! Thanks to Mr. Caramagna for doing it, and thanks to Cameron for putting it together! I can't wait to read the FCBD book and as a huge fan of western comics, 'The Further Travels of Wyatt Earp' sounds killer.

    1. I'm a huge fan of westerns too so I'll definitely be checking it out as well.

  4. I really enjoyed the interview. I am looking forward to the Wyatt Earp comic coming out!!

  5. I like that he wants Rocket to be the leader of a team. As a longtime fan of old miniseries, I'm really looking forward to seeing Rocket return to Halfworld.


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