(Author’s Note: This story is coming out late this month. After the reschedules due to weather, I was hospitalized for a couple of days after an illness over the previous weekend. I’m fine now and will make sure the next one of these is up and ready sooner.)

07-scott-snyder.w529.h352

After a couple of reschedules based on weather (completely understandable), once again, I sit down to talk with prolific comic book writer Scott Snyder and talk about the latest issue of All-Star Batman #8, his approach to dealing with fan expectations, his process when crafting a story. We even get into some personal issues with regards to writing through anxiety, the need for  inclusiveness of writing during difficult times and even his thoughts on Cons. He tells an interesting story about how fast gossip can travel at a con and some advice he got from Tom Breevort from Marvel Comics about going too hard at cons.

As always we go where the conversation takes us and just talk like a couple of geeks and hopefully, you’ll go on another journey with us.

Scott Snyder: Hey Deron. How are you doing?

Deron Generally: Good. How have you been?

Scott: Good. The snow storm knocked us out over here. It wasn’t bad, but the preparing for it with the kids in the house all day, we were all kind of knocked out by it.

Deron: Well we didn’t get the snow you guys got, but the temperature dropped so dramatically that everyone was in the mode of get in, get warm and get still basically.

Scott: (Laughs) Yeah. It was sort of like that here.

Deron: Well, I’m glad we got the time to talk. Thanks again for this.

Scott: Not at all. I love doing these.

STL036815

Deron: That’s awesome. I have a lot of questions about All-Star #8 that I really wanted to ask you. The further you move Bruce away from Gotham, the more emotionally raw he seems to become. Was that part of the overall narrative or was it something you realized as you were writing it?

Scott: Yeah. With this arc I wanted him to be sort of successively challenged. In the beginning, Freeze was this big threat and by the time you get to Ivy, there’s this thing growing in the Northwest. This necrotic death spot that taking out everything it touches. By the third issue, by Hatter, he’s really desperate to figure out what’s going on, who’s behind it, how to stop it. Its bigger than anything he’s capable of halting so I wanted it to be something that gets worse and worse. That’s why the arc is called Ends of the Earth.

I want it to feel as though his witnessing the fragility of things. Three different ways the world could end. In the fourth issue, you have the final villain stepping out and saying how fragile all of this is and let me show you how I can just push it over the edge with this story.

Deron: Yeah. I’m definitely looking forward to that part of it because everything has been so well laid out that I’ve literally gone back to re-read them all.

Scott: Thanks man. I’m really excited about the next one. I felt so bad that Afua (Richardson) strained her shoulder and was unable to do it. She was such a trooper. She really wanted to and it came down to us talking as friends and my asking “Is this causing you pain?” “Are you seriously sitting there hurting doing this issue?” When she was telling me that she was going to physical therapy for it, I told her to give herself a break. We can do an issue anytime. The series isn’t going anywhere.

GalleryComics_1920x1080_20170412_AllStarBats_9COV_58c2f7533149c8.38912936 (1)

She turned in some great initial pages. She and I talked and I’m friends with her husband. The last thing I wanted was for her to be stressing out and hurting on a series that was totally designed to be a showcase for artists. So when we talked about it, I told her if she wanted to go through with it, I’d support it. I’d give her a little more time. Not a lot, but I can get her a padded deadline, whatever you need. But, if this isn’t going to be fun because you feel stressed, physically uncomfortable or pressured then let’s just wait and do a better issue later on. So she was really into that idea too.

DC was cool with it as well. I had plenty of time to go to Jock and ask could he come in and do this. Make it a full circle where it starts with him and ends with him. I think ultimately it’s going to make series a lot better because I can write in a circularity that was there, but wouldn’t have been visually there and it gives Afua time to really shine on another issue. I think as a whole, the series will benefit from that change.

She’s (Afua) going to come over and we’re going to do a couple of things for the summer thing I’m working on and then, after the Rafael (Albuquerque) arc, we’ll try and do something about what’s coming after this arc.

Deron: That’s one of the things I love about All-Star and the behind the scenes information I get from you is how collaborative it is. Which leads me to my next question. The opening of this issue is reminiscent of the opening scene from Tula’s Poison Ivy issue with Batman emerging from the swamps.

