30 Jan, 2012
Check out our report from last week’s Scott Snyder book club!
This post originally appeared on Zoë’s blog and can be found at zoeagulliksen.com
Last year I started co-hosting Midtown Comics’ monthly book club in Manhattan, NY with Thor Parker (@ThorParker). Each meeting is set up a convention panel-like setting with the comic writer or artist discussing their book (most of the time harcover editions or TBPs) we are featuring that month. Recent guests included Dan Slott, of Spider-Man fame, and Brian Wood, of DMZ & New York Five. However, Scott Snyder was our very first book club guest last year for his American Vampire trade. Friday night we had the honor of having him as a guest again, this time for the new collected edition Batman: The Black Mirror (Its terrifying with the strongest writing in a Batman comic I’ve read in a long time).
When I met Scott, I was immediately drawn to his composed personality and down to earth approach to the comic book world. In the year since we first became friends he has gone on to do incredible things. He currently is writing Batman, Swamp Thing, American Vampire and co-writing Severed with his friend Scott Tuff (another friendly and great guy who I got to hang out with again Friday).
I took this picture before the club started, & this is only
half of the store!
Well over 100 people showed up for the book club, the biggest turn out we have ever had. I credit this to Scott 100% because he is exceptionally personal and friendly with his fans. He recognizes and remembers the fans he’s met before, and stops to talk with everyone who waited in line to have something signed. He loves his job, and is continuously thankful to do what he does for a living.
The most enjoyable part about talking with Scott is that he has a particular amount of passion in his work, more so than any other writer I have ever met. Thor & I did not have to ask many questions last night because Scott will (rather infamously) go on to give detailed stories about his writing experiences and the meaning behind each story he writes. Midtown filmed the event, and I hope you guys can see it soon because Scott gave a hilarious, and perfectly performed imitation of Grant Morrison. Towards the end of the night Scott gave an incredibly motivating and accidental speech about writing. He explained that his approach to writing is as follows: If you are going to write a story, make it the best story you can possibly imagine. This is the mindset he has put himself in when writing Batman comics. Moreso, if each story was the last Bat story he was going to be able to write, what would the ultimate story be? What terrifies and excites you about each character? Only write if you are giving the very best you have.
Scott also said that he gives absolutely everything he has to every single issue. What is the point of writing comics if every issue that readers buy isn’t worth their money? Thor, myself and everyone in the room was astounded and humbled by the amount of passion Scott displayed. Afterwards, via Twitter, I saw many comments from people who attended the event sharing their feelings on how inspiring his words were to them
I am honored to be able to call Scott a friend of mine. As much as I love his comic book writing, his collection of short fiction–titled Voodoo Heart–is one of my most beloved books of all time. I couldn’t help but ask during the book club if he ever planned on returning to prose. Although he admitted that he doesn’t plan to anytime soon, because he loves writing comics too much, I will still hold out for more fiction from him in the future. After initially reading Voodoo Heart, I’ve bought countless copies as presents for my friends. I simply cannot write about how much this book means to me. Whenever I try to talk about it, I stumble over the words and turn into a gibbering mess because I. Love. This. Book. Every story is about longing, and the fear that a person cannot love the same person forever. Its haunting and creepy, much like his work in Severed. I cannot recommend this book enough. You can buy a signed copy of it from Midtown Comics right HERE.
Scott Snyder makes me want to not only write, but write the best damn stories I have to tell. What he said is true, if I only had one chance to tell the world a single story, what would I say? What is the only message I will try to leave the world? This is something to ponder over, and advice I will keep with me for a very long time.
Myself, Scott, Thor, & Ted!