@’s by Scott Snyder
Writer of SWAMP THING, BATMAN, & AMERICAN VAMPIRE!
AMBUSH BUG (BUG): I’m here at the DC booth and I’m standing here with Scott Snyder, writer of many, many books at DC. How are you doing today? They haven’t even opened the doors yet at C2E2. What do you think it’s going to be like in a couple of minutes?
SCOTT SNYDER (SS): Oh man, it’s going to be crazy. This is my third one. This is actually my first con that I came to as an employee of DC. I had been to a number of cons as a fan, but this was the first one I actually got to come to when I was writing a book and I pitched DETECTIVE while I was here and so it has a very special place in my heart, C2E2. I remember interviewing with you actually the very first year I was here as well, so this is like a tradition for us now.
BUG: (Laughs) Yeah, we’ll do it every year.
SS: Absolutely, man.
BUG: And you’ve got so many books out here through DC. You’ve got SWAMP THING, BATMAN, AMERICAN VAMPIRE. What else?
SS: Yeah, and we have another AMERICAN VAMPIRE miniseries coming up really soon too with Dustin Nguyen. We are doing a miniseries called LORD OF NIGHTMARES and it’s going to focus on some of the characters we really love from the Vassals, the organization that hunt vampires in our world of AMERICAN VAMPIRE. This one takes place in Paris and London in the 50’s and it’s got big new scary vampires and spies and reveals. It has a whole kind of 50’s spy kind of feel to it, so I’m very excited.
BUG: Very cool. It seems like you have such a great handling of history in the AMERICAN VAMPIRE series. How do you gather all of that? It seems so authentic. How do you do that?
SS: Thanks…well, I guess I feel like it’s very easy to let it become procrastination, you know, where it’s like “I guess I’ll just research another thing about the London Tower in 1950,” because it keeps you from writing on days you don’t feel inspired. So it can be a really tough balance to strike, but I’ve always love history. I mean, I minored in history in college and stuff like that, so the fun for me is finding where the characters are each decade and following their sort of emotional trajectory through the different years. So at first it was really fun to be like “In the 20’s I can’t wait to do it, and the 30’s I can’t wait to show a crazy vampire jazz club,” but now it’s really become a lot more about just catching up with the characters that we love at different periods and seeing where they are, you know?
BUG: Do you still teach?
SS: Yes, I do, actually. Yeah, I shouldn’t, but I do. I teach one day a week, otherwise my wife would kill me I think at this point, but it’s really a labor of love. I don’t want to give it up at all. I love doing it, because I teach comics writing at Sarah Lawrence and the golden rule of the class really is “You have to come in and write the comic that you would like to pick up and read, whether it’s ADVENTURE TIME type comic or it’s a political comic or BATMAN or whatever” and you go in there enough times and you say that and it makes you come home and feel like you have to do the same thing, so I feel like it keeps me honest as a writer to do it, so I don’t want to give it up even though at this point it’s becoming…it is kind of silly. I mean, it takes up a lot of time, which I know is becoming shorter and shorter for me and so it really is something that doesn’t make any logical sense, but in my heart of hearts it’s very hard to stop doing it.
BUG: So how are your students now that you’ve become this big time comic writer, are they all gushing to have you teach them?
SS: (Laughs) I don’t know about that. They hide it if they are, but it’s kind of funny, sometimes people come up from the city and get stuff signed after the class, which is always a little weird, but overall it’s just a pleasure to teach, because to get people excited about comics or to make them feel like they can find a way into the industry, even though it’s a tough one to break into obviously, but look I came into it from a really weird backdoor way by writing pros and they were looking for writings and my point is simply if I could do it, there’s no reason really that someone else couldn’t that really loves writing and works hard at it, so it’s nice to be able to sort of…to try and get people excited about understanding that it is something you can do, that there is a possibility of doing it in the world as a job and loving doing it.
BUG: Let’s talk about BATMAN here. You have the NIGHT OF OWLS coming up, a big crossover, the first big Batman crossover since the relaunch or the new 52.
[A loud sweep of screams from a large group are heard in the background.]
BUG: It looks like they are opening the doors. They are going to stampede.
