Marvel's Joe Quesada talks big events

June 1, 2008 9:31:05 AM PDT had a cup o' Joe with Marvel's editor-in-chief Joe Quesada.Joe Quesada is the editor-in-chief at Marvel Comics. Along with making the tough decisions, he also takes on writing and artistic duties, as well. Joe, what got you started in the comic industry?

Joe Q: I got into comics as a little boy and I dropped them when I got into my early teens; I rediscovered them later in life as some people showed me some comics that were award winning at the time. I was really astounded by the growth of the industry and the talent of the writing, how mature it was. That really is what reignited my interest in comics. How did you acquire the position of editor-in-chief at Marvel?

Joe Q: I got the position of editor-in-chief in Marvel in a very weird and roundabout way. I was an independent publisher and Marvel had, actually, hired my company to produce some books for them. We had taken some minor characters from Marvel and made them sell as well as Spider-Man and the X-Men and Marvel took note of that. They were also in bankruptcy at the time, so they thought if we could do this with some our lower tier books, what happens if we give them the big tier books and the entire universe. That's kind of really how I got the job. Besides editor-in-chief, you wear many other hats. You write and illustrate. Is that tough to do, to be a Renaissance Marvel Man?

Joe Q: I don't know about Renaissance Man. It's not tough; it's very enjoyable because it makes my job really interesting. There's no two days of work that are ever the same. Some days I'm sitting there editing books, meeting new creators, other days I'm drawing, I'm writing, I'm talking to interviews like these, so there's a wide variety of things I get to do at Marvel.

And now that we have our own studios, as well, I get to go out West and help our crews out. How do you see the superhero movies affecting the comic business?

Joe Q: Superhero movies are a boom for our business, especially if we continue doing them well as we have been doing them. The superhero genre is just adding to Hollywood's action adventure slate with a wider variety of things to tap into.'s big happenings at Marvel these days. A Secret Invasion is upon us. There are talks that this has been in the works for five years?

Joe Q:Yeah, Secret Invasion has been in the works for Brian Bendis, who's the writer of our Avengers books; he's been planting seeds for Secret Invasion for the last four to five years. For the uninitiated, the Marvel universe has been invaded by an alien race called the Skrulls and what makes the Skrulls very, very deadly is the fact they're shape shifters, so they can turn into you or to me. For all you know, I may be a Skrull and may have been replaced. So it is an invasion from within, as opposed to big ships in the horizon and attacking planet Earth. It's very subtle, slow, and methodical. How long does Secret Invasion run until?

Joe Q: Secret Invasion is 8 issues and I believe the last issue ships in November of this year. And Joe, I'm going to have ask you, about Spider-Man's Brand New Day. There's a lot of fan reaction and you can look at it as a negative or a positive and I believe you've been looking at it as a positive.

Joe Q: It absolutely is a positive. There are always a few vocal people who don't like everything that we do, and it's okay, they're passionate about it, but, right now, I'm looking at sales figures, and I'm looking at how Spider-Man is flying off the racks and the letters we're getting in. Especially, the letters from converts, because they're saying 'I really didn't want to like it, but I'm digging it.' So that says a lot, for someone to actually write that, it takes a lot effort, a lot of energy, and a lot of guts, too. You wanted to freshen up the Spider-Man character with this event, right?

Joe Q:Well, the big change is that Peter Parker used to be married and now he's not married and I think it adds a lot more to the drama that is Spider-Man by having a single Spider-Man out there, as opposed to a married Peter Parker. Finally, what would you tell somebody who is a little hesitant in becoming a comic book reader?

Joe Q: The simple fact is the comic industry has grown up. People remember comics back from the 50s and 60s where it tended to be a little quainter, a little simpler, and probably more directed towards kids. The Marvel revolution has really been about comics maturing and growing up. We still do stuff that's geared towards kids and that's a separate line of our books. Today, though, you can find people like Stephen King writing for Marvel, you can find people like Joss Whedon writing for Marvel, Damon Lindelof, Jeff Loeb, great, big prominent Hollywood writers and novelists writing for us. These are really important and prominent authors who write novels, movies, and TV shows of significance, who are now jumping onto the comics' bandwagon to provide readers with that same experience, and maybe in some cases, a greater experience. Thank you very much, Joe.

Joe Q: Thank you.