Brad Meltzer’s Humble Beginnings as “Guinea Pig”

By Neal Comment

Two of the biggest names in comic book writing trade notes with each other at the Wizard website as Brian Michael Bendis interviews Brad Meltzer, who explains how he got his start writing for DC Comics:

Green Arrow at that point in time was their number-one superhero book, thanks to [the title’s first writer, filmmaker] Kevin Smith… And they said, ‘Brad, if we put you on the book, you might sell some novels, but no one knows you in comics. So everyone will stop and say, “Who’s this guy Brad Meltzer, and why did DC just give him their number one superhero book?”‘ As Schreck explained it, I was a guinea pig. He told me, ‘If you fail, you fail on a huge stage—and if you succeed, you succeed on a huge stage.’ And at that point, it’s all about the writing. And I’ll take that challenge any day.”

Well, he succeeded, as you’ll remember from recent news items noting the cross-promotion of his latest novel and comic book series. Bendis gets Meltzer to talk about hanging out with Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush to research that novel, The Book of Fate, finds out how he wound up in the background of Woody Allen’s Celebrity, and delves into the nitty-gritty of writing flagship superhero team books (Bendis is, after all, the scriptwriter for Marvel’s New Avengers and the forthcoming Mighty Avengers).