Chris Simmons Talks 'Static'!
by Jim Harvey
Toon Zone recently had the chance to catch up to writer Chris Simmons about his work on last weekend's episode of Static Shock (which was "Static Shaq"), this weekend's "Frozen Out", as well future episodes and ideas as well.
How did Static Shaq come about?
"We (WB Animation and KidsWB) actually approached Shaq's people. We knew that Shaq is a major comics fan, and was fond of the STATIC comic when it was originally published. So, as we convened for season 2, we all agreed we wanted something BIG to get our season started right. And, of course, there's nothing bigger than Shaq!"
Were there any problems in season 1 that needed to be addressed in season 2?
"We certainly didn't look at season 1 as having any problems in need of fixing. But the first year was a "feeling our way" process, for sure. And by the time our racism-themed episode SONS OF THE FATHERS aired (towards the end of the first season), we knew that we had struck the desired balance of elements in a most impressive way. Season 2 is an extension of that. If anything, this season, we've been playing around with our hero interacting with interesting, "outside" characters. Shaq is an example, so was Batman, Robin and the Joker."
"Frozen Out", an episode dealing with a serious issues, is airing on February 23rd. Any comments on the episode?"
""Frozen Out" is one of our episodes with serious themes mixed in with the action and humor. It deals with the power of religion, as well as homelessness and mental illness. What made this episode work from Day One was the deft, sensitive, assured handling of such heavy themes by Len Uhley. Truly, Len is a great guy and one of the most thoughtful guys doing what we do. And though it's airing a bit out of season (it was originally designed to be shown at Christmas time), the messages of tolerance and faith are timeless."
What's in store for upcoming Static episodes?
" As far as upcoming shows go, look for the return of villains from last season, like Alva, Hotstreak, Ebon and the Meta-Breed. Rubberband Man is now a full-fledged hero, and he teams up with Static on several occasions. And there are still a few surprises, so stay tuned!"
Originally posted on TZN on 02-16-2002.