Wednesday, November 11, 2009

An Interview with Mr. Jigsaw Creator Ron Fortier!

After Monday's post about Mr. Jigsaw and what a shame it was he never made it big in the 80's, I just couldn't let it rest. So today i searched on line for whatever happened to Mr. Jigsaw or "Jiggy" as his creator calls him. I found out that Mr. Jigsaw had a one-shot issue from Ocean Comics in 1988.

I also found out that Mister Jigsaw became a back-up feature in 1993's E-Man revival from Alpha Productions. And then, something weird happened. I found out that Mr. Jigsaw has his own comic being published THIS YEAR from Red Bud Studios. After taking a shot in the dark and writing Mega Comics Group (who publish comics, but not this one- they were only reviewing it) I was given contact information for Mr. Jigsaw writer Ron Fortier. Mr. Fortier graciously agreed to an interview, which is presented here:

AB: When Mr. Jigsaw first appeared in 1983's Scary Tales #38,

was there a plan in the works, by Charlton, to develop Mr. Jigsaw in his own series?

RF: In 1982, artist Gary Kato and I sold a 12 pg. sci-fi strip to Charlton's try-out comic, Bulls-Eye.

They were so happy with it, the asked us to do another for them. That second story was the Mr. Jigsaw origin. They loved it and asked Gary to give them a cover. It was going to appear in another issue of

AB: Even though it got the cover, did you have any reservations about your superhero story running in Scary Tales?
RF: Before the Jiggy story could appear, the Bulls-Eye title was canceled
and many of the strips intended for it were returned to the creators.
Thing is the editors at Charlton loved Jiggy and asked if they could keep
the story for another of their titles. Gary and I were totally okay and
that's how the book ended up in Scary Tales # 38.
AB: I'm assuming Mr. Jigsaw was co-created with artist Gary Kato, since he's been involved in every incarnation of the character. Apart from the obvious artist angle, how much input did/does Gary Kato have in the creation process?
RF: Gary asked me to create a character who split apart.  He was
anxious to do a comedy superhero and after a little thought about
his request,I came up with Mr.Jigsaw. We are the co-creators of
the series. When I wrote that first script,I never detailed the
look of any of the characters,that was all Gary. To this day,I
write the stories and his brilliant imagination puts faces to
the people I whip up. It's been a dream partnership for over 30
years now.
AB: I and others have likened Mr. Jigsaw to Jack Cole's Plastic Man in it's quirky inventiveness. I know you are a big fan of earlier heroes, particularly those of the pulp magazines. What comics or pulp heroes actually influenced Jiggy, and what was your favorite comic book growing up?
RF: Jack Cole's amazing Plastic Man was truly one of the major
influences for our approach to Mr.Jigsaw, but the one that was
my guiding light was C.C.Beck's original Captain Marvel. In
reviewing those first few stories of Jiggy, the late Don Thompson
remarked the stories were very much in the vein of the old Big
Red Cheese. High praise indeed.

My favorite comic growing up was Spider-Man (it first hit the
stands when I was 13 years old.).
AB: I know that there were at least two attempts after Charlton to find Jiggy a home. What ultimately lead you to publish through Red Bud Studios?
RF: Artist Rob Davis and me formed Airship 27 Productions two
and a half years ago to publish new pulp novels and anthologies.
When we got it into our heads to maybe do comic versions of
these pulp characters, Rob opted to create Red Bud Studios for
us to self-publish these. We did two books like this, then out
of the blue Gary contacted me about the possibility of our
reviving Jiggy into a new on-going series. I immediately brought
it up to Rob and he said he'd love to be a part of this project
and thus Jiggy is now published via Red Bud Studios.

AB: In 1993, you published a six-page Mr. Jigsaw story in an issue of
also aformer (very unique) Charlton hero. What, if any,
relationship do you have wit
h Nicola Cuti and Joe Staton?
RF: I was Joe Staton's fan when he first became a professional
comic book artist back in the early 1970s. When Alpha
Productions, a Maine based independent comic company I was
affiliated with,got it into their heads to do an E-MAN comic,
they asked me to contact Joe and Nick. Which I did,and we got
the project rolling. When Joe told our editors he might not be
able to do a full 26 page comic all the time, it was suggested
he do 22 pages stories and Gary and me would provide short
Jiggy back-ups. We did three of these.

AB: Jiggy's partner, Amy "Buck" Bouchard is a departure from
the usual female lead in a traditional superhero comic. Where
did she come from, creatively?
RF: I have a cousin named Gloria who lost her right hand in a
tragic accident when she was only five yrs old. Her loving
parents refused to let it stop her from becoming a successful,
wonderful adult. She grew up to be an amazing woman and a true
inspiration to all of us. As I was writing thatfirst Jiggy
story, it dawned on me that it would be the perfect counterpart.
Here we have a hero who can do anything he wants to all the
parts of his body and his best friend is someone missing a body
part. Amy is one of my dearest creations and I've received much
praise for her from handicapped readers.
AB: And finally, as you look forward to your sixth issue (the longest run
Mr. Jigsaw has had in his 26 year history) how long do you see this series
RF: Forever!  Sincerely, Gary and I are having a blast doing these new
stories and so are old fans, and the new ones we seem to be gathering.
As long as they want more of Maine's Only Living Super Hero, we'll
keep delivering.

AB: Again, thank you for your time, it is much appreciated.
RF: Hey, my thanks, Aaron. It's always fun to talk about Jiggy.

Readers wanting to purchase their own copies of Mr. Jigsaw can
go to( where the books are all on sale

or they can go to and looked for the collected
ADVENTURES OF MR.JIGSAW from Wild Wolf Entertainment, which
collects the first three issues.


  1. The interview came out great. Thanks again for the opportunity and your support of Jiggy. It is truly appreciated.

  2. Hey! Congrats on getting an actual interview for your blog!

    I'd never even heard of Mr. Jigsaw before this week, but it sounds like a really entertaining read. I think I'm gonna have to throw that in with my next Amazon order.

    It just goes to show, though, that sometimes the most interesting work in the comics field is to be found outside the big publishers. If this industry is going to thrive in the next century, it'll be because of the creative work done by small press and independent artists and story-tellers.