Spider-Man Crawl Space: What is it like to come back to Spider-Man after so many years?Peter David: It's interesting. Especially when one considers that, twenty years ago, I was fired off "Spider-Man" because it was felt at the upper editorial level that a novice comic book writer shouldn't be handling the adventures of Marvel's flagship character. So it's really interesting (as I said) that it took me nearly two decades to work my way back to where I was twenty years ago.
Spider-Man Crawl Space: What
is different about the 1980s Spidey you wrote and the 2005 one? Granted he’s
married, but any other changes?
Spider-Man Crawl Space: Discuss a bit how the name “Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man” was picked as the new title. I personally love it, but others will wonder why “Spectacular” or “Web of Spider-Man” weren’t chosen.
Peter David: They didn't want to use the title of a comic book that had already been and gone. They felt it'd be better to start fresh.
Spider-Man Crawl Space: Who’s the toughest character to write in the Spider-Man universe? I asked writer Paul Jenkins this same question and he said Aunt May.Peter David: Jonah Jameson. Aunt May's no problem because she's got so many shadings to her. Jonah is tricky because he borders on caricature, and generally speaking, you want to try and elevate a character above that.
Spider-Man Crawl Space:
like to be teamed with such a talented artist like Mike Wieringo? What
strengths do you think he brings to your writing?
Peter David: Some of both. I mean, ultimately, I'd like to give fans what they want. But if you create new ones, there's the "But why don't you bring back Mysterio?" contingent. On the other hand, bring back old villains and there's the "Obviously he's got no new ideas and is just recycling bad guys from the 1960s." So I'm trying to walk the line.
Spider-Man Crawl Space: Who are you favorite villains to write and your least favorite? Any that you think are just too lame that will never make an appearance in your run?
Peter David: I admit I am kind of partial to Mysterio, if I can just figure out which the hell version is running around these days. Believe it or not, I also like the Vulture, even though his main thing is flapping around. Actually, I kind of like the 2099 Vulture better. I'm also a sucker for the Lizard. As for lame, well...I don't think the Gibbon will be making an appearance anytime real soon...
Spider-Man Crawl Space: Have you been a regular reader of the main Spider-Man titles? If not, have you been trying to catch up on back-issues?Peter David: I've read them on and off. I was reading Joe's run pretty steadily. Now that I'm on the series I'm reading everybody's.
Spider-Man Crawl Space: It seems Spider-Man is in a dozen titles a month. How do you make your title stand out against the others?Peter David: By putting the name "Peter David" on the front, Sparky! That's how!
Seriously, I'm just going to tell the best stories I humanly can. In terms of making it stand out, I leave that to the editor and the guys in marketing.
Spider-Man Crawl Space: Some critics in the online community have complained about starting a new book with a nine part crossover. What would you have to say to the critics?
Peter David: That as much as people bitch about crossovers...they work. Similarly, as much as they praise stand-alone books that require no other titles to understand...they don't work. Or if they do, they work to a far lesser degree. We come out with a new Spidey book by me and it launches a mega crossover that's the brainchild of Joe Straczynski, and quite simply more people are going to feel compelled to check it out than if it's a completely self-contained series by me which will be a must-have for some while others will shrug and go, "Well, I'll wait for the trade" or "Another Spidey book, who needs it?" My new run on the Hulk launched after years--YEARS--of fans saying they wanted me back on the book, and sales were pretty much the same as when Bruce Jones--who fans were saying they wanted off the book--was writing it. Granted, the price jumped by seventy five cents, so it was more profitable, but the unit numbers remained the same. And then along comes House of M which those same critics you mention complained about nonstop, and lo and behold, sales jumped 10,000 copies per issue. TEN THOUSAND COPIES. And the lesson we take from this is...?
Spider-Man Crawl Space:
For the next
section I’ll write a Spidey related word or phrase, and just give your
thoughts on it.
Spider-Man Crawl Space: Spider-Man: Married or
Spider-Man Crawl Space:
Crawl Space: Ditko or Romita?
Spider-Man Crawl Space: John Byrne’s
Spider-Man: Chapter One
Spider-Man writer after Stan Lee?
