The Fan Fiction Fanzine

Greg Hernandez Interview

By • Aug 15th, 2009 • Category: Interviews

OMNIVESATILITY: The Gregory Hernandez Interview!

Omniversatility. It’s something when we have to invent words to describe our peers because they are just so damn good. Luckily we are all writers, so we can get away with it. I first learned of Gregory Hernandez through the gushing praise of my truly dazzling Assistant Editor over at JLU: 2001 – Kim Johnson. Kim is the EIC of Omniverse, a GREAT site that hosts Fanfic, in case you didn’t know, and just last year I got the opportunity to join in on her annual Halloween Special. Well, one of the other contributing writers was Greg – a mainstay at Omni – and at Kim’s suggestion, I just had to read his stuff. Needless to say, I was impressed. Greg is an outstanding talent who, whether by choice or circumstance, does not get his chance to shine in the limelight. His stories are out there, don’t get me wrong, but for some reason he seems to fall through the cracks and that’s a shame as he truly deserves some praise for his fantastic work. If you haven’t heard of him, now’s your chance to get acquainted with Greg. And when you’ve finished the Interview, DO go check out his work. You will not be disappointed.

Curt: To start, tell us a bit about yourself, Greg; family, job, things like that. Whatever you would like to comfortably share.

Greg: I’m a Puerto Rican New Yorker transplanted from Brooklyn to South Jersey by way of Chicago, California and North Carolina. Ex-Army man and former wannabe rock star, I’ve been writing Fanfic online in one form or another since about 2000.

C: What Sites are you currently writing for, and what Titles are you working on?

G: I’ve done most of my work for Omniverse. I’m currently finishing up some of my work there. There’s my Generations miniseries, which is my version of the John Byrne DC miniseries. Each chapter is set in a different decade. It lays the groundwork of a sorts for the original Omniverse’s sister site, Omniverse Shadows. Whereas the original Omniverse (now known as Omniverse Dawn) was beholden to established continuity as of the event that merged all the comic universes into one, Omniverse Shadows, was to be a blank page. The hope was that this would attract new writers. As usual, not so much. So I decided to lay an outline of a proposed history for Omniverse Shadows. In addition to indicating that Shadow comes after Dawn, the name was also a nod to Chris Munn’s great Marvel Dark Design site of yore. In addition to Generations, Kim and I have collaborated on an outline for the currently running Generations spin-off set in the 30′s and 40′s, the Invaders. I’m done with my end of the writing for it though. I also have a “Shade the Changing Man” series that I write for Omniverse. Occasionally, I toy with the idea of doing a Fantastic Four massive 80 Page Giant or an Annual that would tie up all the loose ends with the various surviving members of the FF, both those still in the Positive Zone (Reed and Sue) and Ben, who is back on the “original” (i.e., Omniverse) Earth. Ben will be forming a new FF. In fact I’m toying with the idea of there having sprung up various FF off shoots, just like the Avengers at one point had West Coast and Great Lakes branches. I don’t like the idea of them being called FF though, that would dilute a great name. After I’ve wrapped up those series, I’ll be doing stuff with some of my favorite friendly warped people, (Peter) Chris Munn and Raz (matazz). “Creatures On The Loose” by yours truly. More to come.

C: Do you write for any Sites outside of Fanfic, or our group of Fanfic Sites, i.e. other types of Fanfic, Writing Clubs, etc.?

G: Not presently, but I have done so in the past. See below.

C: Would you like to write professionally, or is this just for fun- a hobby?

G: I’ve had some short stories published. Once I get the damned things done, I’d like to shop my novels around and see what happens. Good chance with Sagabooks.

C: How did you get into writing Fanfic? Through comic books, or some other media?

G: I always like to tell people that I backed into Fanfiction. I’m a big fan of Michael Moorcock. One of the concepts in his fiction is something called the multiverse. I think I googled the term and thereafter came my first exposure to the similarly named Omniverse Fan site. Actually, now that I remember, it was a little different than that. It starts with Moorcock and his online fan community. There’s a fellow who used to host an online fiction weirdness forum called Narcotic Transmissions. Did a lot of good short freaky writing there. That led me to explore the online Fanfic community, and THEN I found Omniverse and I was hooked.