All-Star-Batman-8-Panel

Scott: And Jock’s

all-star-batman-7-batmancrop

Deron: Exactly. Was that something that you went over with  Guiseppe Camuncoli or was it part of the overall collaborative process with everybody?

ASBM_6_1

Scott: Yeah, Basically I said to Jock. “I want this feeling of him emerging from an alien landscape in the beginning.” I said to him that I hope everyone will sort of follow your lead if you do a sort of four panel simple thing of him emerging I can do it in each issue and then I’m going to end the arc with that same image in reverse with him leaving. So the next issue doesn’t start with that, it sort of ends with it. (Laughs) Spoiler.

The collaborative aspect of it is, for me, sitting down with an artist and saying “This is your issue. You have plenty of time on it. I want you to shine. I want you to do things you haven’t done before. It makes me do things I haven’t done before. Let’s push ourselves and pretend that it’s not under the pressure of the main book.” I love doing that. I’m doing this event with (Greg) Capullo this summer. I love that pressure. Taking the big pieces and trying to do those things is always a joy. But there’s another kind of joy to doing this. I grow a lot as a writer on these kind of issues. I get to work more informally and improvisational. It’s almost more organic to be able to talk to an artist, figure out what they want to do with a villain and tell them what idea I’ve had for that villain and see how we can work that arc out.

GalleryComics_1920x1080_20170308_ASBM_Cv8_589cfe0e04c793.08492637

So I have a really strong idea of what each issue is about. For Hatter, I knew talking to Camo (Guiseppi Camuncoli). I laid it out that I want it to feel the way you feel when you’re anxious, depressed and paranoid. When you can’t trust your own mind and the voice in your head that you’ve come to believe in. The voice that narrates your day in a way that is clear and encouraging suddenly turns on you. I wanted to do an issue where Hatter is presenting this idea that we all want to live in this subjective reality and nowadays we’re more capable of that. In the real world it’s choosing your news and information. Where you choose what the truth is rather than objective reality. In the story, you can literally do that by putting on a hat that lets you see the world however you want and the joy in that. Saying “Look. I can be the author of my own story here. I can see my wife in a different way than she is. I can see my car in a different way.”

Sure that all sounds great, but the flip side is that there is a cost. You’re trapped in a terrible funhouse in your own head. I wanted it to be the superhero version of being really confident and clear headed and have all of that turn on you.

Deron: With that in mind. What prompted the look of this issue?

IMG_8513

Scott: I’ll go to Camo and tell him this is what I’m after and give him the basic bones of the story. I tell him that I’d like to set it somewhere that’s really lush because it fits the format of ice, desert and now marsh or swamp. He told me he wanted to put it someplace like the Mississippi Delta. Put him (Mad Hatter) in a white suit in this old Southern mansion where he isn’t concerned about the history because he’s living in his own reality and I’m using these trappings in order to be menacing.

That’s the kind of back forth I’ve had with him and with Tula (Lotay), Afua (Richardson) and Rafael (Albuquerque) on the arc coming up which takes place in Miami. Which I’m really excited about because I had this idea about a story from Alfred’s past and he really loved it. Something from Alfred’s MI6 days that comes back to haunt him and Bruce now. I really wanted to set it somewhere we haven’t been before and he (Rafael) told me about Miami. I thought it would be awesome to put Penguin and (Killer) Croc there. Go crazy and bring in Black Mask. Have fun with it and we got really into it throwing around ideas of an underwater casino. This really is the kind of series where you can have fun.

Deron: One of the things that I love about this issue is we get into Bruce’s head. The entire issue seems to be from the point of view of Bruce telling a story to someone. Was there a specific type of narration you were going for with this issue and with the series itself?

Screenshot-2017-03-16-20.09.30

Scott: I have to give kudos to Steve Wands for that. He’s worked on a lot of what I’ve done from American Vampire all the way to now. I wanted to let him know that this was his issue too. So I asked him if there was a way to play with the font. If you look at the progression of the issue it switches from first person to second person. Hatter’s font starts infecting the prose so he winds up almost alienated from his own head. As Batman progresses and triumphs, it changes again from third person to first person. I asked Steve if he could make the font spooky and strange and he was on board for it. It really was something that we went back and forth over because I want everybody to be having fun on the book and feel like they have some room to be creative and try new things.

