Friday, April 24 is the first day of the massive geek gathering known as C2E2 (Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo) wherein folks converge on McCormick Place to meet their favorite creators, cosplay as their favorite characters and buy all of the nerd things. To talk about C2E2, movie casting and diversity in geek culture, I chatted with long-time Spider-Man writer Dan Slott. From Slott’s first Marvel work, She-Hulk: Single Green Female, I’ve been an epic fan. If I start seizing from a geekgasm, everybody be cool.
Hey Dan, thanks so much for chatting with me—oh my god, am I sweating?
How should I know. We're not even in the same room. This is over email! FOURTH WALL... DESTROYED!
Anyway, to start, you seem very involved with fans using Twitter, blogs and more. Would you define the interactions as a perk of the gig or more of a necessary part of the job?
It's not necessary, but it can be fun. I know that if social media existed when I was growing up, and I could ask questions to Stan Lee, Roy Thomas or other comic book creators and guys from the Marvel bullpen, I would've freaked out.
Speaking of fan interactions, you hold two very distinct honors in regard to your Spider-Man tenure: Firstly, some of the highest sales of any comic book to date.
Up till Star Wars #1, but I'm still very proud on how we did on Amazing Spider-Man #700 and #1.
And second, you’ve arguable had the most internet freak outs. Both of which pertained to your Superior Spider-Man storyline where Peter Parker is killed and possessed by one of his greatest villains, Doc Ock. Now that the story is a few years in the rear-view mirror, would you approach it differently?
Nope. Wouldn't change a thing. People got really invested in the Superior Spider-Man storyline, and you want the readership to have that level of investment. That's when we got a lot of lapsed readers back, and when the book shot up into two spots in the top 10. Fortunately, we've held onto them so far.
Who would you cast to play Peter Parker in the forthcoming wave of Spider-Man movies?
An unknown. So that way you'd meet them as Peter Parker, instead of going, "Oh THAT actor is Peter."
You’ve added a Spider-Man supporting cast of varying ethnic backgrounds and even a romantic interest in Anna Marie who is a little person. What do you think diversity of characters adds to a story?
Spider-Man's world can have all kinds of robots and baddies that shoot beams out of their eyes, but Peter's world needs to be grounded and real. Marvel always works best when it's "the world outside your window". Having a diverse cast isn't really a mandate, it's common sense.
What are your favorite moments from conventions like C2E2?
Honestly? The cosplayers. It's the coolest thing in the world when you see someone dressed up as a character from a book or storyline your team's worked on.
For those fans who aren’t sure about approaching you, do you have any pointers for talking to a creator such as yourself?
Never in the restroom. It happens. Not joking.
You can currently read Dan Slott’s ongoing comic book titles Amazing Spider-Man and Silver Surfer. He will be appearing every day in the booth signing at C2E2 (Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo) as well as appearing on multiple panels. Do not approach him in the bathroom. For a list of his appearances, visit the convention's website.