2011 Comic Book News Archives

July 11, 2011: Brandon T. Snider Talks "DC Comics: The Ultimate Character Guide"

Ultimate Character Guide Brandon T. Snider is a New York based writer and actor who has penned books featuring Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, the Fantastic Four and Spider-Man, as well as fiction for Smallville Magazine.

Snider's new book "DC Comics: The Ultimate Character Guide" is an A-Z guide to DC heroes and villains, shedding new light on your favorite heroes, but also covering lesser-known characters.

In this exclusive interview, the Superman Homepage goes behind the scenes on the creation of this new book and finds out whether the relaunch of the DC Universe had any impact on its publication.

Q: What sets this "DC Comics: The Ultimate Character Guide" apart from others books about the DC Universe of characters?

A: "DC Comics: The Ultimate Character Guide" is a streamlined DCU encyclopedia that includes all of the most recognizable heroes as well as a few up and coming characters for good measure. This book presents interesting traits, defining characteristics and key moments in a character's history. We set out to make a book that you can give to a kid and say "This is the DC Universe. Interested?" with the hope that they'll want to find out more and, thus, BUY COMIC BOOKS! There's something for people of all ages to connect to in this. My hope is that it will be a child's gateway into the DCU.

Ultimate Character Guide Q: Were there any characters you really wanted to include that you weren't able to fit in? If so, who?

A: As you well know the DCU is an ever-changing thing. My awesome editor, Frank Pittarese, and I tried our best to stay on top of what was happening without necessarily knowing what was coming next. Licensed Publishing is separate from the DCU proper so coordination can be tricky. We realzied too late that we couldn't fit the Birds of Prey but thankfully the team is represented individually in the book. I'm happy we got some of the newer and more obscure characters in like Cyclone and Congorilla. And we're well aware that one or two characters in the book are dead but, because they're iconic, we can't not include them. They may even be alive by the time this sees print!

Q: What kind of research did you have to do to put this Character Guide together? How long did it take from start to finish?

A: I was armed with my collection of Who's Whos (professionally bound, by the way) as well as the previous gigantic DC Encyclopedia. I also have an extensive comic book and trade collection that's up-to-date so if it came down to it, I could go straight to the source. In some cases, when we were deciding on art, I would reference a specific panel from a book. I would email Frank and I'd say "There's this panel of so-and-so doing such-and-such but I don't know what's it's from. Do you know what I'm talking about?" and Frank would know. We were like a well oiled machine. The internet was also helpful but more as a confirmation of details not as a source. I began work in late November of last year and I think we were done by the end of February. But I will say that we were changing things as much as we could based on new material. If the latest issue of Brightest Day revealed a new and important fact about Aqualad, we pushed to get it in.

Ultimate Character Guide Q: How far into putting your Character Guide together did you become aware of the September relaunch of the DC Universe? Has it impacted your work or does it concern you at all?

A: We didn't know about the relaunch and I don't know that it would have mattered a ton. I also don't think that it'll be as extensive as it's being presented. We already know these people change constumes and have adjusted histories from time to time. We address chages in identity and some revisionist details as it pertains to a character but we're not letting those things define them. We wanted to present a fun, bright primer for the DCU in a pure form with a few fun facts sprinkled in. It's something that will pique a child's interest that your run-of-the-mill fanboy will enjoy as well. If anything, this book illustrates that the DC Universe is constantly evolving and not only is that okay but it's fun to watch along the way.

Order "DC Comics: The Ultimate Character Guide" from Amazon.com today!

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