Back to the Keyboard: Waid on His New Boom Projects

Waid on His New Boom Projects

While fans haven't seen much of the writing side of Mark Waid since he became the Editor-in-Chief of BOOM! Studios, the fan-favorite writer announced at Boom's panel in Baltimore that he'll be introducing three new comic book series of his own to the publisher's line in March 2009.

Ross Richie, co-founder of Boom, called the new titles "Mark Waid's little boutique line" of comics. According to Waid, the addition this year of Matt Gagnon as managing editor, Ian Brill as Games Workshop editor, and Paul Morissey as Disney/Pixar editor gave him the time and freedom to begin developing ideas for launching his own comics next year.

Richie also mentioned during the panel that Boom would have "some superhero" series next year, although he didn't clarify whether those have anything to do with Waid's new series.

These three new comics will be above and beyond the Incredibles series that Waid had already announced he's writing for Boom. The Incredibles title, which will be released in four-issue volumes beginning in March, is part of the company's licensing deal that includes all the Disney/Pixar properties as well as The Muppets.

Waid is also writing for release in March an additional issue of Potter's Field, the three-issue mini-series he launched for Boom last year with artist Paul Azaceta, with a trade collecting all four issues scheduled for an April release.

And as Marvel fans know, Waid is one of the writers on Amazing Spider-Man, the now-thrice-monthly series where he'll be introducing Stephen Colbert to the Marvel Universe in issue #573 and will have his first full story published in November's issue #578.

But his "boutique" of three new titles for Boom in March is on top of any of his other announced work, Waid said. So Newsarama talked to Waid as he left the Boom panel to find out more about the decision to write three new comics and whether his fans can expect to see anyone in capes.

Newsarama: What got you to the point where you could finally begin to develop a line of Mark Waid-written comics at Boom Studios?

Mark Waid: That I hired three really smart editors to work with me. They can do the really heavy lifting now. That was enormously helpful. When we looked back at 2008 and tallied up the number of things we published -- not even counting alternate covers or posters or anything like that -- we printed 174 different books. And I have no idea how that's possible that we've put out 174 different books. It made me feel a lot more like running away. But with these guys on board now as my editorial staff, they're doing a great job, and so I can really step back and get away from the day-to-day. And also, a year ago, we didn't have a decent voucher system set up, we didn't have a decent accounting system set up, we didn't have a decent comp system set up, so everything -- everything, everything in talent relations -- was on my desk.

So now that we have a lot of those things figured out, there's more time. There's more time for me to go and write.

NRAMA: Can you tell us anything about the new series?

MW: We'll have an announcement coming up about it soon.

NRAMA: So these three books that you've described as existing in your "own corner of the Boom Universe" -- will they tie together?

MW: Two of them will. One of them, not necessarily. In a sense, all three of them will tie together, which will be clearer when we talk about it. That doesn't necessarily mean they're all set in the same "universe," but there may be a common thread that ties all of them together.

NRAMA: Are these ideas that you've had for awhile?

MW: Yeah. They're mostly ideas that have been percolating around, and I just get to pick and choose now, which is nice. I've had 20 years to kind of accumulate.

NRAMA: Ross Richie mentioned in the panel that Boom finally has "some superhero series" coming out next year. Seeing as you're writing three new series next year, would the new superhero properties be at all linked to you?

MW: Maybe. That's all I can say at this point.

NRAMA: But the premise of these three series isn't a huge departure or anything, is it? Will fans still see the type of Mark Waid writing we've known and loved over the years?

MW: I think they will. I'm not going to do dark, cynical. Well, maybe a little dark. But it would never be something like, "Look how stupid superheroes are." That's not me. And frankly, there are other guys who do that and have been doing it long enough where I think it's kind of run its course.

NRAMA: Because everybody is talking about that debate that Bendis and Kirkman had over the weekend, what do you think of it? After all, you've really backed away from the Marvel and DC universes, and now you're delving into your creator-owned work in a big way, so what Kirkman's recommending is pretty much what you're doing.

MW: It is. But I think I'm in that camp that says it's important to do both creator-owned stuff and do high-profile work-for-hire, if that's a possibility. No one can prove, outside of something like Cerebus, which was 30 years ago, no one can prove that you can make a living and a career just doing creator-owned stuff. If you can, then God bless you. Be my guest. But don't look down on those of us who want to do both and do what we can to increase our profileNRAMA: With three new series in March from Boom, plus another issue of Potter's Field that same month, plus The Incredibles series you're starting in March, will you still be able to participate with the Amazing Spider-Man writing team once you're working so hard for Boom next spring?

MW: Yeah. I'll still be doing Amazing Spider-Man. And there's still some other stuff here and there that I'll be doing. And somewhere in there, I might find some time to sleep!

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