John? No, it's Sting.
From the beginning, John Constantine has had a remarkable resemblance to the pop star Sting. In an interview with Wizard magazine, Alan Moore clears up some of the misconceptions surrounding the creation of John Constantine, and his relationship with the rock superstar. And he tells an interesting little story.
Try as I might, I simply
couldn't find a Rolling Stone interview in which Sting expressed any
opinion on any comic, let alone Hellblazer. However, I did find an
interview in Musician magazine in which Sting briefly discusses his
relationship to his comic book counterpart, which may be what Alan Moore is referring to.
The following excerpt comes
from an article which appeared in the November 1993 issue
Where did the character John Constantine come from?
Basically, when I take over something as a
writer, I always try to work as closely as I can with the artists on the book, so I
immediately did my best to strike up a friendship with Steve Bissette and John Totleben. I
asked them what they would like to do in Swamp Thing . They both sent me
reams of material. Things that they had always wanted to do in Swamp Thing, but
never thought they would get away with. I incorporated this into my scheme of things, and
tried to pin it all together.
One interesting anecdote that I should point out is that one day, I was in Westminster in London -- this was after we had introduced the character -- and I was sitting in a sandwich bar. All of a sudden, up the stairs came John Constantine. He was wearing the trenchcoat, a short cut -- he looked -- no, he didn't even look exactly like Sting. He looked exactly like John Constantine. He looked at me, stared me straight in the eyes, smiled, nodded almost conspiratorially, and then just walked off around the corner to the other part of the snack bar. I sat there and thought, should I go around that corner and see if he is really there, or should I just eat my sandwich and leave? I opted for the latter; I thought it was the safest. I'm not making any claims to anything. I'm just saying that it happened. Strange little story.
Wherever Gordon Sumner ends, there's no question that the public image of Sting has taken on a life of its own. . . . Last night Sting was talking about the DC superhero comics of the early '60s when he was reminded that these days DC has a supernatural hero, Hellblazer, modeled after Sting. As a kid Sting read about Superman and Batman. Now he's in the comics hanging out with them.
"That's not me," Sting says. "That's the public domain creation. Anything can happen to that, bad or good. It doesn't affect the core of me. Having created a kind of mask or image, you should then put it aside and get on with your life. The mistake [celebrities] make is they, confuse that thing that's been created by them and by the media for reality. Then they sit inside that thing and they wonder why everything's fucked up. That character is someone else. It's not me. And thank God. Nice things happen to it, bad things happen to it - fine. Just leave me out of it!
Special thanks to Thank you www.stingchronicity.co.uk, which has every conceivable Sting interview available.
John Goodrich 5/5/2000
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