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Wednesday Fan Chat #21 - Dan Slott


#1

It’s that time again fellow Millarworlders. This week, we welcome writer extraordinaire, Dan Slott. Among comic fans, Dan’s name has become synonymous with Amazing Spider-Man as he has put his indelible stamp on that book but his writing credits also extend to runs on Arkham Asylum: Living Hell, She-Hulk, Silver Surfer and even the Ren & Stimpy comic. So please feel free to leave your questions for Dan here ahead of time. Just remember that all posts that aren’t questions will be retconned from existence. Thank you.

http://www.danslott.com/home/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/dan-slott-says-no-one-is-safe-in-spiderverse.jpg

For those who are not on the two time zones in the title of this thread, here’s a useful converter.


#5

Dan, thank you for doing this!

Do you have any plans to do any creator-owned work in the near future?

Also, what is your favorite Kurt Russell movie?


#6

Hi Dan, I’m a lapsed Spider-fan who still dips back in every now and again. I’ve been enjoying Renew Your Vows a lot and had fun with the Spider-Verse crossover.

Do you find it hard to balance the needs of a longterm regular reader with the needs of someone who only picks up certain stories or books? I was surprised to find both the above stories so accessible, especially after you’ve had such a long run on the book.


#7

Oh, and before I forget, can I just say how much I enjoyed the experimental ‘Mobius Strip’ issue of Silver Surfer. It must have been a lot of work but it’s the kind of innovation that’s exciting to read. Have you got any other similarly structurally-experimental stories planned?


#8

Hello Dan, I’m delighted to see you joining us here on Millarworld. I have been a huge fan for years. While I know that a lot of people will quite rightly praise you for pulling together large casts of characters for Spider-Island and Spider-Verse, I wanted to say that I loved the time travel two-parter you did in Amazing (678 and 679). It was crazy amounts of fun. As a long time Spider-Man reader, I have really enjoyed the various zigs and zags of your run.

But enough sucking up - Now some questions. You have been on Spider-Man for a while now, doing the sort of thing that people say doesn’t happen in comics anymore (long runs, subplots etc.).

  • Firstly, how do you keep it fresh for yourself (I appreciate that killing off Spider-man is the obvious answer here :smile:)?
  • What is the attraction for you of writing Spider-Man/Peter Parker after all this time?
  • What books/movies/other types of art do you feel influence your work?
  • In your Mighty Avengers run you did a lot of work to rehabilitate Hank Pym as a character. Was that something mandated by Marvel or something you wanted to do yourself? Are there any other characters that you would like to similarly fix?

#9

Hi Dan, we know writing Spider-Man is a dream job for you but are there any other books you hanker after?


#10

Hi Dan, if you had to recommend just one arc or storyline from your Spidey run what would it be and why? What about a single issue (if it’s possible to pick!!!)?


#11

I was a huge fan of your She-Hulk books and loved the Great Lakes Avengers (or whatever else they were that month) but I wanted to ask if you think you’ll ever get another run with either of those two and if so, do you have any really cool ideas for them?


#13

Hi! Well let’s get this started! :smiley:
First off…
Let’s answer some questions that are already cued up.


#14

Welcome to Millarworld, Dan. So happy to have you here.


#15

You bet! Tons of ideas for creator owned projects. Problem is, I’m a pretty slow writer and with Amazing Spider-Man and Silver Surfer my dance card is pretty full.

My favorite Kurt Russell movie would have to be BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA.

Good questions!


#16

They have a regular “Readers Circle” at Marvel, and one of the things I’m proud to get good marks on…
…is “new reader friendly issues”.
Even in the middle of arcs, the ASM team does a pretty good job of bringing new readers up to speed.
I’ve been on the Spidey books for about 7 years now, and I’d like to think that only a couple of middle issues of Spider-Island and Spider-Verse were hard to jump into cold.
Honestly, practically any issue will take you by the hand and let you know who and what everything’s about. (It means some issues get a little “exposition-y”, but that’s a sin I’m willing to live with. :smile:


#17

Thanks! SURFER #11 was a challenge, but that’s part of the fun of doing something like that.
My whiteboard for planning out that issue was legendary! (I’ll try to include a shot of it here.)
Mike Allred NAILED it! There are very few artists I’d trust to draw that frickin’ thing and make it work-- and Mike is at the very top of that list! He is SO GOOD!


#18

Great stuff. It was a brilliant read and the hard work paid off. Allred was excellent.

Thanks for your answers. The ‘reading circle’ is interesting, I didn’t know about that.


#19

I haven’t read it yet (not sure why) and really want to now.


#20
  1. Don’t know the answer to that one. I just enjoy the hell out of writing Spider-Man. Don’t think that’ll ever be a problem.
  2. He’s my favorite fictional character of all-time. Nerdy hero with feet of clay. Great power, great responsibility. And how does he deal with all of it? Makes fun of it. What’s not to love?
  3. The Stan & Steve and Stan & John runs of Spidey (of course). My favorite books growing up were the ALICE books and CYRANO. As a teen, Robert B. Parker and Elmore Leonard’s work. My favorite movies: RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, SPIDER-MAN 2, DIE HARD, BACK TO THE FUTURE, DUCK SOUP, and CITY LIGHTS.
  4. The reason I focused SO much on Hank Pym in MIGHTY AVENGERS was that he was one of the only toys I could pry out of the toybox! That said, he’s a founding Avenger AND he’s flawed-- and flawed characters are ALWAYS more fun to write. There are very few characters I think that are “broken” and need to be “fixed”. (You’re talking to the guy who helped bring back Squirrel Girl!) In that vein, I’d love to do something weird and elevate some bizarro character like Woodgod! (Look him up!)

#21

You bet! FF, Avengers, Cap, Iron Man… you name it! When I came back to Marvel in 2004 I got a rep for working on the oddball characters. Spidey is the first flagship-type guy they let me have a run at. I’d love to play around with all the toys. Only exception: Thor. I LOVE reading about Thor-- Simonson’s run, of course-- and everything Jason Aaron has been doing is another run for the ages. But I kinda know that a Thor solo is NOT in my wheelhouse. And that’s okay. I’d totally write him a member on a team though.


#22

If you could be a writer on a currently airing TV series, what would it be and why?

What is your typical day like? Do you listen to music or the TV when you write?


#23

Either the NO ONE DIES two-parter: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #655-#656.
Ever since the Death of Gwen Stacy, a lot of Spider writers have tried to put their mark on the Spider-Man legacy by killing off a major character. That’s lead to graveyards full-to-bursting of people who’ve died on Peter’s watch. (And I’VE done it to! Not pointing the finger at anyone-- just stating a fact.)

NO ONE DIES was a story that looked that in the face-- and dealt with the raw nerve of it all. And Marcos Martin made it all so beautiful. Love that two-parter.

Also very proud of the work we all did on the DYING WISH arc (that lead into SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN). ASM #698-#700 was a damn powerful arc-- and it really affected a lot of people. Readers got SO invested in that one.


#24

Cheers Dan,

He has always been my fictional character of all time as well for the exact same reasons. Even when I’ve been skint, Amazing has been the comic that I’ve never dropped.

P.s. What makes you think I need to look up Woodgod. I know exactly who you’re talking about. Which may mean that I need to rethink my life choices…Meh, probably too late.