Since bursting onto the comic book scene in 2010 with “American Vampire,” writer Scott Snyder has risen to the top of tens of thousands of fans’ “Must Buy” lists. During last weekend’s WonderCon Anaheim, Snyder stopped by the CBR Tiki Room to discuss his newest projects: the underwater-based Vertigo horror series “The Wake,” with artist Sean Murphy, and “Superman Unchained,” with legendary artist (and Scott’s DC Comics boss) Jim Lee.
On making oceanic-based horror work for “The Wake”: It’s a book I’ve been working on with Sean [Murphy] for almost two years. We thought of it a while ago and we both had other projects, so it was the kind of thing where we were going to wait and do it together. The core idea is, “What if there was a creature that was discovered at the bottom of the ocean by accident that’s essentially responsible for all the myths of the sea?” For the sirens, for the kraken, the mermaids, for sea serpents — and it has this secret tie to human history in a way that actually threatens to bring down civilization. It is claustrophobic horror, the first section. It’s broken down into two sections where there’s a post-apocalyptic element to it and there’s a very claustrophobic element to another section where the discovery is made and there’s a danger about this creature. What we were trying to do is we were trying to build on that idea where you’re at the bottom of the ocean, it’s almost like being in outer space, there’s no environment more hostile in the world. A lot of the horror just comes from the isolation where if something goes wrong, you are trapped. What’s great with Sean and the comic pages is you can create that dark, inky, incredible enclosed feeling in every page.
On working with Jim Lee for “Superman Unchained”: I still geek out. I like to pretend I don’t. Whenever I get something from Jim, I’m like, “Be professional, be professional.” You’re like, “Thank you, Jim. I love that,” and then it’s always like, “I love you, Jim!” I’m a huge fan of Jim, forever. I totally embarrassed myself when I had Thanksgiving at my parents’ house. I actually went downstairs, I looked at my old long boxes and I still have all my “X-Men” #1s. I said, “Jim, take a look what’s up!” I was like, “You shouldn’t have done that, you idiot.” But Jim is a great sport.
On his story for “Superman Unchained”: This is the Superman story I would tell if I got one chance on a Superman story. It’s everything I think and love about Superman. It challenges him in a huge way where it has a new villain, brand new. It has tons of American history in it the way I love, sort of a secret past — it threatens to usurp Superman in a huge way. It’s got Lex, it’s got a big plot for Lois, and my feeling was we wanted to do something where it shows that Superman, one of the things that makes him great, one of the things that makes him Superman is his moral compass. That moral compass a lot of the time — doing the right thing — pits you against the world. When it pits you against the rest of the world and there’s somebody who has a power set that’s even greater than yours that’s on the side of the world, it could be the end for you. Lois is one of the few people he can look to and say she can do the right thing when he does.
Check back tomorrow for more with Scott Snyder as he divulges a few new details about his and Greg Capullo’s “Batman: Zero Year!