C: How did you find our Fanfic community? What led you here?

G: Probably one of the Omni editors led me here, as this was where the Omniverse updates were posted when they were twice a month on the 15th and the 30th (those golden days of yore).

C: We assume that you enjoy the writing and Fanfic, but are there things you would like to see done differently or changed in Fanfic?

G: One of the things I’ve been thinking a lot about is how to make the presentation of Fanfic more graphically pleasing. I mean there are things that can only be done in online Fanfic in both style and content. We can do things with characters that would affect them in ways DC and Marvel would never do. Have them age, retire, die, whatever. We can also have them crossover with whomever we desire with no licensing problems whatever. Continuity can be altered or discarded at will. But the way that we’ve been presenting the Fanfic in a format that is kinda drab to look at. I would like to see more Flash animation, Web Comics, that sort of thing. I’m sure we all know or are artists. Well, let’s see more of this. A few years ago, one of the Rob Liefeld fan groups I belonged to put together some issues of a fan comic devoted to the characters as Alan Moore reconceived them in Awesome Comics. I’d like to see the online version of something like that.

C: What other things do you do in your spare time? Any special hobbies or interests you care to share?

G: I play drums and am a vocalist; I also draw. I used to pursue a career in rock n roll professionally. I fronted a couple of rock bands in New York City until I became a born again Christian, about ten years ago.

C: Is there any certain Title that you would like to write down the line, or any specific Site that you might want to write for?

G: I would love to write Moon Knight, but I think Chris Munn is writing him on every site imaginable, and jumps on the title whenever a new site pops up…Damn you, Munn-Thing!!! :)

C: Outside of Fanfic, what are your reading habits? Who’s your favorite author or series, or book?

G: Michael Moorcock is probably my favorite author. With this one guy you have a variety of styles and any number of series to choose from. He is like a library unto himself, from fiction to nonfiction. His Jerry Cornelius is my favorite fictional character.

C: How about in comics- do you have a favorite Title, author or artist?

G: I’ve recently been dragged, kicking and screaming, back into reading comics. There seems to have been a lot of strong work out in recent years so that’s not a bad thing. Let’s see, I’m collecting Civil War and Front Line at Marvel. Also Moon Knight, Eternals and Heroes For Hire. As for DC, I’ve finally broken down and started collecting all of the Bruce Timm animated series. Justice League Unlimited is amazing. In terms of DC books, I like League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and am looking forward to Black Dossier and the hardcover collections of Jack Kirby’s Fourth World saga (due next year I believe). That coupled with Marvel’s Eternals HC will make one sweet Kirby collection (or at least a decent start). I know there’s a Kamandi HC Masterworks series. If they have an OMAC one, then for all intents and purposes you’d have the best of Kirby’s DC work in one place. Man that was one long-winded answer. Sorry, just had my coffee. C: Not at all Greg. You’re a man after my own heart.

C: What’s your favorite comic book story, or storyline? How about in Fanfic?

G: There have been a couple of Adam Warlock miniseries that I’ve really liked. Also Daniel Sauve did a Thor one-shot that I thought was very clever both in execution and design. As for real-world comics, I like some obscure ones (no surprise there), Jim Califiore (an Aquaman artist of a few years ago) did a black and white 5 issue mini called God’s Hammer which was loopy, but fun. Artwork reminded me a bit of Moebius. I also liked Blood: A Tale, the original Books of Magic and Kid Eternity (the mini). Watchmen, of course, and a lot of Frank Miller’s tales, like both Dark Knights (yes, both of ‘em, for different reasons) and Sin City. But my favorite comics probably were the ones that Alan Moore did when he teamed up with Rob Liefeld to produce the short-lived Awesome Universe. That in fact might be one of the other big reasons why I became involved with Fanfic.

C: What’s your favorite movie?

