Exclusive Matt Idelson Interview[Date: March 9, 2006]
Matt Idelson is the new Superman comic book editor (taking over from Eddie Berganza).
The Superman Homepage would like to thank Matt for agreeing to do this interview, and for fitting it into his busy schedule.
Q: Can you please tell us a little about yourself and what you do?
A: I'm a senior editor here at DC Comics, handling of course SUPERMAN and ACTION COMICS, along with CATWOMAN, WONDER WOMAN and a slew of other books. I've been doing the comics thing since 1993, and I'm one of those lucky people who can say they honestly love what they do - except when I'm cranky, of course.
Q: When did you become a Comic Book fan?
A: I first stumbled upon comics while reading the daily Spider-Man strip in our local paper - looking at it, really, as I couldn't read yet. But something about the art by John Romita Sr. and the story (what I could make of it) by Stan Lee really hooked me in a way Apartment 3-G didn't...
Q: Who's your favorite comic book hero?
A: You know, I really don't have one anymore. When you do this for a living, you have to put yourself in a headspace where you can find the potential in every character, regardless of whether they're hugely popular like Superman or less known like Man-Bat.
Q: How did you go about becoming a comic book editor?
A: During my freshman year in College, I had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up, and that kind of worried me. Then Marvel Age ran a small story in one issue about their internship program. My mother, God bless her, called them up, since I was way too nervous to do so, and I spent a tremendous summer working for Terry Kavanagh and Mark Powers.
Q: How did you get the job as Superman comics editor?
A: A little over a year ago, Dan DiDio approached all the editors and asked for their thoughts in writing on the different characters and books in the DCU, and what we would do with them given the chance, and I guess Dan liked what I wrote.
Q: How important do you view continuity? Do you see it as your job to maintain a stable continuity?
A: I think continuity is hugely important. It's what validates the time and money the readers have invested in the characters, and it's the history that defines the characters, too. To ignore it is just wrong. At the same time, you have to be flexible enough to allow a character to grow, even if it means altering some past bit of continuity. I think the best balance is to have a story-driven reason for the continuity, one that you can tell in a later tale if you don't have the space to explain it immediately. I've made my continuity-related mistakes over the years, lord knows, and it's something that bothers me whenever I finally realize it.
Q: Will we see the return of a supporting cast in Metropolis?
A: Right off the bat, we'll be seeing and developing the supporting cast, and even adding to it a little.
Q: Do you plan on running multi-part epics, or self-contained issues?
A: A mixture of both, really. The first story, involving ACTION and SUPERMAN, will run 8 issues, and we'll be doing shorter arcs after that, but I'm also a big fan of self-contained stories, and I want to make sure we sprinkle them in as much as possible.
Q: Are you going to continue bringing a new creative team in every 12 months, or are you going to keep them around longer?
A: Well a lot of that depends on the creators, what their plans are regarding Superman, and what other projects they have in mind to work on. I'd really like things to be stable for as long as possible for several reasons. I think it's safe to say the writers are going to be in it for the long haul.
Q: Who's going to be writing "Action Comics" this summer?
A: Nice try.
Q: What's your main approach on Superman? How do you want to present him to the reader in regards to the "reboot" after INFINITE CRISIS?
A: I really want people to see him as a fun, cool guy who takes his responsibilities seriously. He's gotten labeled as a boy scout or even dull, and I'd love to dispel that notion. Big things are always going to be happening in the Superman books, that's a given, but I'd love for people to find Superman every bit as contemporary a character as whatever the hot thing is right now.
Q: Any babies in the future for Clark and Lois, or is the marriage going to get shakier after "Crisis"?
A: Well, Clark's got that baby with Catwoman... joke. The issue of having children is something that will come up, to be certain. I don't foresee the marriage getting shaky. Frankly, the odds of them breaking up are right up there with me becoming an astronaut, and I think the readers know that (the first part, at least). Why waste their time teasing that the marriage is going to crumble when we all know it's not? We've got plenty of other fun, dramatic things to focus on instead.