ALL-STAR-BATMAN-_8_Page_19-1

Deron: What is the significance of the character of Mad Hatter to you? What about Jervis Tetch do you find compelling?

Scott: He hasn’t been my favorite over the years. I was never a huge fan of him just doing mind control solely. Like having an army of girls. The creepy side of him going after the “Alice” type girl was something that made me queasy. Nothing against anyone who writes it that way. It’s just not my bag, you know. I don’t know if I’m getting old and soft because I have kids, but I tend to avoid things that have that.

Deron: I agree with you. He does have a tendency to be a one note character and you have to ask yourself “How many girls named Alice can he obsess over?” Even if it’s the same girl, you just put someone on her and wait for him to show up.

ASBM_8_9

Scott: Yeah. It’s a very creepy pathology. To boil it down to its core: All-Star, when it comes to the villains, is about looking at each of them and saying “What makes them scary to me personally?” and “What makes them scary given the current state of the world?” Those two strains of DNA are throughout each story.

13460560_the-best-mr-freeze-stories-ever_t2252360a

I think Mr. Freeze is really scary because he has the ability to only see his own obsessive goal and taking the people he wants with him into the ice and letting us all die so he can come out the other side. It modernizes him in a way because usually, he’s just trying to revive Nora (Fries’ wife) but now he doesn’t want to revive her in this world. So he wants to release spores trapped in the ice that will destroy all life and he and his followers will be the only ones left.

C4I0d8MWEAEsrUk

With Ivy, there’s the potential for biological weapons. Her understanding the fragility of the world because of all of the things that she can make from this tree. It’s personally scary because she’s someone who has the ability to release these horrific plagues and the fact that she speaks to the fact that she’s not the only one. That there are people developing these weapons without her.

With Hatter, the thing I landed on was what we were just talking about. That he isn’t scary because he obsesses over Alice. As much as I like those stories, what makes him really scary is he believes in wearing a hat that will give you the ability to see the world anyway that you want and there’s something enticing in that. He’s saying to me “Don’t you want to do that? Don’t you want to look in the mirror and see yourself differently? Wouldn’t you like to see your house or your car differently? Wouldn’t you like to look up in the sky and see dragons flying around?” There’s something alluring about him in how he sets himself up as this laughable figure in this big hat, but he’s going to create for you the ability to see the world differently, the way he does.

Screenshot-2017-03-16-20.09.52

The scariness to him, the extension of that is “What if you put this hat and eventually, you can’t tell the difference anymore? What if you can’t tell what’s real and what’s in your head?” That’s really spooky to me as somebody who’s struggled sometimes with anxiety and panic because that’s how it feels sometimes. You can’t tell what’s real. It also speaks to how we are now. How we are retreating to subjective bubbles about things and it’s very hard to find an objective truth or even the desire to dig for it because it’s becoming more obfuscated by people going to the news sources they trust because they agree with you and reinforce your beliefs. Isn’t that similar to creating a subjective perception of things?

Deron: Absolutely. It’s this weird phenomenon of people no longer looking for the news that they like, but looking for the facts that they like. It’s an interesting approach in that regards to your take on Hatter. I’ve struggled with depression since I was very young, so it does speak to some of those issues people with depression and anxiety face. It’s almost like “To the outside world, I look like a clown, but in my mind, I’m a king.” and why wouldn’t everyone want to feel this same way?

Scott: That’s what I was going for. That’s kind of what made him interesting and scary to me. The ability to control the way you think and feel is one of the things that lured me to the character and what happens when those things betray you and those thoughts become more alien and scary.

Deron: This issue is such a mind screw with so many aspects of it that could be plausible in the Batman mythology. There were so many call outs to seminal moments in the Batman mythos from Henri Ducard to Bruce’s iconic moment of choosing the mantle. Do you have a personal favorite moment from the history of Batman? If so, why is it significant to you?

