Interview Dark Writer Brian Michael Bendis – The Hollywood Reporter
In the 1990s, Brian Michael Bendis was a semi-successful freelance comic writer. Writing and drawing a collection of crime books like the trunk And jinxHe was making a name for himself and making a living—no small feat for someone shooting comics out of Cleveland.
Then in the year 2000 he established wealth and glory, a three-issue biographical story about his adventures in Hollywood, which has been courting comic creators to be new voices for screenwriting. It was full of amazing moments, awkward meetings, and a writer navigating a Byzantine world.
It was also a success, the biggest at that point in Bendis’ rising career, and earned him three Eisner Awards, the comedy industry’s version of the Academy Awards.
“It strangely ended up being the first successful book I ever did,” Bendis says, talking to him Hollywood Reporter From his home in Portland on a snowy afternoon. “I just did it to de-stress and it ended up becoming something people bonded with.”
Now, more than two decades later, having become one of the greatest comic book writers of all time through his work at Marvel Comics and co-creator Miles Morales, the Afro-Latinx Spider-Man is arguably comics’ most iconic character. Century, Bendis has produced a new autobiography, a follow-up entitled Luck and glory: the music!
The new story will be released in weekly installments in the Substack author newsletter starting this week, and runs every other week. Once this is done, the installments will be collected in a Dark Horse Comics print. wealth and glory Focuses on the time Bendis spent writing the ill-fated Spider-Man Broadway musical, Spider-Man: Turn off the Darkness.
“Every time I talked, even to people who knew me well, that I was, for a moment, the writer of a Spider-Man Broadway musical, people would stop what they were doing and say, ‘Tell me everything.’ And I realized that was a good thing.”
With songs by U2’s Bono and The Edge and directed by Julie Taymor, who crushed the naysayers with a Disney adaptation the king lion in a Tony Award-winning musical, Role out dark It was meant to be the Rock Opera for the 21st Century. Instead, it became one of the most popular and most expensive productions in Broadway history. Production was turbulent, actors were injured performing stunts, Timur was replaced, and retooling and retooling continued in previews before officially opening in 2011.
Bendis was hired early on, but even then, when he was already in the thick of Spider-Man and Marvel’s success, he knew he was out of his depth.
“Why was I hired in the first place? Why would someone with Julie Taymor’s experience and lineage look at someone who’d never sat through a musical and want him to write a musical?” Bendis asks, still in disbelief all these years later.
“It was a struggle and I shouldn’t have…,” Bendis continues before snapping, “…but I had to try! We’re creative and an opportunity came, and it was crazy not to try.”
And it became an excuse to frame the new biopic around his love of comics, how he got into comics and how he got into Marvel.
Unlike the first wealth and gloryBendis isn’t plotting this story, not because he doesn’t want to.
“The plan was always to paint these,” Bendis says. “I even stuck with it for a few months because I would have retrained my brain to draw and I would have gotten there. The truth is, when the first one came out, I had no kids. Now I have four kids. And my four kids are all in that age… well, the window of how long that They spend it here in this house closing every day. It became clear that I would not be able to paint it.
Instead, artistic duties are handled by Bill Wocko, a cartoonist with whom Bendis worked on a eulogy for pop culture icon Stan Lee for The New York Times. titled My moments with Stanit detailed key author meetings with the co-creator of several Marvel heroes and villains.
“I talked about the energy I was looking for, so when the fact that my parents took precedence over drawing hundreds of pages of this, I turned to Bill and asked him if he wanted to paint my head 4,000 again. And he said yes.”
Bendis will draw some of the covers and what he calls the “private parts.” the new wealth and glory about to finish. Bendis wanted it all done before he started publishing but now adds what can only be described as “supplements”, additional anecdotes that “were great but didn’t fit into the narrative but I still think we should do.”
The work in colour, in contrast to the original black and white, will run between 150 and 180 pages. He says the installments will run anywhere from six to 12 pages long.
Bendis says fans and friends have been asking him to produce new graphic memoirs for years. “People know I’ve been in some rooms since that happened,” he notes. “I was in the early rooms of the MCU in the early stages. My whole adventure is in Marvel.” But he did not see a story.
For him the first reason wealth and glory He was connected to the new story because of the tale about a man who didn’t know what he was doing. And his time at Marvel has been very productive. So much so that his creations and stories continue to influence the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This year alone his influence has been felt in films like Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania And an upcoming animation feature Spider-Man: Through the Spider-Verse and Disney+ Secret invasion. “I’m glad it happened to me, but it’s not a good drama.”
But taking part in a failed Broadway production featuring one of the world’s biggest and most iconic characters?
“When I tell people the story, it really turns heads,” he says.
Check out the preview below.