At Comic-Con International 2013, “Green Lantern” and “X-O Manowar” writer Robert Venditti stopped by the CBR Yacht to discuss his current plans for the Emerald Ring-slinger as well as detail the evolution of his career and tease his return to the realm of creator-owned with a somewhat different project.
On the experience of getting “The Surrogates” made into a film: Fortunate is the exact right work. There are people who — whether I’m on a panel or an interview or an aspiring creator asks me, “How can I get a movie made?” For me, it’s like, “I don’t know, make sure there’s a writer’s strike.” I don’t know what to tell you. It’s very true that if the Writers’ Strike hadn’t happened, “Surrogates” probably would not have gotten made. It was a matter of timing and there is a lot of luck in these kinds of things. I do feel very fortunate, and I don’t deserve it any more than anybody else does, I just happened to be in the right place at the right time.
On the choosing his projects after “The Surrogates”: “The Surrogates” came out in 2005 and I didn’t do my first monthly serialized comic until “X-O Manowar” #1, which came out in 2012. I think that during that interim, I didn’t do a lot of stuff, but I also always had my job at Top Shelf during that entire era. I went to “The Surrogates” premiere, and the day after, I went back to Atlanta and I was in the warehouse packing boxes. I think a lot of people think, “Oh, he made a movie, so he’s career’s set,” but for me, I always kept that day job, which took a lot of time — but the bills were always paid, my family was taken care of and that allowed me to only do the projects that I wanted to do.
On his approach to “Green Lantern” and the writers’ room approach: We’re very much involved and it is a writers’ room mentality. All four of the creative teams switched over all at once. They brought in me on “Green Lantern,” Van Jensen writes “Green Lantern Corps” and I co-plot with him, Charles Soule writes “Red Lanterns” and Justin Jordan is on “Green Lantern: New Guardians.” They brought us all on together, they changed all of the teams at once. We’ve met several times to talk through things and it’s great to be able to bounce ideas off each other and to really make things better. It is very much a writers’ room situation. The editors are there, but they’ve been very supportive. We have this single storyline that we’ll start with the Villains Month Relic issue in September, that will kick it off and give you the background on this villain we’ve introduced in “New Guardians,” which Justin is doing a great job with. That’ll turn into this storyline called “Lights Out” in October. It’ll be a one month story that starts with “Green Lantern,” goes through the other titles and ends with “Green Lantern Annual” at the end of the month. This is something we’ve worked on very hard and it’s a hugely significant event.
On his upcoming return to creator-owned: There is a project that I’ve been working on for two years now that’s the largest creator-owned project I’ve ever undertaken. … I have a two book novel deal that I’ve signed. I’m going to be throwing my hat into that ring while I’m still doing comics as well, but that’s why I haven’t done a lot of other creator-owned stuff recently comics-wise because writing novels is a much more time-consuming endeavor. It’s a “Percy Jackson,” “Harry Potter” type piece.