“Amazing Spider-Man” writer Dan Slott joined CBR executive producer Jonah Weiland on the CBR Yacht at Comic-Con International in San Diego to take selfies and enjoy a lengthy discussion abut his current workload. Slott talked about happening into impromptu signings at Comic-Con, why certain quotes can make him sound bad even when they’re accurate and why every generation deserves to read the adventures of Peter Parker as Spider-Man. He then showers praise on his “Silver Surfer” collaborators Mike and Laura Allred, explaining what’s unique about his approach to their collaboration and why he’s avoiding any comments online about his run. He also talks the beginnings of his “Surfer” fandom, juggling more work at a single time than ever before and the origin of his beard — “This isn’t a beard, this is I stopped shaving.” He closes out with a discussion of which characters are off the table for the upcoming “Spider-Verse” event and why he decided to go big when introducing Silk during “Original Sin.”
On how much he loves working with Mike Allred and why their collaboration is different than his other work: Honestly, when I’m working on [“Silver] Surfer,” even if it’s not about “Surfer,” if I see there’s an e-mail in my box from Mike Allred, I feel happy. I know something good’s coming, I know — it’s just so nice working with him. A leap I took on “Surfer” is I’m not reading comments on “Surfer,” I’m not reading message boards on “Surfer” — I’m staying completely away from it, just doing it for the sake of doing it and having fun and telling stories, and working with Mike and Laura [Allred]. Mike said, “Can we be called ‘storytellers’ in the credits?” and I was like, “Yes! That is awesome.” That is like the biggest honor. It’s fun, and the there is, when I’m writing a plot for “Surfer” I try to leave these places for Mike to be creative and to have fun. Like, “We’re meeting all these aliens, knock yourself out. We’re going to this fantasy that looks like this, go crazy.” [That leads to] the fun surprises that show up in “Surfer,” the things that I’m like, “Oh that is awesome!”
On having so much fun with his current workload despite how much time it takes him to keep everything running smoothing:
This year I’ve produced more work than I’ve done in my entire career, ’cause I’m doing “Spidey” twice a month and I’m doing “Surfer,” and that’s — people like Peter David, [Brian Michael] Bendis and Geoff Johns — they do this all the time. Charles Soule does that twice [per month]. It’s amazing. People work at different speeds and I’m very slow. So, for me, doing three books together, this is more work than I’ve ever done in a year. There are times when I’m falling behind and the Spidey office goes, “You know what would help? If maybe you dropped ‘Surfer.'” I’m like, “Screw you, I’m still doing ‘Surfer.'”
I love working on “Spidey” and I love working on “Surfer.” “Spidey” is all I ever wanted to do, when I was a kid, was work on “Spidey.” But with “Surfer,” when I was doing a — Surfer’s the first Marvel superhero I met in the comics. Like I knew Spidey from the cartoons, from the [Ralph] Bakshi cartoons in the ’60s. I wasn’t born [that early], it was in syndication — I’m not that old! But my cousin lent me his [“Fantastic Fours”] and the first ones he lent me were “The Galactus Trilogy” when I was a little kid, so Surfer’s like the first guy I met. And when I was doing a superhero strip in my college years, for my college paper, it was a thinly veiled ripoff of the Silver Surfer. And so everyone I knew in college is like, “You’re living the dream now! Spider-Man and Silver Surfer.”
On which Spider-Men won’t appear in “Spider-Verse”: It’s basically anybody that Sony has a stake in we can’t use. We can’t use the two movies; we can’t use Peter Parker “Spectacular Spider-Man” cartoon Spider-Man, ’cause that’s part of a Sony joint; we can’t use the Bendis MTV [animated Spider-Man] ’cause that’s Sony too, as well. There’s some Sony in there. So those are four we can’t use. We can’t use Nicholas Hammond [from the late ’70s live-action “Spider-Man” TV series] and there’s like one or two others we can’t use. But everything else is wide open. There’s gonna be Spider-Men that you’re like [Jaw Drops] — and, and we’re making new ones! And I love making the new ones.
On the genesis of the recently introduced Silk and her impact on the Spider-Man mythology: We had an idea and we went for it. It all happened when we were talking about “Original Sin” and they had to be big. These moments had to be big moments, that’s how it was sold to us. They had to be secrets that either the character has hidden or were hidden from the character. What’s the biggest secret? I have to be honest, there was a fear that I had. The fear was that if I was just sticking to my guns and moving ahead and just telling stories where I planned things and — “Oh, you can write the ‘Fear Itself’ crossover. You can write the… I’m moving ahead.” — that if I did that for “Original Sin” someone was gonna come in and, if I bowed out of “Original Sin” and someone else wrote it, there would be some major Spider-Man secret and I really didn’t like the idea of that. I didn’t like the idea of finding out that ‘Uncle Ben was a crook,’ or, you know… ‘Aunt May was turning tricks!’ Whatever. I didn’t want to find out some horrible secret that that other guy did in the “Original Sin” crossover, so it’s like, “I have this.” And they said, “What do you got?” and I’m like, “The Spider.” He’s like, “What about the spider?” “Someone else got bit, too.” He’s like, “What?” And I’m like, “Yeah, before it dies it bites somebody else.” And they’re like, “That’s big.” I’m like, “You wanted big.” And then, “Who is that person?” And when you find out that’s the core idea, it raises the question, “Where has this person been? Why haven’t we seen them?” And as we just saw in [“Amazing Spider-Man”] #4, boom. And that goes into “Spider-Verse.” … I love the whole history of Spider-Man and you’re going to see that in “Spider-Verse.” You’re going to see everything. It’s gonna be so much fun.”
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