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  1. #1

    Default Dan Slott's 2017 WordBalloon Interview

    Dan Slott had a lengthy interview with John Siuntres of Word Balloon a few weeks ago.

    https://wordballoon.blogspot.com/201...-universe.html

    https://wordballoon.blogspot.com/201...et-empire.html

    Some of the highlights...
    - Hannah Blumenreich got a job on an Amazing Spider-Man #25 back-up story on the basis of her unofficial Spidey-zine.
    - The Clash story in the same giant issue is going to have ramifications later.
    - Slott works so far in advance that he's usually able to avoid having to do event book tie-ins. Secret Empire is an exception since Marvel cared enough about the connection to the event that they prepared him for it a long time ago. As a result, he's known the major beats for about an year, which means there is stuff he'd like to say to detractors of the story but can't, for fear of spoilers.
    - Slott discussed the difficulties of writing out of order (IE- working on Chapter 2 of a story with one artist, while simultaneously working on Chapter 1 of another story with a different artist.)
    - Brand New Day was always meant to transition into a twice a month title with one writer. Slott didn't think he'd be the one writer, so he pitched an Avenging Spider-Man book before he was offered Amazing.
    - Slott talked about representation. As a Jewish kid, he thought it was important to find comic book characters who were similar to him, and he appreciated the few Jewish characters even though there was often ickiness (Kitty Pryde had connections to demons; Marc Spector was a terrible man resurrected by an Egyptian God which is kind of messed up when you think about it.) This is part of why Silk was Asian; he wants people to be able to see themselves in characters just like white fans always could.
    - He discussed Superior Spider-Man as a funhouse mirror version of Spider-Man, looking at it from both sides. When he was writing Spider-Man in guest appearances, he wanted to write the red and blue costume, even though it was the iron spider at the time. Meanwhile, many at Marvel wanted Superior Spider-Man to be a lot shorter or to have some kind of out, so that they could write the Peter Parker Spider-Man in their own books.
    - He thinks one mistake was doing so many funhouse versions at the same time (IE- Female Thor, Superior Spider-Man and Sam Wilson Captain America.) He compared it to when Steve Rogers became Nomad, which was unusual because the other characters had standard status quos.
    - He has insisted on keeping Peter Parker out of New York in other books, to tie with what's going on in Amazing right now, partly to give the other spider-characters more purpose. He acknowledges that writers will want to use the classic version of Spider-Man (the one in New York.)
    - He has met with many Spider-Man writers who all advised him not to leave the book because it's a permanent break.
    - Slott has tried to make sure that each big story has at least one big spinoff (IE- setting up Kaine in Spider Island so that a monthly title is plausible.) Sometimes it works; Sometimes it doesn't. The Prowler was supposed to have a big twist at the end of Clone Conspiracy, but sales didn't warrant exploring that.
    - Due to page constraints, he often has jokes he has to cut out that aren't relevant to the plot. A favorite was in Clone Conspiracy with an argument about whether a group of clones should be a warren of clones or a mile of clones.
    Sincerely,
    Thomas Mets

  2. #2
    Moderator Frontier's Avatar
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    Thoughts:

    - I appreciate Mr. Slott showing some restraint as far as revealing anything to Secret Empire detractors, even if it's mostly because he can't spoil the companies big "event."

    - Why am I not surprised that Slott pitched a Spider-Man team-up book, or an Avengers team-up book, before he got the job writing Amazing full-time ?

    - I can understand wanting to promote representation and having characters people can identity with, even if Silk's initial introduction and handling left a lot to be desired and sometimes it can feel like the promotion of these characters come at Peter's expense.

    - Kinda curious to know which writers were hoping to write Peter and wanted an "out" or Superior to end quicker. I know Yost, who was still writing Spider-Man at the time of Superior, was hoping to write Pete when he got the job writing the team-up books. I doubt it, but...Hickman? Maybe Ewing, given he brought Peter back for his second volume of Mighty Avengers?

    - I understand what he was getting at in speaking to introducing so many legacy heroes at the same time, but I think it's doing a disservice to some of the other legacy heroes to call them "funhouse mirror" versions on par with SpOck. I don't think of Sam Wilson or Jane Foster as villains like Otto was, even when he was trying to be a hero, and I think they're more genuine about honoring their legacies then Otto ever was.

    - Has Peter not being in New York really helped the other Spiders find their own purpose? I mean, has his lack of presence really had any major effect on what the other Spiders were doing? He has so little relationship with any of them that I can't help but think even if he was still primarily in New York things would probably have worked exactly the same in those books. The only difference is Peter would probably be dealing with what's going on with Felicia which, frankly, I think we're overdue to see rather then having Black Cat menace Miles or become Cindy's "frenemy."

    - I also hope his idea of a "classic" Spider-Man doesn't just pertain to him being back in New York, and isn't a tease as to what his Legacy run will entail. Granted, I have my doubts my idea of "classic" Spider-Man matches Mr. Slott's...

    - "Spider-Man writers who all advised him not to leave the book because it's a permanent break," fair enough, but I think it can also be said that some writers were better-remembered for breaking away from the book at the right time and not sticking around longer then they needed to.

