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Business News/ Mint-lounge / Features/  Mark Waid | The collaborator

Mark Waid | The collaborator

The author on the process of writing and how superheroes transcend mediums. Edited excerpts

Mark WaidPremium
Mark Waid

Comic book movies are becoming very common—how does it work when something you’ve written changes mediums?

You have to be flexible about how the story is told. Everyone says they want faithful adaptations, but it can go too far—Watchmen the movie, I’d argue, was too faithful an adaptation of the graphic novel and as such didn’t really work.

What are your thoughts on video games based on comic properties? Have you seen the ‘Deadpool’ game, and what do you think about it?

I love the Deadpool game. I think it very much captures the voice and attitude of the character. And the Batman: Arkham games are spectacular. Only recently have we come to see how video games are a potential storytelling medium in themselves, and that’s exciting to me.

Also, does the portrayal of superheroes in movies affect the way people write comics now?

Not really. If anything, I believe that most superhero comics now are enjoying doing what they can do that movie writers can’t—and that’s tell long, episodic stories full of soap opera and slowly building interpersonal drama.

Can you describe your workflow?

The text comes first, but that’s a deceptive way of saying it—as a writer, you should be writing with an understanding and vision of what the artist can achieve, what his style is, what his strengths are. It’s a collaborative medium, and frequently I’ll rewrite material once an artist has illustrated it, because sometimes the best artists illustrate stories in such a way that you realize less dialogue is needed.

What are your sources of inspiration? Do you organize the ideas or is it all very spur of the moment?

It’s very spur of the moment, but certain writers have left a lasting impression, such as William Goldman and John Cheever and Harlan Ellison, and, more recently, Steven Moffat.

You’ve done a lot of collaboration in your career—who are the people you’ve enjoyed working with the most?

There are so many, and I hesitate to name names for fear of accidentally overlooking someone—but I have to say that possibly my collaborations with the late Mike Wieringo, on (The) Flash and Fantastic Four, may have been the most enjoyable.

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Updated: 01 Feb 2014, 12:01 AM IST
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