Scott: That’s a great question. I tend to gravitate to the moments that made me want to write. In terms of Batman, the seminal moments for me were DKR (The Dark Knight Returns) and (Batman) Year One. The first moment that I remember fully is that first scene of him showing up fully in DKR. That famous panel of him leaping down at you with the light shining up at him.

960

In Year One, one of my favorite scenes is the split between Jim Gordon and Bruce. Bruce arriving by plane, wishing he was on the street. Gordon arriving by train, wishing he was in the air. The line Jim says where he essentially wishes he and his wife weren’t having a kid because it’s such an ugly world. That just took me back when I first read it.

01dd5dd55c2b02b69c33693a682e781b._SX1280_QL80_TTD_

In terms of other stories from his history, there are so many baked into the DNA of what we do that it’s difficult to pin one down. There are elements of the Animated series in the books like Perchance to Dream, which is one of my favorite Hatter episodes.

Hatter_dream

Two Face and Heart of Ice, all of those episodes that just blew me away when I was a teenager. From Joker Fish to Killing Joke, there’s almost too many to name. Batman’s a character I’ve lived with for so long that there are almost too many favorite moments to list.

HoI_82_-_Victor_Fries

Deron: I can understand that. I do find it interesting that the first two that you picked were Year One and DKR where you’re looking at Bruce both at the beginning and supposed end of his career. That contrast is interesting to me.

Scott: It’s funny that you say that. When I think about, those are always some of my favorite stories in some ways. I love seeing a character renewed and reborn. Zero Year was probably one of my favorite things I did in that regard and it was thrilling. I think the other side of that is what I did with Sean Murphy in Detective Comics where Bruce has figured out a way to essentially make sure that there will be a Bruce Wayne for every generation in Gotham. Every twenty-seven years, a new Bruce would be born from this machine and all he would know would be up until the time Bruce decided to become a Bat. He would wake up in the cave which he could design how he sees fit in whatever version of Gotham it was at that time.

seanmurphytec27

Those are two of my favorites because they are the most original to me. It goes back to something Grant (Morrison) told me once. When I first met Grant Morrison, I was very nervous. He said you need to give him a birth and a death that all your own. After that, he’s yours and you can write, essentially, your own character. It’s really true. My favorite stories to read like DKR, Old Man Logan, Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow and All-Star Superman are the ends. The beginnings or flip being (Superman) Birthright and Ultimate Spider-Man. I love seeing the characters reborn and figuring out the ends of their stories in ways that redeem them. There’s a gravitas to those stories about the endings and beginnings.

Deron: This is another story that links Batman’s present to Bruce’s past. Is that a theme that’s going to continue throughout the Ends of the Earth storyline? Will you continue to touch on Bruce’s past going forward?

Scott: I think part of it is honoring the history. Batman was a huge part of my life growing up. Even now, he’s my favorite character. Being able to go back and celebrate the past with fans is good. The story isn’t ever dependent on the past, if you don’t know it. I want to make sure people aren’t left out even if I throw in a character like Harold or reference Amygdala or another deep cut. It never depends of that stuff, but at the same time, the greatest feeling I get is in being able to revamp classic villains. It’s also a thrill to be able to bring in new things and new concepts.

3736427-1441715417-Court

If it sticks like Court of Owls or crating new villains and allies, it’s great. It’s like honoring the past but also spinning new material out of it as well and taking risks going forward.

Deron: It’s definitely a rare thing when you can add a new toy to the toy box and have it be significant to the character and the world going forward. I definitely appreciate the innovation of adding to the mythology of the character.

Scott: Thanks. I appreciate that.

Deron: We’ve talked before about how these stories are exercises in dealing with your own anxieties. From a purely writer’s perspective, how do you transfer those anxieties to the page? Where do you go emotionally when you write?