    - Slott making sure that each big event has at least one major spinoff make sense, but also speaks to what I feel is some of the problems with those events and their effect on Spider-Man...where in they become less about character or Peter or story quality and more about spinning off other characters and making the event feel like it had some kind of impact.

    - I don't think much was lost from cutting out that joke...

  3. #3
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    I can only imagine the notebooks and word documents and timeliness Dan could have planning 7 months in advance he seems very organized.

    I'm curious with Dan saying to keep spidey out of NYC to give other spider characters to be used and now we have spectacular which based off the FCBD was NYC based. Will spectacular stay in NYC or is Dan bringing spidey home after SE?

  4. #4
    Moderator Frontier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bossace View Post
    I can only imagine the notebooks and word documents and timeliness Dan could have planning 7 months in advance he seems very organized.

    I'm curious with Dan saying to keep spidey out of NYC to give other spider characters to be used and now we have spectacular which based off the FCBD was NYC based. Will spectacular stay in NYC or is Dan bringing spidey home after SE?
    Well, if Parker Industries goes under then Peter will probably not have much reason to go globe-hopping.

    Spec's thing looks to be that, rather then being a true "back-to-basics" Spider-Man series, it's going to be a team-up book which leaves ASM clear to be the actual "classic" book, more or less depending on the direction they go in after Secret Empire.

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    I wonder who his advisers were on not taking any kind of break from ASM?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Mets View Post
    Dan Slott had a lengthy interview with John Siuntres of Word Balloon a few weeks ago.

    https://wordballoon.blogspot.com/201...-universe.html

    https://wordballoon.blogspot.com/201...et-empire.html

    Some of the highlights...
    - Hannah Blumenreich got a job on an Amazing Spider-Man #25 back-up story on the basis of her unofficial Spidey-zine.
    - The Clash story in the same giant issue is going to have ramifications later.
    - Slott works so far in advance that he's usually able to avoid having to do event book tie-ins. Secret Empire is an exception since Marvel cared enough about the connection to the event that they prepared him for it a long time ago. As a result, he's known the major beats for about an year, which means there is stuff he'd like to say to detractors of the story but can't, for fear of spoilers.
    - Slott discussed the difficulties of writing out of order (IE- working on Chapter 2 of a story with one artist, while simultaneously working on Chapter 1 of another story with a different artist.)
    - Brand New Day was always meant to transition into a twice a month title with one writer. Slott didn't think he'd be the one writer, so he pitched an Avenging Spider-Man book before he was offered Amazing.
    - Slott talked about representation. As a Jewish kid, he thought it was important to find comic book characters who were similar to him, and he appreciated the few Jewish characters even though there was often ickiness (Kitty Pryde had connections to demons; Marc Spector was a terrible man resurrected by an Egyptian God which is kind of messed up when you think about it.) This is part of why Silk was Asian; he wants people to be able to see themselves in characters just like white fans always could.
    - He discussed Superior Spider-Man as a funhouse mirror version of Spider-Man, looking at it from both sides. When he was writing Spider-Man in guest appearances, he wanted to write the red and blue costume, even though it was the iron spider at the time. Meanwhile, many at Marvel wanted Superior Spider-Man to be a lot shorter or to have some kind of out, so that they could write the Peter Parker Spider-Man in their own books.
    - He thinks one mistake was doing so many funhouse versions at the same time (IE- Female Thor, Superior Spider-Man and Sam Wilson Captain America.) He compared it to when Steve Rogers became Nomad, which was unusual because the other characters had standard status quos.
    - He has insisted on keeping Peter Parker out of New York in other books, to tie with what's going on in Amazing right now, partly to give the other spider-characters more purpose. He acknowledges that writers will want to use the classic version of Spider-Man (the one in New York.)
    - He has met with many Spider-Man writers who all advised him not to leave the book because it's a permanent break.
    - Slott has tried to make sure that each big story has at least one big spinoff (IE- setting up Kaine in Spider Island so that a monthly title is plausible.) Sometimes it works; Sometimes it doesn't. The Prowler was supposed to have a big twist at the end of Clone Conspiracy, but sales didn't warrant exploring that.
    - Due to page constraints, he often has jokes he has to cut out that aren't relevant to the plot. A favorite was in Clone Conspiracy with an argument about whether a group of clones should be a warren of clones or a mile of clones.
    Glad that Clash story is going to mean something going forward. It seemed likely that it would and it was definitely a highlight of #25.

    Nice to know Slott's had plenty of time to incorporate SE into ASM. Whatever big changes that occur during the SE tie-in should be well thought out.

    While I love all the current legacy heroes and flipped or 'funhouse' versions of them, I agree that it was strategically flawed to do so many at once. I think the fact that Superior Spider-Man and Jane Foster Thor were so popular made Marvel confident that wholesale change was what people wanted, hence Sam Wilson Cap, Cho Hulk, Ironheart, and Hydra Cap. All of those have been executed well on their own terms but I think having them occurring all at once - and also with Peter becoming a successful CEO, which in a way is almost another 'funhouse' version of himself, and the fact that the Fantastic Four were taken off the board was off-putting to many fans. I think readers are accepting of and intrigued by these kind of changes as long as the rest of the MU is relatively stable in comparison. You've just got to time these things out. But hey, live and learn.

