Boston Comic Con’s Friday panel lineup included a special Batman Panel featuring Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo. If you are a current DC reader, chances are you are reading the New 52 Batman. Batman has been one of DC’s strongest and most consistently great series, and fans were given the chance to learn a bit more behind the two people who make it all happen:
Moderator: Greg, was Batman your choice to work on? Can you describe how it was offered to you?
Capullo: Well, I worked for Spawn for a while, but then got married. My wife “made accessories” called kids and I realized that I needed to be able to afford to put them through college. In order to do this, I had to go mainstream so I put contracts in with DC and Marvel. Marvel offered Wolverine and Avengers vs. X-Men, which [AvX] sounded like it was going to be huge. I then met with DC and after signing a non-disclosure agreement, they told me they were offering me Batman and I started freaking out. I grew up on Marvel, but love Batman. It ended up being the best decision I could have made. AvX was a giant, sprawling, and limited issue event, which doesn’t really appeal to me. But, Batman is “eternal” (laughs) and ongoing, so I am glad I did it.
About the working relationship between Snyder and Capullo:
Snyder admits he was really tough to work with in the beginning, commenting that he was terrified to draw a Bruce Wayne Batman (opposed to a Dick Grayson Batman). Snyder preferred to use detailed and lengthy scripts, which contrasted Greg’s loose and relaxed style. They both agreed that at the time, they didn’t know each other and needed to build trust. Things relaxed once we saw it coming together and Snyder saw that Capullo could “take care” of Batman (referring to the project needing care and attention). DC made Snyder write a shorter outline, but he always wanted to add more, so Snyder and Capullo had to meet in the middle. Now, the two are good friends, which was prevalent during the panel from their joking and laughing.
Snyder: The joy of working on the book for me is working together to see what we will accomplish. We want to deliver a Batman comic that people want to read more than any other comic out there.
Moderator: Scott, how much freedom did you have and how were you apporached?
Snyder: I had been working on other work, such as American Vampire, but I was approached by both a Marvel and a DC editor. While attending C2E2, I met with Dan DiDio, Jim Lee, and the other big wigs. I was incredibly nervous, but at the meeting, I pitched Court of Owls and they liked it. When they informed me that I would be working on a #1, I panicked…it’s a lot of pressure but I agreed.
Moderator: Who influenced your work on Batman?
Capullo: As I call him, “Father” Neil Adams and Frank Miller. But I have to say, I haven’t read a lot of big Batman stories. For example, I have never read Batman: The Killing Joke. But Scott on the other hand, has seriously read every piece of Batman ever created. It is really evident in his writing that he knows his stuff.
Snyder: I grew up on The Dark Knight Returns and Batman: Year One. While I was in college, I wasn’t able to keep up with a lot of series. Embarrassingly, my dad used to send me my comics in a big envelope each month. What got me through a lot of it was animated Batman series such as Batman Beyond. Batman has always been my favorite. Endgame [upcoming Batman arc], should feel like a brand new story with new creators. If we have been working on a book for three years and you feel like it is the same old Batman, then Greg and I should quit. We are working really hard to deliver an awesome Batman story that should feel new and refreshing.
Moderator: How much do you plan your story in advance?
Snyder: I know the story in advance, but what makes it happen is that Batman knows he is mortal. He knows that the city will outlast him. When writing, you learn on the way that when you go off road, you might be better off than when you were on road, so you just have to go with it.
Moderator: Who is your favorite non-Batman character?
Snyder: Joker. Just wait until we bring him back, I already have the whole story planned out!
Capullo: I like to draw Gordon or Alfred. They are really unique characters and I like to highlight them.
Moderator: After rereading the series, you introduced Harper Row, a.k.a. Bluebird. Will be seeing more of her in the future?
Snyder: Well, her future is essential to the life of Batman. DC wanted a new Batman origin (referring to upcoming Endgame arc starting at Issue #35). Endgame is a big ‘thank you’ for allowing us to redo the Batman origin. Batman’s Endgame is heavily involved with the end of Batman Eternal, but you don’t have to read anything other than our Batman series to understand the plot. I would never do that to you guys. Endgame is a story why Batman is the most badass character ever, and if youlike a really popular Batman character, they will probably make an appearance. It is going to be pretty crazy.