Q: There are great writers and artists out there (and within the staff of the Superman Homepage) who would love to write or draw for DC Comics. What advice can you give them in regards to that dream?
A: Truthfully, I think the best advice I can give for either aspiring artists or writers is to attend conventions, get to know the editors of the various comic book companies, and try to establish a relationship so that someone will give you a chance. Since DC doesn't accept unsolicited submissions for either art or writing, getting your foot in the door at another company and then taking the same meet-and-greet approach with a DC editor at a con is probably your best bet.
Q: What do you think of the Superman Homepage?
A: I think it's pretty terrific, both as a source of news and as a resource. There's a lot of love, blood and sweat that goes into it, you can tell, but it's not slavish. It shows the regard that you folks have for Superman, without a doubt!
Thanks, and good luck editing Superman!
A: Thanks for the opportunity to connect, Steve! I always loved editor/reader interaction when I was growing up, and it's a treat to be able to provide some of my own!
This interview is Copyright © 2006 by Steven Younis. It is not to be reproduced in part or as a whole without the express permission of the author.
IntroductionThe Superman Homepage has had the pleasure of interviewing various Superman Comic Book creative people about their work.
Question and Answer Interviews:
- Interview with writer Marv Wolfman about Man and Superman: The Deluxe Edition (November 2019)
- Interview with artist Claudio Castellini about Man and Superman: The Deluxe Edition (November 2019)
- Interview with artist Joe Staton about working on Superman properties over the years (November 2019)
- Interview with Christopher Priest about the Superman vs. Deathstroke story in Deathstroke #8 (November 2016)
- Interview with Sterling Gates about the 'Adventures of Supergirl' digital-first comic book series (January 2016)
- Interview with J. Michael Straczynski about Superman: Earth One - Vol. 3 - Writer J. Michael Straczynski talks to us about the third volume in the Superman: Earth One graphic novel series (February 2015)
- Interview with Jim Krueger - Writer Jim Krueger talks to us about his The Dark Lantern story in the Adventures of Superman comic book title (November 2013)
- Smallville: Season 11 Interview with Bryan Q. Miller - Writer Bryan Q. Miller talks to us about his work on the Smallville: Season 11 comic book title (October 2012)
- Supergirl Interview with Mahmud Asrar - Artist Mahmud Asrar talks to us about his work on the monthly Supergirl comic book title (July 2012)
- Superman/Batman Interview with Joshua Hale Fialkov - Joshua Hale Fialkov answers our questions about The Secret 3-part story in Superman/Batman #85-87 (July 2011)
- Supergirl Interview with Sterling Gates - Sterling Gates answers our questions about where Supergirl is headed post War of the Supermen (June 2010)
- Supergirl Interview with Sterling Gates & Jamal Igle - Adam Dechanel chats with the Supergirl comic book team about the Maid of Might (March 2010)
- Behind the Scenes of the Super Friends - Four part indepth look at the Super Friends comic book title with artists J. Bone and Stewart McKenny (February 2010)
- Interview with Landry Q Walker and Eric Jones - The writer and artist discuss Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the Eighth Grade (May 2009)
- Interview with Elliot S! Maggin - Legendary Superman writer and novelist discusses his career (January 2009)
- Interview with J. Bone - Artist discusses Super Friends comic book (November 2008)
- Interview with Mark Bagley (September 2008)
- Interview with J. Torres - Writer discusses Legion of Super Heroes in the 31st Century #18 (September 2008)
- Interview with Jake Black (May 2008)
- Interview with Cary Bates (June 2008)
- Interview with Jack Briglio - Writer discusses Legion of Super Heroes in the 31st Century #14 (May 2008)
