April 18, 2011
We’ve talked at length about the celebrity status of Alex Thomas, the current Standard. When you’re navigating through TV contracts, public appearances and book deals, the one “sidekick” a superhero really needs is an agent. Alex Thomas’ agent is Bill Finney, who has kindly agreed to an interview for this blog.
John Lees: First off, thank you, Mr. Finney, for taking the time out of your busy schedule to talk to me.
Bill Finney: No problem. I’m happy to help a fellow Glaswegian!
So, let’s start by getting to know you. Why don’t you tell us who you are, and what your job as The Standard’s agent entails?
Well, my name is Bill Finney, as you know. I was born in Glasgow, Scotland, but now live in Sky City, USA, working for the best boss in the world, The Standard! My job involves looking out for The Standard’s interests in the various ventures he gets involved in. Sponsorship deals, TV appearances, merchandise. Someone has to keep on top of all the contracts and technical stuff while The Standard focuses on doing what he does best.
And you know all the best prostitutes…
How did you know about that?
I was kidding.
Oh. So was I.
Some people might wonder why a superhero needs an agent. They don’t have agents in the comic books.
And in the comic books, they never age, and they come back from the dead every couple of years. This is the real world, and in the real world, certain practical issues demand practical solutions. Superheroes are the new rock stars. Having an agent makes sense for them, and in my opinion the only thing that’s confusing is why every superhero doesn’t have one.
You touched on another point of interest in your answer there that I want to explore a bit further. You talked about superheroes being like rock stars. Do you think that, by becoming celebrities in this sense, superheroes are in danger of losing sight of that public service element of their inception?
I get asked this all the time, and I always say the same thing. Superheroes had plenty of time to end all crime and bring forth world peace before Alex Thomas publicly unmasked and supposedly “ruined everything,” and they didn’t do it. You know why? Because it’s impossible. There’s a saying in Scotland that I’m sure you’re familiar with: a “Forth Bridge job.” There are people employed to paint the Forth Bridge. They start at one side, and by the time they get to the other side, it’s time to go back to where they started and do it all over again. It’s a never-ending job, and fighting crime is the same. There’s always going to be another crime-lord, another maniac dictator oppressing his people, another terrorist. Superheroes were never about “saving the world”. Superheroes were about inspiring people, making them feel good about themselves, giving them something to aspire too. And in this generation, the way to do that is by being in gossip mags, by being a style icon, by having your own TV show. The Standard had to change with the times, or risk becoming irrelevant. Alex Thomas recognised that. And thanks to him, superheroes were given a whole new lease of life in this changing world.
So, tell us, what is it like working for Alex Thomas?
Best job in the world, mate. The thing about Alex is, when you get over the fact that he’s THE STANARD, he’s actually just a decent, friendly guy. Yeah, some people trash him for the reasons discussed above, but – and I’m not just saying this because it’s my job to pimp the guy – he is the most genuinely heroic person I’ve ever met. The dedication he has to his fans, to this city, and to all the charities he’s involved with, it’s inspiring. And being part of his exciting, crazy life… it’s just a rollercoaster ride.
Thank you for taking the time to speak with us, Mr. Finney!
You’re welcome! And remember, the new season of The Standard premieres on the Hawks Network this fall!