SS: Here comes the stampede, exactly. Yeah, I’m excited about it. It really is an interesting event, because we really tried to let everybody tell their own story with their own character and not push anything on anyone and have it be something where it’s really about the Court releasing like 50 to 60 Talons, you know? One from every era of Gotham’s history out to perform a deadly mission in Gotham that I don’t want to give away quite yet and so it really is about Gotham’s history coming back to attack its heroes in the present in that way, so everybody got to pick a Talon from a different era and the Talons have their own histories and you get to see a window into that decade that they are from, whether it’s 1685 or 1950. So it will open up a lot of doors into Gotham’s secret past as well and I’m really thrilled. I’m so proud to be among the books coming out. I didn’t orchestrate anything with who wrote what or how they wrote it or what era they picked or how they wrote the story, I just tried to let them do what they wanted to do. I have too much respect for them as writers to pretend that I could dictate to them, so in that way and what has come out is something I’m really thrilled about. So I’m very excited to see what fans think. I hope you guys love it as much as we do.
BUG: Very cool. Well, I know you’re really busy and you’re about to go get lunch and everything, but I did want to ask about SWAMP THING as well. You’ve got both the Swamp Thing and Animal Man kind of fighting the same villains and it looks like they are on a collision course. When is that going to happen?
SS: Oh yeah, actually Jeff was just here on Tuesday and Monday night and we hung out the whole time to do this at DC and the offices, so it’s a story that really begins in earnest. You’ll see the characters crossover into each other’s books in issue 11, so you’ll start to see the Baker family in SWAMP THING and you’ll start to see Alec in ANIMAL MAN around issue 11 and then in 12 and then the event itself really dives headlong into this storyline in issue 13. So you will see them in 11, 12 is the start of the event, and then you can read them separately from 13 until the end, until 17. So it’s definitely coming.
BUG: It sounds like you have things planned out for a good long time. Are you planning on staying on all of these books?
SS: Oh yeah, definitely. I love these characters. I have no plans on leaving any of them.
BUG: Okay, great. What’s the main thing you’re here to talk about at C2E2?
SS: No, I don’t think so. Really it’s just THE NIGHT OF THE OWL stuff is coming up so soon and the crossover between ANIMAL MAN and SWAMP THING and the AMERICAN VAMPIRE miniseries is really sneaking up on us too, so that’s plenty for me. (Laughs) No other announcements right now.
BUG: Also, I just received the hardcover of SEVERED in the mail and I’m going to be reading that very soon. I’ll be reviewing it on the site as well. Can we talk a tiny bit about that?
SS: Yeah, sure. I absolutely…SEVERED was a real labor of love and the guy I wrote it with is in Artist’s Alley right now, he’s my oldest friend in the world and it was about stuff that really matters to me about American history again, but also early American music and the road. So it’s a horror story and it’s one of the scariest things I think I’ve ever been a part of, but at the same time it’s also got a lot of wonder in it, so I really hope people like it. It comes out…it’s out now in comic stores. It came out this last week, so go check it out and let us know what you think.
BUG: Yeah, sure. I’ll be reviewing it soon (EDITOR’S NOTE: I actually reviewed it here, so go read my review of SEVERED after this!). I’ve read the first couple of issues, but I plan on plowing through the whole thing soon. So far it’s fantastic.
SS: Thanks man, I really appreciate that.
BUG: Well, congratulations on all of your success and I’ll probably be interviewing you some at the next con.
SS: Yeah, hopefully before next C2E2.
BUG: I’ll see you in San Diego probably, too.
SS: Yeah, awesome.
BUG: Thanks man, have a great con.
You can check out Scott Snyder’s writing in SWAMP THING, AMERICAN VAMPIRE, & BATMAN every month from DC Comics!
Ambush Bug is Mark L. Miller, original @$$Hole/wordslinger/reviewer/co-editor of AICN Comics for over ten years. He has written comics such as MUSCLES & FIGHTS, MUSCLES & FRIGHTS, VINCENT PRICE PRESENTS TINGLERS & WITCHFINDER GENERAL, THE DEATHSPORT GAMES, WONDERLAND ANNUAL 2010 & NANNY & HANK (soon to be made into a feature film from Uptown 6 Films). He is also a regular writer for FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND & has co-written their first ever comic book LUNA: ORDER OF THE WEREWOLF (to be released in October 2012 as an 100-pg original graphic novel). Mark has just announced his new comic book miniseries GRIMM FAIRY TALES PRESENTS THE JUNGLE BOOK from Zenescope Entertainment to be released in March 2012.
Proofs, co-edits & common sense provided by Sleazy G