August 30, 2010

Scott Snyder Talks Fangs and Batarangs with Comic Attack!

Greetings, Comic Attackers!  Get comfortable and grab some refreshments because we have quite the treat for you!

He dazzled us with the original Human Torch, gave us a look into a brother and sister moment between Colossus and Illyana, made us all bloodthirsty with his American Vampire, astonished us with the adventures of the original Most Interesting Man in the World in Iron Man Noir, and he’s soon to put the detective back in Detective Comics!  Now, he talks with Comic Attack editor-in-chief, Andy and his speedo-wearing sidekick, Aron about all things Pearl Jones, Skinner Sweet, and the Dark Knight Detective!

Let’s give a BIG, COMIC ATTACKING welcome to Scott Snyder!

COMIC ATTACK: Your first comic was Marvel’s 70th Anniversary Special for Human Torch Comics (a very cool read, by the way).  How did you score that gig?  Was it through your short story collection, Voodoo Heart?

SCOTT SNYDER: Thanks man. I had a good time writing the Torch story. As for how I got there, I’m a life-long fanboy, but up until ’08, I’d only written straight fiction. Then, in the spring of ’08, a buddy of mine organized an anthology of stories by contemporary writers that had them make up new superheros – a book of origin stories (it’s called “Who Can Save Us Now?”). Anyway, I wrote a story about a young man caught in the Bikini Atoll tests in the 40’s, who returns home with strange side-effects (“The Thirteenth Egg”). The story got picked up for a magazine, too – the Virginia Quarterly – and caught the attention of a couple comic editors. Two of them actually came to the launch for the anthology – a reading – and pretty much just approached me afterward and asked if I was actually a comic fan or not. I told them I was (I actually had some issues in my bag that night) and one, an editor at Marvel, asked me if I’d like to pitch a one-shot for the 75th Anniversary series Marvel was doing just then. So I pitched a story about the original Torch, it went through, and I became a comic writer. Seeing that issue come out was one of the best days of my life! And that led to the opportunity to pitch to my current editor at Vertigo, a guy named Mark Doyle. I went in for lunch, pitched American Vampire, which I’d been considering doing as a series of stories or even a book, and Mark got excited. He helped me re-tool my pitch a lot for Will Dennis and Karen Berger, I gave it in, and they all were very enthusiastic. The series got bought right about a year ago (another lifetime best day). Stephen got involved right after the series was greenlit.

CA: Some of your stories in Voodoo Heart, along with Human Torch Comics, Iron Man Noir, and American Vampire take place in the “olden days.”  That seems to be where you like to dwell. Has it just worked out that way, or do you have a fascination with the earlier decades?

SS: I do have a fascination with the past. Especially the American past. I don’t really know why, either. Maybe because I find the iconography of the past really powerful. Model-T’s and biplanes. Neon signs, old highways, hotrods and gangsters and flappers. I don’t know – these things just resonate with me. They have a kind of magnetism and totemic quality – almost like superpowers 🙂

CA: Lets talk some American Vampire! Pearl seems to be completely different from Skinner. I don’t see her just going on a killing spree because it’s fun (although, any time you and Mr. Albuquerque want to show her ripping another face off, I’ll gladly look at it!). Will she go hunting later on, or will she just live her life with her blood canteen boyfriend, Henry, and only get violent if someone steps on her toes?

SS: That’s something we actually address in this upcoming cycle (“Devil in the Sand” – issues 6-9). We catch up with Pearl and Henry and she reveals how she’s sustained herself and what they’ve been up to. Writing Pearl might be my favorite part of writing American Vampire. But then I get to writing Skinner and I can’t say he isn’t equally fun….

Skinner Sweet and Pearl from 'American Vampire'

CA: Is the plan to do American Vampire until the cows come home, or do you have a particular ending in mind that you are gunning towards?  Recently, the unfortunate has happened with Air and Unknown Soldier but G. Willow Wilson and Josh Dysart, respectively, have both said they were able to still write the ending they ultimately had in mind instead of just stopping abruptly. Is there a blaze of glory in store for Skinner and Pearl?

