WW Philly: "Amazing Spider-Man" Goes (Almost) Weekly, Wacker Explains

Fri, June 15th, 2007 at 12:00am PDT

Comic Books
Dave Richards, Staff Writer

Over the years Marvel Comics has published a number of books starring Spider-Man, but "Amazing Spider-Man" has always been s the flagship title in the line. In a few months "Amazing" will not only be the flagship title of the linem it will be one of the only titles in the line as "Sensational Spider-Man" and "Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man" come to an end (other books like "Spider-Man Family" will continue). Spidey fans don't need to worry though; they won't be seeing any less of their favorite character because "Amazing Spider-Man" will begin an almost weekly publication schedule. CBR News spoke with "Amazing Spider-Man" editor Stephen Wacker about the changes to the book.

The frequency of "Amazing's" publication isn't the only change coming to Spider-Man's world. The much hyped "One More Day" storyline begins this fall and looks like it will rock the Wallcrawler's world to its very core. "I try not to comment too much on stories I'm not directly working on ('OMD' is the swan song of Axel Alonso's editorial reign), but I would say that it's a very personal story for Spider-Man that I believe readers will remember for years," Wacker told CBR News. "How it stands to past classic stories remains to be seen."

"One More Day" will spill into the final issues of "Sensational Spider-Man" and "Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man" "Peter David wraps up his run on 'Friendly' with issue #23 and Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa wraps up with 'Sensational' with #41. Both have more great stuff coming up from Marvel, so stay tuned..."

There were a number of reasons behind the cancellation of the other Spider-Man books and Amazing's shift to almost weekly publication. "Historically 'Amazing' is the official book in most readers minds (as Tom Brevoort mentions from time to time, it's the book with the 'pedigree' since it's the original it's the first place people turn if they can only get one Spider-Man book) and with different creative teams working separately it's sometimes proven difficult to have events match up in Spidey's life. No matter how good the stories may be in the other Spider-books, 'Amazing' usually wins in people's minds and hearts. With this new plan you get just as many Spidey pages every month as you are now and the pieces fit together relatively seamlessly."

Two pages from "Amazing Spider-Man" #544
Like we mentioned, when the new publication plan begins "Amazing Spider-Man" will hit stores with a frequency almost similar to "52" a book from Marvel's distinguished competition, which Wacker worked on during his tenure there. "It will come out 3 times per month!" Wacker exclaimed. "36 times per year! 72 times bi annually! 18 times semi-annually! 1 time per three-quarters fortnight! Plus we'll have some special Spidey projects from time to time on that 4th week."

Wacker wasn't aware when he came to Marvel that another book with a more than monthly shipping schedule lay in his future. "I just knew they wanted me to edit the Spider-Man titles," he explained. "My experience probably helps a little bit, but I suspect they would have done this anyway even I hadn't come over."

Wacker's experiences with "52" has been somewhat useful for his work on "Amazing Spider-Man, but not as much as you might think."From time to time it helps, but it is a very different machine and all the pieces work very differently at Marvel, so there's been a big learning curve for me," Wacker said. "Work on a single character is probably the biggest difference; it creates a completely different focus than what we were trying to do on '52'. Also, the writing team on Spidey works differently in that they each write issues by themselves rather than splitting duties the way we did on '52.'

"What hasn't changed is that I still work at 2AM and Keith Giffen calls every week or two to remind I'm going to fail at no matter what I do and should leave the business," Wacker remarked. "It's sweet."

With the series coming out three times a month, fans have probably guessed that there won't be just one creative team working on "Amazing Spider-Man." "On the writer side, we've got a pretty set crew, on the art side we've got lot of surprising and unexpected announcements coming up over the next few weeks, starting with the teaser image we're showing at the Philly con today," Wacker explained. "All told, it's a helluva time to be a Spider-man reader."

There may be multiple creators working on "Amazing Spider-Man," but Wacker wants to make sure that each story is the voice of a single creative team. "The way I've managed things so far is that each creative team tells their own story be it one issue or five," Wacker said. "What I want to avoid is some one having to write or draw part three of someone else's story. At the same time the subplots will be in the background of every issue, so it's not as if they're traditional arcs that'll give anyone a chance to jump off. I want to make that decision as difficult and as painful as possible. There are plenty of other weekly books you can drop before this one! This is the ongoing story of Peter Parker and if we do our jobs, you're going to want to stick around for awhile."

Wacker promises that the ongoing story of Peter Parker will be a diverse one in terms of both story types and the characters encountered. "Each of the new writers on this was reading Spidey during a different era, so that will naturally lead to stories with different flavors and we're giving plenty of room to find their own voice for the character," Wacker explained. "We also have a lot of issues coming up, so there's going to be plenty of time to deal with new villains and new members of the supporting cast."

The Spider-Man story that Marvel released this year as part of Free Comic Book Day introduced readers to a new villain and gave what many readers assumed was the first glimpse of the Web-Slinger's post "One More Day" status quo. "The FCBD story does not represent current continuity," Wacker stated. "It was a fun one-off story I was able to do to help get my feet wet with the Spidey-verse. The fact that Dan and Phil were able to work on it made it an even more exciting experience for me. We set some things up in there that future teams may pick up on, but beyond that I ain't talkin' about nothin'."

Look for a full report on Marvel's Spider-Man: One More Day panel held at Wizard World Philly later today here on CBR.

Discuss this story here on CBR's Spider-Man forum.

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