Thursday, March 06, 2003

JOHN SEMPER ON STATIC SHOCK/JUSTICE LEAGUE



Courtesy Toon Zone:

Semper Talks Static Shock/Justice League Crossover
03-05-2003 04:29 PM
by Jim Harvey
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Toon Zone caught up with John Semper, Jr., story editor of Static Shock, to discuss "A League of Their Own." The two-part Static Shock episode has the young hero from Dakota and his sidekick Gear meeting the Justice League.

"Hey, part one looked great, didn't it?" said Semper. "Kudos to the production team, Alan Burnett, Denys Cowan, Swinton Scott and Bobby Paige. They did a great job!"

Semper was quick to mention the contribution of one particular writer who has been a regular fixture at Warner Bros. Animation for the past few years.

"My quick thoughts are that there was an uncredited bit of creative contribution from Stan Berkowitz, one of the key story editor/writer people on the Justice League series," said Semper. "He was certainly in the room when Alan Burnett and I came up with the original concept for this two-parter, so he should be mentioned here."

"I really like Stan," said Semper. "He was the first staff writer that I hired on Spider-Man: The Animated Series years ago. It was his first cartoon-writing gig. He has since gone on to great, much-deserved success in animation at Warners and it was fun to work with him again, if only briefly."

But Berkowitz isn't the only Spider-Man writer that played a role in this two-part crossover.

"I brought in Ernie Altbacker to write the first episode first draft," said Semper. "He was also one of my staff people on Spider-Man, and it was fun to bring him in on this. I guess it really does pay to call me every other week for the last few years and pester me looking for work."

Semper wanted this episode of Static Shock to start just a little bit different than usual.

"I recall really pushing for the idea that the episode teaser should really start out just like a Justice League episode, with no hint of Static Shock," Semper said. "I wanted it to look like the Kids' WB made a mistake and was airing the wrong show. Then at the end of the teaser, Batman says something to the effect that 'There's only one person who can help us here.' He punches up the image on screen and we see...gasp!....Static!"

"I like to mess with peoples' heads like that," Semper jokingly added.

Semper provided a little bit of teaser information for the second part of "A League of Their Own," which airs this weekend.

"The second part, the next episode, is more of a Static Shock episode with the Justice League as guest stars," said Semper. "Most of the action takes place down in Dakota and we see the usual cast of characters. So we get a whole new perspective on Static's interaction with the Justice League."

Semper said that while the finished product looked great, there was a small bit of comedic trouble behind the scenes.

"I remember how much trouble Kevin Conroy had saying the line, 'It looks like some sort of space anomaly.' He kept flubbing it and we all kept laughing," said Semper. "I almost expected Batman to flub it in the final cartoon."

"A League of Their Own, Part 2" airs at 10:30 am, ET on Saturday, March 8, 2003. Stay tuned for more from John Semper here at Toon Zone News.

Dwayne here: I wrote "A League of Their Own, Part 2," hope you'll be watching.