SS: I have an ending in mind – I have a finale in my head, but there’s a lot I want to explore before that. We have big plans! This coming cycle, for example, takes place in 1930’s Las Vegas, a decade after cycle 1, when the city is just going from cow-town to the Vegas we all know. It’s a about this series of murders in town – wealthy citizens are showing up drained of blood and this young police chief takes on the case and it leads him down the hole into the world of American Vampire. It’ll bring back all the big characters from cycle 1 – Pearl, Skinner, Henry, Felicia and Abi Book – but also introduce readers to new characters (both human and vampire). It’ll reveal a lot more about vampire history, ancient species… We’re all really excited to see what you guys think.

CA: Have we seen the last of the Scott Snyder and Stephen King 1 – 2 punch?  Will he be back for the American Vampire #100 extravaganza?

SS: There’s nothing firm yet. I really hope he’ll come back sometime soon, though, and he always has an open door. We talked a little about him doings something when we get to the 50’s… which would be awesome.

Pearl with vampire changing action would be a badass action figure!

CA: My (Aron) main focus here at is the action figure review column, “Gotta Have It! Figure Edition.”  I would absolutely love it if Skinner Sweet and Pearl Jones could be a part of that some day. Will they ever be immortalized in plastic with Viper Fang Popping Action?

SS: God – it’d make my year to see them in plastic. I promise to let you know as soon as I do. And as an aside, I just saw that Jeff Lemire (who has become a good friend) actually had some figures from Sweet Tooth custom made. I might do it myself, just for fun. To have a Pearl and Skinner set on my desk…

CA: What can you reveal about Felicia at this point?  Is she a badass we can instantly fall in love with like the Frog brothers and Buffy, or are we simply going to hate this girl’s guts and be screaming for a breathtaking death scene that only Rafael Albuquerque can draw?

SS: Well I’m definitely hoping the former, man… She plays a big role in this new cycle – she’s tough and headstrong, but impulsive. She’s got her sights on Skinner, too. As for whether she’s got anything extraordinary to her blood, I have to just ask you to read it to find out!

CA: Lets switch gears to your upcoming run on Detective Comics beginning with #871! This first question’s a doozy: Are you writing Dick Grayson as Batman, or Bruce Wayne?

SS: I don’t think I can say just yet. I wish I could, man. It’s killing me to have to say Batman over and over each time.

CA: Can you tease us a bit about your first story arc on the title? I won’t complain if you tell us who some of the rogues are either.

SS: Sure! The first cycle is called the Black Mirror and its about Batman discovering a dark, deadly happening among some of Gotham’s wealthy. In one way it’s back-to-basics – Batman solving a deep mystery in Gotham – but we’re trying hard to really make it fresh in its feel, its style, with brand new tech and our own themes and ideas about Batman and Gotham. And the back up ties into it; it’s about Jim Gordon facing this frightening figure from his past who’s come back to Gotham after a long time.

Detective Comics #871

CA: Will any of the Bat family, like Cassandra Cain, Tim Drake, Damian, etc., be making guest appearances during your run? Or is it solely about Batman?

SS: There will be some cameos, but I really do want this to be a book about Batman solving mysteries in Gotham. A number of the other books, esp. Batman and Batman & Robin feature Batman with a lot of the Bat-family. So I’d like to keep Detective a series that features Batman alone.

CA: When all is said and done, what do you hope readers will take away from your run on the Dark Knight, and how do you plan to accomplish these goals?

SS: Most of all I just hope people enjoy the run. But what I hope to bring to the Batman universe is my own personal take on Gotham’s deep, twisted relationship to Batman, its guardian. I’m working hard on it and I’m eager to hear from readers.

CA: Thanks for taking the time to talk with us Scott! If you have anything more to say about American Vampire or Detective Comics we didn’t touch on, or something else entirely, fire away!

SS: Just that I’m very excited to hear what you guys think! Please let me know – I’m easy to find online.

For reviews of both American Vampire and Iron Man Noir by Scott, click here!

Andy Liegl

Aron White



  1. Very good guys! I’m glad to hear the focus will mostly be about Batman and being the detective that he is because when done right those stories are some of the BEST!

  2. Apparently DC announced today that it will indeed be Dick Grayson Batman in Snyder’s run of DETECTIVE!

  3. Was there another Batman at some point? 🙂

  4. Billy

    I’ve heard nothing but good things about American Vampire.

  5. DecapitatedDan

    Great stuff guys! Am Vam is Great stuff

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