Scott: It depends. When I’m having a really hard bought with it, it’s really hard to write. I’ve learned to do it in a way that works for me. I really lean on friends to read what I’m doing and help me get through it. Like I’ll write and put through it but I have no confidence it what I just wrote when I don’t feel well. It’s been over a year since I’ve really had a bad time of it and it can last months or even a day. I’m better at taking care of it now. Not that you can really control those things, but I know what precipitates it because I can get into really bad behaviors when I’m not feeling well. The more I do, the better I feel.

http://www.jaimehogge.com

Jeff Lemire

I’ll have this voice in my head telling me “This is terrible writing. Everything you’re doing is wrong.”, but I wrote my ten pages that day. The more you do that, for me at least, it’s a lifeline. I also lean on friends who have known me a long time like (James) Tynion, (Jeff) Lemire to read my stuff and make sure it’s on point. In terms of putting it into the work when I feel well, it really is about knowing what the topic is that you’re dealing with. Whether it’s fear of death, the fallibility of memory (Hatter), fears about the world (Freeze) and then saying “How to I create something that goes to the darkest place possible? What is my absolute nightmare of this scenario?” With Wytches for example, “How far can I go towards showing the ugliness which I’m afraid is part of who I am? How do I expose that and go there to a place that I’m not comfortable with?”

To me, that’s kind of what writing is. You have the ability to go to those incredibly dark places that you hope you never do in life. Not always dark places, but inspirational as well. But when it comes to writing about anxieties, it’s that. It’s creating those things that are personally daring on a creative level and going to the places that I’m afraid to think about.

Deron: That’s interesting, especially the collaborative aspect that you spoke of. The popular perception is that it’s just the writer in the room alone, shutting out the rest of the world. So it’s interesting to hear that even though the idea is yours and the writing is yours, you still lean on other people during the process to make sure that you’re staying true to the vision that you had.

scott-snyder-greg-capullo

Scott: Oh yeah. They give me a sense of objectivity with it. You get so cruel to yourself in your own head and telling yourself that everything you do is terrible, Sometimes you need someone to tell you that this reads like you think it reads. (Greg) Capullo’s been a big help with that too. He’s known me long enough now to where he’s seen me have a couple of wheels fall off when we were doing Batman over the course of five or six years. Having kids helps a ton. You do find a way to appreciate the times when you’re feeling well. Knowing about it makes it feel fragile, but special in that way.

Deron: On a lighter note, I know you’ve been hitting the Con circuit recently and I’m getting some of my first opportunities to go to cons as a member of the press. I wanted to ask you about your con experiences.

Scott: I love cons. I’ve always enjoyed them. Some of my friends make fun of me because I get really into meeting people who read the book. I like being able to talk to the fans while I’m signing. It’s hard to do at larger cons where things are so ticketed that you only get to sign one or two items and no one has time to talk. I tend to have more time to get to know people and talk to them when I manage my own lines like in Seattle.

It’s also a place to socialize. There were definitely times when I abused that when I was coming in. I really didn’t handle the quick rise very well. I really didn’t expect it at all. To suddenly be on Batman and for it to be such a big book with the spotlight from The New 52 and it being a number one. The strange popularity of it hit me really hard and I wasn’t ready for it. I went too hard at cons in certain ways. I was never a huge partier, but I certainly drank too much at cons. I would stay out too late and get into arguments.

DanDidioLuthor

Dan DiDio

It was a long time ago, but I was at the DC Comics party, right before Death of the Family came out. I was with my wife and I was drinking too much at the cons, not at home, but the cons definitely. I was overdoing it because it was a stress relief at cons. I got into an argument with Dan DiDio (currently the Co-Publisher of DC Comics) about something I can barely remember now. I think it was about something he said we could do that he then said we couldn’t I don’t remember. I was arguing with him and didn’t realize how aggressive I looked while I was talking. He and I always had a good relationship where we would yell at each other when we were mad but always with an underlying respect. We’d go back and forth.

