On Talking With Scott Snyder Again, & His Inspirational Approach To Writing

, by Zoë Gulliksen

Last year, I began co-hosting Midtown Comics' monthly book club in Downtown Manhattan, New York, with the company's marketing director Thor Parker (@ThorParker). Each session is set up to mimic a convention panel setting with the writer or artist who has been invited to discuss their book. Most of the time they are recently released hardcover editions or TBPs that are for sale at the store. Over the past several months our guest list has included author Dan Slott of Marvel's Spider-Man fame, and Brian Wood, author of DMZ & New York Five. Scott Snyder, who made his initial mark on the comics scene  a few years was our very first book club guest. He had come in to promote Vertigo's first American Vampire trade paperback, and has since gained droves of new fans after becoming DC Comics' lead Batman writer. Last night we had the honor of having him as a guest again, this time for the new collected edition Batman: The Black Mirror; a surprisingly terrifying story featuring the strongest writing in a Batman comic I've read in a long time.
When I met Scott last year, 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 for DC Comics and co-writing a creator owned horror story Severed with his friend Scott Tuff for Image (another friendly and great guy who I got to hang out with again last night)

I took this picture before the club started, & this is only
half of the store!
Well over 100 people showed up for the latest book club, the biggest turn out we have ever had. I credit this 100% to Scott 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 because Scott -- rather infamously -- goes into detailed stories about his writing experiences and the  meaning behind each story he writes with only the slightest push. 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 accidental yet very profound speech that I consider very motivational for anyone who dreams to make a living off of being an author. He explained that his approach to writing is simple: 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 were 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. 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. After initially reading Voodoo Heart, I've bought countless copies as presents for my friends and forced the rest to buy all the copies our preferred book store, The Strand, have in stock. 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. I cannot recommend it enough, especially to readers who prefer a more eclectic and haunting writing style. You can buy your own copy off of amazon (There's a link to buy it on the left side bar now!) Or you can buy a signed  copy of it from Midtown Comics right HERE. I couldn't help but ask during the book club if Scott has plans on returning to prose anytime soon. Although he admitted that he doesn't at the present time plan to, because he loves writing comics too much, I will still hold out hope for more fiction from him in the future 

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!


  1. I am so utterly terrible with the names of writers and artists when it comes to comics, but Scott Snyder I now know. I read Batman: The Black Mirror and loved it. Swamp Things is one of the few DC comics I even bother with. Now I guess I need to pickup American Vampire as this man hasn't let me down yet.

  2. The first two trades of American Vampire are out, and they're amazing! Definitely check them out.

  3. Darn, I can't believe I forgot about this last night. Glad to hear it was a blast.

    I'm definitely astounded by his memory of fans. I've talked about the guy's work on my podcasts for months and when I got to meet him at NYCC last year, he immediately recognized me. The guy cares so much about his work and his fans, which is what any great creator (and a business in general) should do. You can sense the passion in both his talks and on his Twitter feed. The guy needs to stay with us comic book brethren forever :)

  4. Such a blast last night. I've met and spoken to Scott in several occasions, be it from his signings at Midtown or Comics Con or just chatting online, and he's an amazing person. Not only what he does for comics, but who he is. I really look up to the man and I have so much respect. The comic book business is like no other business. Where else can you get as personal with the people you look up to? Scott is simply gifted and his enthusiasm for comics i unmatched. His speech last night was pretty damn beautiful, and I look forward to reading anything anything he puts out.

    Also, Zoe, it made me really happy to hear you bring up Voodoo Heart last night. Ah, a wonderful book.

  5. I started reading "American Vampire" only because I am a massive Stephen King fan, but once his five issues were over, I decided that I couldn't quit reading, because I wanted to see where the story went.

    The series has only improved since then, and when the New 52 thing started, I decided to jump onboard Snyder's "Batman" and "Swamp Thing" and see how they were.

    Here's how they were:

    I will now be reading everything Scott Snyder writes. The guy is freakin' brilliant!

  6. Inspirational is the perfect word to use as the title for this article. It's the exact emotion I felt when he was discussing the drive and passion behind his work.