By Alexander Añé
Today I spoke with Scott Snyder by the DC Booth at San Diego Comic-Con. I got to talk with him about his work with Batman and how he’s going to bring us the another big event with Greg Capullo and Death of the Family.
Alexander Añé [AA]: You’ve been the master of the “horror comic,” even putting out things like American Vampire left and right. I am kind of curious to know you’re going to doing Death of the Family very soon, how are you going to be bringing that horror element, that extra soul-grinding bit, to the arc?
Scott Snyder [SS]: Oh, that’s easy with Joker. I got bitten by the bug when I wrote him for Detective for 879 and 880. He’s such a blast to write because he’s so evil, and so interestingly evil. It’s effortless to bring out the wickness. I promise it’s going to be gruelsome and not for the faint of heart what so ever. He’s going to wreak havoc like you’ve never seen Joker wreak havoc. It’s the biggest, craziest Joker story ever. I was thinking about it, “I would really like to use Joker but he’s in so much stuff. How am I going to do it?” But then I looked at it and I was like, “you know what? Joker’s not in that much stuff, he’s ubiquitous in pop culture, movies, and in the animated stuff but there hasn’t been been a batman comic to feature joker as the central villain. He’s been great in Grant [Morrison]‘s stuff as the peripheral villain for Batman & Robin but as the villain, as coming after batman, there hasn’t been a story like that in a really long time, since the earthquake. So for me this is giving joker his due and doing a love letter to him about all the crazy wonderful and terrifying things he’s about so I can’t wait. I promise there will be a lot of blood on the floor, admittedly, but there will be exploration of his psychology and who he is without going back to his origin.
AA: You have yourself a wonderful reputation about making this batman mythos your own, I mean with making characters like Mr. Freeze in a whole new light. What sort of mindset did you go in with when you actually started with the Batman title back in Detective Comics and especially in the New 52?
SS: I was going to start detective, and I was going to use James, Jr., and I met with grant morrision for the first time at San Diego at this con. I guess it was 2 years ago and I told him my idea for Detective with using James, Jr. and he was so encouraging about basically explaining you have to blaze your trail, as though you are writing for yourself and imagining no one is reading it and you’re just a total lunatic writing fan fiction and it’s not comics whatsoever. and for me that’s what it’s about, it’s about trying to do it in such a way writing your own favorite batman book at that moment, it might not be the best, it might not be the smartest, the darkest or the most action packed but it’s the one you would enjoy the most picking up ont he stands and in the way you try and keep that as your compass and for me that’s what keeps you grounded as a writer.
AA: I might sir, you’ve succeeded immensely, I love your stories.
SS: Thank you, that means a lot to hear, I appreciate it. It’s very nerve wracking, I promise, my wife will tell you a lot of sleepless nights, “oh my god, i am going to use the joker?” and my son, he’s his favorite villain, my favorite villain, we play Legos. So you step out of the world and out of the computer and writing it and realize how much these characters mean to so many people. And that’s one of the wonderful things about coming to places like this to San Diego, seeing how many people have batman tattoos and batman shirts and joker backpacks and you realize how important these characters are to so many people including yourself. So you almost have to block that out and imagine you’re writing it completely alone. So it means a lot to hear that, the only way to survive writing batman is to write it in a vacuum or in a bomb shelter.
AA: Speaking of bomb shelters, your partner in arms with the bomb shelter is Greg Capullo, what’s it like working with such an artist? I follow you both on twitter and i hear you both all a buzz about Batman each monht.
SS: Greg is a superhero. He’s just the best guy in the world, I don’t know what to say about him except that I adore him as an artist and person and I look up to him as a person and an artist and he does not get the credit he deserves even if credit is lavished upon him, which it is, and praise, he deserves more. Because at the end of the day what he brings to the table isn’t just what’s on the page artistically on a visual standpoint he talks story with me, contributes ideas thematically he’s really a co-creator and co-collaborator everyone should just thank Greg Capullo if you like batman because that guy is instrumental in making batman what it is.