In between working on his "Powers" television show on PlayStation Network and writing numerous comics a month for Marvel, award-winning writer Brian Michael Bendis is making time in his busy schedule to stop by Special Edition NYC this weekend.
You don't really do a lot of conventions these days, if I remember correctly.
Yeah, I don't. I have four little kids and four full-time jobs. And, in general, people can find you online and stuff like that so it's a little different than it used to be, but you really can't replace that fantastic interaction that you get at a show like this. So I was very happy to do it. We had an amazing time at the New York Comic Con last fall, where we debuted "Powers," and the show could not have been cooler and just giving us everything they had to do that. I was happy to come back for this show, which I heard was just a tremendous comics show, so that's kind of like my favorite part of the show.
What do you have planned for the show?
I agreed to do this show way before these stars aligned, but it just so happens that Marvel, we're in the middle of a big summer event and at the end of the event, there's going to be a lot of shake-ups and changes around the Marvel Universe. ... I have retired from the "X-Men" and [will be] taking some new projects on instead, and one of the biggest is going to be announced this weekend. So it's nice, I get to come to the show with a genuine announcement and I'm going to show some brand-new artwork and make a bit of a stand right there at the first panel of the show.
Is there anything you could tease about it?
It is Marvel-related -- very little "Batman" in the announcement. There's like 4% "Batman"; no, there's no "Batman." But it's a good one. It's one that I think will surprise people based on the guesswork I've seen in my Tumblr question box. So that's fun. I'm excited to see the reaction once we do announce.
What's going on with some of your creator work?
Well, it's a very good time for that. "Powers," the TV show, just got picked up for a second season, so literally I will be flying from the show Sunday right to L.A. on Monday where we start work in the "Powers" writers' room for Season 2 and get cracking. And with that comes a lot of surprises, a lot of cool things we're going to attempt, both visually and narratively. So that's very exciting. With that comes a lot of spotlight on the book and it's seen a lot of mainstream acceptance of the book. Just the other day, I was in Barnes & Noble and there was "Powers" on the shelf right next to "Walking Dead," which is exactly where you want to see a book. So it's very good and we're also hard at work on our other creator-owned book called "United States of Murder Inc." by me and Mike Oeming, co-creator of "Powers," working on that this summer while we work on the "Powers" TV show.
So my favorite work of yours is "Fortune & Glory." Obviously that's a lot about your experience with Hollywood. Can you tell me a little bit about how or how did it not line up with your experience getting "Powers" made?
Well there's definitely another one of those in "Powers." And "Powers" is a 15-year trek, which is by definition a roller-coaster ride, which I'm happy to say at the end of the ride we got ourselves a TV show. The whole time it was going on, I was very Zen about it with the hope that there would be a TV show at the end; if there wasn't, I would have been very upset. I don't mind the journey as long as there's something to show for it. In Hollywood you could do everything right and just not have anything to show for it at the end. And you can make the greatest thing in the world and not get on the air, and you can make like a pornographic puppet show and be the biggest thing ever. You don't know what's going to work. So you try to keep Zen and keep going. But the whole time, truthfully on "Powers," [on the] worst day, they wrote us a check, so boohoo, and I was always surrounded by really interesting people. Everyone who works on "Powers" and its different incarnations was super talented and Peabody Award-winning and Emmy Award-winning creators that I would like to just hang out with and learn from, so it was always a good experience on that level. But yeah, there definitely is some kind of book in there. The reason I haven't done a sequel to "Fortune & Glory" is that book is filled with horrible meetings that I took and I took many, many horrible meetings since but having written them all down, you read it and at one point you go, "Well then, stop going to the meetings, jerk." ... People also ask me to do one about comics. "You should do one about comics." And I'm like, yeah, Marvel has to fire me for that book to be interesting at all. Right? Right now it's like, "Yeah, it worked out pretty good. The 2000s were all right." But eventually, one day, I'm sitting on my two weeks that I was the writer of the "Spider-Man" Broadway musical. I've got good stuff I'm sitting on but I'll find a place for it.
Lots going on with "Secret Wars" right now; a lot of things are changing. What are some of the "Secret Wars" family of books that people can find you on now to get signed at the show?
Right now I'm working on a book called "Old Man Logan," which is kind of like the old Clint Eastwood version of Wolverine. That just debuted last week, that is a beautiful book for those interested in Wolverine but it's also for those interested in very innovative, gorgeous comic book artwork. ... My "X-Men" is still coming out, so you can still get "X-Men," and I also have "Guardians of Nowhere," but it's not out yet so that doesn't count. But I do have that, that'll be out, that's our "Guardians of the Galaxy" tie-in with beautiful artwork by Michael Deodato. "Powers," which just came out last week. And, what else is shipping? Oh, yeah, "Ultimate End," which is the final miniseries, the final publication of the Ultimate Universe, which has been a big part of my life the last 15 years, including the debut of "Miles Morales," and this is actually a very big chapter in the "Secret Wars" saga, as it is not only the last story of the Ultimate Universe, but what parts of the Ultimate Universe may find themselves as a big part of the Marvel Universe going forward when it's all over. So people already know a little bit because there was a Free Comic Book Day that showed Miles Morales in it, but you don't know how it's going to end.
You're going to be here in New York City, so when you're not at the show and taking all your time up there, what do you like to do in the city?
Sleep. Actually, here's what I like about the city. I'm an avid bike rider, and I love CitiBike, and I just rent a bike and go and just go into Union Square and then go into some of the record stores and then go down to the Village and it's just a lot of fun for me; a lot of fun. But the show's going to be working me pretty good, so I'll be on the floor of the show the entire time.
If you go: Special Edition is at NYC Pier 94 at 711 12th Ave. on Saturday and Sunday. For hours and ticket information, go to specialeditionnyc.com