At the party I’m really going after him and people who don’t know me are seeing it and it looks like I’m angry and threatening him. Which I can understand if people didn’t know me. So I went to the Marvel Comics party with my wife which was across town. We’d always go to each other’s parties. By the time I get to the Marvel party, everybody there was asking me about it. Apparently they heard that I had gotten into a fight with Dan (DiDio) at the DC party like twenty minutes earlier. The rumor had spread that fast. That really put the fear of God in me. It was Tom Breevort (currently Senior Vice President of Publishing for Marvel Comics) who was a great dude and told me “Listen. You’ve got to be careful. You’re starting to go too hard. You’re going to get a reputation. You gotta relax.”

tom-brevoort-561_size3

Tom Brevoort

It really turned me around. Not like I was spinning out of control dangerous or anything but I wasn’t being careful. I was using the cons as a way of blowing off steam, but you have to remember that it is like an office party. So I’ve matured a lot as far as what I do at cons. I’m more careful. I stick to my friends and I use that time to go with people I haven’t seen in a while. So I love them for all those reasons. I love seeing Jock and other people I haven’t seen in a while. I love seeing the fans and frankly, I love seeing the culture of the way cons have grown.

I remember, as a kid, going to the Roosevelt hotel across from Penn station and there were nothing but long boxes. Now there are these huge extravaganzas where the demographics have changed so rapidly. There are people from all walks of life, all genders, all races, all creeds, everything. I wish it was that way when I was a kid. It’s a joy to see it be so vibrant and robust.

3f339694008ef52e1190cb1862b286a8

Deron: Agreed. I love cons and I hope to get to more of them as the season progresses. I’ve always been the guy who goes to the con and hits the Artists Alley first. I hit the vendors, get some back issues and then I’ll check out the Hollywood stuff if I have time.

Scott: Exactly. I’m the same you know.

Deron: I also have a question from our managing editor Casey Walsh. He asks: You take such huge risks with story and layouts, is there ever a concern that the audience just won’t get it?

Scott: Sure. There’s always that concern with every story. I sweat each story even at the point where I feel I should relax more. The DC guys beat me up and tease me about it. (Laughs) I try to think about their desires, but I ultimately don’t listen to any of that. What I try to do is nod at the things I think they’re afraid of to make them feel comfortable, but I then still do the story.

dc-just-changed-everything-you-know-about-batman-and-its-way-better-than-you-could-imagine

The craziest thing we probably did on Batman, the title itself and there was a lot between giving him a brother who was an Owl to James Jr. coming back, to cutting Joker’s face off and wearing it. We were always trying to push the envelope. The craziest thing we did was to make Jim Gordon Batman. I knew Zero Year was going to upset people who thought we were ruining (Batman) Year One. I had to tell them that Year One couldn’t exist with the changes in timeline from the New 52. We tried to protect that, but eventually there was no connective tissue to it and that origin can’t hold.

Also DC needed an origin, so we had to do it. Ultimately, it is about the fans and they have every right to say “No” to it. What I decided was that if I was going to do it, I would make it about what I wanted my kids to be brave for. Brave in the face of now and I want Batman to tackle those things like gun violence and all the things that appear in Zero Year in different ways.

original

So it never sways me from doing what I want while wondering what they (fans) think. So I decide I’m just going to go for something different. So I open it on Batman on this motorcycle in a post-apocalyptic city where people are spear fishing in the subway and he looks like he’s been out in the jungle with this sleeveless outfit and people are going to go “What the @#$% in this origin?”

Deron: (Laughs)

Scott: I’m going to make it so fun and crazy that I’m going to short circuit your resistance to it. That’s the way I think about it. I’m not going to compromise what I’m doing, but I am going to try and win you over by acknowledging, as a fan, that I have the same fears as you. That I’ve thought about these things while writing. I promise you I’ve obsessed over these things that you (fans) have thought about. I think about your concerns.

Deron: But not enough to paralyze you from doing the work.

Scott: Right. I have thought about, with abject terror, @#$%ing things up on Batman. Not to say that I know it all because there are fans who know it ten times better than me, but I knew the Jim Gordon story was going to upset people from go. They were going to go “Robo-Bunny” about the suit. (Laughs). My point was, I knew it was a story that mattered to me. It was about what Batman means to the real world. Why does he matter? What if somebody came in and said I’m going to stand for everything that Batman is that makes us feel safe?

screen shot 2015-06-02 at 6.06.15 pm

I believed in it deeply, but I totally understand that fans are going think “This is the dumbest idea possible.” They’re going to say those things and say they’re going to drop it. So I’m going to have Jim Gordon in that opening panel after they announce that he’s Batman, say “This is the stupidest idea in the history of Gotham City.” I’m going to have a kid in the second issue say that no matter how hard they try to sell me on it. This isn’t Batman. He’s not even going to call him Batman.