G: This is one that has gone thru changes. For a long time I would have named this William Hurt movie called “Altered States” as my favorite (for personal reasons). Then it was “Citizen Caine”. A few years ago I would have said that I had a tie for first place between two romantic comedies, “As Good As It Gets” and “Groundhog Day”. Which I would name as my overall favorite would depend on what day you asked. Last year I was blown away by two films, “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” and “Closer”, which, along with “Hitch”, were comforts to me when a relationship I was in suddenly and explosively ended. Yeesh. These days? Maybe “Withnail and I”, an absurd British comedy by the writer of “The Killing Fields”. And as always there are four outrageous New York Jews who trollop around in the back of my head reminding me that although there may not be ONE favorite of their movies, together these guys have been my favorites for decades. That’s right, Harpo, Chico, Groucho and sometimes Zeppo, the fabulous Marx Brothers.

C: Do you have a Blog or LJ? Any other Internet activity you would like to share?

G: Nope. Sorry, I’m boring in that regard. I did do some writing last year for the two Yahoo Groups (42_Days_of_Writing and the former conservative_RU2 (now called something else)). The former helped me to break out or at least become aware of some bad writing habits I was getting used to; the latter was just a great place to vent about politics. After a while though it just took up too much of my time so I went back after this sabbatical and came back to writing Fanfic, refreshed. If you Google around or join the groups you can check out the archives and see a whole different side to my writing.

C: Do you like to listen to music as you write? If so, what and which, or some other background noise, like the television or DVD’s? Or maybe you prefer silence when writing?

G: Sometimes I listen to music or have the TV in the background; when I’m really into it, though, I prefer quiet.

C: What book are you reading now?

G: Word Virus: A William S. Burroughs Reader. Also, Rob Liefeld’s Supreme series, from the beginning.

C: What’s your favorite reading genre?

G: That’s a difficult one to answer.

C: How long have you been writing stories- Fanfic or otherwise?

G: Man, TOO long.

C: What Title/ Site was your first in Fanfic?

G: Omniverse’s Fantastic Four, Volume One. When I discovered Omniverse I wrote an email to the editor telling him how much I dug what he had put together and commenting on a couple of stories. I volunteered to help in any way I could, thinking mostly about helping to code, but then I was offered the FF backup feature. I also started writing the Spider-Man team-up title from a general outline by Kris Morris. And well, basically, I’ve been here ever since. I’ve written stuff outside of Omniverse, my favorites being Silver Surfer for Munn-Thing’s defunct-but-still-fondly-remembered Marvel: Dark Design site, and the Brent Lambert Presents challenge

C: Any upcoming events in your life you’d like to share: births, marriage, graduating college, etc.?

G: One day soon I’m hoping to become a grown up.

C: Where about do you live? Be as specific as you like or as vague: town, state, time zone, continent, etc.

G: South Jersey

C: What’s your favorite Title to read currently in Fanfic?

G: I would say Dreamers Syndrome by Mark Bousquet but I realize it’s been on hiatus for a while now. Probably Constantine by Kim Johnson (Omniverse).

C: Give us a closing: Anything you want to say, any shout outs or helloes.

G: Thanks be to God, my Mom, apple pie, the American way of living, all Boricuas everywhere, and for the members of the Academy for voting for me…oops, wrong speech. Seriously, thanks for everyone who reads this stuff generally, and for those who have read my stories and taken the time to drop me a line offering words of encouragement — hey, it means a lot and I really appreciate it. Sometimes I feel like a hermit in the cave throwing out messages in bottles that I don’t even know if they’ve reached the sea, much less another person. The positive feedback pushes that feeling aside, for which I’m grateful. So, thanks.

C: Any final words…

G: Onomatopoeia. Circumference. Ipseity. Perspicacity. Resoluteness. Peace. Have a blessed day. The End.(_*_) C: Thanks Greg! A great interview and keep up the fine work.

If you want to check out Greg’s writing, DO go to Omniverse right now. http://www.hero-verse.net/omniverse/main_page.htm And check out their Halloween Special, coming soon.

is a 32 year old happily married man who loves comics and the characters associated with them so much he writers Fan Fiction based on them. Currently He is the Editor in Chief of Altered Visions, Marvel Reborn, and Ultimate DC.
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