So, those were the agendas that we were following then. We thought it would be a great idea if comics could be recognized as the wonderful medium that we secretly knew them to be. And when I say “we,” I’m talking about the 50 actual people who turned up at those early conventions, which was pretty much the sum total of everybody in this country who’d ever heard of American comics. But back then our agenda was this progressive notion that, wouldn’t it be terrific if people were to get involved with comics who could make them more adult, more grown up, to show the kind of themes they were capable of handling? So this was the agenda that, 20 years later, I was still following toward the end of my first DC run. […]
When I was working upon the ABC books, I wanted to show different ways that mainstream comics could viably have gone, that they didn’t have to follow Watchmen and the other 1980s books down this relentlessly dark route. It was never my intention to start a trend for darkness. I’m not a particularly dark individual. I have my moments, it’s true, but I do have a sense of humor. With the ABC books I was trying to do comics that would have perhaps appealed to an intelligent 13-year-old, such as I’d been, and would still satisfy the contemporary readership of 40-year-old men who probably should know better. But I wanted to sort of do comics that would be accessible to a much wider range of people, and would still be intelligent even if they were primarily children’s adventure stories, such as the Tom Strong books.