I’m going to acknowledge what you’re worried about. I promise you, I know what they are. I am trying to take good care of this character. I’m never going to do anything for shock value. I wish people could get a sense of the internal battles when me and Greg have pushed back against editorial or corporate interests. We try really hard to shepherd these characters in careful, considerate ways and it’s a balance between trying to do things that have never been done before because they excite you as a writer with respecting the desires and fear that fans have for change or risk taking.

Deron: I’m glad you talked about those moments with Gordon because I picked up on that as a fan. I had those conversations with friends when it was first announced and I appreciate that you acknowledged the situation and deflated the argument before it could be made.

Scott: That’s what I was going for. I’m saying it’s stupid. I get it, but let’s go have some fun. He literally acknowledges how stupid it is and then asks where’s his Batmobile. (Laughs) If I don’t win them over, I don’t win them over. But I will acknowledge them by saying “I see you. I hear what you’re saying. We’re on the same team. You might not like my writing. You might not like the story, but it won’t be because I’m ignoring how you feel.” I try and make things that matter to me personally and, because I love the characters the way I do, hopefully my compass stays true and you do like it.

1343494832312848272

I also don’t want to be subtractive. There are good stories that do that, but I never want to write a story where the point is that somebody’s going to die. It’s never been my thing. I hope, at this point, I’ve earned people’s respect to some extent. We’re doing this crazy Bat event this summer and hopefully, people will follow me down that path because I hope I’ve earned some capital with people that they understand that I love this character.

Deron: As a fan, I can definitely say that because of your writing I am definitely willing to continue following you on that journey.

Scott: Thank you man. I am really excited about both the next arc of the series, the arc following that is just out of control. It’s like Mad Max meets DKR. It’s super crazy. The event with (Greg) Capullo is going to be nuts. It’s literally like we’re given the keys to Geoff Johns’ car and I want to open her up on the road. He’s been a terrific mentor and I’m hugely inspired by what he’s able to do and what’s he’s about to do with the Watchmen is really incredible. But it is like you get the keys and you’re like, “I get to drive THIS car with all these characters? The whole Justice League? I can choose Green Arrow or Red Tornado?” This is going to be so fun and Greg is ready to rock out. I tell him “How about Batman with a battle axe?” and he says “What about two battle axes and pyro?!” (Laughs) So, thanks for saying that.

Deron: Not at all.

Scott: I’m just really excited. I’m just ready to get into the mix with all of this, but I am definitely going to take some quiet time afterwards.

Deron: I would hope so. Honestly, the whole time you were talking about getting the keys to the car from Geoff Johns, I kept imagining you and Greg as the parking lot attendants in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off when they hand over the keys to the Ferrari.

ferris-car-1600-1140x610

Scott: (Laughs) Yeah, it is kind of like that feeling. This has been over a year in planning. I started planning this right after Greg and I finished our run on Batman which was around this time a year ago. I’ve just been waiting to do it. Went out to Burbank and put it up on a board for Geoff (Johns). He kicked the tires on it for a while and he was terrific about it. I just can’t wait to get started.

Deron: Well, on that note. I can tell you I’m looking forward to it and I really appreciate your being an generous with your time as you have been. I look forward to these.

Scott: Not at all. I love talking to you about this stuff. We have a habit now of talking after hours so I can relax and talk about anything. We just need to keep doing it. We should do it with A.D After Death as well.

Image-212-600x863-625x352

Deron: Absolutely. That’s great. I appreciate it and I’ll talk to you soon.

Scott: Yeah man. You too. Talk to you soon.

All-Star Batman #8 is currently available and I would recommend picking it up along with the previous issues. A.D. After Death is a limited series that Scott and Jeff Lemire are doing for Image Comics. If you haven’t read it, I suggest picking up the first two books before the third one is released this May.

Deron Generally