Spider-Man Crawl Space:
Crawl Space: Waffles or Pancakes?
Spider-Man Crawl Space: You, unlike other comic writers, have a tendency to stick with a title for more than 12 issues. Your Hulk run is legendary, and you had a great run on Captain Marvel, Supergirl and Young Justice. Do you look to be on the Spider-Man title as long?
Peter David: Sure hope so.
Spider-Man Crawl Space: Speaking of the Hulk, he’s my second favorite character. In order to take the Spider-Man title, I read you had to lighten your workload. Was the Hulk title the one that had to be cut?
Peter David: Looks that way.
Spider-Man Crawl Space: What was the comeback to the Hulk like? Can you ever go home again? FYI, I loved your “Tempest Fugit” storyline.
Peter David: Thank you. As for coming back to the Hulk, it was basically like easing back behind the wheel of your favorite car. You just have to be a little easy on the gas and fight your urge to ride the brake.
Spider-Man Crawl Space: I’m a fan of all things PAD, so let’s talk about your other work. You have a new X-Factor series coming out. Like the Spider-Man title, what’s it like to come home to these old friends?
three of them are characters that I've written before. Personally, I'm
having a field day with it. I'm seeing the old characters in ways I never
had before, and am using them to explore the new ones as well. I'm writing
this unlike any other team book I've ever produced, and I'm hoping the fans
like the results. I've particularly got a radically different approach to
Madrox, as I began exploring in the limited series and am expanding further
in the new one. There's going to be some major shake-ups in status quo.
Spider-Man Crawl Space: Having read many of your Star Trek novels, I know you are working on the latest New Frontier book. When can we expect that to be released? Also any chance of exploring the Next Gen or Classic Trek in prose form?
Peter David: The next one will be coming out in the spring of 2006. As for Next Gen or Classic, it's always possible. It's not like I haven't done them before, though.
Spider-Man Crawl Space: I loved your short story “Five Minutes” in the Ultimate Spider-Man short story book. Any chance of returning to Spider-Man in Marvel prose?
Peter David: I'm working on prose Marvel characters, but not Spider-Man. At the moment I'm contracted for two novels to be published by Pocket Books: The Fantastic Four and Wolverine. But I wouldn't rule out Spidey eventually.
Spider-Man Crawl Space: Do you miss the 2099 Universe? Spider-Man 2099 was a great book, and it’s hard to believe it’s already been 10 years since that book came out. Any chance for Miguel to pop up in the new Spider-Man book?
Peter David: I've been toying with the notion. Of course, there's the little matter of the time difference, but I could work around that. Not to mention that there's a whole 'nother future Spider-Man whose storyline has barely been touched. So that might be something to explore.
Spider-Man Crawl Space: I have a section on my website titled “Weird Marvel Collectibles”; do you have any odd Marvel stuff? Or odd comic related materials? I know from your blog, you were one of the first to get “Darth Tator.”
Peter David: Yeah, I've got Darth Tater. Weird Marvel stuff. Well, I've got an action figure of Homer Simpson as the Hulk standing on my desk. That's pretty weird.
Spider-Man Crawl Space: Any odd convention stories of things people wanted you to sign?
Peter David: Guy wanted me to sign a copy of the original Avengers #1 once. I absolutely refused. I thought he was gonna punch me.
Spider-Man Crawl Space: With the exception of your comic work, anything else you’re working on?
Peter David: I have a new fantasy series coming out from Tor next year called "The Hidden Earth." And the third novel in what is now the King Arthur trilogy, entitled, "Fall of Knight." I wrote the screenplay for an animated feature called "Gene Roddenberry's Starpoint Academy," so we'll see if that gets up and running. And I just finished a book with the somewhat amusing title of "Writing Comics with Peter David." It's a book on how to write comics, or at least discussing how *I* write comics, being published by Impact publishing next year.
Spider-Man Crawl Space: Thanks for taking the time to answer all these questions. I’ve been a fan ever since your first issue on the Hulk and your Spectacular Spider-Man days. I can honestly say you’re my favorite comic writer, and I will support every project you do.Peter David: Thanks. You da man.