Scott Snyder's "favorite panel of the convention" featured a special guest at New York Comic Con, with Greg Capullo, his partner on Batman, joining him.
Snyder, wearing a "What Would Batman Do" t-shirt, opened the floor to questions right from the beginning. He talked about developing the Court of Owls story - and how it's all about there being secrets buried everywhere.
Asked about the mood and style of his books, "I really try to find the best way of working with an artist on each book. Rafael likes full script for talking scenes, and freedom for the action scenes; Jock likes full script all the way; Greg likes a lot of freedom. One of the things that's great about comics is that it's so collaborative. I try to do as little of this as possible "tracking shot of this," I try not to direct it. I'll say "he's really angry here" or "this is moody.""
Any plans for new villains? "Oh we'd love to because they give us some money!" Capullo joked. "Yeah, we've been trying to do more new heroes, like Harper, and Duke, possibly Lark, her brother Cullen, Julia - we're trying to build from there. But yeah, we'll do new villains.
"This Joker story is a big finale to him for us, and will really change some of the status quo. It's the runway to do some of the stuff you're talking about, definitely. I love that Joker is new and different every time, though. He'll look different and act different this time around."
Capullo added, "Yeah, he's saying that last Joker was nice guy Joker compared to this time."
Editorial ever try to get you to dial it back or alter things?
"We really, Scott and I just plan to lock arms and really fight for our vision," Capullo said. "We even have an exit strategy for if we lose a big fight with them on it. Everything Scott does is really thought out, and he'll give you the best stories if you don't get in the way."
"The locking arms thing - that means the world to me on a book to have someone really have my back the way that Greg does," Snyder added. There was a specific page turn in Batman #5 that they had to fight for that looked like it might be a "mistake" when a page was turned around to the right then upside-down, etc. Both creators actually thought it wasn't done right at first, but were really happy to see their vision come to life.
Snyder flat-out said, "If they try to change a story after the initial approval process, we've always said, we will literally leave in the middle of a story." He said it only very rarely happens, and Capullo thanked fans as their sales give them a lot of leverage.
What other characters would you like to do?
Capullo said, "I don't know if Superman - he's a really hard character to do with any edge. That could be cool. If it was old-school Lobo, I'd love to do that." Snyder, "Yeah I have a fantasy of doing Ghost Rider and Lobo."
He answered more specifically though, "I have a big Wonder Woman story in my head. I'd love to do Captain America at some point down the road, but Wonder Woman - just a matter of finding the time.
"I try to write little escape hatches into Batman in case you don't like us. But if you want us, we want to stay around. #50 is where Greg's contract ends, and it's literally in our contracts for us to work together on this book, but we could extend. So after Endgame, we're changing the status and doing these small mysteries. If you guys like those small mysteries, there's a subplot in all that that will build to 50, and would make it all "someone is behind that" and there's a big epic there. I have a ton of ideas on the book, and I'd love to stay on, but the character means too much to us for us to ever just be going through the motions."
Snyder said that for him, when it comes to a superhero story, "it can't just be a cool plot. I have to love it, and feel close to it."
"The most fun I have at my job," Capullo said, is when he's designing new things. His design for the "Justice-Buster" suit in Batman #35, he used a Vampire Bat head, a Tank, and other things as reference. "I showed it to Scott, and he asked me to do a more upright version... I did, and he goes, no, you were right the hunched over one was better." They had similar moments with the Talon Mask and a couple other things.
"He is a genius with that kind of design," Snyder said.
Was it scary starting on Batman?
"I've been doing this comic thing for awhile and I never thought I'd be nervous on a new project. When they said you'll be launching Batman #1," Capullo said, "I realized that was a huge responsibility. It took me a long time to decide between what DC offered and Marvel offered. I didn't really like what I did with the first issue, to be honest - I think it took me 3 or 4 to really get it right. I think that right now - to me, characters tell me how to pose them, what hand gestures they do - and now I feel like I know Bruce Wayne, and Gordon, and Alfred - I know how they fit and what they do."
Snyder cited both Frank Miller's Batman work and Batman: The Animated Series as "the best interpretations of Gotham and Batman's world.
Capullo shouted out John Buscema and - believe it or not, Mad Magazine's Mort Drucker as his "two biggest influences that made me want to draw comics."
How do you break into comics? "Make Comics. You have so many means now, with Kickstarter, digitally - it's the only way to do it."
Speaking on The Wake, "it was really meant to be about exploration, and pushing through life even if the mysteries there aren't meant to be solved. Sean [Murphy] is a great worldbuilder, his details are so rich. We would explore together, and things in the middle we could play with. It was really fun; the book was made to by joyous and exuberant, where as something like Wytches is not - it's meant to be more personal and dark in a different way."
One villain Snyder would like to go back to is Mr Freeze. "Yes!" Capullo exclaimed. "I have one for Harvey Dent, too," Snyder added. "Yes!" Capullo said again.
It's different writing Superman and Batman, of course. "I have an emotional connection with Bruce that I will never have with anyone else." He explained that Bruce forgoes everything for his cause, where Superman puts everything on his back.
That's all for Snyder and Capullo!