Mark Waid: Swinging over to Amazing

A comics interview article by: Dave Wallace

Yesterday at the New York Comic Con, Marvel announced that Mark Waid will soon be joining the writing team on Amazing Spider-Man, Comics Bulletin’s Dave Wallace spoke to the writer about his upcoming work on the book.

Dave Wallace: Mark, tell us how you came to be working on Amazing Spider-Man? Is this something that you've been planning with Marvel for a while, or did the stars just happen to align and allow you to take on the project?

Mark Waid: It's something that Sociable Steve Wacker and I have been talking about since he moved downtown from That Other Place. I've always loved working with Steve, and we've been struggling for a while now to make the timing click so I could be one of the Spider-Players. Luckily for me, I finally found time in my ninety-hours-a-week day job as Boom! editor in chief to come aboard.

DW: How difficult has it been to juggle your ongoing comics writing work and your editorial duties at Boom! Studios? Is it difficult to prioritise and to put one role above the other, or do you find that the two complement each other?

MW: I won't lie - it's not easy, because heading up Boom! is a big job (but one I love and wouldn't trade!). Being an E-I-C means you don't get to clock out at five and relax into your writing - it means you have to fight to find the time and energy to write at the end of a long day. That said, though, here's the takeaway - at Boom!, I'm working with so many new writers with new voices that it energizes me and forces me to raise the level of my game as a storyteller. Everybody wins.

DW: Back to Amazing Spider-Man: how many issues of the book will you be writing? Can you give us any hints as to the artist(s) that you'll be working with?

MW: Heck, I'll take 'em all. We're still mapping it out, but so many talented artists are now in that stable. Kitson and I are a natural team; JRJR and I have been talking about doing something together for years; Marcos Martin is the freshest young artist to hit big in a long time... grease Wacker's palm and see if he'll give up anything.

DW: As far as you're concerned, what's the essence of Spider-Man's appeal? What makes this a fun book to write?

MW: The essence of his appeal, both for readers and for me, is twofold. One, he faces the sorts of struggles that we all face on a daily basis--the absurd little things that come along on an hourly basis to remind you that there will always, always, always be some aspect of your life that isn't going according to plan, and that aspect changes every day. And two, Spider-Man is FUNNY. He's genuinely funny. His dialogue is a joy to write, and if you don't have your readers chuckling or even laughing out loud a few times per issue, you should go write Thor or something. Spidey is a RIOT.

DW: How do you think that Amazing Spider-Man has benefited as a result of the "One More Day"/"Brand New Day" story arcs? Do you feel as though your work on the book is going to take full advantage of the new "Brand New Day" status quo?

MW: I do, because there's a new energy to the supporting cast and how they relate to Peter. He's no longer the guy anyone in his little world could ever envy, which he kinda was before "BND." That seems like a small change, but the effect is huge, and it affects how everyone acts towards and around Peter.

DW: How closely have you been working with the other writers of the "Spidey Braintrust" whilst planning your story?

MW: I pitched out the first scene of the story I want to do and talked at great length about one of the villains, and either they were all really drunk or they were all really supportive. Perhaps both. But they've been great and accommodating, and I'm flattered to be welcomed into that club.

DW: Can you give us any details about your story yet?

MW: Not yet, other than to say we're setting JJJ up for his worst nightmare. His recent heart attack? He'll look back on that fondly once he finds out what we have in store for him.

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