- Interview with Ken Pontac - Writer discusses Justice League Unlimited #44 (May 2008)
- Interview with Karl Kerschl (April 2008)
- Interview with J. Torres - Writer discusses Legion of Super Heroes in the 31st Century #13 (April 2008)
- Interview with J. Torres - Writer discusses Legion of Super Heroes in the 31st Century #11 (February 2008)
- Interview with Fabian Nicieza - Writer on Superman comic books (June 2007)
- Interview with Danny Fingeroth - Writer of the book Superman on the Couch (May 2007)
- Interview with Jesse McCann - Writer on the Krypto The Superdog comic books (December 2006)
- Interview with Matt Haley - Artist on the Superman Returns comic book movie adaptation (November 2006)
- Interview with Ethan Van Sciver - Artist on Superman/Batman (September 2006)
- Interview with Mark Verheiden on taking over the writing duties on Superman/Batman (April 2006)
- Interview with Matt Idelson on taking over as Superman group editor (March 2006)
- Interview with Jeph Loeb on Sam and Superman/Batman #26 (February 2006)
- Interview with Roger Stern (December 2005)
- Interview with Marv Wolfman (November 2005)
- Interview with Gail Simone (May 2005)
- Interview with Greg Rucka (April 2005)
- Interview with Brad Meltzer [Identity Crisis] (January 2005)
- Interview with Glenn Whitmore (November 2004)
- Interview with Jeph Loeb (September 2004)
- Interview with Karl Kerschl (September 2004)
- Interview with Ron Garney (September 2004)
- Interview with Greg Rucka and Matthew Clark (May 2004)
- Interview with Ed McGuinness (March 2004)
- Interview with Brad Meltzer [Identity Crisis] (March 2004)
- Interview with Mark Millar [Superman: Red Son] (March 2003)
- Interview with Min S. Ku (September 2001)
- Interview with Jeph Loeb (May 2001)
- Interview with Joe Casey (April 2001)
- Interview with Mike S. Miller (September 2000)
- Interview with Denis Rodier (August 2000)
- Interview with Grant Morrison (December 1999)
- Interview with Mark Millar [Part 2] (November 1999)
- Interview with Mark Millar [Part 1] (April 1999)
- Superman vs. Terminator - A Chat with Fight Promoter Alan Grant. (January 2000)
- Superman: The Dailies (1939-1940) Graphic Novel Review.
- The Rebirth of Superman (Part 1) - Superman is reborn... again.
- The Rebirth of Superman (Part 2) - Eddie Barganza on taking the character in a new direction.
- The Rebirth of Superman (Part 3) - Jeph Loeb discusses writing the Man of Steel.
- Lex Luthor For President - Forget Superman. An updated Luthor's new enemies are Gore and Bush.
- Superman: Last Son of Earth - Steve Gerbern Interview - The writer discusses flip-flopping the Man of Steel's origin. (August 2000)
Krypton Club Interviews:
When Lois & Clark started production in 1993, there was an obvious relationship between the comic book people and the Hollywood people.
A trade paperback Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, was published, with Dean Cain and Teri Hatcher on the cover. It included reprints of comic book stories that were the inspiration for Lois & Clark, helping to define the characters. Comic's included are: The Story of the Century (Man of Steel miniseries #2), Tears for Titano (Superman Annual #1), Metropolis - 900 mi (in SUP #9), The Name Game (SUP #11), Lois Lane (in ACT #600), Headhunter (AOS #445), Homeless for the Holidays (AOS #462), The Limits of Power (AOS #466), and Survival (ACT #665).
A number of comic book writers and artists had roles as extras in the episode I'm Looking Through You (Season one, episode 4). Their presence was immortilized in the Sky Trading Card #34.
Craig Byrne, president of the online Lois & Clark fanclub The Krypton Club, carried out a series of interviews with comic book writers. The interviews are reprinted with permission of the Krypton Club.
- Interview with Roger Stern (June 1995)
- Interview with John Byrne (June 1995)
- Interview with Mike Carlin (July 1995)