When I Grow Up: Schmoozing With Superheroes

Many kids and adults could read comic books all day long. But what&s it like to write them?
Nov 28, 2012

Why my job is awesome: I get to sit here and write and draw some of the coolest characters on planet Earth. I've had a lot of jobs in my life — like painting houses and hanging wallpaper — and this is the coolest one I've ever had. I play with Spider-Man for a living!

An average day on the job: Every day is a little different. About 90% of everything I do is creative, and I like the days when I get to draw and write the best. Other days, though, are filled with business meetings about how we are going to sell and market our comic books.

What I love about my job: I love being able to work in such a creative atmosphere with characters that children like, and parents remember growing up — like The Hulk, Spider-Man, and Iron Man.

How I first became interested: I grew up reading comic books as a kid, but I stopped when I was 13 and rediscovered them at age 25. That's when I knew I wanted comics to be my job.

When I was a kid, I wanted to be: A baseball player for the New York Mets. Then in my teens I really got into music — playing the guitar — and became a musician for a while.

How I got where I am today: I went to the School of Visual Arts in New York (the setting for most of Marvel's adventures) and got my degree in illustration. If you're a young person thinking about making comic books your job, you should definitely read as much as possible. Comics, library books, schoolbooks — everything. And if you're interested in drawing, you have to keep at it and practice consistently.

What stinks about my job: There's very, very little that I don't like about my job, but now that I'm a parent with a day job, I miss being with my 6-year-old daughter. Sometimes I fondly think back to when I was an artist and worked from home.  I could do that again if I wanted to, but I feel very lucky to be so happy with this job, so I just make sure we spend a lot of time together when I'm home.

FYI: My father bought me my first comic in 1968 because he had seen in the news that Stan Lee and Marvel were introducing a new comic book that preached against the evils of drug abuse, and he thought it would be a great way to get the message across. He was right. To this day, I've never used drugs — but what he didn't realize was that he was introducing me to an entirely new addiction: comic books.