Comic Book Biography: MARC ANDERYKO
First Comics News caught up with Marc Andreyko. Marc is extremely busy this Sam & Twitch for Image, Black Sun from Wildstorm and T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents from DC all starting this summer. However Marc did find time to answers some of our questions.
First Comics News: In 1996 you got your first job in comics with the Lost, a twisted tale of James Barrie’s little boy who never grew up. Peter and his Lost Boys roaming the streets of New York as a band of child prostitutes who found a plethora of customers and victims. How did you come up with this concept and land this job?
Marc Anderyko: The concept was developed by myself, Jay Geldhof, Galen Showman and Mark Ricketts. It evolved from a germ of an idea that was in my head for awhile, but really came into full bloom with these talented guys; especially Jay’s great character designs!!
1st: The Lost was set to run 4 issues but only 2 were published, what happened?
Marc: Actually 3 issues were published. We had the misfortune of coming out at a time when the market was at its worst, and although all the issues sold out in quick order, we weren’t making enough money for the artists to eat. The 4th script is long done and so is some of the art, so hopefully someday….
1st: Dr. Strange was your first job at Marvel, and how did you get the job?
Marc: My pal Craig Russell suggested me for it, and, as a testament to Craig’s power, Bob Harras said “ok”
1st: From there you teamed up with Brian Michael Bendis for a 6-part Jinx: Torso mini-series. What was it like working with Bendis?
Marc: Brian has been one of my best friends for almost a decade and we always wanted to do a project together. I pitched him the idea at a Passover dinner with his family (see “Fortune and Glory”) and we hit the ground running.
1st: Is it easier or harder working with a partner?
Marc: It’s different. Sometimes it can be rough in the early stages, but once we found a rhythm, it was one of the best experiences I’ve had as a writer.
1st: How do you approach storytelling?
Marc: Usually, I get an image in mind or a “high concept” and let it percolate in my head for a while. From there, it is pretty easy, especially since I have been blessed with great artists on every project I’ve done
1st: After that you wrote both stories in the 1999 Wolverine Annual, when you started working on an X-Men title did you think you had finally hit the big time?
Marc: Not really, it was cool because the character was so recognizable that my family and friends knew who he was, but it was not as life-changing as you would think; but the painted story by Max Frezatto in that annual is one of my favorite stories.
1st: In May you have Black Sun coming out from Wildstorm, how did you get this assignment?
Marc: I had met some of the Wildstorm guys at San Diego one year and hit it off with them. Then editor Eric DeSantis approached me and from there, Black Sun evolved.
1st: What do you think the readers are going to appreciate the most about this Eye of the Storm series?
Marc: Well, I have always said that “Black Sun” is a “big summer movie” style comic book – lotsa special effects, some sex, some violence and big monsters!
1st: What type of freedom does the mature label give you?
Marc: The ability to curse! (laughter) Actually, I prefer working with limitations on content because they challenge me more as a writer.
1st: Also you have Case Files: Sam and Twitch come up in May.
Marc: Yeah, and I’m really jazzed about that! I get to work with the great Scott Morse on the first arc!!
1st: This series is somewhat unique in that each issue will have 3 separate stories, with each page being divided into three sections, and each story reading horizontally across the pages, what is the advantage of this format?
Marc: Actually, it is one story with each “act” being told simultaneously. Advantages, hmmm, I dunno, but it is a huge challenge; and this style is only for the first arc.
1st: Are you only on this title for the first 6 issues or will you continue beyond the first story arc?
Marc: I have 10 arcs loosely plotted and we have an interesting array of artists who are in talks to do the book. Most of them are entirely unexpected choices.
1st: In June you have T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents coming out from DC. You weren’t the original writer on this series, how did you get this assignment?
Marc: Begging! (laughter) I met Dan DiDio at the San Diego Con last year and chatted him up. I guess my excitement and interest impressed him enough to take a chance with me. The “bible” Dan had generated was so inspiring that it literally flooded me with ideas.
1st: When did you first become familiar with the T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents?
Marc: Through the Deluxe Comics’ series in the mid-80’s.
1st: Online people are already beginning to describe this an an “Ultimate” version of the T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents, are they right, and what will readers appreciate about this series?
Marc: Well, being compared to the “Ultimates” is a huge compliment, but not entirely accurate. The book will be in the “real world” not the DCU proper, so I have the freedom to explore global issues and events without worrying if President Luthor is going to approve.
(note: in the DC Universe Lex Luthor is President)
I think readers will appreciate the character aspect of the book. I’m a big fan of complex characters, so to go into the heads of the team is what interest me the most; but don’t worry, there will be tons of big action as well.
1st: Why is this set outsider the DC Universe?
Marc: It gives us freedom from DC continuity to explore issues and events that would be awkward to explore if the JLA was around.
1st: What do you find the most challenging about working on licensed property?
Marc: Thus far, I haven’t had any difficulties, knock wood.
1st: Dan DiDio is a pretty powerful guy at DC, how do you feel about working with him?
Marc: Well, I knew him before his godhood. Truthfully, Dan is an amazing guy. Every time I talk with him, I get more excited about this book. We should clone him so every writer can have his own.
1st: What should readers look forward to in this new series and how will it be different form it predecessors?
Marc: Well, this book starts out with the first mission of the Thunder Agents. While the codenames remain the same, their civilian identities are new. Oh yeah, and we destroy the Mall of America in #1.
1st: What’s it like to work with Manuel Garcia and Jimmy Palmiotti?
Marc: Heaven. Manuel is doing work here that, if there is a god, will catapult him to stardom. And he’s fast, too!! And Jimmy’s inks are great. I can’t believe I’m working with him after years of seeing his name in books I read.
1st: Are there any other comics are you are dying to work on?
Marc: I LOVE Spider-Man. And I would like a crack at Dr. Strange, Cloak and Dagger, a Batman story or two and Firestorm. Oh, and Scott Morse and I have an idea for Ka-Zar that kicks ass!
1st: What other projects are you working on?
Marc: Besides Sam and Twitch and T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents, I have a few pitches out and I continue to toil away in Hollywood.
1st: Marc, thank you for your time and good luck this summer.
To visit Caliber Comics on the web go to http://www.calibercomics.com
To visit Marvel Comics on the web go to http://www.marvel.com
To visit Todd McFarlane Productions on the web go to http://www.spawn.com
To visit Wildstorm Productions on the web go to http://www.wildstorm.com
To visit DC Comics on the web go to http://www.dccomics.com
To visit Jinx on the web go to http://www.jinxworld.com
To visit Image Comics on the web go to http://www.imagecomics.com
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