Amazing Spider-Man's Webheads on the End of BRAND NEW DAY
SDCC 2010: Marvel: SPIDER-MAN LIVE!
After more than 100 issues and nearly three years, the “Brand New Day” era for Amazing Spider-Man ends in October. Following the controversial “One More Day” developments, the thrice-monthly book brought together a stellar lineup of both writers (including Dan Slott, Marc Guggenheim, Zeb Wells, Bob Gale, Mark Waid Roger Stern, Fred Van Lente and Joe Kelly) and artists (including Steve McNiven, John Romita Jr., Marcos Martin, Mike McKone, Phil Jimenez, Barry Kitson, Chris Bachalo, Lee Weeks and Michael Lark) to Spidey. We saw the webslinger survive “New Ways to Die,” “The Gauntlet” and “Grim Hunt,” among other stories fit to stand alongside the character’s best.As revealed Sunday at Comic-Con International: San Diego, “Brand New Day” is coming to a close to make way for a twice monthly Amazing Spider-Man solely written by Dan Slott. Newsarama contacted several members of the “Webheads” team for some reflections on “Brand New Day.” Bob Gale: "I’ve had a blast being involved with Spider-Man. I mean, it's Spider-Man, Marvel's flagship character — how can it not be a total high contributing to that legend? I'll really miss the retreats and group telephone story conferences. I think we all had a great energy working together, and when we all would start feeding off each other, riffing on our different ideas, some great stuff emerged. Some really dumb stuff emerged too, but we usually figured out it was dumb pretty quickly, so that material never ended up in the book. Everyone kept their egos in check and no one ever got proprietary about anything. We were all there to serve Spider-Man and devise the best stories we could. For me, coming from the movie industry, I got a real education on how comics are written and made, and it was fascinating to me to hang with the other web-heads and get a sense out of their creative processes. I hope it's made me a better writer. I really liked the shorter story arcs that were part of BND. My pet peeve about comics is decompressed story-telling, so the group writing mechanism kept any one writer from getting indulgent and taking too much time on a particular story – or vamping because he didn't know what he was going to do. We each knew there was another story arc coming right behind ours, and these had already been assigned issue numbers, so knowing a story had to be done in exactly 2 or 3 issues made us all be more economical in our story-telling. The thing I did that I'm most proud of was my Spider-Man Digital Series (which was collected as Peter Parker #1-4). The digital version is much more interesting than the print version, and I hope my approach of telling a comics story in the digital medium by presenting it one panel at a time is something that others will embrace and improve as we all embrace the new medium. If you're really interested in the form (as I am), I urge you to subscribe so you can check it out. In the Spidey-verse, I think one of our best ideas was making Jonah mayor. The possibilities of that remain endless, and with newspapers dying, it was a terrific way to give him a powerful presence." Fred Van Lente: "I just remember walking and sitting down to the table with Mark Waid, and Zeb Wells, and Joe Kelly, and Marc Guggenheim, and Dan Slott, and Bob Gale, guys I had all admired from afar for years (some for many years -- I won't embarrass anybody by saying how many) and we began to talk story, and began laying out with Steve [Wacker] and the two Tom B's (or, as we call them, "The Twins") [Tom Brennan and Tom Brevoort] and Joe Quesada what would become "The Gauntlet". It wasn't until about halfway through the first day that it sort of dawned me: "Whoa. I guess this means I've arrived." It just meant a lot to me that Marvel would put me among the group that determined the direction of their flagship character, and I very much wanted to prove worthy of that faith by turning in the absolute best work I was capable of. It was an honor to work with this group, to have my work enhanced by their participation and to do what I could to support theirs, and for that reason and countless others it's an experience I'll always cherish and be deeply grateful for." Joe Caramagna: "I don't really belong here with this group, but I like to joke that the reason why Amazing Spider-Man is such a great book is because I'm the one non-editorial constant that holds it all together, haha. Amazing Spider-Man was always my favorite comic book growing up. When I had the opportunity to letter the book about a year into "Brand New Day," my goal was to a) not screw it up by being a weak link and b) learn as much as possible from these brilliant writers--and I have. As a new writer, having the opportunity to see the differences between Mark Waid and Dan and Fred, etc. and how they each handle the same character differently at the same time in his life has been an invaluable experience. The stories I'm especially fond of from BND are ASM #600 (Dan Slott is amazing) and the current OMIT story with Joe Q. and Paolo Rivera. But my favorite has to be "Shed" by Zeb Wells, Chris Bachalo and Emma Rios. Not only because the Lizard is one of my favorite villains, but because Zeb reached out to me early on and worked with me to establish the look of the lettering for the story. He challenged me to be a real part of the story and not just a guy behind the scenes, and I really appreciate that. Thanks, Zeb! All in all, these guys are as nice as they are talented, and I hope to continue to work with them in some capacity for the rest of my career." Marc Guggenheim: "For me, first and foremost, it was a chance to participate in comic book history. First, by writing issues of the flagship Spidey book and second, by doing it at a time — “Brand New Day” — that is bound to be one of the most memorable in the book's history. (And before you Internet haters get worked up, remember that even the Clone Saga is now beloved in many circles.) That having been said, as cool as it is to write a character like Spider-Man, that was something I knew I was signing on for (obviously). What I didn't expect — and what turned out to be the most pleasant surprise — was how much fun it would be to collaborate with these guys. Honestly, this team — and I'm including our editors Steve and Tom as well in this — are among the best, nicest and most talented people I've had a chance to work with in comics. For me, the thrill is getting a chance to write Spidey. I love writing his humor and his voice was the easiest to get for me. If I have any regret, it's that I got this gig during a very busy period for me, writing-wise, and I didn't always feel like I had as much time to devote to it as I would have liked. I certainly haven't quenched my thirst for Spidey by any measure."