Saturday, April 28, 2007

Your Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man Interview...



Here's a clip from DK Publishing's latest newsletter. It's an interview of me coducted by Daneil Brooks for the new Spider-Man: The Ultimate Guide. I guarantee that it will not only change your life, but that of your children's children as well.

The interview:

As Marvel's greatest icon and signature character, Spider-Man has connected with generations of fans as the everyday hero with everyday problems. Not only does Peter Parker have to constantly save the world, he also has to pay the bills, get home in time for dinner, and make time for Mary Jane. Your Spider-Sense tingling? We've got the cure: DK's updated and revised The Amazing Spider-Man: The Ultimate Guide , a fully-illustrated and exhaustive history of one of the great heroes in modern fiction.

In this issue of Pop Cult, we'll be talking with Matthew K. Manning, comics scribe and writer of the new content for The Amazing Spider-Man: The Ultimate Guide, and will test your Spidey-knowledge with a Pop Quiz. 'Nuff said!

The Pop Cult Q&A With...The Amazing Spider-Man: The Ultimate Guide (Updated Edition) new-content writer Matthew K. Manning

Updating Tom DeFalco's bestselling Spider-Man: The Ultimate Guide would be no easy task. So much had happened to Spidey since the book's original release (he joined the New Avengers, publicly unmasked himself, etc.) and DK needed someone who knew it all. Enter Matthew K. Manning, an exceptional comic writer and poet, with stints on Spider-Man Unlimited, Romance Redux, The Batman Strikes, and Justice League Adventures. Brooklynite Manning recently spoke with Pop Cult about how he got the job, how he did it, which are his favorite Spider-Man comics, and more.

The Book

Pop Cult: How'd you get involved with updating Spider-Man: The Ultimate Guide?

Matthew K. Manning: A friend of mine who works at Marvel referred me. He'd read my past work, knew that I'd read everything related to Peter Parker since the Ultimate Guide 's first release, and figured I'd be a good fit for the project. When he got in touch with me, I jumped at the opportunity to finally get some use out of my countless hours of Spidey reading.

Pop Cult: Can you talk about what you added to the book, and how you decided what to add and what to leave out?

Matthew K. Manning: I basically contributed 16 all-new pages, with a sentence or two added here and there to a few past entries as well. It was quite a challenge to cram six years of Spider-Man comics into that small of a space, but I like to think I fared pretty well. There were quite a few major changes in Peter's life that needed to be documented. Spider-Man went through everything from being reunited with his wife, to dying and being resurrected, to getting an entirely different costume altogether. He also joined the Avengers for the first time, met a horde of new villains, and developed new superpowers. It was a pretty busy couple of years at the Parker household.

Pop Cult: What was your process for gathering the new information and then writing?

Matthew K. Manning: The gathering was the easy part. I'd read most of the material beforehand just because I love the character. Summarizing all of that information was the difficult part. But since I was working on Tom DeFalco's book, I modeled my writing off of his entries, and tried to match his style as closely as possible.

Pop Cult: How'd you find the experience? More challenging than you expected? Easier?

Matthew K. Manning: It was just more time consuming than I expected. There was a lot of rereading and fact checking involved. More than I thought I had to do. But since many of my friends are either comic fans or comic professionals, I know how people like us would react if any of my facts were wrong. So I took extra care to make the guide as accurate as I could.

Essential Spidey

Pop Cult: What's your favorite Spider-Man storyline and why?

Matthew K. Manning: If I had to boil it down to just one story, I'd probably say "Kraven's Last Hunt." It was a really moody tale and was full of unexpected turns. If I could choose an entire series, it would be Ultimate Spider-Man. Brian Michael Bendis has a great grasp on writing Spidey's personality, and has really captured the feel of the classic Stan Lee/Steve Ditko comics where Peter Parker's personal life is just as interesting as his life in costume.

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