    Whoever told Slott to stay was right. No one comes back to ASM once they leave. It's rare for any writer to come back to any title once they've left so Slott should stay until it's absolutely time to go because when it's over, it's over.

    Bummer about The Prowler but oh well. Another lesson Marvel has learned lately is that fans only have so much $ in their comic budget and that means they can't make too much room for books about C-listers. I love The Prowler and was stoked that he was getting a book but getting his book for me would've meant dropping a more essential title (with some of those 'essential' titles for me being books about other C-listers). I love that Marvel takes chances on characters like this but the marketplace can only support so much at once.

    Love that dropped CC joke.
    Last edited by Prof. Warren; 05-12-2017 at 03:02 AM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prof. Warren View Post
    Whoever told Slott to stay was right. No one comes back to ASM once they leave.
    What about DeFalco?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Miles To Go View Post
    What about DeFalco?
    And Gerry Conway.
    I miss Kevin Nichols. Not as much as bacon, but still...

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miles To Go View Post
    What about DeFalco?
    Quote Originally Posted by oldschool View Post
    And Gerry Conway.
    I don't believe either of those gents had extended runs on ASM after their main run. Conway had his Spectacular run later on but I don't think he ever had a proper run on ASM again. DeFalco went to Spider-Girl eventually, of course, but I can't recall him ever writing ASM in any substantial way again after his run with Ron Frenz.

    You can definitely write Spidey again after you've left the book but I can't recall anyone getting to steer the ASM ship again after they left. If there's examples to the contrary, let me know. But once Slott leaves chances are he'll never be that primary mover for Spidey again.

  10. #10
    Moderator oldschool's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Prof. Warren;2807161]I don't believe either of those gents had extended runs on ASM after their main run. Conway had his Spectacular run later on but I don't think he ever had a proper run on ASM again. DeFalco went to Spider




    Tom DeFalco had a fairly lengthy return engagement on ASM in the 1990's (circa #407-438).
    I miss Kevin Nichols. Not as much as bacon, but still...

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldschool View Post
    Tom DeFalco had a fairly lengthy return engagement on ASM in the 1990's (circa #407-438).
    Interesting! That was definitely at a time when I'd jumped off the Spidey train.

    But, as a rule, I think it's safe you say that most writers don't get two cracks at being the main Spidey writer.

  12. #12
    Moderator oldschool's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prof. Warren View Post
    Interesting! That was definitely at a time when I'd jumped off the Spidey train.

    But, as a rule, I think it's safe you say that most writers don't get two cracks at being the main Spidey writer.
    Probably.....but I also think we should not dismiss Gerry Conway's return in the late 1980's/early 1990's as scribe for SSM and WEB. While those are not the "main" title, he wrote a lot of stories there and some are pretty well-regarded.
    I miss Kevin Nichols. Not as much as bacon, but still...

  13. #13
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    That's what I think is probably Dan Slott's greatest strength as a writer, being able to plan so far ahead, which allows him to tease his stories as early as possible, before paying them off years later. Not only does it want you to pay more attention to everything that goes on the issues, because anything can come back into play, but it's great re-read value, seeing just how far back he set up a certain plot-point.

    I mean he basically told us everything that was going to happen up to Secret Empire in Scorpio Rising (from early 2016).

    He's also luckier than most writers as there's always the chance of their books being canned or being forced to go in a different direction, but Amazing Spider-Man is so successful and iconic of a book, that Slott's essentially given the freedom to do what he wants for as long as he wants.
    Current Reading List: Sonic The Hedgehog, Sonic Universe, Spider-Gwen, Unbelievable Gwenpool, Hawkeye, Hulk, U.S.Avengers, Amazing Spider-Man, Secret Empire, Secret Warriors, I Am Groot
    DC: Green Lanterns, Batgirl, Batman, Superman

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    Quote Originally Posted by oldschool View Post
    Probably.....but I also think we should not dismiss Gerry Conway's return in the late 1980's/early 1990's as scribe for SSM and WEB. While those are not the "main" title, he wrote a lot of stories there and some are pretty well-regarded.
    While I agree in regards to the quality of those issues, it still meant that he was not the "main" writer because of the importance of ASM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frontier View Post
    - I understand what he was getting at in speaking to introducing so many legacy heroes at the same time, but I think it's doing a disservice to some of the other legacy heroes to call them "funhouse mirror" versions on par with SpOck. I don't think of Sam Wilson or Jane Foster as villains like Otto was, even when he was trying to be a hero, and I think they're more genuine about honoring their legacies then Otto ever was.
    When he said funhouse mirror, he didn't mean villain. He meant hero with a twist. SpOck was Spider-Man as a villain, yes, but Sam is Cap as a black man, Jane is Thor as a woman, Ironheart is Iron Man as a black teenage girl. Spider-Gwen and Silk are both Spider-Man as a girl, something that already existed in Anya Corazon. Basically, a lot of What Ifs in the main continuity at the same time.
    Last edited by Digifiend; 05-12-2017 at 08:51 AM.

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