The original Spider-Man might have returned last month when Amazing Spider-Man #1 came out, but he brought with him someone completely new: Senior Editor Nick Lowe. Lowe, who had previously overseen Marvel’s X-Men titles for the past few years, recently took charge of the Spider-Man titles with the departure of long-time editor Stephen Wacker. And while to some it might seem like editors are interchangeable, they have the responsibility to be a comic character’s shepherd, to find the best creators, the best stories, and the best direction, and just like creators each editors bring their own sensibilities to the management of a title and an entire corner of the Marvel U as Lowe now is.
Earlier we talked to Wacker about transitioning out of Spider-Man (and comics) for Marvel’s animation division, and now we turn to Lowe to talk about taking on the company’s flagship character, the other associated titles under his office, as well as inter-office politics (and Nerf wars) they have.
Newsarama: Earlier this year you transitioned from being Senior Editor of the X-Men titles to now in charge of what’s called the “Spidey Office.” What books exactly are under your purview?
Nick Lowe: First and foremost, I’m editing Superior Spider-Man, Amazing Spider-Man and the incredible Amazing Spider-Man: Learning To Crawl! On top I’m also keeping Inhuman and All-New Doop and taking editorial reins on Moon Knight, Nova and developing a few others.
Nrama: Will you be keeping your hand in any of the X-titles to any degree?
Lowe: I finished up All-New X-Men #25, have a limited hand on Amazing X-Men #7 and then it’s just Doop!
Nrama: You’re moving to a new job – does that mean a new desk, or are you in your same office at Marvel’s New York offices?
Lowe: I moved down the hall to the Spidey office and it’s lovely. Still no window (one day!), but I’m much closer to Tom Brevoort making it way easier to sling insults and Nerf arrows.
Nrama: Who is your new crew of editors under you know here?
Lowe: They’re fantastic. When Sana Amanat isn’t doing TED Talks, she’s editing Ms. Marvel, Captain Marvel, New Warriors, Elektra and last but certainly not least Hawkeye (!). Ellie Pyle helps me on Spidey stuff and personally edits Daredevil and Black Widow. And Devin Lewis assists me and Sana on just about everything. It’s a fantastic crew that I’m indebted to Steve Wacker for putting together.
Nrama: Speaking of Steve, have you and him had any talks about this passing of the baton?
Lowe: Steve’s a good friend of mine so we’ve had lots and lots of talks. Most importantly aboutMad Men and Cheers (seriously, if you’ve never watched Cheers, you are missing out.)
Nrama: Although you’re just now taking over as Senior Editor of the Spider-man titles, you have a history of work with Spider-Man – from guiding the Macy’s Parade float to doing a run on Ultimate Spider-Man and that great Astonishing Spider-Man & Wolverine series with Jason Aaron and Adam Kubert. Can you talk about your work with Spidey before now?
Lowe: Doing my part to destroy the float on Thanksgiving probably says more than I could about it. In the 20-some years of Spidey in the parade, my first time we break it. No one tell Slott.
Nrama: What’s it like coming into being the shepherd of a character – is there any research or study or preparation you undergo to better know Spider-Man in and out?
Lowe: My life has been preparation! I’m a nerd. I love Spidey, but I do admit I haven’t read everything, so I’ve started reading from the beginning. It’s going to take some time (juggling the work and an infant at home) but my goal is to read everything Spider-Man!
Nrama: And as you’re taking over as editor Spider-Man titles, you’ll be working closely with Dan Slott. Slott’s worked on his Spider-Man run exclusively with one editor’s desk, that of Steve Wacker. What’s it like coming in as an editor under an already long run for a writer on a title with so many plans already underway?
Lowe: Dan refuses to use my name. He just calls me Steve. But it was amazing (pun!) coming in and having things plotted out so thoroughly! They seriously have so much underway and planned out. You’ll see my first fingerprints on the books sometime mid-2015.
Nrama: Assuming Dan not talking is a joke, what’s your conversations like with him in the early days of you coming to the Spidey office? Have you worked with him in the past, or had any substantial conversations at summits or whatnot?
Lowe: Dan is great. He’s super passionate and a true collaborator. He’s open to ideas and is just a great guy. I’m lucky! We’ve had a bunch of long phone calls and a really great lunch. We’ve got some more coming up, too!
Nrama: And you’ve passed the baton of the X-Titles over to Mike Marts. Have you and him had any discussions about these books you’ve shepherded for the past decade?
Lowe: When I first started on the X-Books, Mike was my boss (and the second best I’ve ever had, second only to Nanci Dakesian Quesada). Mike’s a terrific editor who taught me much of what I know so there didn’t need to be much discussion.
Nrama: A decade is a long time to edit a family of comic titles; what’s your thoughts on the X-Men titles you’ve done and where you left it compared to when you initially took over?
Lowe: Since I’m still tying up the last of my loose ends, it’s hard to say. I love the X-Men so deeply, they were what made me a super fan of comics, but it was time for a change. I’m so proud of what I was able to do on the X-Men, but I can’t wait to ride on Dan Slott’s coattails for a long time!
Nrama: You got your start at Marvel as an intern during the original “Marvel Knights” era, much like Tom Brevoort but he some many years before obviously. What’s it like essentially coming in from the bottom floor and working your way up that ladder?
Lowe: It feels like I’ve gotten so old. It doesn’t feel like the (almost) twelve years it’s been up here. But the truth is if you work hard at what you love, the time flies.